Tuesday, May 30, 2023 / by Amy Brown
Real estate is a tricky business with a lot of moving parts. The reason that you hire a professional is to mitigate that risk and to allow an expert to handle the technicalities to necessitate a successful transaction. Does hiring an agent ensure that everything is going to go your way? No, it does not. And in this scenario is where, as agents, we are on the receiving end of the backlash.
No one can guarantee 100% success and amiability for every element; not in real estate, not in business, not in life. A real estate agent is an advocate and works hard to present the client with all of the facts, provide advice, and facilitate the outcome. That outcome is not always favorable and in most instances is a compromise. In an emotionally volatile situation, perspective must be maintained and accepted that in all things, including real estate, negotiation means wins and losses on both sides.
Initial contract - An agent is going to advise you on comparable prices in the neighborhood, market value, and most of all, a competitive offer price…It is still up to you as the client to decide what you want to offer and be able to ACCEPT THE SITUATION IF YOUR OFFER IS NOT TAKEN.
Due diligence negotiations - The inspection report comes back with a list of discrepancies. As the buyer, you ask for certain items to be repaired or credited. In NC, ALL HOMES ARE SOLD AS IS. The seller has the option of agreeing, declining, or partial agreement. DUE DILIGENCE IS A NEGOTIATION. If the seller declines to repair or give you a credit, this is not a reflection upon the agent but purely a decision making process and one that you have to decide if it is worth it to you to stay in the process.
From p. 6 of the offer to purchase:
Repair/Improvement Negotiations/Agreement: Buyer acknowledges and understands the following: Unless the parties agree otherwise, THE PROPERTY IS BEING SOLD IN ITS CURRENT CONDITION. Seller may, but is not required to, engage in negotiations for repairs/improvements to the Property.
Condition of the home upon closing - The home is to be presented in the same or better condition than it was when you initially went under contract. THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE FOR IT TO BE CLEANED.
From p. 10 of the offer to purchase:
Removal of Seller’s Property: Seller shall remove, by the date possession is made available to Buyer, all personal property which is not a part of the purchase and all garbage and debris from the Property.
A professional cleaning is not an obligation nor is it a requirement of the sale. If the home is not cleaned to your standards…then clean it.
It is unfortunate but as agents frequently it is our own clients that bite the hand that helps them. We are business professionals and will fight to the death for your interests but even that has its limits. I have climbed into attics after lost cats, moved furniture, mowed grass, called every resource at my disposal to facilitate repairs, made countless trips to copy keys and buy garage door openers, not to mention paying for cleaning fees, lock changes, and thousands of dollars in credits to the client to make sure that they are happy.
It is my utmost joy to put my clients first and I love seeing them get into the home of their dreams. But please remember that if everything doesn't go absolutely perfectly…and business usually doesn’t, that everything is a compromise…thank your agent for their time and effort and move forward with gratitude in your heart. Remember that your agent is a person too and has a family and obligations outside of your real estate transaction. We have a right to personal time. Try to move through your transaction with compassion and patience. Remember that we are all working towards the same goal and that the commission that agents earn goes to feed our families, pay our mortgages, pay our brokerage fees and fund our businesses so that we can continue to help others.
Kindness is always free…