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The added Benefits of Having a Real Estate Agent

Closing days in real estate are exciting, nerve-wracking occasions. Earlier this year, on a day when my client was closing on the sale of his lovely single-family home, my client called me.

I always enjoy hearing from my clients, but I have a terrible habit of fearing the worst. Often, a client is only calling to confirm a time or location, or they’re looking for some kind of clarification on minor details of the transaction. 

But when your client calls you on closing day, there’s a certain, small trepidation you have to suppress as a real estate broker. What could they be calling about? The basement has flooded. Or the electricity was shut off by accident because the tenants never canceled and the electric company didn’t notify the owner of any missed payments. Or the furnace decided to die in the middle of the coldest stretch of winter.

These are some of the problems I’ve encountered over the years, and they are the reason why I have a poor habit of assuming some imploding mishap has occurred. (Because sometimes it has…) So as my mind flipped through the infinite stack of possibilities for what went wrong, I answered my phone.

As feared, there was a problem. My client was in the process of moving out of their house and had underestimated the amount of junk they had left at the property. My client was overwhelmed with moving out his belongings and trying to figure out what to do with the remaining junk that needed to be hauled away.

Thankfully I knew exactly who to call. I was able to connect my client to a junk removal guy I’d used on several other properties in the past. He’s always fair-priced and very responsive.

The junk guy was able to go over to my client’s place, pick up the unwanted junk and remove it for him. My client was able to focus on clearing and cleaning up the house for the new buyers and the walkthrough. They were able to close on the sale of their property easily and without any more hassle… 

The story reminded me of the other added benefits that a good real estate agent offers and has inspired me to write this month’s blog post about how agents can be a good source of referrals.

Working as a real estate agent requires me to wear many hats. Along with keeping a pulse on the market, writing up offers, searching properties, marketing and selling homes, I’m also always looking at the businesses and services in the areas where I serve.

People can and should expect their real estate agent to be a good source of reference for finding a mortgage broker, title company, home inspectors and appraisers, financial planners, real estate lawyers and developers — all the different types of people that facilitate real estate transactions.

But experienced real estate agents have been through every type of listing/offer/negotiation/inspection and contingency imaginable.

For every dream sale is a corresponding nightmare scenario. But good real estate agents are good problem-solvers, and for every nightmare there’s a trick or solution.

Often these tricks and solutions come from or lead to great connections with many different local services, which is why a great real estate agent can help you in so many different and possibly unexpected ways.

I don’t have a rolodex — who does? — but among my many contacts are reliable companies for junk removal, carpet installation, cleaning companies, landscapers and household handymen.

These are companies and business owners I’ve worked with over the years who I trust and know will serve my clients best.

I often offer to connect my clients with different types of services that I think they might need, but I always encourage my clients to reach out to me for anything. And I mean ANYTHING. I love being able to help my clients.

Of course, I would hope so… It is my job after all.

Last year, after helping some clients find and buy a new home in southern Maine, I received a message from them asking me to give them a call.

Again, I was concerned. I was worried there was some kind of problem with their newly bought home.

I gave them a call, and this time I was happy to learn there wasn’t a problem at all. They told me they were very happy with the house and settling in nicely! A relief! They wanted to reach out to me because they were looking for a good place nearby for an easy hike with the kids and dog.

I offered them several suggestions and strongly recommended Mt. Agamenticus in York – a beautiful, short and relatively easy trail in the woods of Cape Neddick.

I love being able to offer my clients advice and suggestions for all kinds of fun and tasty local treats from the communities where I serve. I pride myself in knowing the best restaurants, walking/biking/kayaking spots, farm stands and ice cream shops in every town in southern Maine and coastal New Hampshire and beyond.

And I love sharing all my favorites with my clients (Check out my Instagram feed, if you don’t believe me).

From all the usual and expected connections you might expect from a real estate agent to some of the local tips and tricks you may not have thought about, an experienced and caring real estate agent can be a local guide for your new community.

After all, I based my company on a strong commitment to community, and it’s always my pleasure to help my clients and help connect them to their communities.

If I can help you in any way, or if you’re looking for any recommendations in Maine and New Hampshire, please reach out to me. I’d be happy and grateful to help!

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Melanie Graham

Melanie Graham