Last fall I ran into the classic DIY question. Facing a leaking water heater and a wet garage floor, I had to decide: should I attempt a DIY fix on my own? or call in an expert? I shut off the water and confided in my trusty YouTube searches for answers, and I was fairly certain I knew what was wrong with the unit. But could I trust myself to change a faulty relief valve? Can I replace my plumber with… me?
We could all be replaced. We live in a YouTube generation where, if you watch enough videos, you could probably replace your own water heater without a professional. After a few hours into the water heater replacement, and five trips to Lowe’s, you might find yourself exhausted, dabbling with a shiny new flame torch, and wondering how you got to this place. Worst of all, it probably would have been less expensive and less time consuming if you had simply called that trusty plumber.
The same is true for when you’re ready to pack up and move to a new home. Have you ever noticed how many different personalities come into play in a typical real estate transaction? If you’re buying a home, you’d likely cross paths with several different people who are vital to the operation.
Lenders: verify your financial life and provide funding for the process
Inspectors: look out for your investment
Appraisers: look out for the bank’s investment
Agents: legally represent your side of the transaction
Brokers: supervise & counsel your agent
Closing Attorneys: Cover your legal documentation and record tax records
Buyers & Sellers: Well… you know who you are 😉
Each personality in the experience carries valid expertise that can’t be missed. You WANT a good inspector who can safeguard your purchase by thoroughly documenting every detail with the home. Unless you have cash on hand, you WANT a good lender who has experienced knowledge of which loan program would best fit your scenario. And I dare say that you WANT a good listing agent who has design and marketing experience to make your home look its best, who can thoroughly document its features, who can connect it with the real estate community, who has knowledge of pocket listings that are about to come up for sale, and shows you homes that other agents miss.
When it comes to real estate investments, some people imagine that they can save a dollar, “YouTube it,” and do it themselves. But the fact is that their time and money will be put to better use by understanding that each person has a role to play, and each person must be allowed to exercise their expertise to the maximum.
To finish the water heater story— I called in my trusty plumber. In and out in 30 minutes, $80. I would have spent that much at Lowe’s!