Real estate agents have usually seen it all. Aside from knowing the ins and outs of a given real estate deal, they’re also intimately involved with buyers, sellers, lenders, contractors, builders and just about anything related to finding home. How, then, are they like therapists?
Real Estate Agents as Therapists
For a start, every day, they deal with unrealistic expectations, compromises, negotiations, the difficulty both buyers and sellers have with letting go, and the thrill of finding “the one.” Not unlike the emotional investment one makes in a long term relationship, Realtors understand how homeownership is most likely the largest investments of their clients’ lives.
What you, as a consumer, should know is that whatever rollercoaster you are experiencing while dealing with the purchase or sale of a house, your agent is there for every slow ascent to the top, every quick drop to the bottom, and every curve of that rollercoaster car along the way. The big difference is — they know when to hold their stomachs.
Realtors are there to make their clients feel more at ease from beginning to end, building trust and confidence in your judgment along the way. They do this because each and every day, they wear their reputations on their foreheads, always hoping for smoother transactions, better online reviews, and more repeat and referral business throughout the years ahead.
Therapists for Buyers and Sellers Alike
One of a buyer’s agent-related first duties is to ask questions to help their clients identify their true motivations and desires. No, there is no therapist’s couch in all this, but there are plenty of mental gymnastics done before being able to put a name on what their clients have in mind. Will the home they are looking for make them happier? There are always trade-offs any Realtor can point out to ensure their clients have all the knowledge they need to make a good decision for themselves. Not unlike a mental health professional, a good Realtor will guide the people they are working with to come to their own conclusions by offering as many facts as possible. If, however, a Realtor pushes his or her beliefs on a client, they may find themselves being blamed for the purchase of a home that ends up not having been the best match, robbing him or her of a future referral.
For sellers, several factors can be involved in their decision to place their home on the market. Some reasons for selling are happy ones (marriage, the birth of a baby, a new job or a good relocation), and others present little choice (dealing with death or divorce or having to downsize due to a job change). Things of a negative nature can cause clients to overprice their homes, which means a Realtor is there to offer a reality check based on market data. Sometimes, however, facts are not enough to convince a seller. Emotions can rank high on the selling meter, making them a rationale difficult to counter. Realtors know this and work hard to find a compromise that gets the home sold.
Meeting a Realtor
A Realtor is anything but an island. Even if all you see on their business card or web site is a photo of themselves, know that each and every one of them has a tried and trusted team they work with — lenders, inspectors, insurance people, contractors, stagers, appraisers, handymen, and other agents. The most common reason closings fail is lack of communication, which is the reason most real estate professionals prefer to use their team whenever possible. Holding one another accountable gets things done for you as well as for them, and keeping things going like a well-oiled machine means calming fears and finding ways to overcome bumps in the road.
Probably one of the most telling meetings you will ever have with your Realtor is the first one, whether it’s a listing presentation or how they will represent you as a buyer. It is at the first meeting a Realtor will draw up a road map of expectations for you to follow as well as to keep themselves accountable. This is not to say that there are no pitfalls, but it’s wise to let your agent describe situations from their past outlining how they have dealt with them. True (sometimes scary) stories that have happy endings can instill trust and leave you with a feeling that your interests are well-protected. Realtors, then, are real estate therapists with open ears and big hearts, always look for the right answers.
What do you think of this article? Have something to share? Add a comment below.