The Naive Broker

Naive-BrokerPeople are moral, honest, ethical, forthcoming, praiseworthy, and sincere until they aren’t.  In my real estate business, I’ve found that the very bottom line for many is maximizing the dollar advantage—and that’s as it should be except….

The tactics often used to extract the highest price for the seller or the lowest price for the buyer involves some magical maneuvers and sleight of hand.  Add a dash of obfuscation, misleading variance, and self serving rhetoric and you can simplify the strategy all in one word—you figure out that word.

Now, before I set out some examples, I want to disclose that I am not perfect and have made many mistakes in my life time.  Now collecting Social Security, I’ve been around the block a time or two and had enough time to apologize for my own failures albeit on only an occasional basis—place your smilie face here.

So—No, I don’t claim Sainthood just yet and business is still business; but I’d like to think that my reviews speak well of me and you’ll want to contact me so I can help you reach your real estate goals.  My wife of 42 years will also appreciate your business.

From the Seller Side:

There is mold in the basement, but don’t tell any one.

What buried oil tank?

Yes, the driveway is within the boundary lines of the property-well maybe not but how would they know?

Septic system was inspected last year and works as it should.  The home inspector is wrong.

OK—so the deed isn’t in my name, I still want to sell the property.

I own the house free and clear just taxes are unpaid.

My home is fully insulated.

Who needs a radon or water test?

Carpenter ants?  No. The ones I’ve seen were carrying leaves, not  hammers.


From the Buyer’s Side:

I have enough cash on hand to cover the down payment and closing costs.

My wife and I are both working long term jobs and have good credit.

My in-laws will co-sign the mortgage.

We want to buy without seeing the place.

We don’t need a home inspection, we’re using cash.

We called the bank and they said we could buy a home.

I know the difference between a Buyer’s Agent & Seller’s Agent.

I don’t need a local attorney to handle the purchase.

Title Insurance?  Mr. is fine with me.


In conclusion–In real estate, life, and business:  Don’t believe everything you’ve been told unless it can be proved.

My Favorite Client Quote:  The Home I am selling is worth a lot more than the buyer offered.  The home I am buying is worth a lot less than than the seller is asking.

The Joyous Broker

J KavallerYou’ve saved, dreamed, and agonized over the decision. But, you finally made it. You’ve decided it’s time to buy a home. You’ve spoken to a mortgage person, received a prequalification letter, and you’re ready to begin looking for a property fitting your requirements and emotional temperment.

You’ve read a number or articles, spoken to your spouse for the hundreth time, and hit all the popular listing sites in search of homes in your school district. Time to call a REALTOR®.

“HI, you’ve reached Joan Jamed Up. Can’t come to the phone right now, but I want your business even if I never answer the phone. Nope, that gal just won’t do.” So you move down the internet list. On the fourth call, you get Bonnie Bet We Can’t Find You Anything in Your Price Range. 30 seconds later you’re deflated, not excited, and ready to hang up phone calls for the day.

Then, a dim memory wakes you up and you remember your Aunt Nan told you about an agent that had helped sell her Dad’s place several months ago. Nancy raved about the guy–but who was it? The most impressive memory of the agent was his joyous approach to helping my aunt sell. “Wait a minute, was this guy happy b/c he got a listing to sell? Or was he happy to help Nan get things in order so the place could be sold? Or–maybe a little bit of both?”

No way to know–I suppose the point is–when you engage an agent, hopefully some joy will accompany the process. Of course it’s hard work to find what you’re looking for and at the right price. And that is stressful, but there should also be excitment and joy expressed. It’s a real adventure and challenge. A warm and sincere smile from your broker, along with the skill and experience to get you to closing is a welcome attitude that often goes a long way to put the process in perspective.

Sincerity: Is Your Broker Out To Lunch?


100 Dollar WadDoes your real estate broker see you as a commission check?  Or perhaps a WAD OF BEN FRANKLINS tied up in a neat bundle waiting for the final signature at the closing table?  Matter of fact, maybe the only time you ever met your broker was at the closing table after an excruciatingly difficult process.

Has your real estate representative taken the time and made the effort to serve your needs well professionally, and personally?  Yes, personally—not by PDF File.

Since real estate transactions involve YOUR MONEY, it’s a good idea to gauge the service your broker will really render.  Will emails be responded to promptly?  Will your calls be shunted to voice mail?  Will a quick text arrive saying: ” Okay”—like that means something?  When your money is on the line, you should require quick and competent answers—not the “Sorry, I can’t get back to you today.”

Which brings me to sincerity.  Mom and Pop shops are known for service.  Customers get greeted by name and a smile.  Might even get “Hey, saw your kid at the game and wow, what a shot she made.  By the way, we have a really good steak special today.   Let me show you and we can custom cut it any way you want.”

Walmart has great prices and no service.  If you want to buy a pair of socks or instant coffee, you might want to shop there.  There aren’t enough cashiers to even take the money you want to throw at them.  Clerks are interested in lunch or the next break.  Announcements blast out for harried managers to report to aisle 16 for several customer complaints.

If yoSteak Freezeru want quick, no service, and cheap, shop the discount stores.  If you want to be ignored by your real estate rep., shoved to the back of the line because your house is priced lower than another clients, and receive a hand shake and smile 6 months after your deal was agreed to, hire the discount broker with lots of agents talking about each other and not their clients best interests. 

Hello—my name is John and I can show you some really good steak right here in the freezer.