Tapping into Expertise

Jane Gray
Jane Gray
Published on February 16, 2018

Here’s an instructive story…

There was once a Boilermaker who was hired to fix a huge steamship boiler system that was malfunctioning.

After listening to the engineer’s description of the problems and asking a few questions, he went to the boiler room.  He spent a few minutes looking at the maze of twisting pipes, listening to the thump of the boiler and the hiss of the escaping steam, and touched some pipes with his hands.  Then he hummed softly to himself, reached into his coveralls, and took out a small hammer.  He tapped a bright red valve one time. 

Immediately, the entire system began to once again function properly so the  Boilermaker went to the owner with his invoice for service.

The steamship owner became angry when he saw the one-thousand-dollar charge for the Boilermaker’s services.  The owner barked, “You were only in there for fifteen minutes!”  and he demanded an itemized bill. 

So, the Boilermaker added 2 additional lines:

For tapping the valve:  .50 cents

For knowing where to tap:  $999.50

Total = $1,0000

The moral of the story is that although sometimes things appear simple, there’s much more knowledge and expertise that goes into the application.  And so it goes with real estate.  There’s a saying in professional real estate, “It’s simple, but it’s not easy.”  Tapping into expertise is the hallmark of a professional.

The bar for becoming a California real estate agent is very low.  No degree required.  18 years old, California resident, and 3 courses plus an exam.  Usually, the first observation of a newly minted agent is that the exam has relatively nothing to do with running a successful real estate business though it is very important from the perspective of knowing the laws to protect buyers and sellers.

Before you ever go on the market, a professional agent walks your house and explain the things that need to be fixed or changed so that your house has the best chance to compete (aka get offers with the most money)….Multi-colored walls and wallpaper?  The seasoned agent knows what must be done to get buyers to see the house in a winning light or they’ll help you understand the price difference for As-Is. You can come up short on what you net when you start by trying to find the cheapest agent.  Oh, you’ll find them:  out-of-area agents who will never set foot in your home and don’t know the neighborhood, who will put it on the MLS but will not be marketing it, and whose reputation isn’t tarnished by listings that never sell.

In real estate, houses don’t sell themselves despite anyone’s claims to the contrary.  To make buyers aware of a home, it must be marketed.  Did you know that approximately 90% of Buyers start their searches online?  Like it or not, your house enters a beauty contest when your house is listed online.  Buyers swipe quickly through photos – hundreds of photos.  They become savvy connoisseurs through digital observation.  Have you ever spotted bad photography?  Take a look at this.  Only 8 photos when the agent can upload over 30 (this is a home in Loomis.  Taken from a phone).  Ask yourself:  Does this home look like the remodeled beauty that the agent claims in the description?


My expertise ensures that your home competes by shining brightly in the “Swipe Show”.  I hire a professional photographer who specializes in real estate photography.  My photographer uses natural and artificial light and artfully sets up a home to entice a buyer to see it!

Here’s another faux pas:  Mistakes in the listing.  Why?  Well, consider the following.  If the agent puts in ZERO Bedrooms and ZERO Baths, your query looking for anything greater than one bedroom will not put this home in your query results!  Honestly, if I were a seller, that would be grounds to cancel the listing.  I’ve seen a listing expire with relatively few showings because the agent input the wrong data for a large 4k+ square foot home with 5 Bedrooms and 4 Baths saying it was “Attached”.  That too results in the home being hidden when your criteria says you’re looking for a single family home.  Yes, it happened!


The digital age requires strict to attention to detail which I provide because I know how important it really is!

Behind the scenes, a great agent vets the buyers better than any political appointee.  They know what causes escrows to stall or fall out and they don’t want to waste your time or theirs with an unqualified buyer that may not be able to perform on the contract.  No flakes please!  They inspect contracts and ensure that their clients are getting the best deal possible and protecting them with contractual language.  Great agents are great negotiators by getting the best price and terms for their clients.  I ensure that I know what features should make a home sell for more and I understand the seller’s  bottom line so that I can negotiate successfully in their favor.

On the Buy side, sitting down with Buyers and explaining the end-to-end process is important because even if you’ve bought before every market is a little different and there are new laws that come about all the time.  Additionally, knowing what to look for in an inspection and being cognizant of builders and building codes, what dry rot looks like, feeling problems in the floor as I’m walking across it is second nature.  Noticing evidence of water damage or code violations like a water heater that’s not double strapped or smoke detectors that are not present is part of what a seasoned agent does as they take you on a tour of the house.  Oh, you thought I was just touring the home with you, right?  My eyes are taking in all the tell-tale signs that have come up in hundreds of previous inspections. 

When a deal goes sideways, a seasoned agent becomes an expert facilitator to right the ship and get all parties back to the table.  In almost every escrow, something goes off script but your seasoned agent is working tirelessly to find solutions and keep the project moving toward a successful close – many times behind the scenes.

And when the deal is closed, the best agents aren’t absent Annie’s, they become a resource for their clients even after the sale.  I’ve helped many of my clients to find vetted service providers such as contractors for fun additions as well as helping clients find remedies to potential problems such as plumbing issues. 

I can tap out an offer for a Buyer and I can list your home for sale and so can many others, but my expertise goes far beyond the simple. My depth of experience ensures that you have a trusted professional to guide you through what is likely the largest financial transaction you make in your life and still be a resource and a friend when it closes.  Tap into professional experience and let’s chat!



Tapping into Expertise
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