Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Love At Second Sight (in the housing market)

Regardless of what my wife may tell you, she didn't fall in love with me the second our eyes first met. I'm sure of this for a couple of reasons. To begin with, she couldn't have possibly ignored me any more than she did on that first summer evening even though we were seated an arms length away from each other in a fairly empty ice cream parlor. I mean really, who doesn't notice someone sitting at the next table in an ice cream parlor?

Secondly, and this I definitely know for sure, I'm the type of person that has to grow on you. I'm one of those guys that gets smarter, funnier and better looking the longer you know me. I'm not a 'love at first sight' candidate--pretty sure I never have been. And knowing this has given me an advantage in Sales, I believe. And in many ways, some of my Listings reflect these same personality traits.

I learned to ignore the 'first objection' very early in life and to just keep showing up even as others around me fell by their respective waysides. I'm all about taking a second look at things be it a troubling situation, a prospective property with a few flaws, or anything in between. I guess I've come to expect the same in return and try to promote this behavior on a daily basis to all who will listen or at the very least, to those who happen to sit next to me at work. As I've mentioned before, our office environment is as much think tank as it is Sales.

As a Listing Agent, few things frustrate me more these days than observing a Buyers Agent on a whirlwind tour of one of my properties, pressed for time, and with twenty more places to see that afternoon. Sometimes I just stand there taking it all in, looking for even a glimmer of interest from anyone in the room as they fly right by me on that proverbial be-back bus that only returns 10% of the time. There are very few characteristics of any Listing that, if can't be fixed with a hammer and nails, can certainly be fixed by $$$...i.e negotiation. My Broker calls it the 'What If Game' and will be a subject of a future writing. But to quote an uncle from the old neighborhood, 'Hey..., what are you gonna do?"

I'm telling you, its all in the second showing anyway. Love at first sight isn't a common occurrence in today's Real Estate market. There is simply too much to see. Just fly into any major city at night and as your jet makes its final descent toward the airport runway, look out the porthole window at the billions of microchip lights laid out like a circuit board, stretching to the horizon. You just have to know that they ain't all pretty. They all did however, close at a Title Company and somebody somewhere, holds their deeds. The American Dream is not the 'Center Entry Colonial' for the great majority of us but rather, the best housing we can find on the market for our money at the time we're looking, all other things equal.

I suppose it comes down to the fact that I don't believe any of us live in the 'perfect' dwelling and while my wife and I do enjoy our city condo, wouldn't it be even nicer overlooking the Amalfi Coast of Italy? No need to answer as the question is rhetorical, to be sure. For now we settle for the North Side of Chicago.

I often times encourage my Clients to take second look at a house that at first sight may not seem to perfectly fit the bill, especially when we've exhausted a glutted market place. I generally encourage Buyers Agents from other companies to do likewise when viewing one of my listings (if I can grab their attention for a few private seconds in the whirlwind) although, I'd like to think I'm more about attraction than promotion.

I just don't believe its possible to uncover the inherent beauty in anything with a single look see--especially when it comes to showing property, and I've shown quite a bit. But then again, I'm the guy that ignores the first objection and positions himself for the second take, the one who keeps showing up until someone finally takes notice. My wife still ignores me on occasion but I have a legal document laying around here somewhere that says that deal has already closed.


Geno Petro

1 comment:

  1. Doug, thank you. I agree that its probably a 'buyers market' now. Thank God theres a market!