Going the Last Mile

We start. But we don’t always finish.

I’m as guilty as anyone I know. Start something and then  … I get bogged down, lose focus, get distracted by the next bright object, get bored … don’t finish the thing I started. I can run into the ditch with just about any project at all.

This is why, when I want to really get something done, or continue indefinitely with a good-life project, I recruit accountability partners. People who will help me stay focused and actually get the job done.

 It’s as true of real estate as it is in the rest of life. My friend, Anna, reminded me of this recently. We were chatting – about real estate, of course, because I’m always chatting about real estate – and she said “You need a realtor to carry you through that last mile to closing.” Anna is so smart!

And she’s right.


Anybody can find a house these days. When my son William was looking for his first house three years ago, I didn‘t have to look at all. I get up early. He goes to bed late. So, every morning I’d get up to find listings in my inbox he had sent me (very) late the night before.

The realtor’s major value kicks in once a contract is in place. Keeping the process moving along through inspections, subsequent negotiations, re-inspections, securing financing, title search weirdness, unexpected, uncooperative behavior from the seller… Things can go sideways in a million ways. Always good to have an advocate with you to go that last mile and finish the deal.

While marketing a listing still takes a good bit of work – helping set the price and get the house ready to show, photos, fliers, open houses, email blasts – as with buying, the realtor’s value comes into play once there’s a contract in place. The same hazards on the way to close apply.

And, when you’re in a real estate deal, not going that final mile to a closed deal is usually more serious than not showing up at the gym and gaining a few pounds. Or never finishing that cake-decorating course and consequently failing to become the next Martha Stewart. At the very least, you could fail to get the house you want. At worst it could involve tons of money lost and/or legal unpleasantness.

So, if you’re thinking of going it alone, re-think. A good realtor will take you all the way, through that last mile, to the close.

And, in case you were wondering, I’m a pretty good realtor. So call. We’ll talk …