“I’m not a lawyer, but I play one on TV.” Wasn’t that a version of the old joke?
Well for Real Estate purposes, the State of Washington holds agents to the standard of performing as a lawyer for the transaction. That’s a high bar, and one we take very seriously.
It’s amazing to me how frequently we get to any kind of paperwork and how many people just say “Where do I sign?” No questions asked.
I can totally relate to this urge, especially with the user agreements that are shoved in our face every time we download an app or sign up for anything online. We have become accustomed to just clicking “I Agree” and moving on with our day.
I would encourage you to tap the brakes when it comes to selling your home. For most people, this represents their most valuable asset. A contractual error can cost you real money or worse: you could end up in a lawsuit. Those tend to be expensive and painful to say the least.
I will fully acknowledge that this is not the most enjoyable part of the process, but let’s take just a second to hopefully spark some curiosity about how a real estate contract is structured.
I like to think of it as kind of like a game. The object of the game from our side of the table is to get the best possible package of terms that we can, with the most protections the other side will agree to. If we can tilt the table our way while maintaining our integrity, we would like to gain an edge in this transaction.
The goal of the buyer is somewhat aligned with ours – they want to buy what we want to sell. But they would like to tilt things their way. Get the best possible bargain with the most concessions from you, the seller. Their agent should be fighting for the most protections we would agree to.
A quick aside about this analogy. I always encourage folks to take a moment to consider their level of competitiveness. For some people, they can’t win unless the other side loses. They are not happy unless the other side is in pain. They derive pleasure from putting it to the other side. On the other end of that spectrum you have folks that avoid conflict at all costs. They will cave to every ask and accept terms that are demonstrably not in their interests.
I like to operate somewhere in the middle. I believe it is important to drive a hard bargain and fight to get a good deal. But I also think there is value as a human being to being reasonable and remembering that there are human beings on the other side of the table that have worked very hard to put together the resources to make what is likely the biggest purchase of their lives. Some humanity and courtesy can go a long way.
If you have a felt need to crush the competition, please let us know up front, so we can match you up with another agent that likes to work that way.
As part of our process, we will have a session where we go over what you’re signing and answer any questions.
I want to make sure you understand the strategy, what protections are in place, and that we are looking at the complete package of offer terms. Sometimes the highest top end price is not the best offer.
The most important thing when choosing a buyer is their ability to close on time.
Next up, let’s talk strategy.
Ron Upshaw is a Licensed Agent at
Windermere Real Estate Midtown
1920 North 34th Street
Seattle, WA 98103