I have been selling real estate for over 20 years and during all those years I have never experienced a real estate closing that made me want to pick up my things and leave the profession forever, until now. Is it due to the current economic times? Does it have to do with the record high unemployment rates in our county? Is it due to the credit crunch which makes financing so difficult for buyers? Is it because I am tired of working harder than ever for what seems to be a fraction of the income I made just three years ago? Nope.
I'm a survivor who has experienced many ups, downs and round and rounds. But above all, my real estate career has remained an exciting and rewarding one. Rewarding because I know that I have helped a family, a newlywed couple, partners or an individual find the home of their dreams. Nothing is more rewarding than handing the keys over to my client(s) as they begin a new chapter in their lives. One of the largest financial decisions they will ever make in their lifetime will become a reality because I could show them how to make it happen. I've spent years and years building lasting relationships resulting from my dedication and determination in providing so many people with their slice of the "American Dream".
Every single escrow closing comes with its own unique story. Let me tell you about a recent closing that truly broke my heart. I met a young couple through a referral service who were ready to purchase their first home after recently becoming married. I quickly came to know their likes and dislikes after our first few outings together. I found several homes that met their needs in almost every way. We wrote several offers before one was finally accepted. They quickly arranged for their immediate families to view the home to be certain that it was the "one". The families approved and we opened escrow.
I am always happy to assist referrals from agents in return for a 20-30% referral fee. In this scenario the client would receive half of the 30% as a rebate to them payable at the close of escrow. Based on the amount of the commission my company earned the couple would receive a total of $1,162.00. Not a bad chunk of change for a buyer who also received the best representation available from a real estate professional in a somewhat disreputable real estate climate. I also ensured their eligibility to receive the $8,000.00 first time home buyer tax credit offered by the Federal government that they had no prior knowledge of, negotiated a full 3% allowance from the seller to be paid towards their closing costs including a substantial reduction in their mortgage interest rate, achieved an early escrow closing date to accommodate their upcoming pre-planned family vacation and provided several thousands of dollars in existing home furnishings and upgraded appliances courtesy of the prior home owner's need to downsize.
It took a total of five months to conquer my client's ultimate wish list. But I knew I accomplished my goal and performed a job well done. I was proud to deliver another slice of the "American Dream" while continuing to build another lasting relationship for years to come. HALT! Stop the bus. This ride is not going anywhere. At least not with ME onboard.
After a two month joy ride of believing that these kids were lucky to have me to look out for them and provide them with so many incentives, credits and goodies it would make you think that home buying is as fun as going to Disneyland with Santa Claus, I'm slapped with a series of email and text messages requesting that I send them a THANK YOU GIFT! I failed to give them a thank you gift and they wanted it NOW! What?? The Hallmark congratulations card was not enough? I thanked them profusely in writing, what more could I afford to do? And the accusation stemming from Dad that I make "plenty" of money only deepens the wound that I created by not providing them with the obligatory "thank you" gift. It's been over two months now, oh the shame!!
Is this a sample of what is to come from our future "Gen-X" boom? The age of entitlement? Or has the proverbial "thank you" gift become a staple of the business, an unconditional act no matter how well you performed your job? What ever happened to a thank you gift for the Realtor?
Makes me wonder if ANY form of thank you gift would be sufficient now? Yuck.