These are strange times indeed. We can’t hug our loved ones (that’s assuming we can even travel to see those loved ones), we can’t shake the hands of clients, many of us haven’t seen the inside of our office in months as we’re all working from home. In my profession as a real estate agent I’m meeting people I’ve never met while wearing a mask. Before now, people who wore masks were bank robbers. I don’t like that people can’t “see” me when they’ve never met me before. So upon our first introduction, I stay WAY back and make my introductions without a mask (explaining that for me it just feels better that, for a minute anyway, they can see my face).
Aside: On the other hand, I saw an image of a Doctor all protected from head to foot. Like many of them, he was wearing an image on his gown so people can see what he looks like; except this guy had Brad Pitt’s image. So I may give that a go next time.
Anyway, for now, once I’ve made my introductions I then don the mask, and off we go into the brave new world of Covid real estate together, at a distance of 6 feet.
In this strange new world, what I’m about to say is nothing new: you should have a decent relationship with your realtor. You don’t need to be best friends, but you should know him or her well enough that there is a level of trust between you, mask or no mask. And now more than ever, this is crucial.
I have just come out of many weeks (months? It’s been a bit of a blurr) like I’ve never had in real estate. My office has had listings which have received multiple offers in their first couple days of showings – many sight unseen and many as a cash purchase. Covid-19 seems to be sending people to the country, and so in my neck of the woods, houses (and land, for that matter) are selling like hot cakes. Realtors are finding themselves in the very uncomfortable position of telling people that if they want this house, they need to make, at the very least, a full price offer (and even those aren’t winning the bids) and they need to make it NOW. Houses are going under contract in a matter of a couple days, so there is really not a whole lot of time to ponder anything.
So, given all that, if you don’t have a decent level of trust in your realtor, when he/she says to you “If you want this house, you will need to make a bid over asking”, you need to be able to trust that that advice is coming from a place of truth, experience and knowledge of the market. As a realtor, I don’t like giving people that information. I imagine it’s hard for you to believe that giving this advice is difficult. I mean, the higher the sale price, the higher the commission right? Yes. That’s true. BUT it’s my job to get you, the buyer, the best price for the house you want, and don’t forget: my reputation is also on the line. This is why ultimately, you have hopefully found a realtor with whom you have a trusting relationship, so if/when this advice is presented to you, you aren’t second guessing it.
There is nothing normal about the way we are running our businesses in this time of Covid-19 (I received compliments on the plastic gloves I provided at my houses for their showings – what a weird compliment that I never would have anticipated receiving in a million years), but there is no reason that we shouldn’t still be able to establish work relationships based on trust, because that benefits everyone.
Stay safe, be well.