Playing Outside The Sandbox

We live and work in a beautiful sandbox. It’s special and unique to any other place – and uniquely complex as well. After over 25 years of helping people buy and sell their “sand castles”, we’re a valuable resource for all things real estate…in OUR sandbox.

Over the past year or so, we’ve witnessed a cast of characters from outside the area attempt to play outside THEIR sandbox. Agents arrive, escorting wide-eyed buyers to one or two properties, never to return again to complete the mission. We’ve also watched as agents from hours away list properties for those who want to sell, only to provide minimal and incorrect information about the property and to collect marketing photos with a drone. It’s hard to watch when we know these buyers and sellers are having a less than great real estate experience.

We suspect that one reason people choose to work with an agent from outside the area is that they may know the person from a previous real estate transaction. They have a level of comfort and trust with that person. Another reason is the stereotype that an agent from the city may be more sophisticated and knowledgeable than the “jack pine savages” who live in the woods. Unfortunately, the irony of this reasoning surfaces after they’re too far along to change course.

One head-shaking, recent example comes from an interaction one of our CENTURY 21 agents had with an older couple who were ready to sell their long-term lake property. Come to find out, they owned two 100 foot parcels at one time, and were encouraged by a carpetbagger to survey the two parcels as one lot. The rationale was that the larger parcel would appeal more to buyers, because most people are looking for privacy. Shame on that ill-informed agent who would likely cost this trusting couple $100,000 in the end! Our CENTURY 21 agent is still trying to help unravel that mess.

Major assets, like real estate holdings are not child’s play. It’s worth the effort to slow down and find the right person to help you with your goals. Interview your potential agent so you can understand their experience, strengths and motives. Like a good sandbox experience, find someone who shares (their knowledge), plays fair and isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty for a good end result. And make sure they’re someone who doesn’t throw their shovel. – Wanda Boldon