When people ask you what you do for a living, what do you tell them? I remember going through training when I was first starting out and my instructor asked our class this question. There were several funny answers like "dream maker", "psychologist", "happy homemaker" but one that stood out to me was "educator".
I was taken aback by this statement as I really didn't think about a real estate agent being someone who educated a group of people. At first glance, I felt like that was a more traditional teacher or child-care provider. But, the more and more I am in this business, the more I realize that being an educator is, and should be, my first responsibility to clients.
I am currently in the middle of a transaction with a veteran agent of 20+ years in the business and what she said the other day was jaw-dropping. Through the dreaded repair negotiations where we asked for a few small items like fixing GFCI's, she mentioned her clients were really anxious about this whole process and she was afraid they would change their mind about selling. Well, it's a little late for that but OK. Then she started rattling off that "They had to pay 6% commission, title policy, home warranty and I think this is the first house they've sold. They haven't been educated on how much things cost or what they are expected to pay for."
EXCUSE ME???? I am not a veteran agent but I am certainly not a rookie agent either, going on my ninth year in the business. I don't know about you, but I draw up a Seller's Net Sheet for every client when we meet to discuss marketing and selling their home. I ask how much they owe on their mortgage and if they escrow their taxes. I put those numbers into my software program provided by my local association and print it off and go over it with them. This gives them an idea of what is customary in our market for the seller to pay for and what they can expect to net after the sale of their home.
Educating clients whether they are first-time homebuyers or sellers, experienced clients who have been through this before should be priority #1. People hire me for my expertise, my professionalism, knowledge of the market, and most importantly, as someone they can trust to help them navigate this process whether they've done this before or not.
To say your clients haven't been educated is nobody's fault but your own. Take the time to take the time with your clients so that they can feel confident in the way they were treated, educated and taken care of.
If you want to be educated during the sale or purchase of your home, I would love the opportunity to inform you on the process and make sure you have learned what should be done from the start to the finish. Don't hesitate to contact me if you need help!