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2013-03-13 08:39:44
You've gotta know the territory!

'You've gotta know the territory!' That line from the opening scene of my favorite movie musical (yes, my man card is now on probationary status), 'The Music Man', popped into my head yesterday afternoon after I finished counting backwards from ten. All this stemmed from a conversation with an agent who had made an appointment to see one of Berna's listings.

As background, I need to explain that B and I very seldom wander too far away from our comfort zone when it comes to listing or selling homes. Tooele County is where we live and where we work. Between us, we've lived in Stockton, Stansbury Park, Tooele, Erda. We've taken kids to school in Grantsville. We've spent time at Dugway and Rush Valley and Vernon. We've also spent many fuzzy hours in Wendover. We know Tooele County very well. We  know the diferent areas, the schools, the people. In other words, the Market.

We don't list anywhere else except in VERY rare cases. As much of our business comes from repeat clients and their families, we will 'consult' with them if their interest lies elsewhere. However, we are always clear with them that we know Realtors that specialize in virtually every corner of Utah, and that they will likely be able to do a better job for them than we can. 

That said, a large percentage of the homes sold in the Tooele County have a Wasatch Front agent involved in them. In most cases, those transactions go smoothly, as most Realtors are professionals. With 7000 agents on 'the other side of the mountain', it makes no sense to expect them to stay away. I know. I tried to build a fence 10 years ago. But, I digress.

To return to my issue from yesterday, the agent that made the appointment was not someone we were familiar with. She scheduled an appointment with a two hour window. Unusual out here, but not unheard of. As this home has a very particular owner, one who requires that either he or us be present at every showing, we asked the agent to give us a few minutes notice so that we could be there to open it, and not delay her or her clients. She agreed to call us from the prior home. 

As yesterday was 'Grandma Day' (we get the grandkids every Tuesday!), I was on call for this showing. So, as the two hour window approached, I cleared my calendar to be ready. At the two hour mark. we called her, just to be told that she didn't think she'd be able to show our home. She indicated that she'd never even been to Tooele before and things weren't moving as quickly as she was used to. So, she needed to 'cancel' the showing, even though we were willing to wait.

Without dwelling on the unprofessional nature of not calling us to say she was behind, which is not unheard of in this business, I want to talk about the real unfortunate part of this story. Our listing didn't get showed. That's too bad, as it's a beautiful home, in like-new condition, priced very competitively. That's bad enough for our seller. However, what about the buyer? They didn't get a chance to see a beautiful home, in like-new condition, priced very competitively. All because an agent wandered out of her area of expertise. 

If one were to look at a map of Utah, you'd see that Tooele is very close to the Wasatch Front. As the crow flies. Even Redbox thinks that Herriman is contiguous to Tooele. Unfortunately, theres a little thing called the Oquirrh Mountains between here and there. Tooele County is nowhere near being a suburb of West Valley, despite what a map shows. And even google-maps can't tell you the differences in the market in Tooele County and those in the Salt Lake Valley.

So, at the end of the day, what am I saying? Simply this: if you are a Real Estate 'Professional', be aware of your limitations and experience. If you don't know an area, co-list with a local expert. If you are showing homes in an unfamiliar area, take the time to at least visit the area. Learn what you need to so that you serve your client to the best of your ability. If it's too much, refer it to a local expert! If you are a buyer or a seller, don't assume that just because an agent is licensed to work in Utah, and their web-site says they work all these areas, that they are the expert in that area. Contact a real 'local expert'. You gotta know the territory!'

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