"F" IS FOR "FRIEND"

I have been doing this for 24 years. It has been my constant goal to get buyers and sellers to understand that this is BIG BUSINESS!! A frequent occurrence in our industry is what I call the F word. I am sitting at a back yard cook out, an open house, or wherever and come into contact with a person or couple who is actively getting ready to buy and or sell. Well I have them right in front of me, why not make my pitch.

Now my pitch is pretty compelling…there are no other Realtor, Appraiser, Attorney combinations in our market. As far as I can tell, I am unique in my ability to bring to bear all the skills at an expert level that are needed in residential sales. Don’t forget you get that knowledge base for FREE. I have successfully picked up buyers and sellers in these situations but never in my career have I ever over come the “I am using my friend.” Never. Almost always, upon further inquiry, like name of their friend, I immediately recognize (we all know each other) who their realtor is and know their reputation, skill set, and experience. Sometimes you just cringe. As I have said elsewhere in my site, it is not whether your agent can write up a purchase agreement or a listing agreement but how the deal gets done. Contact Me.

As often as not, the folks to whom I am making my pitch don’t find or recognize any skill in our business. It could be me or their dog showing them homes or selling their home and there is not an ounce of thought as to the fact that what they are doing involves a big time business transaction in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and that even a 5% error, and it is not uncommon to see bigger errors, can amount to 10’s of thousands of dollars. See War Stories. If I am in front of you giving my pitch, it is hard to not recognize the value I bring to the process, but…ooooh….it is my friend and how would I explain that to her or him. Frequently I get phone calls well after the fact and it is them asking me about certain aspects of what they are doing…buying …selling or both and they want my advice, but they are contractually bound to their friend. The pain in their voices is palpable and I feel for them, but unless they engage me as their legal counsel I cannot help them because of our canons of ethics. Once I hit them with my billable rate of $250 per hour, their gag reflex kicks in, unless it truly is a big legal problem and they are calling me in my capacity as a real estate attorney. And in that case, I am frequently saving a deal or putting it back together or fixing a component and I get a couple of thousands of dollars in legal fees but their FRIEND agent is getting a $12,000 commission check. Grates on you a bit. Contact Me.

Frankly, I don’t know what to tell you. But you need to understand that having a true professional and experienced agent, matters!!. There is almost no situation in even the most mundane of transactions (and there are not many of those) in which I do not add quantifiable value…either higher selling price or lower purchase price. This does not even begin to touch the surface in terms of financing issues ( I helped start a mortgage company with my brother) valuation issues, title issues, etc. in terms of just my presence adding huge value in a prophylactic way. When you ask yourself just how many $400,000 to over a $1,000,000 personal business deals you have personally handled, it starts to come home to roost. Remember, you are not handling the details of your deal, your agent is. So it matters not your skill set because you are not doing the talking or making the decisions. Obviously you are signing off and approving the decisions but you are not communicating them.   It is how you communicate things that constitute negotiations, not the act itself. So if you are not the one having the conversation with the other side, it is not you negotiating, it is your agent. Contact Me.

What if you are trying to get a seller down in price because they are over listed by a lot? See Negotiations Can your bebop friend get that done? Does he/she even know how? How you deliver what the Seller/ Buyer considers a turd matters. You have to be able to tell them and show them without them getting their tales up in the air and just stop negotiating. That is serious skill. What if you love the home and this is it. You are only going to find one home that you love, and you get one chance, and now is good. I have had folks call me to handle the negotiations….but their agent gets the commission. I don’t think so.

If you after exploring my website you decide you are currently working with an agent who is your friend, or is nice, that you go to church with , or met at your work out place, or who has shown you a few homes, or sent you a bunch of listings via email, and you want out, and then just do it. Since I am an attorney, blame it on your attorney.  Use the 3rd party method. "I have a personal/private situation in which I have sought legal counsel and my attorney has advised me/us to use a particular agent because of the complexities/sensitivities of the issue....I'm sorry."  It is beyond my control because my Dad has required me to use a certain agent and he is helping us with the down payment.  Contact Me.

Please bear in mind that while you get the benefit of my legal knowledge for Free if you are working with me, that is not the same as establishing an Attorney Client relationship. It helps in drafting contract language to say what it means and means what it says, to spot potential problems, to prevent potential problems, but if there is a situation where in formal legal representation is needed that would be by a separate written Engagement Agreement where in the terms of my representation would be established.