My wife and I are expecting our first child on March 5 (or somewhere thereabouts — these things are harder to predict than football games!). This news has brought about a lot of joy, a lot of excitement, a lot of fear and mostly a lot of change.

Living in a relatively small condo, the news has spurred us on to sell our condo and purchase a larger home closer to where my wife works. I work from home, so I am close no matter where I live. I will publish the new contact information here, once it becomes a sure thing.

I was going to go it alone in selling the condo by doing a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) to save the 6 percent broker's fee…boy am I glad my wife talked me out of it.

It really wasn't that hard for her to do. All it took was a simple, “What do you know about real estate?” It was more the tone than the words that made the impact. (She's going to be a GREAT mom!).

Well, I figured how hard could it be? You list your house, somebody makes an offer, you go to closing and you are done — oh yeah, while looking for a new place and doing the reverse process all while working your day job. Was I ever wrong on that one. Between negotiating through several offers (and now re-negotiating with our buyers based on their home inspection), dealing with mortgage companies, lawyers, municipalities in two counties — and who knows what pitfalls lay ahead — I never would have gotten anywhere and we'd probably both live in our two-bedroom condo forever.

Sometimes it pays to go to a pro, no matter how much it costs.

Hmmmm…that sounds familiar.

You see, the real estate profession has done a great job to brand its members as professionals that can help buyers and sellers navigate the waters of the real estate process and make the transaction a smooth one, while they take ONLY 6 percent for their trouble. That is what the fitness industry has been trying to do for years…offer health and fitness seekers a professional organization with professional personnel to help them navigate the waters of fitness.

Yet, health clubs find it hard to get people to fork over full prices for initiations, monthly dues and services — often resorting to pricing discounts to drum up business. Meanwhile, in the face of FSBO competition and the Internet (all for free for the sellers) realtors are still able to get people to hand over tens of thousands of dollars to help them sell and buy their houses. I don't think I've ever seen a real estate broker have an end of the month sale. But I have a little secret: what they do is no harder or more demanding than the services provided by and in quality fitness facilities. Sure there is legal mumbo jumbo involved in real estate. I will need to hire a lawyer even with a realtor, but did you ever read a full study on the effects of stimulus “A” on the metabolism of participant 27? I guarantee it is no less full of scientific mumbo jumbo than a purchase and sale agreement is full of legalese. The difference is that for some reason people think exercise is as easy as not eating carbs and going for a run or hoisting some weights — but we know better.

Now it is up to the industry to work together to convince the general public that they should come to an expert to help them reach their goals because the only thing more valuable than real estate these days is health and happiness, no matter what the price.