Focusing on the Task at Hand

[photo 1860041] Open KitchenHere’s what happens on a day when I find myself staring at the computer screen, trying to settle on a topic for today’s post just in case someone’s still reading this blog: a sideline reporter (a profession I easily could live without) explains how a pitcher for the Texas Rangers picked up a book for the first time since high school when he didn’t make the team’s postseason roster a year ago.

Set aside the idea that picking up a book is a task of last resort. The book itself dealt with the idea of focusing on the task at hand which, I think we all know, is a hell of a lot harder than it often seems.

When buying or selling real estate, the transaction when viewed as a whole can be more than a bit overwhelming.

Sellers try to outsmart buyers when they first put their homes on the market, wanting to set their list price with negotiation already in mind. This doesn’t often work, of course, as too high a price will scare away the buyers before negotiations can start.

The immediate task at hand, once a home is showing-ready, is to choose a price that gets a buyer in the front door and willing to make an offer. Everything flows from that.

When purchasing a home, it seems like the initial task would be to find the home yet it’s not, not in today’s world.

First, a buyer needs to get prequalified for a loan or make arrangements to liquidate assets to have cash on hand. Second, a buyer ought to find a buyer’s agent to help them not just in the search (and, honestly, not even that importantly in the search) but in negotiating the offer and navigating the assorted hiccups and challenges that arise in any real estate deal.

The real estate contract is straight forward except for where it’s not, lender addenda are almost always as convoluted and slanted a possible and, much as we could wish otherwise, buyers and sellers (and even lenders) don’t necessarily act rationally at all points.

Once a buyer gets to the point of searching, there’s another level of complexity added to the mix: sifting through often incorrect, incomplete or outdated data on the Internet.

One buyer today send me eight properties to check. Two were under contract, two already had closed escrow and one had a notation in the private, Realtor-only remarks indicating that another $20,000 and change above and beyond the list price would need to be paid to the sellers’ second lien holder in order for the short sale to take place.

Much like automobile repairs (and take this from someone getting a new radiator, new brakes, new rotors, new spark plugs, a new oil pan and a new engine thermostat today – all to be finished by 6 p.m.), many things can be done on your own but it’s often much quicker, more efficient and less painful overall to rely on a professional.

Okay … now, where was I before the car analogy?

Oh yes, the task at hand.

Whether buying or selling, you’re going to have enough tasks to take care of simply to get your family from point A to point B. It’s impossible to focus on those tasks as well as all that needs to be done to get a real estate transaction done.

As with anything in life, focus is everything. And reading a book or two after you’re done with high school doesn’t hurt much, either.

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While you’re here, let me show you some photos of homes in one of my favorite Glendale AZ neighborhoods, Marshall Ranch:

[idx-listings community=”Marshall Ranch” statuses=”1″ propertytypes=”282″ orderby=”DateAdded” orderdir=”DESC” count=”10″]

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at