and sellers are given too much credit for knowing more than they
actually do. There is a great deal more to know about buying
and selling real estate than they typically know. Think of the
classed you attended to learn what you have; where your buyers
and sellers there, too?
It is a mistake to give homebuyers and sellers too much credit
for knowing how the process of buying and selling works. We do
this for a living; they don't.
The public often gets credit for being so much more sophisticated
than it was ten years ago. Are they smarter? I think not and
I can prove it. A widely discussed news article this year reported
that 53% of American adults don't know how long it takes the
earth to go once around the sun (does the phrase "one year"
mean anything to you?) One quarter (27%) even got that simple
idea backward, believing it's the sun which revolves around
the earth. Where's Gallileo when you need him?
I stayed in a classy hotel with a large yellow decal in the shower
reminding the guests to "Please put shower curtain inside
tub before taking a shower." Whimsy? Or did the management
finally come to the conclusion, "I guess we've to come right
out and give them shower instructions since clearly they have
not figured out where to put the curtain."
If the public hasn't figured out something as simple as a shower
curtain, what are the odds they understand net equity based on
hard values determined by recent sales of comparable property?
are the odds they've got a firm grasp on competitive market values
recognizing what their house is worth on the open market as opposed
to what they would like it to be worth?
can sympathize with homeowners getting an inflated vision of
their own home's value and a deflated view of the what they will
buy next (which, of course, appreciates wildly within 24 hours
of the closing - if only in their minds). Even trained, objective,
dispassionate Realtors® make honest mistakes in pricing property
too high. So, what chance does the self-selling homeowner have
of doing it right the only time he needs to be right?
Or even of knowing what all he must do?
Carlin said it best.
for a minute how stupid the averge person is. Then realize that
half of 'em are stupider than that."
Many of us trade emails that we call Darwin Award Nominations.
Remember survival of the fittest? The other side of that coin
is the demise of the un-fit. A few of us believe we should remove
all the traffic signs and warning labels just to see who survives.
Here's a short explanatory sampler:
frequently of national park rangers at the Carlsbad Caverns:
"How much of this cave is underground?" "What's
in the unexplored section?" (That's my personal favorite
frequently of park rangers in Yellowstone: "Who turns off
the geysers at night?" "We found the entrance to the
park; where are the exits?"
of park rangers at Yosemite National Park: "Where are all
the rides?" "What did they do with the other half of
some people are too stupid to be left at home without a sitter.
why should an astute, professional Realtor® such as yourself
presume everyone knows what he's talking about? All of us are
ignorant on different subjects. Twenty percent of the people
reading this article had to take the real estate exam more than
once in order to pass. If we professionals have a head start,
think of the ones who never took the test. Real estate has to
be on someone's ignorant-about-it list!
A licensee will complete pre-license training; pass an exam designed
to test your knowledge on real estate laws and customs; get licensed
by the state's licensing agency; convince an experienced broker
to say "we want you!" Then, become an associate member
of the local, state and national professional Realtor® associations;
graduate from the company's sales training program; and actually
sell two or three houses.
Ask that agent: "On a scale of 1-10, how confident are you?"
Answer: "Maybe a 4."
Then ask the same question of a For Sale By Owner who's never,
ever sold a house and who knows nothing about disclosures, finance
or the competition. Their answer: "On a 10 scale? 11!"
That is front porch bravado. But behind closed doors, deep in
his heart of hears, cloaked in fear and fantasy, the For Sale
By Owner knows he's kidding himself. He needs a pro and he knows
it. The question is whether you can demonstrate that you are
the particular pro he needs.
Don't get stuck on what they say. Talk to the need that lies
inside. Let them talk about what they can do on their own; but
you should talk to them about their reasons for selling, the
time limits they have, what it will mean if the sale doesn't
happen on time.
Answering those questions will keep them centered on the real
issues - realities that are not addressed when people are saying,
"We'd like to do this; I'm sure we can do this; Oh yeah,
we can make this happen ourselves!" Merely wanting it to
be so is not the same as delivering results. No kidding, it takes
a pro, not an amateur.