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Selling or Buying Real Estate Is Just Like Buying a Loaf of Bread

By Paul Harsch
iBerkshires Columnist

Did I get your attention? I hope so because nothing could be further from the truth. Unfortunately some people make their decisions on who to list with or which real estate licensee to use to assist them in purchasing with about as much thought and care as buying a loaf of bread.

The purchase of a home for example, we are often reminded, is the single largest purchase in most people's lives ranging anywhere from tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds or even occasionally millions of dollars.

Why is it then that some people give about as much thought into which real estate licensee to use as they do which brand of milk to purchase?  After all, they may reason, milk is milk and one real estate licensee is the same as the next.  Right?  Not so.

As with any skill set, there can be enormous differences in the level of training, years of experience, people skills, technique, style, success, dedication, commitment, and knowledge all of which go into making some far better than others at achieving the best outcomes for their clients.

It is frequently cited that 80 percent of all transactions are handled by just 20 percent of the licensees. In other words there really is a top 20 percent. Would you be better off, on average, working through one of the 20 percent? On average most definitely and in fact in 80 percent of the cases, the answer is a resounding YES.

Experienced, trustworthy, hard working, skillful licensees help their clients attain their results faster, with fewer difficulties or "surprises," and generally better outcomes than the other 80 percent. After all, how is it possible for someone relatively new in the business to achieve the same level of outcome as someone with 10 years, 20 years, longer in the business? It just isn't possible.

It's not just years or numbers of transactions however but people skills, negotiating skills that can and usually do make a big difference in outcomes. Does anyone doubt the guilt of OJ Simpson? I don't think so but he still was acquitted because of the superior skill of his defense team. Or what about Capt. C.B. Sullenberger, who successfully landed his crippled jet in the Hudson River without loss of life? I'll bet that every passenger on that flight was exceedingly glad they had someone of his skill and experience at the controls that day.

Next time you decide to list your property for sale or are in the market to purchase, take the time to do your research and think through the most important decision which is who you're going to place your purchase or sale in the hands of.

Paul Harsch, president and founder of Harsch Associates, a Berkshire County based real estate brokerage firm, is a licensed real estate broker in Massachusetts, New York and Vermont, serving a diverse residential, business, commercial and land client base for 40 years.

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Paul Harsch, president and founder of Harsch Associates, a Berkshire County based real estate brokerage firm, is a licensed real estate broker in Massachusetts, New York and Vermont, serving a diverse residential, business, commercial and land client base for 40 years. He has achieved personal career sales exceeding $131 million and company sales from 1979 will top $500 million in 2014. Harsch is a member of the Berkshire, Massachusetts, Southwestern Vermont and National associations of realtors, is a licensed Massachusetts real estate instructor and earned the CRB, CRS, GRI and CBI designations. Harsch is a 1969 graduate of Williams College.

To submit comments, questions or requests for future blog topics write him at paul@harschrealestate.com.



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