"What’s the hardest part of being in real estate?"

Someone asked me this question a while back and, at the time, I had no answer.  Well, actually, my answer would have been “Nothing!  It’s all great!”  However, after thinking about it for a few months, I think I’ve discovered my three least favorite parts about being in real estate.  So, here they are!…
Stomping signs is not too bad.
  1. Turning my brain off.  I know this might sound like a back-handed compliment to myself but I promise- it’s not.  I think about real estate A LOT.  It’s almost an obsession.  I think about investing strategies, building code, inspection reports, contract amendments, prospecting scripts, marketing, negotiating techniques, listing appointments, buyer’s consultations, surveys, foundation reports, new developments, etc.  The list is nearly endless.  I even find it difficult to fall asleep (or sometimes stay asleep)- not because of anxiety- but because of excitement and an inability to turn it off.  So, there.  There’s one!
  2. Telling sellers that their home is not worth as much as they think it is.  To most people who have lived in their home for more than five years, their home is literally priceless (to them).  After all, “Little Luke took his first steps in that playroom!”  Or “We had our first meal as a married couple in this dining room!”  Or “My wife went into labor while I was hammering the last nail into this deck!”  Here’s the thing:  Buyers don’t care about all of the happy memories you made in your home.  Buyers care about your home being cheaper than the comp down the street.  Most sellers, after they see market statistics in their neighborhood, tend to be pretty reasonable.  Still, there are some who take it as an insult when you try to give them a snapshot of reality.  Inevitably, those sellers will hire an agent who tells them what they want to hear.  Then, when they get no showings or offers after a month or two on the market, they are convinced to lower the price to market value.  That’s just not a game I’m willing to play.
  3. Watching buyers come to the realization that their budget will not afford them their dream home.    Let’s face it;  it is incredibly difficult to save $20,000 (i.e. a 10% downpayment on the $200,000 home).  What’s sad is that $200,000 is not going to get you into something you’re going to want to live in…not in central Austin.  I try to set expectations up front about home values with clients who haven’t entered the market recently.  However, it’s still hard to see great people who have worked so hard to save money be discouraged when they see that there is nothing in Clarksville, their dream neighborhood, even close to their price range.

There you go.  Those are the hardest parts about being in real estate!  In the end, I guess you could boil down the last two problems to this:  It’s a bummer to have hard conversations with people- especially when finances are involved.  It’s so necessary though!  


I thought I saw a dead body in this bathtub.  Property listed at $289,900
Soon, I’ll need to write a companion piece to this one called “My favorite parts about being in real estate…”  The only problem is that post will need to be a 309-part series because there is WAY too much I love about this job.    



Barrett Raven


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