Working in New York City, you get the chance to deal with all sorts of people from all walks of life. You meet young first time home buyers, suburban transplants, international transplants, local investors, foreign investors and the list can go on and on. Are there pros and cons working with one or the other? Should there be a preference for an agent?
Investors are probably the easiest, it’s all a numbers game for them. They tell you what they’re looking for, you find it and boom you’ll be in contract quickly. This goes for buy and sell side. No emotions at all, just simply a deal that makes sense financially.
Now, when working with “end users” (people who will inhabit/do inhabit a space) things get a little more complicated. Let’s say you’re the listing agent for someone who is looking to sell their home, or a childhood home; it would be almost impossible to find a seller who isn’t attached to their abode. I’ve seen it all… from being interviewed to sell a $20M dollar penthouse, where the owner walked me through their entire duplex showing me all the customizations and attention to detail they put into their place, to a total gut job in a bustling neighborhood selling his childhood home that’s vacant, but when I told him that his house wasn’t worth more than a certain figure he blew a gasket. Needless to say, the penthouse owner, ended up cancelling their sales contract elsewhere and staying in their beautiful duplex and I passed on the gut job listing because albeit I empathize with the owner and his feelings towards his place, I have to be realistic and not do a disservice to him.
Now when it comes to buyers, I can TOTALLY empathize when purchasing a home. It took me, oh, almost 2 years to find my house. My husband wanted to put in offers on almost every house we saw, but I proved to be the tougher critic. Two months before our wedding and almost two years since we started the process, a family friend told me about his friends who were in the middle of a divorce and wanted to sell their home. I came, I saw, I envisioned the potential and brought my hubby back. For the price, we jumped on it because we knew it was a deal and next thing we knew we were in contract, then closing, then gutting the entire home. It’s because of my own experience, I truly can empathize with buyers. I’ve dealt with a good number of first time home buyers and of course those looking for a change. The key to working with these buyers, patience. Funny, in most areas of my life, I lack that virtue… Patience, whats that? Strangely, when it comes to buyers looking for homes, I can put up with their indecisiveness, back and forth amongst each other, their knit-picky ways etc. I GET IT, I GET THEM. The piece of advice I can give any agent is to guide them, but don’t ever push them! This is a huge deal for buyers and they need to deliberate, and the worst thing you can do is be too pushy. If they buy a place because you pushed them into a deal, things go awry, you will be the pushy agent that sucked and the “cause” of their troubles. As their guide, be supportive, patient, and listen to them!
Here’s the thing, I always tell agents, try not to have a preference (working with investors, buyer or sellers) but to understand your audience and understand their needs. Now, here’s to a little collage of me and mirror selfies at work. 🙂