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If you are familiar with the Herman cartoons by Jim Unger, you will know that the characters are usually fairly gross looking compilations of ignorance. One cartoon, in particular, has been very applicable to numerous situations in which I have been involved. This will seem dated compared to today’s TVs, but the message still rings true.
The cartoon consists of an elderly couple sitting in front of what appears to be a new T.V. A repairman, having analyzed the situation, is behind the set resting his arms on top of it. He states to the owners, (approximate wording here) “Mr. and Mrs. Smith, the reception and the picture is no good because you bought yourselves a microwave!”
In a previous career as a commercial pilot and flight instructor, I used this cartoon in presentations to other instructors across the country, on the subject of “Know Thy Equipment.”
While thinking about the tremendous influx of details and material we must absorb and face in real estate these days (state and local laws, city and municipal ordinances, legal and tax consequences – especially in in 2018 with the tax code rewrite), it occurred to me that this same premise exists.
It is virtually impossible for one person to assimilate all that is necessary to put together often what appears to be even a simple straight-forward transaction.
The pilot relies on the plane, the mechanics, air traffic controllers, weather forecasters, and numerous other experts, in order that a flight takes off lands successfully.
A principal, in a real estate transaction, may be dealing with primarily one agent or brokerage, but many other relationships will dictate that a smooth transaction will come to a successful close.
Who might be on this ‘team’? Even in the most basic ‘deal,’ title and escrow specialists become members of the team. How about legal counsel, that could be called on? Real estate attorneys and tax advisors (not the run of the mill folks) but those who are familiar with real estate AND Internal Revenue (not yet tested or ruled on) Code changes? How about a defensible paper trail to document a transaction?
What about inspectors and contractors (are they really licensed), and do they stand behind their reports? Are they insured? And lastly, who is the agent, the company, and the track record of both of those? How about the marketing resources? Are they reliable, accountable?
As consumers principals have a right to know with whom they are dealing and ask for references. It may be tempting to hit the best pitch without asking for supporting evidence as to the effectiveness of those on the team.
Don’t get pulled into a situation, like our cartoon friends, who bought into something that looked like one item, and found out, to their dismay, it was something else. Taking the time to verify working relationships will often save the seller(s) or buyer(s), and/or exchangors in the transactions, not only time but many thousands of dollars.
Now sit down enjoy that popcorn in front of your new TV.
Alameda Real Estate This Week
That’s a wrap! Call me to see if we may have a mutually acceptable basis upon which to do business. best, marilyn