Real Estate Transactions Don’t Have to Be Full of Drama
Whether you’re buying a home or selling your home, the process can be stressful. After all, it’s the biggest investment most people make, both financially and in life. Although sometimes emotions can run high, the process does not necessarily have to be full of drama. All involved can keep the transaction professional. That is a choice that buyers, sellers, and their agents can make…a choice that sure does make things go smoother.
We have dozens of stories about drama in real estate, unfortunately.
When buyers and sellers come to a difference in opinion,
or when something unexpected occurs, it’s natural to have emotional responses. But, it’s really up to their agents to work towards a solution and minimize the drama that can accompany rising emotions.
After writing a guest post for my friend Bill Gassett (Read the post here: Home Sellers, Expect more from your Realtor) I thought this story needed a full blown spot light! Here’s a story of how drama almost stopped a home sale in it’s tracks, and in the process may have cost our seller needless thousands.
Adventures in Real Estate Sales
A previous client called us after 11 years to sell his home. He had purchased the home as a newly built home. The neighborhood was still very desirable, and the immaculate home sold in three days with two offers.
During the home inspection, the inspector became concerned about a crack in the foundation, and suggested an expensive repair. The agent became concerned, and so naturally, the buyers were concerned. All the concern was heightened to the point where the response to the home inspection included a $7,000 or more repair of the foundation.
We recalled that when the home was less than a year old, the settling produced a crack in the block foundation. The builder paid for an engineer to study the problem and he rendered the opinion that the crack was the usual type that comes with a home settling, and declared it inconsequential. We brought in another qualified engineer and he studied the issue and verified that yes, the crack was still inconsequential.
With his expert opinion, we were able to diffuse the situation before it escalated to a point of no return. This demand for an exorbitant dollar amount, for a fix of a problem that was still undetermined, was a negotiating tactic. But it turned out that once they were no longer full of fear, the buyers were still in very motivated to move forward.
- That home inspector won’t be someone we ever use, or suggest someone else use. The suggestion of a fix to a problem that he thought he had uncovered, and a dollar amount, is out of his purview. He is a home inspector, not a contractor, not an engineer, not even a builder.
- We’ve been to hundreds of home inspections after 22 years. We’ve seen foundation cracks. There are normal, inconsequential cracks due to the home settling, and there are serious cracks that warrant expensive foundation repair. We’ve seen one of those. When real estate agents participate in and encourage panic-driven responses at the first sign of a problem, it never helps. An experienced, professional real estate agent will approach problems with an appropriate solution, not with dramatic overtures.
- Approaching problems with an overblown demand, especially when the problem needs more investigation by a licensed expert, does nothing toward reaching a solution. It blows the problem out of proportion, and makes the resolution that much more difficult. This only serves to minimize truly serious problems when they sometimes occur.
- An agent who is experienced in negotiation will move the issue towards more understanding and clarity, which will result in real solutions. We have found that most problems that arise during a real estate transaction are really just hurdles, not road blocks.
- Creating drama or heightened emotional responses is NOT the same thing as advocating for a client. It’s true that the buyer’s agent advocates for his buyer, and the seller’s agent, for the seller, however, advocating doesn’t have to lead to a brawl!
If the real estate agents involved can’t keep a cool head, then we’ve got real problems. If you find that your agent is an alarmist, you may want to consider a different agent. If you are exhausted from the emotional high’s and lows…of your agent, then you should consider a different agent.
Emotions Play A Part
There is no doubt that emotion plays a part in the process of buying and selling a home. After all, you want to come home to a home that you love. You should make your home choice based somewhat on emotions, after you’ve made all the logical choices about financing, school districts, and all the other practical decisions. There is a definite place for emotions, they just don’t have the leading role. Certainly, the real estate agents should not be introducing drama, rather, they should be minimizing it.