From the Trenches: Why Not Now-5 Good Reasons to keep working.


Home for the HolidaysEvery year around this time, I hear “the holidays are coming” repeated approximately every three minutes, by real estate brokers looking for an excuse to stop “working”….and by working, I mean “prospecting”, “listing homes” and “showing homes” (it gets dark earlier, have you noticed?)  For several reasons I would like to dispel the notion that the last two months of the year aren’t worth your time and effort:

Once upon a time, in a land more desert than forest, there was an agent who sold seven homes in December; there was snow on the ground (it was cold), and more than once, the customer in her car helped dig her out of an unplowed driveway.  It was worth the trouble, because January & February were happy payday months!

Oh, did I mention nobody else in the bullpen was working in December?  Less competition for the business!  (That’s reason #1)

You might consider how motivated these buyers were, in the middle of December, out looking for a home in the dark of night and the cold of winter… (reason #2)

Every home we saw was decked out for the holidays – inviting and warm inside, with baking scents to greet us… (reason #3)

The interest rates were hovering around 11% – not exactly optimum – but people were still buying homes…(low interest rates, reason #4)

Prices were static (normal for that market), so not declining, not escalating, in a market where homes typically took six months to sell… (reason #5:  when has there been a better time to buy in our market?)

So… why not now?  Why not make a commitment to take at least one new listing in November and December?  Why not decide to sell at least one home in November and December?  Listings are crucial today – there is not enough inventory to sustain the demand – even the demand during the holidays!  Keep working – it will pay off!

Don’t Compromise Yourself—It’s all you got

And yet—most real estate transactions are all about compromise.  The perfect house has yet to be built.  Buyers have their list of features. Then the savvy broker says—“tell me your top three”, not because they wouldn’t love to find all 20—but because it isn’t likely to happen.

The broker serves the buyer by helping to focus the search.

Likewise, sellers want and deserve to get the best deal for their property.  To do this they have to convert their home into a sale-able commodity, diminishing the personal, upping the neutral. Their brokers guide them from one calculated choice after another, balancing the expenses to sell with the potential sales price. A closed transaction most often represents compromise all around.

On the other hand, compromising your own integrity should be inviolable. The other day a broker came to me about a transaction in which the selling broker wanted some documentation about the property.  No problem with that, but this selling broker wanted to use the statement to minimize the buyer’s concerns, concerns which were justified. For that buyer to make an informed decision, they needed to do more investigation.

Do you provide the information, knowing it will be misused?  What responsibility does the listing broker have towards the buyer?  One thing is for sure, you don’t want to compromise your own integrity.  Don’t let yourself be manipulated into participating in a falsehood, whether it is withholding information from the buyer or the lender or any party to the transaction.  Making the deal can’t be at the expense of what’s right.

The Realtors’ Code of Ethics says we owe fair and honest dealings to all.

Start with yourself. Be fair. Be honest. No compromise.