For many people, buying a house is a big, terrifying decision.
This is even truer in a market where more often than not there isn’t a human seller to ask for an explanation of a water stain on a ceiling, or unconventional repair.
Buying a house is also an extremely emotional decision. Even though I largely specialize in duplexes and small multi-family properties, many are purchased by buyers who intend to live in them. And while the amount of rental income remains important in a buying decision, the way a home or duplex looks and feels still holds greater sway.
Having been a Realtor for a decade, I can gauge what a repair or improvement might cost a buyer. This knowledge is key for my clients when making a buying decision, because they are factoring those expenses into any offer they might write.
When a repair or improvement is a bit more involved, I need to be able to call a contractor I can trust.
Most of the time, a ballpark figure in a telephone conversation is all the information my client and I need to determine whether it’s worth our time and effort to write an offer.
Keep in mind, if a repair is too expensive, the buyer may no longer even be able to afford the property we’re looking at!
Needless to say, few things are more frustrating than having a contractor who won’t make time for either a telephone or in-person estimate.
Realtors and our clients have a ticking clock. We may be facing multiple offers and need an immediate decision or face losing the house to another buyer.
More often, however, if a buyer has fallen in love with a property, the more time he or she has to think about the decision, the less likely they are to want the property.
Fear and doubt creep in. Even though I may know the house or duplex is a perfect fit, the buyer convinces him- or herself otherwise.
If I can’t get a contractor on the phone, I may lose that sale. And it’s entirely possible I have already shown that client 20 or more properties he or she didn’t like. When buyers talk themselves out of it because it’s taken too long to get the answers they needed, I have to show them 20 more before they find another duplex they like.
Sometimes, they even decide not to buy a home or duplex at all—which means I have worked weeks and perhaps even months scouring listings and driving from property to property– for nothing.
Contractors who don’t call me back, or at least make an effort to provide the information I need, won’t get my endorsement.
Because if they won’t call me back, I can’t state with conviction they will show up for a job for any of my clients.
Realtors often have a network of contractors and vendors our clients have used and trust. Whenever someone talks about making an improvement or repair, whether it’s refinishing hardwood floors or putting on an addition, our common refrain is, “I gotta guy.”
And I know the people whose names and numbers I give out are solid, fair and professional, providing a positive, happy experience for my clients, who’ve just made one of the biggest decisions of their lives.