It’s Tuesday morning, and two big items are on my agenda.
First, check out a $1.4M condo and see if it’s the real deal for my clients. Time is at a premium for them. Pretty pictures aren’t enough to warrant interrupting their schedule. I have to see it myself.
The condo delivers. Floor to ceiling windows showcasing Puget Sound. High enough in the building to cause just the right amount of vertigo—pleasantly dizzying with no nausea! It has the location to match. So close to Pike Place market you can almost see them throwing fish, and so near the water it’s like the ferries are landing in your garage. Upside potential too–when the viaduct goes down, you’ll be able to walk straight to the water.
Decision time: tell the clients it’s worth their time to visit? Yes.
Decision made, I allow myself a few minutes to be hypnotized by the water. I could watch those waves for hours… but what’s number two on the agenda?
Ah yes… Another home is closing Friday, and a few things need to be freshened up for the new buyers. Time to go clean that bathroom and buff that countertop!
Now, could I hire someone to clean that bathroom? Yes. Do I object to cleaning bathrooms? No (presuming users have observed reasonable decorum). For various reasons, in this case it makes more sense to do it myself. And I do.
Here’s what I love about my job: there are numerous ways to “get my hands dirty”. One way is getting my body inside properties, getting the feel of a place with my hands, eyes, ears and nose. This is the only way I can truly know if it will meet my clients’ needs. And yes, another way is doing all the basic, boring, grimy jobs that need to get done so that transactions close on time and people are happy. It’s my pleasure to do them all!
“Hey Matthew, we just finished the inspection.”
The voice on the other end of the phone is the buyer’s agent. I am representing the seller. I remind myself to start taking deep breaths, as I always do at this moment in the transaction. Is there a major issue we have to deal with? In my judgment, the seller had maintained the home well, but no home is perfect, and inspectors are trained to find problems. I listen for any nuances in the agent’s voice that will alert me to what’s coming.
“There have been… some unwanted guests partying in the house, both upstairs and down. Some of them partied so hard that they couldn’t find their way back home!”
I stifle a laugh and my gut tells me this transaction is going to go through, but sure enough, the inspector found something. The “unwanted guests” are rats; “upstairs and down” means both the attic and the crawlspace. And we’re not just talking “droppings” here. “Couldn’t find their way home” means there are carcasses. This could be a major problem, depending how long the rats were there, and whether their waste has saturated the insulation.
But the humor in his voice hints that the problem is relatively minor. “It looks recent, not too much, and nothing the buyer can’t weather. Other than that, the house is great.” he continues.
My day just got a lot better. The seller’s maintenance of the home was overall sound, just as I thought it would be. Just some particularly pesky rodents. I can now make my own call to the seller.
Managing human responses in real estate negotiations is what I do every day, including how buyers will react to “unwanted guests”.