I might have a rant coming on, so brace yourself. If you know me, you will not be surprised that when I am passionate about something, I can be kind of “opinionated”. My friends will be laughing at this point. My new clients, friends, and people just entering the real estate market: WORK with your Realtor®. Communicate whatever way you have to. TELL your Realtor® that you are afraid. Buying a home can be frightening. Selling a home can be as well. If you cannot communicate with your agent, get a different agent! If you already HAVE them, but are not communicating well, be a better client and TALK it out. Make an appointment to have a cup of coffee (or a glass of wine if you need that for the chat), but get issues out on the table IMMEDIATELY.
Why is this the topic? I don’t even know where to begin. Most people will tell you that I over communicate, but I am able to explain most topics in several different ways and usually have no issue with just about any style of communication. Recently I realized that I don’t communicate well with people who do not want to talk to me because they are afraid. My job in part is to allay fear. Most of the time FEAR is false evidence appearing real, but the FEELINGS of fear can be real. In this particular case, a young couple were very impressed with one of my listings. More important, the parents and friends loved it, and everyone loved that it was nearby the grandparents who helped with the children in after care and home schooling situations. It seemed like a match made in Heaven.
When they all joined in to see if they could “afford” to make the dream happen, I was excited to provide them with a referral to an amazing lender located in our state capital of Sacramento. They were happy and impressed with his savvy explanations. They acted like they understood everything the loan officer said as well as all of my reports and explanations of time lines and such. In the meantime they were just silly over the home. They didn’t want to have inspections, they didn’t NEED them due to the fact that they were acquaintances with the seller’s neighbor and knew that it was all updated. They just wanted to get out of their rental and move in right away. They ignored all suggestions about taking their time, reviewing all paperwork, and asking questions. They did NOT talk or communicate with the team.
Sound too good to be true? It was going so well, I didn’t bug them. They didn’t bug me. I didn’t call them each day insisting they review inspection reports, pest reports, and title prelims. I made sure they understood all the appropriate documents and disclosures, but they did not want to TALK. They would review and then text me that everything “looked great”.
I thought it was ME! I thought that since these youngsters were a generation behind (make that two), that I was not likely to have them want to communicate in person, as is my custom.
I am old school. I know that. I over explain ad nausea. I feel that when you purchase a home, you want to know as much as you can find out about all aspects of the property, neighborhood, and schools. These clients didn’t want to talk. They only texted me pithy answers to my questions.
Imagine my surprise when they had signed off ALL their disclosures, released all contingencies and made an appointment to sign loan documents (yes loan docs were AT ESCROW), when they had their relative call and leave me a message that there was a ‘problem’. They pulled the plug three days prior to our closing date. My seller, who was also in contract to close on their new home, was now blown out of the water as was the seller of that home and another one down the line.
The domino affect of cancelling an escrow a week prior to close is horrific. There were three families sitting all boxed up ready to move, and it was just a month until Christmas.
So I am nuts. Had we all communicated the way I am used to doing every other day or so, sitting down and reviewing all the paperwork, signing things in person that we actually UNDERSTAND, it works out better for everyone. It was not fun. It was six weeks of hard work out the window, and three other families in a pinch due to someone not wanting to talk with their Realtor® about their fears.
So please people! Talk to your agent. If you cannot do so then find a different agent, one who you CAN speak to about your delight, your fears, and anything else that is prudent to the transaction. This is all about the biggest purchase of your life. It is also affecting many other people’s lives and families besides just YOU. So have a relationship with your agent. Build one. If you don’t like them, them move on and find someone who you do trust! And then spend some time talking with them.