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By Kim Murphy
Murphy & Murphy Southern California Realty 

Real Estate Round-Up: Problem solver, negotiator, peacekeeper, Realtor

 

Last updated 1/21/2022 at 10:59am



An experienced, professional Realtor is all the above. The problem is that most Realtors don't know how to own those roles. They may have a cursory understanding of the contracts, and if they don’t, they have a broker (hopefully) to help them with the documents. But the details of a successful transaction rests with the ability of the Realtor to be effective in all three of the above roles. The fourth quarter has shown me how crucial proficiency in these roles is to complete a transaction.

So, what does it mean to be a problem solver, when you’re not the principal in the transaction? Let me share a story. We recently closed escrow with a Realtor who claims to be the top agent in Fallbrook. In fact, his client, the buyer, hired him because that is what he was told. The thing is, this “top” Realtor was never involved with the buyer. The buyer saw the property with the Realtor’s assistant. The buyer did his property inspections with the Realtor’s assistant. The Realtor’s assistant did all the paperwork and communicated with us. Even when we asked the buyer’s agent to call us, he never did. There was no love lost between the Realtor and the buyer. So, when it came time to problem solve, the buyer called us. This is absolutely not correct protocol. Our fiduciary is with the sellers. We referred the buyer back to his agent, but the buyer continued to reach out to us, to help him with hurdles he faced.

In the end, in the name of helping the Sellers close this transaction, we helped the buyer with some county issues. We helped the buyer find homeowners insurance. We helped negotiate the transfer of personal property from the seller to the buyer. Problem solving can only occur if a relationship exists. If your Realtor is absent, they cannot be your problem solver.

The negotiator is the older sibling to the problem solver. Problem solvers work on the day-to-day issues that come up. Negotiators do the heavy lifting. We are currently in a transaction with a Realtor who admits having only closed three previous transactions, all with family members. Her style of negotiation is to lay the hammer down and let things play out as they do. The only thing with this approach is a velvet hammer works much better than a sledgehammer, if you want to preserve the item you’re hammering.

In the case of real estate, the item being hammered is the transaction. If you don’t care how many transactions you need to go through until one “works,” then a sledgehammer approach may be the right one for you. Most people, however, would prefer to find a home, negotiate the hurdles, and close escrow. That type of negotiation requires a velvet hammer. There must be some give and take.

This Realtor mentioned above, hammered the seller with her negotiations, but then, guess what happened? Five days before closing, the buyer's loan did not get approved. This “hammer” Realtor did not know how to negotiate, so her answer was simply to cancel. The only problem was, the seller was keeping the deposit. We stepped in and contacted the lender to see if there was any other option. That’s called negotiation. The lender took a week to find a new home for the buyers’ loan. With this new loan in place, resulting from a velvet hammer approach, the buyers are going to get the home they dreamed of, and the seller is going to close escrow and move on. Negotiations begin immediately and never end until escrow closes. Find yourself a velvet hammer Realtor.

Final thoughts on peacekeeper, another key role of a successful Realtor. The world is in short supply of peacekeepers. A peacekeeper is someone who keeps their head while all around them are losing theirs. That personification of peace allows them to calm things down when things get rocky. Something always pops up during a transaction, which can cause either one of the parties or both of the parties to get emotional and angry. The knee jerk reaction is to lash out, blame someone, and seek your pound of flesh. The thing is, that reaction never solves the problem.

If a peacekeeper exists in the form of one or both Realtors involved in the transaction, then the parties will seek their best selves and find resolution. I’m a yogi, and one of the final phrases of a yoga class is “Namaste: The light in me honors the light in you.” That’s peace. Seek and find a Realtor peacekeeper and let the wave of peace wash over you and your transaction.

Kim Murphy can be reached at [email protected] or 760-415-9292 or at 130 N Main Avenue, in Fallbrook. Her broker license is #01229921, and she is on the board of directors for the California Association of Realtors.

 

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