Thursday, 28 June 2012

Life In The House Lane

by Liz Crowe

Pretend for a moment that you are at that oh-so-tender age, that perfect moment in time when you are buying your first home. You have the “house buying for dummies” book memorized. You scour Zillow daily. You attend open houses religiously. You obsess over mortgage rates, have DVR’d every episode of “Flip This House,” and have stopped just short of getting your own real estate license, you know, to pay yourself the commission.  Because you have worked so damn hard on your own behalf, why pay someone else?


During my 8 years as a fairly successful real estate agent (NOTE: do not say “Realtor” or the National Association of Same will climb all up in your sh*t) there were many amusing-slash-frustrating moments.  The buyers who insisted on bringing both their screaming children and their smelly, yappy dog in my car and into every single house spring to mind. The perpetual Lookie-Lous. The Porch Pissers who honestly believed I had not a single thing better to do than to drop everything and show them 10 or even 20 houses in a weekend for fun.  Oh—Oh and yeah, my favorite decision-making-disabled buyers who would leap, sign offers, only to back away (three times) and slink into their apartment only to emerge a few months later with a fresh mortgage pre-approval.

As a real estate agent, every single potential human with a pulse who walks through your virtual door means a payday.  You are trained and obligated to treat them all the same—offer the same level of service and hopefully close a deal, you know so you can pay your own mortgage.  It is horrifically frustrating, I won’t kid you.

But my favorite clients of all are the ones who think they can do your job with their eyes closed, a hand behind their back and sipping coffee with the other.  These folks were the bane of my real estate existence and thanks to the world wide web, their numbers are only increasing.  Buying (or selling) a house requires perseverance, real market knowledge (the kind that means you have actually SEEN some of the houses that have sold), marketing skills, boatloads of patience, a sense of humor, and map reading skills.  It also demands organization, being networked to lenders, builders and other contractors and that you have a working knowledge of mortgage loan process---plus that you can actually read a closing statement.
No, it is no rocket science, brain surgery or even beer brewing (!). But it is not easy either. The road to success is littered with the carcasses of those who claimed “Hey, I think I’ll sell houses. That looks easy and damn are those commission checks huge.” 

The Stewart Realty series makes real estate sexy…just ask Just Erotic Romance Reviews with gave the entire series 5 stars and the middle book (Sweat Equity) a “gold star” AND The Romance Reviews which made Sweat Equity a “Top Pick” and claimed that the 2nd book was the “Best book she has read so far this year.”

Jack Gordon is That Guy—extraordinarily successful, a millionaire thanks to his own hard work and perseverance and ability to ignore the assholes who think they can do his job for him. 
Here is a little taste—the series trailer that was featured on the USA Today Happily Ever After blog a few weeks ago. 

So the next time you decide to buy or sell the biggest investment you are likely to ever make, trust me. Trust it to a Realtor. Yes I said the word. Maybe you’ll get lucky and Jack will give you a tour around….
Buy the series folks are kinda sorta buzzing about and see for yourself:


Faith said...

One of my cousins was a real-estate agent, but she didn't last long. I don't think she could handle the pressure, then when the bottom dropped out of the housing market she gave up.

Liz said...

it's not an easy job. but as Bo said: Those who stay will be champions...or something like that.

Molly Daniels said...

I loved Floor Time and am looking forward to the rest of this series:)

I've only had to deal with one real estate agent, and he wasn't 'getting' what type of house we were looking for at the time. He was a friend of my grandmother's, and we were still in the weighing-our-options-to-see-if-we-could-buy-yet. And then my spouse and I had different ideas of what we wanted, so we didn't buy for four more years, until we figured out our compromise:)

Liz said...

Thanks Molly! glad to hear it! Faith, I made my best money in 2008 which was the year it all blew up here in Michigan. odd, but I had a solid base of clients.

Jacki C. said...

I could never be a Real Estate Agent - too much stress and stressed out clients. My b-i-l is an Agent and he's never at family events because he is showing houses or drumming up new clients.

Sue Palmer Fineman said...

I worked as a real estate agent for five years. One of my fellow agents took a couple out to show them a house and the man who answered the door wore nothing but cellophane and a big red bow. He'd forgotten the showing and had wrapped himself up for his lover.

Faith said...

Wow, Liz, are you still in Michigan? I'm in Ohio.

Anthology Authors said...

I've never actually shopped for a house. The house I currently "own" (really, the bank owns it) was purchased by my DH before I met him. Would I like to have chosen the house, yes, but I consider myself lucky to live where I live in the current economic climate. :)

And, no, I'd rather not be a real estate agent. (g)