From buyers who tell the truth to agents who actually pick up the phone and sellers who understand the Zestimate is bunk, here’s what Realtors would really love to see under the tree.
Out on a recent holiday shopping spree, as the airwaves were repeatedly assailed by All I Want for Christmas is You and Santa Baby, it reminded me that, as a Realtor, there are a few things I would like for Christmas as well.
1. The ability to do Yelp and Google reviews on past clients
Oh, what a day that would be. The sound of Realtors across the country sharpening their quills in preparation for writing their posts would sound like a thousand beavers attacking a forest in unison.
I can already smell the smoke as Realtors reading this are beginning to think of what they’d like to say and who they’d like to say it about.
2. Buyers who tell the truth
Or a truth meter with a buzzer that would sound when they tell us, “We are not working with another agent.” “We cannot possibly afford that much.” “We would never dream of living in that neighborhood.” “We will never go to new home developments without you.” “We would never go direct to a listing agent.” And on and on and on.
Maybe a truth serum we could put in their hot cocoa that would cause a Jim Carrey Liar, Liar response?
3. Sellers who think their Zestimate is bunk
Imagine sitting down for a listing appointment where the first words out of a seller’s mouth were: “We totally get that our Zestimate is off by a bunch. Please tell us what you believe the list price should be, write that into the listing docs and we will sign right away.”
4. Clients who understand that being a Realtor is a real job
Not a hobby. Not something we do on the side. Not a puppet with strings than can be manipulated by a client. In many cases, not something we can do in any less than 60 hours a week.
How about clients who understand that the licensed Realtor certificate hanging on our wall did not come out of a Cracker Jack box?
5. Sellers who do not ask for reduced commissions
Sellers who understand that agents are running a real business with real expenses and that no agent ever gets to take 100 percent of their commission home, regardless of what a client may think. Or the ability to show up at our clients workplace and negotiate a rebate on their salary.
6. Clients who understand that Realtors actually know more than they do
Strange, but true. Since most clients buy or sell a property only a few times in their lifetime and some of us sell more homes than that in a single week (or sometimes in a single day), it stands to reason we might know a tad more about real estate sales than they do?
7. Lowball offers that self-destruct immediately after being written
Like in Mission Impossible, buyers signing ridiculous lowball offers would be greeted by an audible message stating, “As always, should your Realtor be caught submitting a lowball offer, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of their actions. This offer will self-destruct in five seconds.”
The offer would then automatically disintegrate accompanied by a satisfying puff of smoke.
8. Buyers who will not contact the listing agent
If only … nothing more to say.
9. Buyers who control their children during open houses
From children who chase each other from room to room, grab things off of shelves, wipe their noses and then use the closest sofa to wipe their hands, cry at the top of their lungs at a volume that would put an air raid siren out of business…
This gift would include parents who thoughtfully leave their kids at home, or, if children attend with them, hold children by the hand all the way through the property or remove misbehaving or screaming children the moment things get noisy or nasty.
10. Buyers who do not ask for upgrades in Requests for Repairs
This could also be entitled, “Buyers who understand they are buying used homes.” Homes that they get to upgrade on their own, to their own tastes. Buyers that will not ask the sellers to repaint rooms. Or change the flooring. And on and on.
11. Realtors who answer their phones
This should actually be No. 1 …
12. New home sales personnel who honor existing Realtor relationships
Wouldn’t it be nice if new home salespersons asked drop-ins: “Can I please have the name of your Realtor so I can include them in this process? I understand that since you have never bought a new home before, you most likely do not know the rules about bringing your agent with you.”
This would be an amazing gift, instead of the normal games that take place where builders post a small sign stating that the buyer’s Realtor must accompany them on the first visit and then try to exclude those agents by making the drop-ins fill out a Welcome Card which supposedly establishes an agency relationship thereby excluding their existing agent …
13. Buyers who understand that HGTV shows are not real estate reality
While it is great entertainment, the chances of a buyer seeing only three homes, writing an offer on one of them and then getting it accepted are right up there with the chances of a snowball successfully orbiting the sun. The motto here should be, “What happens on HGTV stays on HGTV.”
14. Buyers who understand that no home is perfect
We have all had buyers who think they will only buy that one perfect house, and who have to see 1,647 homes before they actually find the home of their dreams, but then will not write a high enough offer to secure that home in a multiple offer situation.
Once they inevitably lose, they then expect their agent to lather, rinse, repeat.
15. Buyers who will only ask to see homes in their pre-approved price range
Our standard response to buyers who want to see homes out of their price range “just because” is, “You can see anything you want when you are on your own. Since I know you are only qualified for a specific price point, integrity dictates that I not show you homes you cannot purchase.”
Put another way, I will not support a buyer with champagne tastes operating on a beer budget. My wish here is for buyers who would not ask, therefore removing the need for us to respond with “no,” which may or may not be received in a cordial manner.
While agents surveyed for this post had many more gift ideas, we decided to limit it at 15. Include your own wish list items in the comments below! Happy Holidays!
Carl Medford is the CEO of The Medford Team.