As I fly home after a trip to see the in-laws in Iowa, I think about real estate. I suppose I always think about real estate, but that is besides the point. I hope that my sister-in-law’s house sale in New Jersey goes through sometime soon.
My entire real estate experience is in Arizona. I am so grateful for how we do real estate in AZ because it is so much more efficient than it is just about anywhere else. In NJ they have 2 attorneys, one for the buyer and one for the seller, they have two Realtors, each for the same party, and they have the title company. No wonder she is so confused. There is always a delay in any request and at any given time she has no idea what is happening with the sale. In Arizona transactions everyone has options. I told her that either side can push the transaction forward or cancel for breach of contract.
In Arizona, we do not have attorneys working on the files. We have two Realtors and one escrow officer (who also takes care of title). Things so much more efficient and, sure, there can be delays, but at least there is communication. In Arizona, the escrow officer is a non-biased third party who works for both the buyer and seller and executives the fully ratified contract. Realtors in Arizona are part of the entire transaction from start to finish. They walk their sellers through the listing process, negotiate the contract, and guide them through the escrow process.
Hearing about my sister-in-law’s experience makes me truly understand the significance of the current law suit(s) and the 4 year old NAR Danger Report. The Danger Report, commissioned by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), is found here: https://www.dangerreport.com/usa/, outlines the biggest dangers facing the residential real estate industry. The #1 biggest danger is bad Realtors. Sure, there are sub-par “professionals” in every industry and weeding them out is a good thing. However, a job description as well known as “Realtor” comes with some expectations.
In Arizona the extent of a Realtor’s role is very different than that in New Jersey. As I listened to her ordeal, I thought to myself, “if your transaction was taking place in Arizona, you wouldn’t be facing any of this.” We are days past her contracted closing date and she has no idea why it hasn’t closed. Her Realtor doesn’t know anything, her attorney doesn’t know anything. All she knows is that she moved into her new rental and is still on the hook for her house for who knows how long. I would like to guide her through the process, just to make her feel better but I cannot.
As an outsider, all I can do is be thankful that I live and work in Arizona where the process makes sense. The commissions earned are just that, earned. The lawsuits shaking up the industry make more sense in other states. The most complicated part of a residential property transaction is the escrow period. Professional Realtors who guide their clients through the ENTIRE process very important. No matter what direction our industry goes in the coming years, we all need advisers to guide us through it.
I hope my sister-in-law’s sale closes soon. Then she, her husband and daughters can move on. Hopefully they are not too jaded to refrain from once again becoming home owners.
Sarah has been with Lawyers Title of Arizona since 2004. As an award-winning sales executive, Sarah’s role is to bring transactions to Lawyers Title. To do this, she focuses on supporting her clients and helping them navigate the ever-changing real estate space through thorough research and understanding of current trends impacting today’s home buyers and sellers.