once worked with a buyer who had to fly to the other end of the world
within a couple of days after we placed her offer. Needless to say, she
was agitated and anxious about the prospect of being so far away during
inspections and contingency removals, especially since Iâ€™d earlier
stressed how important it was for her to be present.
Rolling with the
punches and poor timing, we sat down just before she left and talked
through the timeline, including which events would take place on every
day of her absence - including some harmless glitches that commonly
arise along the way.
never will forget her laughter when the occasional glitch of this sort
did, in fact, come up. She would say: â€œI would have been stressed out by
that. But since I knew to expect it, Iâ€™m not!â€
list of pleasant surprises in real estate matters is really, really
short. Normally, we all want things to tick along precisely according to
plan, and almost anything unexpected causes us inconvenience or plain
old stress. But there is one relatively common set of real estate
surprises that is actually quite delightful: the unexpected perks of
working with the right real estate pro.
sellers come to their real estate agent relationships expecting help
selling their home on a particular time frame, and marketing the place
to make that happen. Â Buyers are most often seeking an agentâ€™s help
finding the right home and negotiating to buy it.
both buyers and sellers are often pleasantly surprised at the other
resources, strategic counsel and expertise their agents ultimately
provide.Here are some of the biggest benefits that catch them off-guard:
1. Â Insider knowledge.
Â In a recent survey, home buyers said one of the biggest benefits they
got from their agent was an understanding of how the buying process
would unfold. When it comes to something as infrequent, complex and high
stakes as buying or selling a home, having an insider advisor who is
dedicated to your success can alleviate your anxieties and otherwise put
you in a power position, when it comes to making smart decisions and
And that was it. No Carrera marble. No European soft-close
drawers. To a world class cook, what really matters is the stove. In
fact, he explained, he was briefed on the importance of the range, and
only the range, to a great chefâ€™s kitchen by chef extraordinaire Alice
right agent can and often does precisely what Alice Waters did for Tim
Ferriss: they can course correct you around what home features,
transaction terms and even timing nuances will help further the
lifestyle you are trying to create - and which wonâ€™t - based on their
past experiences working with buyers and sellers in similar situations.
might think that you are desperate to live in a particular
neighborhood, but your agent can help you understand the realities of
the commute in a way you didnâ€™t before. You might want to wait to list
your home until the summertime, but your agent can point out the wisdom
of getting started prepping the place during your holiday vacation time
so that youâ€™ll be poised to take advantage of pent-up cold weather
demand at the first thaw. Of course, for your agent to be able to do
this, you have to give them as much information as possible about the
lifestyle you aim to create.
3. Â Save you from yourself.
Â As we discussed last week, there are many instances in which even the
smartest buyers and sellers are their own worst enemies, committing
unintentional acts of self-sabotage like overpricing, lowballing,
overspending and the like. Â If you equip your agent with a deep
understanding of the overall life picture, financial picture and then
home picture youâ€™re trying to create with your buy or sale (or both),
they can help point out when youâ€™re about to take an action that will be
inconsistent with or counterproductive to what you say is important to
itâ€™ll be your decision whether to take a given red flag-waving step or
not, but your agent can be a very valuable coach to gently point out
when you might be getting in your own way.
4. Â Stop you from buying the wrong house. Â A surprisingly high number of home buyers report that their agent actually talked them out
of buying the wrong house for them. Whether because the inspection
results come back and are deeply worrisome, the sellers simply want more
money than you can healthily afford or experience has taught them that a
buyer with your priorities will not be happy with a house like that,
the majority of agents would rather sell you the *right* home for your
family next month than sell you the wrong one right now.
5. Â Devise an pre-buying or -selling action plan. What
a tangled web we weave, when first we fail to properly plan and prep to
buy or sell our home. Okay, so it doesnâ€™t have quite the ring as the
original saying, but you get the gist nonetheless. Agents love nothing
more than to get a call way
in advance of when you think youâ€™ll be ready to make your move. Calling
them in advance allows them to sit down with you in an unhurried,
unpressured environment to map out an action plan that sets you (and
them) up for successfully achieving whatever your real estate goal is.
that, in turn, can help you prevent the overwhelm, procrastination and
eventual last minute scrambling and freak-outs that arise when your
ducks are not all in a row.
an agent can help you plan out, significantly in advance of your target
move-in or move-out date, include, among many others:
to mortgage brokers, financial planners, contractors, stagers and
relationship counselors (just kidding on that last one!).
Setting up action steps you need to take and helping you understand when you need to take them to meet your target time frames.
clear on the relative costs (and financial prep it will take) to buy in
any of several neighborhoods, cities and even property types that you
6. Â Illuminate options you werenâ€™t aware were even possible. Thereâ€™s
no shame in not knowing everything there is to know about real estate -
even very active real estate consumers will only buy or sell 5, maybe
10 homes in a lifetime. But your agent does this all day, every day, for
their entire career. So off the top of their head, they might be able
surface options in terms of
and even post-closing protections and service providers
that you would never have known existed, if not for them.
theme here is this: donâ€™t limit your agent and the help they can
provide you by what you *think* their job is, or what you think they do
or donâ€™t know. Â Make sure that when youâ€™re getting referrals or meeting
agents online and in person early on in your agent selection process,
you pay attention to their references and marketing plans, but also to
how well your personalities mesh.
youâ€™ll find and work with an agent in whom you can confide everything
from your big picture life vision to your truly confidential financial
Bottom line: The
more you feel comfortable sharing with your agent, the more likely you
are to be pleasantly surprised with the ways they can help you.
Buyers, Sellers and Owners: Â Were you pleasantly surprised by advice or strategies your agent gave you? How so?
All:Â You should followTrulia and Tara on Facebook!Â Â Â Â Â