An agent commented yesterday that she felt embarrassed to be part of a profession in which so many real estate agents have a bad reputation because she does not deserve that moniker. Hey, some agents deserve the bad reputation label because they have earned it. Other agents are thoughtful, skilled, compassionate and excel at their job. It’s why some listing agents get paid 6% commission or more, for example, and others only 5% or less. Because good listing agents are worth what they are paid.
Back in the old days of Sacramento real estate, nobody cared much about proof of funds. A lot of business was done on a handshake and, when I started in the business in 1974, via a one-page NCR contract. To put that time period into perspective, this was before most families even owned a microwave. But times change, and we quickly adapt to the times they are a-changin’. I can’t believe I ever survived in a world without computers and cellphones, but I obviously did.
Nowadays, people want proof of everything. There are no good-ol’ boy deals. We don’t trust anyone. Nor should we, necessarily. There are too many crooks and scam artists, just more sophisticated, and electronic crimes are becoming more complicated and commonplace. It seems like every day I get an email from somebody asking me to click on a link that is clearly a trick. I’m always on the lookout for fake crap, and I hold a duty to my sellers when I receive a purchase contract to check it out for red flags, one of which is often the proof of funds.
Right before I received the “confirmation of closing” email for a successor trustee sale near Elk Grove, I had received bad news from my vet about our cat Horatio. Poor little guy had a bit of diarrhea, so I took him to the River City Cat Clinic in Land Park. We adopted Horatio about a month ago. The vet suggested we test him for leukemia and AIDS, since he came from a shelter. Well, the vet called yesterday afternoon to say the results came back positive.
When I was 23, I lost my Himalayan, Cairo, to leukemia. I had visited that cat daily in the hospital. He could barely stand up with tubes taped to his legs, he was so sick. I would reach through his cage and gingerly hold him, trying not to sob. He didn’t make it. I can’t do this again, is my first thought.
Despite promises from the staff that we could light things on fire, the Elizabeth Weintraub Team dined at The Kitchen Restaurant Thursday night without getting into any trouble. We didn’t light anything on fire. Nobody arrested us. We weren’t thrown out for bad behavior, and just because we clean up well doesn’t mean we aren’t pioneering troublemakers at heart.
The thing is we work long hours and keep intense schedules. We text and email each other throughout the day and occasionally have time for a brief phone call, but we don’t spend nearly enough time together. There’s got to be more life than constant work, so we all decided to take a little break and have some fun. I could not think of a better place to go for dinner and be entertained than The Kitchen Restaurant. We took a vote and decided it was time that the Elizabeth Weintraub Team dined at the Kitchen Restaurant together.
I’m not sure if other agents purposely shield their clients from the crazy things that happen in a transaction or if they don’t notice it, they don’t care, or maybe they just don’t sell enough homes in any given year to increase the odds of an encounter with a bad real estate transaction. I’ve almost become immune to the irritation because it happens on so many occasions. I simply try to find a positive way to deal with issues and change the outcome, while making sure my clients understand exactly what is happening.