How much home can I afford?When you start the home buying process, the best 1st step is to examine your budget. You absolutely want to answer the question of "How Much home can I afford?" This
More Than A Real Estate Agent
More than a Real Estate Agent
What do you think the job of a real estate agent is? Is it to find and help you buy a house? Is it to help you sell a house? Well, yes that is part of it and granted it is a major part. Every agent on the market can help you do this. On top of that, there are thousands of agents out there. Throw a rock from your driveway in any direction and I bet you will hit not one agent, but two of them. What separates us are the extras. What separates me is that I know I am more than a real estate agent.
I remember a car purchase I almost made when I was younger. I had always wanted a VW Passat with a Tiptronic transmission. This is back when it first came out. I love stick shift, but living in Houston made driving stick horrible. So one day, on a whim, I drove into a VW dealership. You know the routine, I was looking around and a salesperson found me and started his spiel. What brings me in today? Let’s look around. Let’s test drive. What payment do you want to be at? So on and so on. They are trying to set me up with a Balloon payment on my potential new vehicle so that it will match the payment I requested. Well the payment was close anyways, only a $100 more than I stated. I didn’t like the higher payment, but they don’t let you leave. If the sales person can’t close, then the manager comes in. If the manager can’t close, then the next guy up comes in! I finally succumbed. I remember asking multiple times what the full terms were going to be. I was told each time that when I go into the finance office, I would get the full terms. I was excited and nervous. I emptied my old car out into my new car while I waited. Then I waited, and waited, and waited. About three hours later, I am walking into the finance office. I am sitting down and the lady says, “OK, sign here, here, and here.” I am like, hold up! I want to hear the terms. She stops and has a confused look on her face. She expected the sales people to have already gone over the terms. So as I am going over the terms, I see that the payment is as discussed. Then I find out why I had to wait to find out the full terms. It stood out like a neon sign. The final payment was for the original amount of the car. So for the first 5 years, I was just paying interest. They tried to down play it by saying that I could refinance the final payment. WHO REFINANCES A 5 YEAR OLD CAR FOR THE NEW PRICE? I was pissed. I wasted 3 hours and would walk out with nothing. I know in my heart that is what they were counting on. Me not wanting to walk out after 3 hours with nothing to show. Well guess what, I walked out. I refused the deal. I moved all my stuff from the new car back to my old car. I never felt more deceived. Worst part is? I guarantee you, it was on purpose!
I have never thought of myself as a sales person. I don’t have the charm to sell ice to an eskimo. I don’t have the ability to skim the truth to make the sell. I am a moral and ethical man. When I deal with sales people, I hope to be treated fairly and honestly. Unfortunately, in the back of my mind I am always wondering if I know the whole truth. Honestly, I would starve if I had to sell this way. What I will do is talk with people. Find out what their goal is. Find out what best fits their situation. I deal in truth and openness. I give all of my knowledge to help my client. That knowledge is to protect my client! If it’s not the right time to sell, then I will say it. If they cannot afford the next home, then I will say it. If their home is not ready to sell, I will say it! I am a human first, and as such, I value my fellow man. I value our relationship so much more than the potential commission. Besides, how can I feel good taking a commission from a client if I put that client into a bad situation because I didn’t speak up? The answer is I CAN’T AND I WON’T!
Realty Solutions Agent Joe Lopez has spent his entire life in Texas. He was raised in Houston, moved to College Station to graduate from Texas A&M, spent time in San Antonio, and finally settled down ....