June 12, 2018

Challenging the Real Estate Process

I recently read an article in the WSJ by Matthew Hennessey sharing his story as a first-time homebuyer.  Mr. Hennessey’s experience, rooted in a lack of knowledge of the process and a blind trust of those hired to advise him, is relatable to many.  His feelings of confusion and acceptance of less than fully answered questions are common to the modern American homebuyer.  Yet purchasing a home is the largest, and arguably most important, consumer purchase in a lifetime.

So, why have we accepted such mediocrity during the process?

Perhaps we’ve been numbed by friends’ horror stories about buying their home, casually shared at cocktail parties while others nod agreeably and roll their eyes.  Perhaps we feel it’s just our turn to be ingratiated into this seemingly adult world of taking the bull by the horns and buying a house with little guidance by the experts.  We accept our friends’ sympathies rather than demand better quality of service.

In an industry with such a low barrier to entry, diluting the quality of the professionals hired to represent us, the expectations of our real estate agents are watered down at best.  We feel we know enough to get by having combed through the listings on Zillow and Trulia, and watched more than our fair share of HGTV programming.  How hard can it be?

Yet the consistent theme of those brave enough to seek the American Dream is feelings of confusion, lack of trust and exasperation; rather than education, transparency and excitement.

We deserve more.

Mr. Hennessey, I have been there.  I bought my first home from a developer who I knew.  I negotiated with him directly.  I was working in commercial real estate at the time, but I felt it was important to be represented by a REALTOR (R).  Like you, I hired a family friend.  I called a mortgage broker who I knew to help me with the financing. I had good credit and income and a modest amount of savings.  I went through the “process”, but never really knew what I didn’t know.

Years later, I started a residential brokerage firm to give my clients the homebuying experience you and I (and so many others) did not have.  At VERY Real Estate, we recognize that buying a home is the largest purchase of many people’s lives, why not also make it the best?  At VERY, our emphasis on client service is unparalleled, because we care.  We pride ourselves on listening to our clients’ needs, matching a property to their lifestyle while educating and engaging them in the home buying process.  

Our exasperation comes when we continue to hear the horror stories at cocktail parties or read articles in the WSJ about the same mediocrity that has plagued our industry for decades.  It’s time to stand up and demand more.  We deserve better.