I Owned 11 Cars. Does That Make me a Master Mechanic?

J Philip Faranda December 5, 2011

Tom Faranda, Rugby Expert, and Max, kibble expertAnyone who is in sales and management learns over the years how to manage the styles of personalities we encounter. I have dealt with all types and consider myself fairly adept at interacting with people smoothly. The one that still gives me trouble, however, and probably you too, is the Jekyll and Hyde type- they start out pleasant, then suddenly become aggressive without warning or cause. I encountered just such a person today. 15 minutes of pleasantries, then 5 awkward minutes of moonbeam, loony tunes arguing and inexplicable confrontation. Mercifully, this is rare, and this one had a flare for the dramatic exit, which was also quite welcome.

There is seldom if ever a chance of winning kooks over to my way of thinking-nor would I wish to try- but the one thing I can happily do is address some of their looney arguments in my blog. Today's jerk decided that since he owned more than one house, he was the expert in the room. Because, you know, he has bought and sold a few houses.

I have owned 11 cars. I would never pretend to be a mechanic. 

Real estate is a very expensive place to make a mistake. I have seen misfortune in real estate end marriages, cause financial ruin, and even cost people their health. Weekend hobbyists and DIY enthusiasts are better suited to ant farms or decoupage. 

In the state of New York, all that is required to be a licensed real estate salesperson is a 75 hour licensure course. That doesn't make you an expert. It makes you a rookie. If you spend 15 years in the industry, sell almost 500 homes, found your own brokerage firm and throw in 5 years of mortgage origination, you might be getting warm. But even someone with that experience knows that in the shifting sands of this industry there is always more to learn. 

It is therefore patently ridiculous for a consumer who has bought or sold 5 or even 10 homes to assume that they know better than a broker how banks, for example, should dispense with their defaulted assets. Short sales, as an illustration, are often counter intuitive. Cash offers are not an advantage and can actually flag the transaction as a possible investor buying below market value. Now, explaining this to a guy that can't get his kids to not touch a piano or piece of furniture is a lost cause. I feel better just typing it, though. 

My older brother jokes that he knows a lot about Rugby and a little about Wall Street. I know a lot about the New York Yankees and a thing or two about real estate. But I would never tell my mechanic how to fix my brakes, nor my doctor what ails me, or even my landscaper how to operate his equipment. Smart people play their position and defer to the professionals. That is why George Washington appointed his cabinet, and that is why wise consumers listen, learn and never assume they know more than the professional. 

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