The Devil Can Cite Scripture

scriptureEvery once in a while I believe we’re all overwhelmed by the pace in which the world is moving. Being of the stripe who seems to be able to straddle the chasm of reality where one leg stands firm on the side of old ways of thinking and doing business, and holding fast with the other leg on the side of today’s form of thinking and doing. It becomes a bit exasperating at times when a client or customer wants a quantitative approach to a home they’re either buying or selling. Sometimes they expect reams of paper containing graphs and complete analysis’ of our market trends as well as what exactly a given home is worth. Because we cannot place a value on a given home in a true objective manner, we must then turn to the subject approach. People are people and they can be the most unpredictable in what they believe a home they’re purchasing is worth, as well as what sellers feel in their minds to be the fair market value of their homes. This brings me to a good chat I had with a young gentleman that stopped by my office today to talk about possibly purchasing a home. I’ve known him passingly for a number of years but never really talked seriously about real estate. He said it was time for him to start getting serious about looking for a new home and asked if I would work with him. I said, “I’d be happy to help you find a new home.” He went on to tell about a difficult situation he had while attempting to get a home purchased and insisted that he didn’t want to have anything like that happen again. I assured him I would work very hard to see he has a soft-landing purchase. I’m confident all will be well and good with his new home purchase.

I had two separate visits several months ago with some sellers who were referred to me by a client. Their home was quite marketable in its own right but I did make some suggestions regarding things I would or wouldn’t do to the home prior to listing. I gave them more than enough comparable sales data and walked through the whole process with them since much has changed since selling their previous home. Well, after the last visit I knew I wasn’t going to make the cut and it would be listed with someone else.

I say this because the husband was coming up with some of the most curious questions that almost caused me to blush. I think he’d already had his mind made up before I entered their home the first time, and since I was making more sense than not at the second meeting, he was grabbing at straws in ways to make me look unsuitable in his wife’s eyes as being the likely candidate. The home was listed by another Realtor in the price range I suggested and sold in the range I considered a fair price. The real insult to me was the wasting of my time in research as well as the two presentations given at their home. I’ll have to check my mirror more often in the morning to make sure there’s no neon sign blinking on my forehead reading, “Use me freely!”

This phenomenon has been happening more of late in real estate as well as nearly all the other businesses. I spoke with several tradespeople this past week and they freely spoke about how it’s becoming more common to find people asking for advice on a given project where they even go the extra mile to present a game plan, and weeks or months later they find those very customers attempting to do it themselves. I’ve known of some naughty people who get someone to start a job long enough to learn what has to be done and then quickly dispense with their services so they can save on the costs by doing it themselves. As far as I’m concerned, those are very bad practices to have because they’re abusive towards the honest intentions of tradespeople. As Wm. Shakespeare once wrote, “The devil can cite scripture for his own purpose.” I think it an appropriate quote in describing how some think it OK to knowingly and freely use the services of others in dark and selfish ways. The devils will always be with us.