I often look at the construction of a contract,
like that of a house.
Remember that engineers and architects are much like that of the lawyers and our industry leaders. We must always understand the mission is to build a long lasting and safe structure. We must decide the mission. In our case homes and contracts are designed for safety, security and comfort.
We want a contract that will not cave in and damage the very people it was built to protect,
much like a house.
It is also built to offer us the ability to feel secure that the methods
have been tried and true.
We would like to know we have comfort while in the house.
We can then do additions, or modifications only
with the guidance and expertise of the trained professional
involved in that area of concern.
The contract is built to protect the industry professionals and the clients/customers they serve. It is very important
we understand this concept as entrepreneurs, as we are often look for methods to improve the typical
and offer bigger and better and often succumb to the ego in a desire to be more creative.
Sometimes we are lured to make changes when we don’t know the effect. For instance, if we make
the staircase more beautiful, just add a few steps, it would of course be important to remember the ceiling will
be taller. This seems so innocent – much like a contract exception! Bigger stairs and taller ceiling, that is what everyone
wants! But then you must realize the alteration will shorten the available air space for the second floor or you will need
to expand the structure which might include the foundation! Much like the effects of contract exceptions!
It seems so insignificant I just wanted two more stairs, why would I change the foundation.
This as REALTORS, is where we must seek counsel and wise vision. So often, we are lured
into the seeming simplicity of a request. After all, it is our wish to give the client what they
want. But remember, do not step outside your boundaries of expertise!
Attorneys draw up contracts and architects design homes, as the contractor or the REALTOR
we do not have the experience to see what challenges might lie ahead. These challenges
might harm the very persons you are trying to protect.
Back to the house, if we raise the stairs inside the house then we must raise the porch and that seemingly covers
all the height options! But wait, we need to enlarge or raise the windows on the second floor or it will appear they
are sitting on top of the porch., as we did not allow for the increased interior ceiling height required for the addition
of a couple of stairs! We must now raise the windows and there we go, so on, and so on…
Not only did we give the client what they said they wanted, we also cost them a great deal of money and
halted construction. All the while, they needed the home completed in a very short time,
as they must provide shelter to the family.
At these times, the most common response is: YOU (THE REALTOR) SHOULD HAVE KNOWN!
My point be it ever so simple, is do not go outside of the house! Do not change the plan and
most importantly do not be tempted, by the desire to be a nice guy or a nice gal, to walk into an
exception that breeds difficulty. It can undermine the ability to have a safe, secure and comfortable home.
Always KEEP THE END IN MIND. The contract is built to deliver safety and comfort.
The contract is built to provide a safe environment to buy and sell homes. The contract is built for the
protection of all ethical people. Don’t step outside of the contract, thinking you know better. If you are
tempted, advise your client to seek third party assistance, this is not your vision or expertise.
We enjoy our industry and we need to operate beyond reproach. Often times, we might displease someone
along the line, but we can prevent harm to a greater degree by staying within our boundaries then stepping
This also holds true, in other avenues of our industry, i.e. tax questions, comprehensive plans of the city,
investment opportunities and creative financing. Be the source of the information not the creator and not
the interpreter. If the client / customer needs information from the county, provide the name and phone number
do not provide the information as fact, as the story often changes when you talk to the next county administrator,
or another architect, or an opposing attorney.
Keep the safety, security and comfort of the contract intact.
Do not be tempted to step outside of the house. Do not be the nice guy that gives the wrong information.
Rely and recommend the professionals, the surveyor, the title examiner, the home inspector and the
attorney. We have a house (experience and knowledge) and we can share our house (experience and
knowledge) with the propr expectations of our abilities. We can provide safe, secure and comfortable
housing if we stay inside the contract.
Remember, momma always said don’t open the door to strangers (exceptions)
– Stay in the house!