So, I took my first real estate class at a school called “Champions School of Real Estate”. My first class was one called “Principles of Real Estate I” and it was taught by an amazing woman named Reba Saxon.
She took our class through material like title, deeds, contract law, appraisal, finance, agency, and brokerage. At the time, I was pretty intimidated because a lot of the students in the room were already involved in the real estate industry. Some were agents in other states who needed a Texas license. Others were assistants or involved in land looking to get into the residential sector. At the very least, the overwhelming majority had purchased a home at some point in their lives. I had no such experience.
Reba is a great story-teller. For each paragraph we covered in our textbook, she had a wild story about someone she knew who lost their home due to a title dispute or a couple who were involved in a year-long lawsuit because of a utility easement issue. At one point toward the end of class, I raised my hand and naively asked a question. Here is how the correspondence went:
Me: So, Reba, you have a lot of crazy stories that are honestly super entertaining. But you’re kind of scaring me. Wouldn’t you say that most real estate transactions are pretty straightforward? I mean, the buyer and seller agree on a price. Seller moves out. Buyer moves in. Everyone’s happy, right?
(At this point, everyone in the class started laughing)
Reba: Barrett, if a real estate transaction seems straightforward, someone is getting screwed. Period.
I remember being flabbergasted (and a little embarrassed). After being in this industry for a little while, I’ve come to learn that she was right! It’s not that the parties involved are mean or that everyone isn’t shooting for a win-win. It’s just that it’s not straightforward. A few questions I struggle with as a Realtor are these: Do I let my clients know how complicated this is? Do I tell them about how I spent three hours on the phone with the City trying to determine whether or not they can take the light pole down in their backyard? Do I let them know how close we were to not closing this deal two days before they moved in and almost had to start back at square one?
|If an agent feels like this, they might be in the wrong business. (Photo courtesy of Health News)
I want my clients to know that I care for them and I am working my butt off on their behalf. At the same time, I don’t want them to feel burdened and stressed by negotiations, contracts, repair amendments, or lending hiccups. My most recent transaction was a home in south Austin where I represented the buyer, Jerry. Of all the real estate deals I’ve done, it was by far the easiest and simplest. However, it was definitely not straightforward. So, does a good Realtor let their client think everything was easy? Or do they want their client to think they are super-human “bulldogs”? I’m still not sure.
Any way you cut it, my heart was warmed when my client, Jerry (a man of few words), described his experience working with me as “awesome”, “easy”, and “fantastic”. See the video below! Or check it out here.