When I came into the real estate business, interest rates were creeping down from eighteen percent. There were agents in my office who hadn’t sold a house or apartment in four years. In many ways, this was the best possible time to get into real estate.
I had to learn quickly to solve problems, put together complicated deals with rubber bands and paper clips and make them work. I was lucky enough to meet some amazing agents my first year, and having no clue how hard it all was, I picked up lots of knowledge and many skills that made me successful.
For the first 15 years, it worked well for me. Then, the market got first red hot then white hot, and it worked, but just barely. The agents who really made out well were the ones who were able to convince people to do very risky things without thinking about it in order to get a house.
In some of our bidding wars, I’d write an offer that was one of 50 on a single house. When I was one of 8 or 10, I usually won. But I didn’t always feel good about what my clients had to do to be victorious in one of these fierce battles.
So fast forward to the past couple of weeks. I’m still working on my Thanksgiving deal – it’s not dead after all! This was the less than perfect offer, and some listing agents would have looked at it and said, “This dog won’t hunt!”
But I got lucky with a good listing agent. He’s tinkering with the dog chow. We’re still in counter, but we’re still alive.
The last time this agent and I did a deal was a couple of years ago, and it was full-priced and clean. The market was fast, and I was counting my lucky stars that he presented right away instead of waiting around for more offers to come in. But times have changed.
Today, he came by my office with the counter-counter-counter-counter. We had a few issues that looked impossible. I figured out a way to fix one of them, and the listing agent came up with a totally brilliant way to fix another!
We’re nibbling away at the differences. We’re crossing our fingers. And toes!
My colleague in this transaction has been around longer than I have. He is smart and creative. He loves to get offers on his listings that are clean and full-priced, but the one I brought him was below the list price by a bunch and complicated. And today, I saw him exercise the muscles it takes to make something complicated work. I think he was even enjoying himself!
It was like Dancing with the Stars!
It’s days like today that I feel like we’ve earned our keep for our clients. And having an agent on the other side who is creative and fun makes me the same way. Of course, I also listen to Zip-a-dee-doo-dah for inspiration!