Among the many facets of the Real Estate Profession the one I enjoy the most is the People I’m privileged to represent. For some reason, I’ve been blessed with an exceptional Client base that is as diverse as it is captivating!
As a Realtor, I spend a great deal of time with Clients and get to know them, ultimately, on very intimate levels particularly those I represent in the “Buying” process.
Finding a home for a Client, for me, has traditionally been a process that I love, completely! Viewing and evaluating homes for a “match”, for me, has been an area that I’m happy to say, has worked well! I acknowledge of course that there are moments when a good scream in frustration is the vent of choice but by in large, the process happily concludes.
Now, at this point you may be wondering where this dialogue is heading and what possible “lesson” there may be in this for you, stay tunes, there’s a diamond in this ruff!
Take for instance a recent transaction that started approximately 45 days past. I was introduced to a couple relocating to the area from Sacramento, let’s refer to them as Terry and Shawn. They’ve family here in Sonoma County and have a general knowledge of the area. Once the introductions concluded and we got down to the “question”! “Terry and Shawn, what would you like me to accomplish for you in this process?” I explained the question further and we spent the next 30 minutes setting an agenda and my digesting the preferences of likes and dislikes regarding their home of choice, budget/financing (reviewing credit scores, reserves etc.). We spent a few moments on the Computer looking at a few select homes and the meeting concluded with my saying “….excellent, I’ve got what I need, give me a few days and I’ll have you a list of homes from which to begin your selection!”
A side-bar for a moment: So that you know, it is not my goal to simply hop in the car and drive Clients around looking at homes without first knowing what it is I’m looking for and so that you know, I personally preview every home I show. Among my list of “never do’s” is never waste a Clients time. Now, here is where the “message” (“Lesson”) begins….
As any qualified Realtor will affirm, when one knows the market they operate in they can near instantly know where (area) to look for the Property of Choice. It’s not rocket science! “WHAT I LOOK FOR” is best characterized by what I’ll simply refer to as “Feel”! I’m clear that in the age of “Tech” that a term as esoteric as this run’s contrary to the ideal of absolute but I’ll tell you, I’ll place my ability to “Feel” against any “checklist” any time, any day! To be sure there is a foundation to my method that’s been cured by experience and I’m confident, for both Buyer’s and Seller’s, there is value in the details.
Did you catch it? I hid it in the “line”? If you said “VALUE” then you got it right! The ideal which characterizes “FEEL” is the word “VALUE”! Value comprises all sorts of components but to me, it is characterized by a question I always ask myself when evaluating a Property for a Client and it sounds something like this. “When they’ve decided to move on and they come to me to List/Sell, how will the property fair?” Yes, it’s a loaded question and with all of the variables that would be present and the affect they might impose, how could one reasonably know? Yes, looking at it from a vantage point of “absolutes” I would say one would be correct, however, I ask the question non-the-less colored by my cumulative years of experience and move on!
What do I “filter” in the evaluation of “Value”? In order of importance here goes: (1.) Location. (2.) Street Elevation (‘Curb Appeal). (3.) “Fitness” (“Pride of Ownership) (4.) Detail (Quality of Improvements/Execution). (4.) Proximity to Overhead Power Lines (EMF’s). (4.) Floor Plan (Function & Condition). (5.) Yard. (6.) Features.
Notice that I don’t say much about colors, aroma therapy, shelf paper, floor coverings or personal property. Yes, by all means Seller’s, your home should always show it’s best and one of the most efficient ways of accomplishing this is to RENT A STORAGE LOCKER! But note most importantly that in my mind, VALUE is in the things that quite often are those which are nearly impossible to change and if they are, most often expensive propositions!
I frustrate Clients sometimes by responding to their statements, such as in the case of Terry and Shawn, “…you know, I just don’t like the way they’ve decorated the home…” or “…I don’t like the way they’ve landscaped the rear yard,…” by saying, “…focus on the value, the rest we can change,….”
In the end, like the Service I provide my Clients, it’s all in the Value! It’s either their or it’s not! And that, my friends, NEVER Changes!
Curtis C. Greco, Founder