As brokers, we become so focused on closing the deal that we forget a huge piece of each and every transaction involves real live people. I have been a broker for years. I’m a good broker, but I think a little ‘real life’ experience put my life and work back in perspective.
This year I got the best education of my life and it wasn’t the typical continuing education class required to keep up my license. I sold my apartment in Manhattan and bought a house in Rockland County.
Each and every step I took was a learning experience, from how best to present my beautiful apartment to dealing with condescending brokers who would go mad if I wanted them to personally show me the house they had listed. I’ve closed on both properties, so I think I’m now able to discuss it without going into a rant or bursting into tears. May you learn from my mistakes and from the things I did right.
First, pick the best broker. Why in the world wouldn’t I hire myself to do the job? I happen to think I was the right person for the job, but here was my big problem. Who would I turn to when my client was being unreasonable?
I love myself, but frankly, I could be a real pain in the ass! If you’re going to represent yourself, you better know the business and have a group of business associates that know the business as well as you do that you can trust and turn to, whether you turn to them as the broker or as the seller. Thank goodness I work with a fabulous team at HPG.
Months of staying tidy in a low market being ready to show my apartment on a moment’s notice paid off. My apartment sold and I was ready to move on to the next phase – finding my new home.
The buy phase proved to be even more frustrating! I’ve always loved Rockland County, and after years of living in Upstate Manhattan, I was ready to cross the river to expand my life and my business to embrace both sides of the mighty Hudson. I set about my work to find the perfect place to live. Neighborhood was easy, I was pretty clear on that. I was stunned at the number of brokers who felt I didn’t know where I should live. Well if you’re a broker, why don’t you just go yourself? When I suggested that I would like to be shown the house so they could tell me what they knew about it, I was often offered a grunt and a maybe and then a flurry of question. Why in the world are you buying a house? Aren’t you single?!
Hadn’t they heard of the Fair Housing Act?
I am left to wonder why in the world anyone would hire a broker that would behave so unprofessionally. I think it’s because owners can be bullied, especially when the market is down or slow. Don’t let the stress cloud your judgment.
Brokers are there to provide a service. If you’re not being served, find another broker.
Now I am in the middle of renovations…. Stay tuned!