In what may be my favorite quote of the week (or maybe ever), I ran into a smart young man at last Sunday's Open who has occasionally called on me for Real Estate advice. When I began to describe why Sarah and I had unfortunately dropped a certain property from our listing roster, he waved a hand, politely stopped me, and graciously replied: "No need to explain; some juice just isn't worth the squeeze." (Wisdom comes from the most unexpected places.)
While Sarah, Jill, Kate, and I strive to meet the needs (and the demands) of all our Sellers and Buyers, the truth is, we can't always accommodate other people's questionable behavior, crazy antics, or conflicts of interest - nor do we want to . . .
Moreover, what we've learned from experience (some of it truly painful) is that when a transaction starts off on the wrong foot, it rarely, if ever, improves, In fact, it tends to go downhill as we approach the marketing period, which, frankly, isn't the journey we want for either party involved. As buying or selling real estate is stressful enough, let's respectfully part company when the power struggles emerge, and spare one another the needless tug-of-war.
In sharp contrast to those who think they should run the process (even though they've hired professionals to do so), we're grateful for the clients who are willing to listen to our advice, who value what we have to say, and who pay us appropriately for our experience and competency. In other words, successful Sellers don't fight the process; they happily surrender to it, secure in the knowledge that we will leave no stone unturned. (That's a promise.)
By way of example, we recently helped a client whose long-time "bachelor pad" had served him well but was in need of a serious facelift to meet the current market challenges (Fewer qualified Buyers, more days on the market, rising inflation coupled with less buying power, and lack of consumer confidence, just to name a few.) To no one's surprise, Buyers have grown a little conservative; if they're forced to pay more in monthly carrying costs, they expect more as well. Consequently, we faced an uphill climb with respect to this particular property which had grown dated by today's standards.
A frank discussion around the dining room table regarding expectations concluded in a clear strategy to update the house, which involved renovating the kitchen, as well as two new bathrooms, a new deck, fresh paint, inside and out, new lighting, new carpeting, and refinished floors. Happily, our receptive and coachable client (thank you) was "all in" and handed us the keys with a clear understanding of a realistic budget and a manageable timeline - both of which we met.
Eight weeks later, the house was delivered, ready for an early spring debut. The property was enthusiastically received and multiple showings brought in eight offers. The end result was a one-week sale, WELL above the list price! (Congratulations!)
Did this outcome surprise us? Yes, AND no . . . because true to form: good planning, skilled work, and honorable intentions can add up to a very rewarding experience, not to mention a happy ending all the way around.
So when you are ready to heed our advice, when you are ready to hand over the reins, and when you are ready to move forward, we ARE ready to help! If you untie our hands, embrace the process, and allow us the opportunity to be creative, you'll be amazed at what we can deliver.
Who's ready for a little fresh squeezed orange juice?
How can we help you?
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Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 18 years and has published more than 670 essays on life and real estate.