As we enter into the Holiday season, I thought this would be a good topic to discuss given this crazy year of 2020. It is critical that even through the stressful season we keep our minds focused on what matters when working through a real estate transaction. In this log, I will layout the different scenarios that occur throughout the process of buying/selling a home and why it is important to keep ethics, and social responsibility at the top of our priorities.
One of the first discussions that happen with a client is the initial consultation on what their real estate goals are. Both the buying and selling side the clients should have a solid idea of the common stresses that come with a real estate transaction. Telling clients that the transaction will be all flowers is an ethical mistake. The reality is, we will hit bumps along the way, but most are solvable if we keep our minds reasonable. Be open with clients, and develop trust. When the bumps come it is not as stressful, and they are ready to tackle the hard decisions without the feeling of shock.
As we start negotiating on a piece of property we must research, research, research. When we have the data, ALL of the information should be delivered to the client. Realtors need not to manipulate the choices of our clients, but to keep them well informed so that they are able make the best choice for them, their families and business. Whether its the list price, or what sales price to offer, at the end of the day, it is up to the client.
When offers come in on a property, and you are now in a multiple offer situation this can be a hard test in keeping your values at the front. Again, the decision is up to the client, as we consider all of the factors such as price, contingencies, and closing date. A good reminder is we are not only dealing with a contract, we are dealing with real people and their future. The buyers may want to write an "about us" letter to the sellers to motivate them in accepting their offer. This can become sentimental/emotional on both sides. The seller now has a decision to make in accepting a lower offer, but to a family that adores the home/neighborhood, or accepting the higher priced offer to a developer who wants to flip the home as fast as possible. Its not always about the money. Homes are extremely personal. As a Realtor, I want to maximize the most money for my client, but I also want them to feel good about their decision. It is absolutely OK for the sellers to choose the lower priced offer and know that they will have no regrets on a moral level.
Inspection and attorney review comes next, and although all disclosures have been signed and reviewed at this point there are many reasons why a seller/buyer can feel gipped throughout this part of the transaction. We want the buyers to have a safe home with all utilities working properly and our sellers are wanting to get away with no fixes/credits. The best way to work through this process is in full transparency with them. At that initial consultation the topic of credits, and inspection requests should have already been disclosed as a very real possibility. The sellers will not feel thrown off when buyers ask that certain things are fixed, and they become a little more openminded about agreeing. Buyers will try to take advantage of having things fixed in the home that are not safety/utility related, and it is our job to inform them that inspection is for a solid knowledge of the homes entirety and to make sure things are working safely. Not to grab as much closing credit as possible. If we have reasonable clients, it ends up a win win for both parties.
The best thing Realtors can do is to keep an open discussion between all parties related to the transaction. We make ourselves available to co-operating brokers, attorneys, builders, lenders, clients, etc. The more communication the better in creating a smooth transaction for our clients.
Our social responsibility, morals and ethics are incredibly important in any business. We must keep this at the heart and rely on it when decisions get tough. It isn't always about the money, it isn't always about the quickest sale. But Real estate is always about people.
Thanks for dropping in and hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!