Dishing on the real estate industry - what this insider has heard
Workers in every profession and occupation have their own stories about what really goes on, their perception of events. Can you imagine what is talked about in a restaurant after the doors are locked? Or at the nail salon or the gym?
Well, I'm going to share two things I've heard from other Realtors more than once and tell you what I really think:
- "Buyers are Liars" I hate that phrase, and don't believe it for a minute. Sure, we've all worked with buyers who insist on having a 3-bedroom home, and end up buying a 2-bedroom one; or they say a large lot is essential and non-negotiable but then they buy a place on a postage-stamp sized yard. What's going on? Doesn't that mean "buyers are liars?" No! What it means is that we, as real estate professionals, haven't asked enough questions, haven't taken the time to learn why buyers feel certain things are so important to them. Perhaps they want a 3rd bedroom for a home office, but find a 2-bedroom house with a charming sunroom or enclosed porch perfect for an office. Does that make them liars? Or maybe it's privacy they are wishing to find with a large yard. When they find that yard with no windows overlooking them, with private spaces to enjoy as they please--are they liars? When I bought my last San Carlos home, we had to have a 2-car garage--the house we bought had a 1-car garage, but everything else was so perfect and more than we had imagined, the 2-car garage no longer mattered. Am I a liar?
- "Buyers have no loyalty to their agent" That could be true with some people, at some times. However, what have we real estate professionals done to earn that loyalty? Do we return calls and emails promptly? Do we pro-actively offer information to help them? Do we take time for them and with them? Do we educate them, help them know what to expect? Do we talk with them about pros and cons of different areas. Do we instruct them to give our cards or our names to agents at open houses? Do we follow up? Many years ago I bought a rental property in a completely different area than the one where I had been working with my agent. I had no idea she could represent me, so I went with the agent holding the house open. Was I disloyal? That's not how I see it--I was uneducated; my agent never told me what I should do.
As a Realtor active in the San Francisco Peninsula market, I know that buyers are not liars, and that if we're doing our job well and have established trust, that most buyers are loyal. If I felt otherwise, I wouldn't be an effective Realtor and wouldn't love the job I've chosen to do and continue to do for years to come.