Heath's Blog


Do You Cut Your Own Hair?

Do you cut your own hair?

Do you cut your own hair? I was sitting in Geoff's barber's chair for my quarterly hair cut today at Stone's Barber Shop, and I had a giggle. I was thinking how ridiculous it would be for me to try and cut my own hair.

Here is a guy who cuts hair every day. He has the tools. Things like the scissors that are teeth like. Scissors that are normal hair cutting scissors. Motorized hair cutting tools. Combs, brushes, aprons, a comfy chair, and the finish brush that he dusts my shirt off with when he's through. AND, he can do it in 1/2 and hour!

Why on earth would I try and learn how to cut my own hair? Why do I need to get all the tools together and keep them sharpened, cleaned an in working order so that every three months or so, I could try and make the hair length over my left ear match the hair length over my right ear. Not to mention that I'd need to be able to do it in reverse because I'd need to be looking in a mirror.

The only way I could cut my own hair would be to shave my head. Hmmm, maybe those guys with shaved heads have tried to cut their own hair. I haven't ever thought of it like that.

In any case, the purpose of my questioning is this: Selling your own property has become like trying to cut your own hair. It is a specialty profession where regulations, rules, disclosures, requirements, etc., change every year and all but require an experienced and practiced professional to help buyers and sellers walk through the papers, regulations, disclosures, negotiations, expenses, regularities, normal glitches, privacy rules, etc.. If you don't do it correctly, you're going to look like you tried to cut your own hair, and you're going to waste a lot of time and miss good opportunities to sell or buy.

Here's an example: A property we have under agreement got permission from the conservation department for view landscaping/cutting 14 years ago. The buyers would like to add a deck to the property. If the sellers didn't have an experienced agent guiding them through the process of selling, the sellers may have said, "No problem. You can add a deck."

That answer would have gotten them in trouble. The conservation laws have changed since the last permits were pulled and approved (2002). In fact, a deck can only be added today, with a new plan that shows the new regulations and demarcations - which have changed (2014).

Because Holly and I (my wife and business partner) are full-time, multi-decade, real estate professionals, we were able to help get answers from the conservation department and from an engineer which answer the question clearly and more importantly - correctly. With that information, we helped guide the buyer and seller and were able to successfully pre-negotiate the costs, time delays, and permitting requirements while avoiding future problems and battles.

Admittedly, we all hear of the person who knows someones brother who said they have a friend who knows someone who sold their own property without an experienced real estate professional. If that person is real, and if the transaction really closed, the truth is usually that they also have a lawyer friend/relative who guided the transaction, and/or a "friend" who is a real estate professional who gave "free" advice and direction - sometimes at the expense of the friendship, and those sellers usually settle at a price that was less than a professional would have been able to sell it for

Of course, you never hear about those sellers who tried to do it themselves and totally failed. No one wants to talk about those events. It's like the fishing stories of the fishing trips where no fish were caught, or shopping trips where nothing was boughtpeople don't talk about not succeeding.


The next time somebody says, "I'm selling my property myself," ask them if they cut their own hair too!

Of course they could already have a shaved head.


Heath Coker, Associate Broker
Robert Paul Properties
www.CapeGroup.com / capegroup@capegroup.com
508-274-5613  Licensed in MA
Its a beautiful day on Cape Cod!
@CapeGroup  Skype: heath.coker

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