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Archive for June 15th, 2010

So, I have taken the plunge and started a new career.  I completed a required 60 hour course in real estate through Rockwell Institute, passed the Washington State Real Estate exam and applied for the state license.  Now I am getting settled in with a broker, Mike Alvarez and Cypress GMAC.

New beginnings are always tricky things.  Starting new and starting over always takes much longer than what one first thinks.  Beyond the obvious education and training, there are also the adjustments to new ways of thinking.  The rhythm of life changes take time to adjust to their criss-cross ways.  Navigating the unsure waters of unfamiliar places with unfamiliar landscapes can be disconcerting.  It can also be exciting.

I am no stranger to change.  I have moved more times in my life than I like to remember.  I have had so many different jobs that I can no longer remember them all.  The only steady occupation I had for the last 25 years was as a pastor of various churches, which almost always required some kind of ability to supplement my income.  So, I look at this change in life as another chapter of a long journey with twists and turns.

I like the independence that a career in real estate brings to a person.  It is not necessary to punch a time clock.  A person is rewarded for their own hours kept and hard work.  A real estate career is also people focused and people driven, which is something I’ve always enjoyed most in whatever job I was doing over the last 25 years.

The training and education for a real estate career is important.  The real estate course and state exam covers all of the important definitions and legal aspects of real estate.  However, after those are passed, then one must learn all about the real estate forms and contracts, broker policies and procedures as well as the in-and-outs of marketing.  It is important to find a broker who will take the time to mentor and train you.  It is one reason I picked Cypress GMAC and working with Mike Alvarez.  He is very good at training his agents well.  It not only helps his agents, but it also helps him as a broker to have well-trained and well-educated agents out in the field.

This past week we covered buyers’ agreements or purchase and sales agreements.  We will be next going over sellers’ agreements or listing agreements.  At the same time, he helped me to set up my own real estate agent website under Cypress GMAC.  My personal website introduces me and the number of services our brokerage offers their clients.  A client(s) can also set up their own web site portfolio and do searches from my web page for houses and properties.  They can then save these and do comparison shopping in our housing market across the Tri-Cities of Washington State or within each one of the cities: Richland, Kennewick, Pasco and outlying areas.

The way real estate is being done is quickly changing.  The internet is changing the house shopping and marketing procedures.  However, the basics of real estate do not change.  It still requires entering into contracts and making sure the right paperwork is correctly filled out.  The best interest of the seller or the buyer needs to be guarded.  This is one of the best reasons for engaging a real estate agent in buying or selling properties.

A good real estate knows the area, knows the contracts, knows the legal jargon and can help make sure you are getting the best deal under the best circumstances.  There is nothing worse than completing a contract only to find out later that you could have gotten a better deal or that things were not included – or excluded – in the contract that should have been.  A real estate agent can explain the preliminary paperwork and sales agreement so that either the seller or the buyer knows and understands what they are signing.

Mayan Architecture and Art, Chichen Itza, July 2003

Mayan Architecture and Art, Chichen Itza, July 2003 ©Weatherstone/Ron Almberg, Jr. (2010)

In a society that is “suit happy,” it is wise to have someone who can help you avoid that kind of pitfall because of contract disagreements or misunderstandings.  In such a litigious culture as ours, a person cannot go wrong paying to guarantee that they are covered in all aspects of any contract they enter into.  When Mike Alvarez was going over how to fill out contracts and agreements, he would often initiate a section by saying, “Now, if you miss this, this could really mess you up!”  It is good to have someone who knows real estate contracts on your side.

All of this I have learned in just the first couple of weeks! I cannot imagine what more lies in store as I continue with training, classes and mentoring.  I actually find it fun and exciting.  I get to help someone else purchase something that is very significant to them and in which they will be enjoying life for the next number of years.  I get to help someone else sell a home so that they too can launch into new opportunities in a new location.

New career – new beginning:  It is an exciting time and place to be in one. Maybe I’m too naive to be so optimistic, but I look forward to a successful career that will give me an opportunity to interact with people and provide a very valuable service to them.  As I work on my real estate web site, I see opportunities to help others in new places and new beginnings.  So, my hat is off to all those who are also in new careers, new relationships, new beginnings, new places of starting over and new opportunities.  May your future be as bright.

©Weatherstone/Ron Almberg, Jr. (2010)

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