They Call Me the Fireman

What is it that a real estate agent does, exactly? The simple answer is we show homes to buyers, market homes for sellers and otherwise try our best to make sure that even though east is east and west is west at some point the twain shall meet, so to speak.

Realistically, though, showing homes and negotiating the deal is the least part of the job. As much effort, if not more, is expended on simply putting out fires to keep a transaction together.

… such as making sure the client who inherited a home in Sun City won’t be charged the community’s $3,000 ownership transfer fee when the place is purchased by another buyer. (They weren’t.)

… such as working with the lender and the listing agent to determine whether the HOA covers flood insurance at the Montage Condos in Scottsdale. (Appears that after a few scares, they do.)

… such as coordinating with the escrow company to make sure everyone gets their docs signed, that all wires arrive and that paperwork sent to my buyers in Canada is sent via UPS and not FedEx. (I could tell you why it matters but then I’d have to kill you.)

… such as translating home inspection boilerplate into reality. (No, the fact the inspector couldn’t see the whole length of the dryer vent inside the wall isn’t a reason not to purchase a home. Neither is the lack of an $8 anti-siphon device on the hose.)

… such as setting expectations from beginning to end, about the transaction, about the paperwork, about me, about the buyer or seller.

It’s for this reason many agents use transaction coordinators. To date, I’ve yet to be that bright though the day will come. Because frankly, it’s a bit tough after a day spent showing homes to then sit down only to smell the smoke as deals begin to smolder. Oh, and then to begin the always fun task of prospecting which is, was, and always shall be the lifeblood of a real estate business.

(And you wonder why I don’t make time for office meetings.)

Anyway … the point, for those who think we’re little more than an extension of our lockbox, is our work doesn’t end when you find the right house or when a buyer makes the right offer for your home. It’s just getting going. And this part, the art of putting out fires without letting embers fall on our clients, is in large part where a real estate professional’s money is made.

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