While a great deal of the emphasis placed on the practice of selling real estate is on the marketing and obtaining of a buyer, that is only a small portion of what a real estate agent does. And, I would interject, that it is not necessarily the most important part of the process.
Anyone who has ever flown an airplane will tell you that taking off and cruising, while challenging in their own right, are relatively simple. That relative simplicity comes in comparison to landing the plane. The same goes for real estate sales. Marketing and contract writing are fairly push-button operations with only a few "disastrous" outcomes. However, bringing the sale to a safe and profitable conclusion is fraught with peril.
Let's take a page out of my book from today: As I am writing this at 1:30pm, I have a closing scheduled for 3pm. The buyer's agent is out of town on a cruise and has left an associate in charge of the closing. So far today, the package from the title company that was supposed to arrive before 10:30 had an anticipated delivery time of 5:00pm. After a call to UPS, the title company, and a prayer offered up to God, my friendly UPS man walked in the door at 11:52 with the package. Next, after opening the package, I found that all of the documents necessary for the closing were not in the package and there was no indication if there would be a representative from the lender at the closing to clear this all up. A quick call to the stand-in buyer's agent yielded my least favorite response, "I don't know." After she made a few phone calls on her end, she found that "Bob" (no other information than a phone number was available) was the loan officer in charge and she would give him a call. That call helped to lay a lot of worry to rest as Bob said he would be there. Now, I sit in my office waiting for the next obstacle to arise with the anxiety of knowing that a deal can always fall apart even at the last minute.
As you can see from the details of just the last 4 hours and the anticipation of the next 2 hours, the front end of a deal is not the treacherous end. It is the end of the deal. It is the time when it all wraps up and comes to a conclusion that the gremlins come out to wreak havoc on your plans. My clients are currently unaware of the anxiety that I have faced today. They will arrive at the closing none-the-wiser, and leave with a check in hand to go on to their next adventure. This is what I get paid for. I take on the task of representing people in transactions so that they don't have to worry. And, while it is glamorous to be a high flying marketing guru, the only pilot that gets paid is the one who can land the plane.