A Day in the life of a Main Line Realtor® – Part 12
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 an art piece as a marketing tool for an Antique Show catalogue.
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 less 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. Hope that works 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.
As a Main Line Realtor® my marketing strategy relies heavily on “touching” people who already know me and my company. Fortunately, I can incorporate support of local charity events to meet new people and reconnect with old acquaintances. One charity I favor, where I served on the Board of Directors, has an Antique Show every year and I like to buy an ad in the program to support the event. Art software is not my cup of tea, though. Fortunately for me, a nearby print shop has been a lifesaver in that regard and took the barest sketch of an idea that I had and turned it into a bang-up ad for the booklet (at least in my opinion). I hope people will actually read and like it and think of this Main Line Realtor® when they or a friend needs home buying or selling services.
After all, I’m not in this entirely for the fun!