Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Big Day

I'm a firm believer that you write your own story. That said, as real estate agents, we often get a by-line in the tale of our clients. Today that honor has me feeling a bit sentimental.

Buying and selling real estate is a big deal. The process is emotional and involved. Our role in this is seldom passive. We are there through the highs and the lows. We get to know people in this pressure cooker of an environment. The people are real. All the time we spend together looking for a new house or getting the old one ready to sell, is time that bonds us together in the client and agent relationship. People tell us their stories and invite us into their lives.

Similar to planning a wedding, a lot of this emotional involvement leads to the "Big Day." In real estate, that Big Day is the day escrow closes and the property title transfers. As we get closer to the Big Day, we are in seemingly constant contact with our clients. We are there for you. My sentimental mood is a result of the bit of let down that happens when you realize that after all the planning, the Big Day has arrived. The deal has closed. Everyone gets to live happily ever after. When our job is done right, we hope you don't ever have to look back.

Congratulations and good bye. We pledge to be here if you need us, and will likely drop you a line when it seems appropriate, but the need for constant contact is gone. Suffice it to say the experience stays with us. You are gone from our daily working life, but seldom forgotten. To all of our past clients, you may have closed a chapter with a by-line crediting Berkeley Hills Realty. But as you move on, remember we are still here for you. And I mean this sincerely, you are still part of our story.

Seller Tip: Clearing clutter will increase your profits. A stager's rule of thumb is to showcase a home with only 60% of the furniture you would actually utilize to live there. The extra space creates a sense of increased square footage and the organization that makes the pare-down possible shows pride of ownership.

Buyer Tip: Use a trusted local mortgage broker to help guide you through your loan options. Going directly to your bank will give you fewer options. A bank will only have available loans which are posted on their board at the given time. A broker will have a portfolio from many lenders. With lots of programs out there these days an experienced mortgage broker can help match you with the best program to suit your needs. Similar to using a travel agent, this resource does not cost you directly. Mortgage broker fees are paid by the bank that originates the loan.