Solano Real Estate Scene: ‘Either the money is or the money ain’t’

A wise old Realtor, now retired, told me 30 years ago that the lender is the most important part of a real estate purchase transaction.

He said, “Hey kid, either the money is or the money ain’t.”

This powerful statement is what keeps mortgage lenders in business, and it is why the loan officer is so important to hard-working Realtors. The successful Realtors in Solano County work 24-7 for their buyers and sellers.

There is a misperception among the public, that selling real estate is easy and that an independent contractor can set his or her own hours and make a lot of money. This is the farthest thing from the truth.

I sold real estate in San Francisco and San Mateo from 1987 to 1988 and failed miserably because being your own boss can be risky if your boss is not great. My boss wasn’t telling me to get up every morning at 7 a.m., knock on doors three hours per day and then market by mail three hours per day, and don’t forget to make phone calls for three hours per day.

My boss wasn’t attending Realtor and Chamber of Commerce functions weekly and calling on insurance brokers, CPAs and lawyers and asking for referrals. My boss wasn’t obtaining the names and phone numbers from the people that were attending my open houses on weekends to follow up later in the week. My boss never forced me to attend Realtor training seminars or build a database of past clients and potential buyers and sellers to send quarterly letters to via snail mail.

I tried to be both a mortgage broker and a real estate agent during these two years and if it wasn’t for my mom and dad’s family lawyer feeding me a probate listing every other month or so I would have made almost no money selling real estate.

Over those two years, only one of my sellers was a living person. The good part of this was that I never got one seller complaint because they were all pretty much dead people.

A great Realtor needs a great local lending partner that they count on to take care of their buyers and close escrow accurately and on time, but maybe more importantly, a great Realtor needs a friend and partner willing to help nights and weekends because selling houses for a living is one of the toughest jobs in America, and “either the money is or the money ain’t.”

Jim Porter, NMLS No. 276412, is the branch manager of Solano Mortgage, NMLS No. 1515497, a division of American Pacific Mortgage Corporation, NMLS No. 1850, licensed in California by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the CRMLA / Equal Housing Opportunity. Jim can be reached at 707-449-4777.