Baseballs and Real Estate
Admittedly, this is a stretch. I wanted to write something with a baseball theme today, the opening of the 2010 World Series, and just happened to catch this link from a friend.
The video made a hit with me and I thought that the making of one baseball (or 10,000) and the completion of one real estate transaction (or hundreds) are not alike in any way at all. If you have watched the video, you have noticed that each step is precise. Each ball made the same way. All elements that go into the manufacture of a baseball are measured and timed and measured again. The cores, the windings, the stamping of the leather covers with holes for stitching are absolutely consistent. in the factory, even though the balls are hand stitched, the 350 stitchers are lined up in rows and look to be one big organic machine doing repetitive actions until the daily quota is ground out. Voila, no errors, the perfect baseball, every time.
On the other hand, each real estate transaction is totally different. Sometimes the public doesn't notice this. They'll pick a Realtor® the same way baseball teams buy baseballs, knowing they are all the same. But all Realtors® are not the same. Some times buyers will select a realty company based on price (they give a rebate), sometimes on apparent volume (bigger is better), or sometimes on location (they're right down the street).
The make-up of the real estate transaction is different every time. The sellers have their unique set of circumstances. They have their unique home to sell. The Realtor® they list with is a unique personality herself. What she brings into the mix and how well she relates with the sellers sets the whole tone of how smoothly the transaction will go. On to the buyers side. Perhaps there are many buyers for this property and price, or perhaps only one. What is the buyer's agent like? What expectations has he created in the buyers?
Other factors that change include the current market trend (is it up or down?), the weather (is it rainy and dark, snowy and cold, hot and sunny?), the current interest rates, the local job climate, and even things like traffic and commute times, schools and more. Differences, differences and more differences.
Once a transaction comes together it is only about the 5th inning. How do the principals feel about it. Is everyone happy (remember 2004-2007 - Everyone was happy, buyers because they won in multiple offers and sellers because the offers were all higher than the asking price) or unhappy (2007-2010 - Sellers are walking with less than they hoped for and buyers are wondering if prices might go down further).
The lenders, the escrow processors and the appraisers all have something to add to the real estate transaction and they are not afraid to interject their own personalities in with the rest. When there are problems, be they logistical, procedural, or personal, who gets the first call? The Realtor®.
If you are planning to make a steal in the current buyers' market, be sure to select your Realtor® with care. You will want someone with a personality that you are comfortable with and someone you trust. If you need to sell in this market, the same holds true. You may strike out if you don't select a Realtor® with care. We are not all alike. No one transaction is like another.
Winding up, this commercial message has ended. Now back to the game.