A Realtor’s Definition of a “7” (or a “3” or a “9”) vs. a Consumer’s

[Note to Readers: The views expressed here are solely those of Ross Kaplan, and do not represent Edina Realty, Berkshire Hathaway, or any other entity referenced.]

Good Buyers’ agents don’t just qualify their clients financially, they also vet the Buyer’s selection criteria.

Exhibit A: what a client means when they say they’re looking for a “fixer-upper.”

In my experience, an agent’s definition of a “fixer” and a client’s can differ dramatically.

1-10 Scale

Just to define terms, in the course of getting acquainted I’ll often ask prospective Buyers to pick a number reflecting how much work they’re willing/able to do.

So, on a scale of 1-10, “10” means they can gut the entire home to the studs and put everything back together, including a new Kitchen, multiple new Bath’s, and all-new mechanicals.

At the other extreme, “1” means the cushions on the Living Room couch ” assuming it comes with the home ” need fluffing.

What I often find is that self-labelled “7’s” and “8’s” in practice turn out to be “3’s” or “4’s.”

That becomes evident ” usually quickly ” when clients see what their agent defines as a “3” or “4.”

“Rough? I’ll Show You Rough!”

Of course, what “number” house a Buyer ends up with is entirely up to them.

A good Realtor will simply try to: a) help their client define their preferred number or range, as realistically and objectively as possible; then b) help the Buyer efficiently find whatever home fits that description; and finally c) help them buy it at the best possible price. See, “Realtor Job Description.”

P.S.: What do professional remodelers look for?

“The right things wrong,” as ace local contractor Phil Raskin likes to say.

See also, “The Right Things Wrong“; and “Top Ten Synonyms (Euphemisms??) for “Fixer-Upper”.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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