Not long after my wife and I were married, we decided to purchase our first home. We were both very excited, especially considering that we had a baby on the way! We were renting a one bedroom townhome at the time and felt we needed more room for our growing family. We were realistic buyers and our wish list was basic. We spent the weekends visiting open houses, trying to get a feel for what we were looking for.
We met our first agent at an open house not long after we began our search. She seemed knowledgeable and appeared to know what she was talking about. The agent told us that there were many homes available that suited our needs so we began viewing properties the following weekend. I remember when she pulled up, she appeared frazzled and was constantly fumbling her paperwork. Nonetheless, we were excited to begin! Not long into the day did we realize that perhaps this wasn’t a good fit. Only one of the seven homes she lined up seemed to even remotely meet our criteria. It was as if she never even listened to our needs. My wife and I were getting discouraged. At this point, we decided to find another agent.
We met our second agent at an open house as well. She was very friendly and seemed incredibly energetic. This renewed our excitement, so we began working with her immediately. After a few weeks of viewing properties, we found the perfect home. We went into escrow! Since neither of us had any experience buying a home, my wife and I had a lot of questions. “When should we give notice to our landlord?” “When does escrow close?” “What’s next?” Our agent didn’t seem too concerned with guiding us through the process. Unfortunately, we ended up having to find the answers ourselves.
When escrow closed, our agent arranged for us to pick up the keys from the front desk at her office. No phone call, no congratulatory card or closing gift. We never ended up hearing from her again. I do remember the lender sending us a closing gift and thanked us for using him. That was nice.
I walked away from the whole experience with a bad taste in my mouth. The first agent didn’t listen to our needs and the second couldn’t really care less. Was this the norm? Was that how real estate transactions were normally conducted? I remember feeling that the home buying experience wasn’t at all what I had expected. I always felt that buying a car and purchasing a home, especially your first home, are two of the most significant purchases in your life and should be special. Unfortunately, that was not the case for us. I knew there had to be a better way.
It just so happened that I was contemplating a career change at that time in my life. I had always been fascinated by the real estate industry, especially on the investment side. Perhaps this was my calling. I knew I could do better than the agents that I had worked with. I wanted to do my best to ensure that people experienced all the joy of buying or selling their home. I wanted to educate them and be a valuable resource for my clients and make sure they had all the information they needed to make informed decisions.
It’s been almost six years since I received my license and I can’t think of a better career to have. The look on my clients’ faces and the way it makes me feel when we close escrow on the sale or purchase of their home is unforgettable. The ability to provide them with the knowledge and tools they need to make one of the most important decisions in their lives is an absolute honor and privilege. The ability to work around my family’s schedule (for the most part) and spend so much time raising our daughter is incredible. I only wish I had become a real estate agent years ago. I guess we’re not so bad after all.