Feb. 15: What real estate agents wish they could tell clients

Rob Chrisman

Rob Chrisman began his career in mortgage banking – primarily capital markets – 31 years ago in 1985 with First California Mortgage, assisting in Secondary Marketing until 1988, when he joined Tuttle & Co., a leading mortgage pipeline risk management firm. He was an account manager and partner at Tuttle & Co. until 1996, when he moved to Scotland with his family for 9 months. See more

“Three things Real Estate Agents WISH they could say to their clients” according to Daniel M. Shlufman, Esq., Classic Mortgage LLC.


Do Not Schedule a Vacation At Least Two Weeks Before or Two Weeks After Your Proposed Closing Date.  As all of us in the residential real estate world know, while the purchaser gets all of their “ducks in a row” and the seller packs up the house; the weeks prior to and after a targeted closing date are a whirlwind of activity.  Though, I know you cannot pass up your week in the islands, Hamptons, Europe, etc., maybe think about doing this WAY before or after you are going to close on your largest personal financial transaction!  Otherwise, Magellan, an already stressful process is going to get even more stressful as you try to work around your (NOT) once in a lifetime trip or try to get final closing preparation done with spotty internet service and maybe a time difference!


No, Your Home is not Worth $100k More than Your Neighbors.  I know you think your house is larger, nicer and in a more desirable location; but, guess what….it isn’t!  As a matter of fact, your neighbor’s place may very well be worth more than yours because it is newer or has a better view!  Nobody is going to pay extra because your basement resembles the Bat Cave even with its perimeter cameras, and bat pole! Houses and apartments are worth a similar amount as to what comparable ones have recently sold for. Since this is not your vocation, even though you think your Zillow or StreetEasy searching skills make you a pro, it makes sense to listen to your real estate agent who works for you and does this for a living. Overpricing your house and then “seeing if you can get that” makes you resemble a Chump not a Trump!


At the Walk-Through, it is not worth fighting over a broken appliance or missing light fixture.  You are going to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars or more to buy a home so these items are of consequential value. In the future, you are going to spend many thousands of dollars more updating items; repairing items and making this house your home. Your agent will “pretend” that these items are important and “fake” indignation at their state of repair.  But, though they are doing this to placate your emotional response and coax you to the closing table, this is really just much ado about nothing.


Don’t Expect to Schedule the Closing on your Sale and Buy on the Same Day.  Though it is everybody’s dream to sell their property in the morning and buy their new property in the afternoon, this is almost impossible to achieve.  In a house transaction there are usually at least 6 parties involved and with a coop, 8 on EACH transaction.  With busy schedules, vacations (See 1 above), holidays, etc. getting this many people lined up on the day AND time that work FOR YOU is usually an insurmountable task.  Though everybody will try, the real estate world does not revolve around YOU and your schedule so get over yourself.  Alternatively, save yourself some grief and arrange to have your stuff stored briefly on the moving truck or at a storage facility. Then relax by unwinding in a hotel or with a relative and make the closing process much smoother for you and everybody else. Again, selling and buying a house is very stressful.  So, when stress can be avoided by the payment of a few dollars, it is money well spent.


What are homebuyers looking for?


Arguably, price is first item that comes to mind when considering a home purchase. While price is obviously a factor, studies have shown some buyers have other requirements. Appealing to a broad spectrum is, in most cases, impossible. But, if a Realtor knows the elements at the top of the list, marketing and highlighting these components could create an edge.


In the building arena, many builders believe green certified homes are a niche product; that only the most environmentally conscious consumers care about green features. They contend that home buyer motivations are solely about the sales price.


If your target consumers include women, you might want to rethink the value of a green home. Women tend to lean green, and the female consumer is a growing force in nearly every segment of the marketplace: women currently account for $7 billion in buying power; in 40% of households with children, women are the breadwinners; and among home buyers, 20% are single women, and 31% are single women with kids. The bottom line is that women are making, or substantially influencing, many home purchasing decisions today. And women care most about the health and well-being of their families; not necessarily energy efficiency.


Our youngest, largest generation is 87 million strong and represents 20% of the adult population. Millennials are sociable, globally conscious, and environmentally motivated and they do want a home to call their own. This generation is globally conscience and is willing to pay more for goods and services if it’s beneficial to the environment. At least half the millennial population believes it’s a responsibility to purchase products that are good for the environment and society. They want to buy a high-performance, green home because it is the right thing to do.


Aspirations are where granite and green come together. The aspirational audience seeks to combine style, social status, and sustainability. They are the largest consumer segment representing 37% of American adults. While their average age is 39, they cut across different generations and ethnic groups. What unifies this consumer segment is that they measure goods by style and quality, and an overwhelming percentage believes that Americans need to consume a lot less to improve the environment for future generations. These buyers want it all and don’t want to sacrifice on quality to gain quantity. These desires equate to homes that are high in performance, aesthetically pleasing, and of superior quality.


Home buyers will always want a home they can afford in a desirable neighborhood. Knowing your audience and where their other priorities lay are paramount in focused marketing.



An elderly man had a massive stroke and the family drove him to the emergency room. After a while the ER doctor showed up with a long face.

“I’m afraid grandpa is brain dead but his heart is still beating.”

“Oh dear God” cried grandma, “we’ve never had a politician in the family before!”





(Copyright 2016 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman. To subscribe please visit www.knowledgeforrealestateagents.com.)