Every week, we ask an Boston real estate professional for their thoughts on the top trends in Boston real estate.
This week, we talked with MaryAnn Reil, a broker with Landmark Estates Realty.
Boston Agent (BA): Real estate brokerages tend to either be dedicated to buying and selling services, or full service, which suggests a wide spectrum of offerings. What do you think are the benefits of a full service brokerage over a more bare bones operation?
MaryAnn Reil (MA): As a full service brokerage, the focus is on completing the transaction without conflict and providing a win win for both the buyer and seller. Focusing specifically on just one party and one side of the transaction exclusively can cause tunnel vision. We have a saying in the business that “getting the offer accepted is only half the battle,” and it is very true. Many deals fall apart because the agent representing one of the parties doesn’t understand that cooperation and picking and choosing your battles very carefully is how we get the job done! We set the tone for our clients expectations with a calm and steady approach. Real estate transactions are very often the single most expensive purchase that a person will make in their lifetime. The stress level is high, right up there with death and divorce! Understanding the entire process and viewing it from both the buyer’s and seller’s perspective helps me to manage the transaction and the related emotional pitfalls right through to a happy closing. I recently went to a final walkthrough where the seller left a beautiful note and flower arrangement for the buyer and offered his phone number should the buyer ever have any questions or concerns. This could never have happened if the punch list details, or unexpected delays, were not managed from both perspectives.
BA: Some people describe Boston as a seller’s market because of the city’s low inventory. Have you noticed this trend, and what should agents have their buyers do to make sure they’re in the best position possible?
MR: Yes, I believe that Boston is a seller’s market and this trend will continue. I prepare my client’s with a reputable bank pre-qualification rather than a pre-approval, which is a more detailed review of income and expenses. I also educate them on the fast pace required by the successful bidder. They must come to showings with all the decision makers and a checkbook, ready to make an offer immediately or risk losing their dream property.
BA: With over 20 years in the industry, what piece of advice have you found to be most valuable?
MR: The single most important thing we can do for our clients is to help them manage the emotions that come into play when unexpected delays or circumstances arise. A simple holiday, whether Christmas or 4th of July, can cause a postponed closing date and a domino effect of negative impacts for our clients. If we as agents take the time to discuss the possibility that everything may not work out according to our desired plan and offer options to consider in advance, then we have a much greater likelihood that the client will not only close the sale, but will do business with us again.