I have to say, I'm in love with this episode. This show is really about so much more than just real estate. It's about the stories behind every transaction. It's about the emotional aspect of buying or selling a piece of property that means so much to a buyer or a seller. It's about the characters behind every deal. Real property is where we live, where we work, where we eat, where we go to entertain ourselves. That's why it is so dramatic and emotional.
In this episode, I sell an apartment for Sam, a property owner who wants to move to San Francisco but needs to sell his apartment before he leaves. I found Sam by calling a list of owners who were selling their apartments on their own without using a real estate agent. In my opinion, I believe, that selling on your own is not the best approach to take. Most sellers choose to go this route for many reasons. Sometimes they believe they can get the apartment sold quickly because the market benefits the seller. In other cases, they don't want to pay the broker's fee because they believe the broker will not bring any additional monetary value. And in some cases, they just feel that no one can do the job better than themselves. I do understand that mentality. However, hiring a good agent is the only smart choice. In bad markets, a good agent can get your apartment sold. And, in good markets, a good agent can get you the best price possible. When a seller lists an apartment on their own, 95 percent the phone calls will come from brokers trying to get their business. That's a huge waste of time and in most cases will cause unnecessary stress. Other calls will be from buyers that are looking for apartments, but are not really serious in moving forward right away. If they are serious, most sellers won't be able to fully qualify buyers to know whether they can afford the property or not. A good real estate agent is worth hiring, period. The commission the seller wants to save by not hiring an agent, is not worth more than a property not sold.
Now, hiring a bad agent can be the worst decision. You need to interview agents and carefully consider their experience and track records. However, the most important thing is to know weather or not the agent will be committed to you. You want to be certain this agent is not getting your business to expand theirs.
Now back to my seller, working with Sam was a huge pleasure. When I first met him I was automatically drawn to who he was. When he told me that he wanted to move to San Francisco with his wife, I knew I needed to help him because it was clear to me that he was going to have a hard time selling his apartment on his own. There was something not right about the approach he was taking. His marketing was not appealing, his industry reach was not wide enough, and his presentation was very bad. As great as this apartment was, no buyer would have been able to see past the way it looked. And if there was a buyer who had the vision, he or she would have used it's presentation to negotiate on their behalf. When I saw his apartment for the first time I knew this was going to be an easy sell -- for me. However, it needed the right vision in order to accentuate how beautiful and unique it really was.
I don't normally pay for staging but in this case, I really wanted to help Sam. He did not understand the importance of staging and was therefore not going to pay for it. Sam was kind, welcoming and willing to listen. He was someone I wanted to work hard for.
Staging took place, traffic was heavy and in six days -- BOOM! Offer at full ask! Imagine how happy I was! The problem was, that it was too quick for Sam!!! Really? Who in the world would have thought that selling a unit at full asking price in six days was going to be a problem? Again, this is the interesting thing about real estate. But what good brokers really do, is to be able to fix problems. We make sense out of whats confusing. We simplify things. We let our clients understand what they already know but can't see because of the overwhelming emotions that go through the process of selling and buying. And that's why, I needed to meet Sam in person.
When I met with Sam in Brooklyn Bridge Park, I understood! He's in love with this city! And now that he knows it's really happening, that that his place will be sold and he will be leaving to San Francisco, he's having second thoughts about moving forward. How can you leave such a beautiful and exciting city? But the reality is, we all go through that when it comes to moving on. Specially when it's about leaving a city that has been such a great part of your life. That's romantic. However, I knew that in the bottom of his heart he wanted to make the move. He just needed to be reassured of that. And that's what I did.
In the end, it all worked out. "I'm glad that I can give Sam a happy ending. No, I don't mean that. No, I'm glad that Sam had a happy ending. NO, hold on, I'm glad that this was a happy ending, for Sam."