Selling or buying a home is a crazy stressful process. It can be quick and painless or long and labored. It involves feeling every emotion you’ve ever had and probably a few new ones you didn’t even know existed. When you decide to buy or sell, it can be like adding something to an already full plate that cannot be contained. You’ve got kids, a job, a husband and an upcoming marathon sitting on the plate that makes up your life? Whatever. The magnitude of the real estate transaction can just spread itself all over everything else until it’s all you can think about. Who wants that?
I have sold more homes than I can count. I’ve sold apartments that cost insane amounts of money, and I’ve also sold studios and one-bedroom apartments to people who are just climbing aboard the wild roller coaster ride we call life. I’ve sold apartments in a day at full ask and struggled over a period of months to find a single offer for others that I thought would sell in a snap. When it comes to real estate, I am sure of one thing: No one can predict exactly how a transaction will go down.
It is also impossible to predict everything that could possibly go wrong. I’ve had buyers get arrested. I’ve had sellers go missing for extended periods of time. I’ve had to convince landlords to include a clause in a lease so that a client could keep a beloved marsupial as a pet. Crazy. Things. Happen. This is why if you want to keep your plate from toppling over and shattering into a million pieces during this process you need to work with a broker who is right for you. Your friend may highly recommend someone, or you might click with the first woman you meet about selling your home—those are great starts! However, I’ve learned that there are a few key qualities in a broker that can make the difference between having a super high stress experience and smooth sale:
Communication: How you and your broker communicate is the most important thing ever. Do you have a rapport with this person? Is this someone you feel comfortable discussing everything from your vision for your dream home to your finances? Talk to them about how they’ll communicate with you throughout the process. How often can you expect updates? How long to they usually need to respond to emails from clients (I respond within 12 hours, that’s my thing). Whenever a relationship between a broker and a client feels stressed, it’s almost always due to a problem with communication.
Partnership: I have compared the seven stages of the sale to the seven stages of grief. That’s because even the best of real estate transactions hit emotional bumps. Is your broker going to have your back and guide you through this whirlwind? Your broker works for the deal, but what that really means is she’s there to help you along the journey until papers are signed at that closing. That might mean explaining to you that while it’s beautiful that your daughter took her first steps in your house, that doesn’t mean you can reasonably ask a buyer to increase their offer by $100,000. You and your broker are partners in the journey that is getting your house sold or getting you in one you love. That means not saying yes to you every time you make a request. A broker should go above and beyond, but also know when they need to be honest with you about what’s reasonable for the sake of the sale.
For all Real Estate Needs,