Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. "Pooh?" he whispered. "Yes, Piglet?" "Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's hand. "I just wanted to be sure of you." - A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh Yes, you've got your Socrates, your Platos and even your Dr. Phils, but few philosophers speak the truth as plainly as do Piglet and Pooh. "I just wanted to be sure of you." That's honestly, the TEST every time I meet with a new Buyer or Seller, and often, even after we've worked together for weeks on end. I'm constantly working to gain their faith and trust and more importantly, to keep it as we trudge along. That's no small order when we're talking BIG stakes in a market where almost anything can happen and a small miscalculation can mean the difference between getting a house or losing it. No matter how well intentioned, there's only so much we can control and wouldn't you know it, it's the stuff we can't that keeps us tossing and turning. (At least it keeps me up at night, and I'm certain I'm not alone. )
"What happened?" "What can we expect?" "How much should we offer?"
In a market that keeps delivering surprising results - both good and bad - the plain truth is that there's no surety around much of what we do. Sometimes the answers are: "I don't know." "What are you comfortable with?" "How much are you wiling to risk?" And then I need to explain thoroughly what those risks might entail. "Should I have . . . ?" "Could I have . . . ?" "What if I had . . .?"
That's water under the bridge. Unfortunately, sometimes the best strategy is to regroup and move on. However, you might imagine. that's not information most Buyers or Sellers wish to hear, nor news we Realtors want to deliver. "I'm sorry, this wasn't your day . . . A higher offer trumped yours . . ." AND whether you're Buyer or a Seller, know that the other side is feeling exactly the same emotions, in one form or another. Strip them away, and they're almost always about fear.
Often times, the best I can do is just nod and listen to your fears, your uncertainty, and your anxiety and then metaphorically, hold your hand.
"I just wanted to be sure of you." (That's fair. I understand and I'm here.)
If it's any consolation, the fears we fret over the most, rarely come to pass, or if they do, they look nothing like we expected. (Those pesky expectations can really be our downfall.) BUT when we can set aside our expectations and move towards our best intentions, we are, undoubtedly, better served. There's also something to be said about creating our own reality (perception is everything). That's been my experience anyway - in this - or any market for that matter. If we believe things will work out for the best, they will. Perhaps Pooh said it best -
"When . . . you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very ''Thingish' inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it." - A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
Maybe we all just need a simple, but profoundly thoughtful bear to guide the way.
It couldn't hurt.
How can I help you?
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 15 years and has published more than 500 essays. She is also a frequent contributor to the Sound Off column in the Real Estate section of The San Francisco Chronicle.