I'm not necessarily the gal that believes that "everything works out for the best." I fall more into the category of "everything works out in the end," but that's just me. (Sarah is my perpetually optimistic partner.) That being said, making the "best" out of whatever circumstances we face is the challenge for us all - both in life and most certainly, when it comes to real estate.
With the holidays firmly behind us, Jill, Sarah, Kate, and I have hit the ground running in 2024, and there's no shortage of hurdles we're jumping over with our current projects in the queue. No mind, we've been here before; we'll be there again, and most assuredly, we have lots of practice navigating whatever comes our way. Such is the nature of the beast.
But, whether it's permit delays, sagging floors, aging roofs, dated design, missing deliveries, or resistance in any form, there's a pathway forward if we all work with good intentions and move calmly into action. (BTW, good intentions don't guarantee a stress-free transaction. Let's be real: selling or buying is a STRESSFUL process, no matter the circumstances.)
However, given that real estate reality shows concentrate on Agent commissions and highlight snarky behavior - and not what's "really" happening behind the scenes - it's easy to see why the general public has a skewed perception of what it takes to bring a property to market, how to close a transaction, or what duties Realtors® actually perform. Sadly, Realtors® have done a terrible job of explaining our role . . . so let me correct that now.
First and foremost, Realtors® are not lawyers, CPAs, or estate/financial planners. We cannot give you legal or tax advice, although a real estate transaction may have huge implications in both these fields. Additionally, we are not contractors, although we will make design decisions almost from the moment we step through the door. We are not therapists, mediators, marriage counselors, or miracle workers, although admittedly, we're often practicing therapy without a license (apologies to my psychologist friends).
What are we?
Realtors are specifically trained at the art of buying or selling real estate. Our jobs require far more skill than simply writing up a listing or a purchase agreement. More generally, we are advocates, analysts, connectors, managers, producers, directors, landscapers, before-and-after specialists, investigators, problem-solvers, and third-party negotiators. We work 24/7, 365 days a year, and are on call round the clock. Our phones and laptops travel with us, and rarely a day goes by when we're not working. If we can guide our clients through a difficult and fearful process with a modicum of grace, that's the goal.
As a community, Realtors practice under the umbrella of a Broker, but are independent contractors who often bring separate strengths to bear. If you need a hand-holder, there's an Agent that fits that description. Boot-camp drill sergeant? For sure. Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker? You got it. In short, Realtors® come in all stripes and persuasions, so find one that fits your style and then commit.
Finally, with so much at stake, Realtors now do more than ever to prepare and bring a property to market. Unlike my father's brand of real estate which consisted of placing a sign out front, printing up some flyers, and holding Sunday Opens (forget about disclosures), today's Realtor® directs a host of crews, markets across the Internet (and the world), investigates a property thoroughly, and fiercely negotiates the closing terms. What's presented at a Sunday Open can represent weeks or even months of hard labor and often does.
So whatever your philosophy, let's agree to do our best with the expectation that everything will work out the way it's supposed to . . . .
How can we help you?
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 18 years and has published more than 750 humorous but always informative, essays on life and real estate.