Continued from Part 1:
6. Most people have no imagination – Maybe you got into real estate because you can see the potential in even the scariest abandoned property. You know that with a little carpet and paint, a space can easily be transformed. You have no problem mentally removing the 37 posters of LOL cats the seller has tacked up all over his house and replacing them with simple, tasteful decor of your own choosing. That is rad for you, but please know that you are alone in this super-power.
The majority of your clients can’t see past a pastel wallpaper boarder. I agree it seems ridiculous to pay a company to strategically place knick-knacks in an empty house, but honestly, it works. Don’t be afraid to tell your sellers to rent a storage unit and remove exactly half of their crap. No, the buyers aren’t buying the stuff inside, too, but the grand majority won’t be able to see past it to the nice house behind.
7. Real estate is inherently emotional – We’ve already touched on this back in number 3, but here let’s examine why:
Lots of money + Emotional attachment = Crazypants Drama
For the buyer, this is one of the biggest purchases they will make in their lives. They’re usually signing a document committing them to 30 years of significant monthly payments. Only an idiot wouldn’t be a little nervous about whether this is the right choice.
The seller can’t help but remember the spot in the corner of the living room where little Susie (who’s now going through kind of a bitchy phase) took her first steps 12 years ago, while he’s sitting at the kitchen table reviewing the offensively lowball offer from the buyer.
Now throw in the stress of getting a loan, home inspections that will inevitably find random crazy shit no one knew was going on, appraisal values that make everyone involved question their will to live and it’s a wonder there aren’t more homicides as a result of home-buying transactions.
8. Empathy goes a long way – Often times the drama and stress buyers and sellers feel during the transaction are natural reactions they have no control over. While you could react by pointing out how ridiculous it is to be feeling what they are, I haven’t found this to be a particularly helpful solution. Sometimes all a person needs to hear is that what they’re feeling makes sense and is acceptable. Then they are able to process past the emotions and make a smart decision. Example:
Yes, Mr. Seller, it’s pretty shocking the buyer would ask for the framed picture of The Virgin Mary you have at the top of the stairs to be thrown in to the deal. I agree it’s extremely tacky to request someone’s personal religious icons as part of a real estate transaction. But maybe the buyer just shares your beliefs and was really moved by how well the pictures fits in with the house? We can definitely counter the picture out regardless.
9. When you screw up, apologize and fix it – It’s going to happen. You’re going to totally eff something up eventually that will end up being a huge deal. When you figure it out it’s going to chill you to your core. You might pee yourself. Your immediate impulse might be to lie and try to blame it on someone else. Resist this urge. In real estate, most of what’s been done can be undone with a little sweet-talking and usually some cash. You’re probably going to have to dig into your commission. Consider it tuition to the school of life lessons. You won’t make that mistake next time.
I screwed up a deal one time where I was the listing agent. There was some confusing language in the contract regarding the fridge. The seller and I both assumed it indicated the fridge did not convey with the property. The buyer and her agent assumed the fridge was staying. Neither the buyer’s agent nor I got together to clarify this point. At the end of the deal, the buyer’s agent and I ended up splitting the cost of the fridge. We could have battled it out to the end and had a mediator settle the dispute, but I didn’t feel that was in the best interest of my client, and I knew I held some fault in the issue. The language was gray and I should have clarified it up front. Luckily the buyer’s agent felt the same way and was willing to share the responsibility with me. Want to know why this was worth it to me? That seller has both referred me and used me since.
10. People will always have to buy and sell, no matter the market – It’s easy to get overly obsessed with what’s happening in the bigger picture of real estate, but it’s important to keep the many small pictures clearly in your mind. People will always be changing jobs and moving across the country. People will always be needing bigger homes because their families have grown. People will be getting married and getting divorced and needing to make a change because of it. Don’t let CNN get you down. Just work your game, keep learning how to help people and you’ll make it through, no matter what the charts and graphs say.