Chapter 5 — Value … the Six Essentials


Step 2 to making an informed decision — the Six Essentials to Every Transaction


Most consumers think a real estate licensee offers a single service — matching a buyer and seller to a property.

The reality is that experienced and committed brokers offer much more. Failing to grasp the importance of that fact is one of the most costly mistakes consumers make.

Indeed, BrokerInTrust professionals know there are a minimum of six essential steps, six phases found in virtually every transaction. Some are more important than others. Some play a larger or smaller role in each transaction. Yet fail to focus on any one of the six essentials and the odds of problems arising increase dramatically.

The Six Essentials to 100% Service

                1. Devising a Strategy — 20%
                2. Matching Buyers and Sellers — 20%
                3. Negotiating the Transaction — 30%
                4. Vetting the Vendors — 5%
                5. Counseling Clients during the Escrow period — 20%
                6. Services after the close of Escrow — 5%

Consumers can make or lose thousands of dollars in each of the phases of a transaction listed above. That is why selecting the best broker is essential. There is no substitute for experience, the type of in-depth knowledge brokers acquire only through dozens of transactions and years of commitment. When experience and commitment combine in a seasoned broker, clients reap the benefits — a positive experience and financial rewards.

Here’s a quick insight into the true value a BrokerInTrust broker offers in each of the six essential services:


• Devising a Strategy, 20% — Clients often are surprised when told that at least 20 percent of the success of a transaction hinges on devising a strategy, a pivotal step taken long before beginning the hunt for a house to buy or marketing a home for sale.

Money can be made or lost based on the quality of the overall strategy. Selecting a broker skilled in helping clients develop and implement a sound strategy can yield a huge financial reward.

Clients are equally surprised to learn that while their BrokerInTrust broker will provide the resources, knowledge and experience needed to devise a strategy, the client is the ultimate decision maker.

It may seem obvious, yet regardless the skill of the broker, it is the client who must live with the consequences of each and every decision, large and small. Toward that end, the broker needs to ensure that the client’s motivations and broader goals inform ever decision regarding the purchase or sale of a home: i.e., a desire for a better school district, room for a growing family, financial considerations, a house with space for an office, a showcase to promote a career, or to accommodate changing lifestyles, such as a caring for an aging parent, a divorce or marriage. Of course, timing is often the most major component in a solid strategy.

The broker needs to understand and be sensitive to the intrinsic value clients place in owning a home while also considering general market conditions, neighborhood specifics and the ebb and flow of a housing market that sometimes shifts day-to-day as properties come on and go off the market.

A strategy is not an eye-pleasing presentation that resides stiff and lifeless in a beautiful binder. A strategy is a living, breathing extension of every client, a road map to wise decision making that the client and broker together edit, revise, and rewrite as conditions change and evolve.

A strategy combined with a solid ground game makes the entire process more efficient, productive, lowers stress, avoids problems and exponentially raises the odds of success. It’s a product crafted by clients in partnership with an experienced, committed broker.

Rookies, part-timers, or uncommitted salespeople can have a dramatic negative impact on the outcome, seriously injuring clients financially.

Honing the instincts needed to develop and nurture this skill, this fine art of the real estate transaction, happens only through experience, commitment and unwavering resolve.

This is why BrokerInTrust brokers must complete a minimum of 50 transactions before they can even qualify for membership.


• Matching Buyers and Sellers, 20% — Matching a buyer with a home is as simple as searching the Internet for properties listed for sale within the desired region or community. Right?

Not really.

No doubt the rise of Internet real estate marketing empowered buyers in unprecedented ways, enabling them to instantly find properties for sale in a process that once required enlisting a real estate licensee. Since the public mistakenly believes that matching buyer to seller is the primary service offered by a licensee, it made sense that the licensee’s role in the process seemed diminished. Some people believe they could buy or sell a home without ever using a real estate professional, oblivious to the depth of detail involved in even the simplest of transactions.

Matching a buyer and seller is at most only 20% of what a truly experienced, committed professional offers. And, whether selling or buying a home, the best brokers in the business know that there is much to be offered that never, ever pops up on the Internet. Plus, the Internet rarely is 100% accurate and is never up-to-the-minute current about what is on or off the market. That’s information available only from a broker.

The best real estate representative networks with other professionals, has a database of contacts offering direct contacts with the public, and has connections with multiple mortgage brokers and lenders.

Dedicated, committed brokers, like the members of BrokerInTrust, know of buyers who have yet to reveal themselves. Some buyers are not actively looking, but would buy given the right opportunity. The best brokers have access to properties that are unlisted, but could be available under the right circumstances. These hard-core committed brokers have developed systems for tracking valuable information that fill their pipeline with buyers and sellers who are invisible to the public or other real estate licensees.

The strategy devised with the client ensures the property gets viewed by the right demographic audience and allows on-the-fly changes as market conditions evolve. And, perhaps most importantly, a committed professional provides a service that connects them to clients at any time of the day or night. They have the tools to keep clients informed and current on every phase in the process.

Yes, there’s much more to matching a buyer and seller than merely searching for or listing a property on the Internet. Indeed, the 20% of services a BrokerInTrust broker provides in just this single, limited phase typically exceeds what most sales agents offer in an entire transaction.

The financial implications are enormous, yet your choice of a real estate representative holds even more profound consequences.

Make the right selection, and the next five to 10 years could be in the home of your dreams. Choose unwisely and those years may be wasted in a home tainted by weak compromises, bad choices, and endless regret.

Don’t squander the opportunity of a lifetime with an uncommitted, inexperienced salesperson. With so much at stake, pick one of the best, a BrokerInTrust broker!

• Negotiating the Transaction, 30% — Let’s make a point-blank statement of fact that most consumers would dispute or fail to comprehend:

The ultimate price of a home is NEVER predetermined.

The price is a negotiable number from the second an owners decides to sell to the opening of escrow. Even during escrow there are numerous issues to be negotiated that impact the final price.

Accepting that one simple, yet absolutely essential fact, makes it easy to understand why the negotiations are the most important phase of the transaction.

Accepting that fact also makes it easier to understand that professional, experienced, committed representation is priceless, worth every penny, and absolutely crucial to success. A part-time, uncommitted salesperson with only a few  years of experience and a limited number of transactions under their belt is not a seasoned negotiator, an experience deficit that can cost consumers thousands of dollars.

That’s why BrokerInTrust brokers must have a minimum of 50 transactions to their credit.

Negotiation is as much art as science, a skill learned through experience and time in the trenches. Top negotiators need to nurture relationships with other brokers, and have a ready command of the facts in every transaction, ranging from price analysis, marketing, regulatory restrictions, market conditions and how to identify and aptly and appropriately use a competitive edge.

It’s a process that is ongoing, with a skilled negotiator often proving more valuable as counteroffers emerge and tempers fray over hotly contested sticking points.

Sometimes the smallest, most inconsequential of issue can derail a transaction. An expert negotiator keeps negotiations moving, navigating and anticipating inevitable roadblocks. They understand that emotions, on both sides of the table, need to be monitored, tended, and managed within the context of their client’s ultimate goal — the successful close of escrow. A top negotiator will save clients a priceless amount of time and stress while yielding a financial impact worth thousands of dollars.


• Vetting the Vendors, 5% — Okay all you Internet self-sufficient buyers or sellers, here are some questions for you. What home inspection company will you use? Who will pay the fee? How about a title company? Any clue about which escrow company would meet your needs?

There’s a long list of companies, services, professionals, experts involved in many if not every real estate transaction. Some are a discredit to themselves. Many are competent. A few provide exemplary services.

Only a broker who has successfully navigated dozens of transactions spanning all price ranges and communities within a region comes with the experience and knowledge needed to help consumers select the best vendor.

Vetting vendors may represent only 5% of the essential services provided by BrokerInTrust, yet the emphasis, nonetheless, is on the word “essential.”

There’s no second chance here, either. Once a decision is made, right or wrong, it’s done.

BrokerInTrust introduces what we call “Vendor Sync,” which allows vendors to synchronize their services with processes offered by other essential vendors and the brokers in the BrokerInTrust network. This streamlines the process and adds convenience and leverage for BrokerInTrust clients.

In many instances, seasoned brokers have developed successful working relationships with vendors, relationships that in certain circumstances brokers can leverage to the benefit of their client.

When it comes to sorting through the array of potential vendors, a consumer must work with an experienced broker.


• Counseling Clients to Close of Escrow, 20% — This important phase of a transaction often involves a lot of hand holding, keeping clients fully informed and up-to-the-minute on every development. That in itself is a transaction-saving service.

Yet the reason this phase deserves 20% of a committed broker’s attention is simple — many things can go wrong, threatening the transaction and sending it into a death spiral if not tended quickly and correctly, a fatal plunge that can yield a devastating financial loss.

Contingencies must be met on a specific timetable. Fail to meet deadlines, the deal is dead. Inspections must be scheduled, managed, completed with preliminary evaluations, repairs and final reports all in the mix.

Should you be flexible if the other party misses deadlines for a loan application or required repairs? Only experience gained from many other transactions will ensure that you spot the most cost-effective solutions.

Lenders can prove exceedingly fickle, content with all filings today, dissatisfied tomorrow while insisting on two contingencies, re-filing three already submitted forms, and demanding extended detail on prior lives. Just kidding, but you get the point. It’s a dynamic process that must be managed well.

Twenty percent of the value a real estate professional offers emerges in this stage of a transaction. When comparing brokers, evaluate the effectiveness of each person in assisting you through this critical phase. The importance cannot be understated, because there is so much at stake.


So much can go wrong so quickly that clients are best served only by  an experienced, committed broker, like the top professionals at BrokerInTrust.


• Services after the close of Escrow, 5% —  Escrow has closed, the old owners are gone, the new owners have moved in: surely there’s nothing more for a real estate broker to do. Right?


An experienced broker understands that their service to a client continues days, weeks, months and often years after escrow closes. In our experience, this phase of the transaction accounts for about 5% of the essential services a top-notch broker provides.

Promised repairs that were jury rigged rather than truly fixed. A disclosure that was less than candid. Items removed that should have remained. The list of potential problems goes on and on.

Working with a full-time, dedicated, committed BrokerInTrust broker ensures they will be there no matter when issue arises. Trying getting that kind of guarantee from a rookie salesperson, even one at a large, well-known real estate company. Many of them are gone, moved on to another endeavor before escrow closes.

Remember, experienced Brokers only! The Top 15% of brokers only. No real estate salespeople! Just brokers, like the members of BrokerInTrust!

Click on the next video or read the next Chapter to learn more about the BrokerInTrust promise.

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