Pick a house, please.

In all the excitement of having some buyers, I forgot to coach them on how our relationship will play out.  This was a mistake.  It’s like in the classroom, you set up your routines and reinforce positive behaviors.  Clients can also use clear guidelines and positive reinforcement.

I have been hacking away at learning this new biz for the last six months, time flies right?  In this time, I have not skyrocketed to financial freedom like I had hoped.  It seems real estate is similar to so many other professions, it takes work and education to succeed.  Real estate demands another skill to reach success and that is a degree in psychology.  I did not read about that in my study guides for the test.  Nor did I realize my role as couples counselor.

If you think about it, buying a house can be super stressful, fear inducing and a breeding ground for issues with miscommunication.  Now multiply it by 5 when you are trying to buy a house with a partner who wants the opposite of what you want.  A partner who has the tendency to change their mind in a 180 degree fashion.  This is the world I now navigate.

The beloved clients can turn out to be major pains in the neck when the couple cannot get their shared vision to gel.  I feel a couple assessment could help me at the start of a real estate relationship.  I can ask basic questions like the Newlywed Game.  Examples:  How often does your partner completely change their mind?  What is your partners communication weakness?  Does your partner actually want to purchase a home?  Oh the list can go on and on.  I daydream of this questionnaire.  My reality is trying to tease out what one person really wants while reading the other persons nonverbal cues and adjust accordingly.  All about adaptability.

This was not quite what I had envisioned.  When it was time to purchase my first home, I looked at what was out there, found an area that could work, toured some homes, then picked the one I wanted.  I wasn’t looking for a dream home.  I was looking to buy a house. It didn’t take that long, I was underwhelmed by my real estate broker, impressed by the escrow lady and went forward in life.  I now know this is not the process for many people.  I had a Realtor show me about 5 houses.  I did my own research and house hunting.  I left that Realtor off easy.

The beloved clients have now seen 17 houses.  17!!  There is always some minutiae that is so wrong, silly things.  It started with the garbage disposals.  If the house didn’t have one, off the list.  Then other things that could easily be fixed became deal breakers.  Then the whole search widened into areas, structures and ideas that totally threw me off course.  Okay, rebound, I am flexible, I am adaptable.  You want to look at acreage with manufactured homes, got it.  Oh, now it’s raw land to develop, okay.  I have to admit we saw some questionable homes.  Knives everywhere as decorations, odd smells, ridiculously steep stairs, mini trailer parks, we know the inventory.  Finally, I called in the big gun, my principal broker, and we had a come to Jesus, the next week after touring 3 more houses, there was an offer.  An ACTUAL OFFER!! Oh, but it’s not that easy.  Always a catch in this biz.  FSBO.  For sale by owner.  Ahhhhhhh,  I didn’t prepare for this.

One offer presentation to the seller later, I realized unless people have serious experience in the state they are selling a home, they really should not try to do it themselves.  I am sitting at the sellers kitchen table trying to explain the papers in front of her.  She just wants something simple.  Like a homemade handwritten sale.  As she is looking over the sale agreement I brought, she starts to sign it.  I let her know that this document is legally binding and by selling it she is agreeing to sell to my clients.  Oh boy.

Fast forward to the counter offer which ends with a sentence about me taking all responsibility to ensure the seller meets all legal and time requirements.  I look at it and think whatevs.  I can deal with that, I am gonna do it anyway because there are not other brokers involved.  But it just so happened that my favorite Pro was in the office and looked it over and in colorful language expressed how I should most definitely not agree to that.  She is not my client, by selling her home without a broker it is the seller who assumes those risks.

So now I have learned A) couples bring their baggage to the table and I get to slog through it.  B) FSBO’s are a handful.  All valuable lumps I appreciate learning.  If you are keeping track, I have had two buyers who do not mean what they say.  A seasoned broker mentioned to me a little rhyme: buyers are liars and sellers are storytellers…Well, my clients decided that the house wasn’t the one.  And back to the starting line we go….

Next time, I may share about my new clients: the disgruntled ex-husband who wants to sell the house while the obstinate ex-wife lives in it.  This should be a test of my counseling skills and flexibility.

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