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Jim Valentine: A little bit of knowledge

By Jim Valentine

Every transaction has dozens of decisions to be made in a multitude of expertise arenas, each with its respective consequences. As things occur Buyers and Sellers have questions about what is happening, what happened, or what is going to happen. Agents usually explain in a cursory manner so there is a logical explanation as to what is going on and why they are doing, or not doing, something.

This is not unlike talking to your mechanic about the repair of your car. He tells you that he needs to replace the thingamabob and will have to take out the whatchamacallit to get to it. The process will take so many hours, cost you so much and you will be good for 60,000 miles. Most people at that point say, “Fine, go ahead and do it. When can I pick it up?” Nobody asks what lubricant will be used to loosen the bolts involved, or what stick ‘em stuff will be used to keep them tight on replacement. Torque tightening levels of the bolts aren’t discussed as aren’t gaskets, belts, and the many other things the mechanic will encounter along the way to get the job done. Real estate is similar in that the Buyer or Seller achieves a general understanding as to what it is and why it is necessary.

Some home Buyers and Sellers, however, want more information and ask more questions about events than do others. Some go online to research the topics to achieve a better understanding. As they gather information they achieve a level of understanding that can even give them a glimpse to the actual workings of the industry. This peek behind the proverbial curtain can be enticing, but can also be misleading. As in any industry or business, there are standards of practice, standard protocols, and traditions that are followed in the majority of transactions. Learning how those work is important for an Agent, especially the reasoning behind them so when it is time to deviate from the normal practice in a specific instance the reasoning is understood and the alternative plan of action designed and implemented with professional care.

The art of being a professional in any field is knowing the professional standards well enough that you know the tiny details and many nuances of their application. When you learn details about a profession by brushing against it for a while it doesn’t qualify you to freelance in that arena.

When you go to the Doctor for a check up it doesn’t mean that you know how to check up all body types and conditions. The same goes for your Lawyer, Accountant, Mechanic, Contractor, or whatever professional field of endeavor you engage the services of. Just being around them gives you a feeling of confidence that they are doing a good job but it doesn’t make you one.

Our Advice:  Don’t let a little bit of knowledge get in the way of your transaction needs due to a misapplication of the cursory explanation you have received from your Agent, or the online lesson you gave yourself. Things fit in their respective place during a transaction. If something comes up that creates the need for a modification it isn’t time for “gotcha” real estate. There may be a change with quid pro quo, or not, depending on the situation. Whatever you learn along the way in your real estate experience you should come away with the realization that both parties are working towards the same thing, the close of escrow. Once you’ve made a deal stay the course to get what you bargained for, and don’t expect a windfall along the way due to circumstances affecting the other party because of your little knowledge. You might find the situation reversed the next day and you will reap what you have sown with your actions of today.

Flexibility must be reserved so as to adapt to the reality of the circumstances being dealt with in the specific transaction that is the subject of that escrow.

Make sure you have a good understanding of what is happening in your escrow, but you don’t need to be trained to be a real estate Agent along the way. Remember, if you ask someone the time of day you are satisfied with the time that is on their watch, you aren’t asking for lessons on how to build the watch.

When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs… Experience is Priceless! Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781- 704. dpwtigers@hotmail.com