Double bypass surgery; completely routine. A typical hospital stay…about 5 days. Recovery period? Nothing to worry about. That’s the message our family received recently when our loved one was diagnosed as needing the procedure.
As most would, we did our research and found a surgeon with great reviews and a personality that was both reassuring and confident. He gave us the statistics, he carefully answered our questions and assured us the procedure was considered fairly routine these days. Surgery was scheduled and we all felt comforted by the information we received.
At 14 days post-surgery, our favorite patient was still in the hospital. Every passing day brought more questions and more time to think, to research and to plan. We had a list of family and friends who received daily text updates which also generated comments and questions. We heard stories from those who had undergone similar surgeries and they shared their experiences and offered well-meaning advice.
During those long 14 days, we had graduated from a surgeon to a team of specialists including ICU nurses, x ray techs, physical therapists, nutritionists and a cast of other health experts.
So, what could this possibly have to do with real estate?
I’ve come to learn in life that not much is ever typical, routine or completely worry-free. As the days went by, I began to make analogies about our hospital situation and real estate. While what we do is not life-saving, we are hired to help buyers and sellers make life changing decisions, sometimes with their life savings. Our clients look to us for assurance that they are doing the right thing. They want to know that the steps they are taking are what is best for their family and for their future. I started to wonder…Do we default to the “typical” line when explaining the process of buying or selling a property because it is “routine” to us?
As a seasoned Realtor with over 40 years under my belt, I’d like to say I’ve seen it all. However, the truth is, there’s always something new to learn. No two transactions are ever the same. Details are important. Do we do a good job explaining the number of professionals that will be involved from the listing to the contract to the closing? Do we explain who will be asking for their personal information or why a man will be climbing through their attic? Do we provide enough education about the mortgage process, what is the difference between pre-approval, a loan approval, conditional approval, clear to close and closing statements? Why do closing dates change and finally who exactly is the person in charge? Do we ever discuss what could go wrong?
Thankfully, our “untypical” hospital experience had a happy ending. And, somewhere along the way, I became a better listener, teacher and Realtor. Do your research, expect and prepare for the extraordinary. Ask as many questions as you need to ask. Trust your expert but know that nothing is ever really 100% “typical.”
Thank you, Parrish, for making us number 1 in closed sales again in 2016!