Real Estate is an Essential Service - By Jenn Jenkins
Residential real estate was labeled essential a few weeks ago and I would love to explain why. I know that it is tough to get past how most Realtors are portrayed on reality tv. We get a new listing, we throw a big party to show all of the brokers around town, we have one conversation with another agent and boom, we collect a check. But here is a thing, when I watch those shows, even I say to myself, I wish I had that profession! Then I shake my head and yell, wait, I am a Realtor.
It’s not all about the ‘sales’ when it comes to my job. In fact, I believe the reason why we were deemed essential is that when a crisis hits the country, we become a problem solver for the challenges that our clients face.
Here are a couple of my favorite client stories that brought a glimmer of happiness during a crisis.
I sat across the table from a past client who was facing a short sale. She needed to sell her current condo and move to the Midwest to help her elderly mother during her last few years of life. She had 2 mortgages on her home and unfortunately, her current value was far below what she owed. I fought with the banks for 3 months on her behalf and got both loans approved for a short sale AND got them to waive coming back to her for the balance in the future. Now, during those 3 months, she had a major leak in her 2 story condo and it completely destroyed the ceiling and bottom level flooring. So, we had to start over and find a new buyer who was willing to take on those new repairs as she had no money.
The day I called her to say we got everything approved was a great day. She cried happy tears and said it was like a huge weight had been lifted off of her shoulders. This was a great victory – and to give a bit of perspective, the value of her unit at the time was $48,000.
A young couple was faced with foreclosure – only 30 days from the bank taking their home. They had gotten behind and unfortunately, we're not able to claw their way out. They needed to sell quickly. They had enough equity to pay for everything needed to get the home sold. We put it on the market – found the right cash buyer who could close quickly and who was willing to buy the house without asking for repairs. We went through the processes – the bank held us up until the exact last day that it could close. We were about $1000 short from making it happen at the last minute – but I gladly gave up $1000 to make it happen for their fresh start. We closed and they were able to start over. A clean slate, no more calls from the bank, and no more calls from investors saying they would buy their home.
These are only 2 of the many stories where I have sat with clients and they have had to divulge their scary stories to me, where they have had to bear it all and hope that I had a solution for them.
I love my job. I love that I get to help people and truly make a difference in their lives. So the next time you watch one of those reality shows, remember, it is made for tv. It is made to entertain.