Working for free pays off for local real estate agent

info@islandpacket.comJuly 2, 2012 

Thanks Cherimie Crane of Beaufort for sharing an essay about an experience on her job as an agent with Ballenger Realty in Beaufort.

She wrote it for the Active Rain blog for real estate professionals ( She has been writing for the blog for six years.

'Today I Worked for Free'

By Cherimie Crane

It isn't like our jobs lack difficulty, emotion or even, on many occasions, risks to our health. Even the most skeptical client, in the end, believes we have earned every cent of our commission. The days have grown longer, the questions more intricate and the hurdles in the market have multiplied.

Still, many Realtors choose to keep trudging along through the choppy tide of real estate, holding the dreams of their clients firmly above water. We do this each and every day. We give up dinners with our friends to go over a lengthy inspection just one more time. We disappoint our spouses by rushing out to unlock a door, let out a dog, or disarm an alarm -- all with the hope that we help our clients to get one step closer to their goal.

Of course, we get paid; well, most of the time we get paid. There are few jobs wherein a professional works so hard, so many long hours, all on nothing more than a promise of a paycheck. Realtors do just that, and many of them do it without an ounce of hesitation. Why? Many reasons, I suppose. The smile on a new mom's face when she finds the nursery of her dreams; the look in a young Marine's eyes when he finds a home, children running from room to room claiming domain; or a wife being able to reunite with her husband because we finally sold their home.

There is something uniquely special about becoming a part of someone's journey home. It isn't always as bright and cheery as the short-lived episodes on HGTV. The clients aren't always overjoyed at every single thing, and not every transaction has a happy ending. We still do the same amount of work, with no idea or guarantee of the outcome.

Today I am working for free. Actually, it is the culmination of more than six months of hard work. I chose to forgo all commission.

The sellers trusted me to sell their home so that they could be a family as the Marine Corps has determined their next station. Carefully, and with an experienced eye, I marketed and priced the home effectively. By doing so, I also obtained a buyer in fewer than 70 days. The buyers are also a young Marine family who trusted me to guide them on the very special journey of home ownership. All in all, everyone trusted me.

The transaction went extremely well, inspections were spotless, both parties more than willing to assist in ensuring satisfaction on all accounts. Our only battle came down to appraisal. Without saying how I truly feel, and landing myself in court and/or prison, I can only say that the contract was extremely realistic and the price was well justified. Having sold more than 300 homes with VA buyers, this wasn't my first rodeo. I am knowledgeable, experienced and very well-versed in military clients.

The appraisal came in so low that neither party could possibly move forward, even though closing was fewer than two weeks away. Both are fully packed, lives scheduled all around this document.

After breaking the hearts of two new moms and their honorable husbands, I realized I wasn't powerless; not this time. Because I was representing both parties, I held the opportunity to make it right. By eliminating all commission, the sellers would not have to short sale, and the buyers can move into the home of their dreams.

Admittedly, it was an easier decision to make than even I would have realized. The option flew out of my mouth with ease and enthusiasm. No, I don't recommend all Realtors work for free and most everyone around me thinks I have finally lost my mind. My husband, however, simply patted me on the head and said, "That's my girl."

I have financial obligations just as my clients. I work hard just like my clients. But today, in this situation, I had an opportunity to thank two young Marines for sacrifices that I don't have to make on a daily basis. Today I worked for free because they work every day for me.

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