A Main Line Realtor®, at least a good one, has to wear many hats. It is truly a disparate bevy of skills that makes this job go well. For example, in the last couple of days I had to diagnose a water heater’s problem, find a good plumber, landscaper, mason and floor refinisher, counsel a couple who is unable to decide which area of the country they want to downsize in, and create a marketing giveaway for a sponsorship of an event.
The water heater would have been a no brainer really, except for the fact that I was dressed for the subsequent closing and really could not get down on hands and knees to check the pilot light!! This happened at the pre-closing walk-through, an important and stressful hour for new home buyers in every instance that this Main Line Realtor® can remember. For some reason, buyers who have been through the home with a fine-toothed comb, including with an inspector, are convinced that they have missed some major flaw and must find it in that hour before they close on the house!! Things that would be overlooked in a showing situation become paramount at this time. Holes left in the walls from TV wires, a missing garage door opener, uncut lawns and leftover paint cans (sometimes even if they contain matching colors to the walls) can bring on serious concerns. The water heater just needed plugging in, thankfully.
No fewer than 3 people called on me last week for help finding service persons. A woman who might be selling her home in the future asked for my entire list so she could start getting her house ready, a neighbor wanted the cheapest floor refinisher I knew, and a client who closed last month texted me early one morning to ask for a plumber to fix the shower leak that the seller had said they had fixed for her. The last problem is not uncommon. About half of the sales I close result in a call about a minor problem that crops up in the first few months. Creative solutions need to be offered when this happens, because going back to the seller is not an option unless the issue is a major one or was clearly intentionally hidden. In this case, I recommended that she get the plumber who had given the sellers a warranty on the work to come back. I will need to follow up to be sure that worked out! Recommending service people is always scary for this Main Line Realtor®, because if they fail to meet the expectations of the person making the request, they might decide I am not a good Realtor® and use someone else. (Crazy, isn’t it?) I always clarify if I have actually used them with success, and ask for their feedback if they end up using them.
More another time on the marriage counseling aspects of this job—suffice it to say it is a huge part of what I do. The couple trying to decide where to move is an easy one compared to partners with opposite tastes in homes or differing levels of comfort with spending large sums of money! Then you always have the one spouse who wants to do the negotiating by telling the seller what a terrible house it is while the other spouse wants to write a lovely letter about how much they love it!! That almost never works out well. I try to avoid taking sides, though. I might say what I would do in a given situation, but always end by saying the choice is clearly something they both have to be comfortable doing. A Main Line Realtor®, or any Realtor®, really, is an agent—we give advice and counsel. Any agent who takes over decisions for clients or bullies them into doing something is violating a duty and putting everyone in a bad situation. A home purchase has to be a consensus decision.
It helps if the Realtor likes the house, too!
How many times have you driven by streamers flying on a sign that says : “Brand New Construction! Models Open Today!” Of course you want to see the model homes--they are always so beautifully decorated and you can get some great ideas. Plus, it is good to know what the home values are doing in your area. Why not stop in?Read More
Older homes have plenty of charm, but they also have their inconveniences: drafts, slanting floors, closed-in kitchens, and tiny bathrooms. The way we live now is just different. So if you're considering updating an older home to incorporate modern comforts, there's something appealing about just doing a gut renovation and starting with a clean slate.Read More
One happy day your agent emails you that the perfect house has come on and she can get you in to see it that very day. You go, you love, you WANT this house! It is just renovated enough to be move-in but not too much to be out of your price range. Seems to be in good condition—the seller is a fastidious engineer. But your buyer’s agent knows that you don’t want to overpay. Homes recently listed are not likely to go for a huge discount. The sellers want to see what interest they get and will seldom accept an offer much below asking price in the first week or so. How to navigate all of that?Read More