When to Call it Quits
Being in the real estate business since 2004 and being the Managing Broker of firm, I have seen, heard, and experienced quite a bit. I never say, “I’ve seen it all,” because just when I think I have, something new happens. But I digress. I would say the main thing I have learned is that not all real estate agents or clients are created equal and sometimes you need to know when to call it quits.
One of my agents had a listing that a non-resident buyer had under contract. The Buyer’s agent had a full-time job and couldn’t answer the phone, email, or text about real estate until after 5:00. The lender for the Buyer was not communicating and the agent couldn’t, and the buyer didn’t speak English. The Buyer was jumping through all sorts of hoops to get the loan, doing everything necessary and yet the closing date kept being pushed back – 5 times to be exact. To complicate matters more, the Seller was buying a house whose owner had to sell before they could buy the house they had under contract and that family had to sell to them before they could close on the house they were buying. 4 families were being effected, all sleeping on the floor because they thought they were going to close weeks ago. My agent communicated everything she knew but was not sure she was ever getting the whole story, nonetheless, the truth. She went to the Buyer’s lender’s office (which happened to be his house) and banged on the door, demanding answers, only to be faced with more half-truths and more delays. While she fought for the Buyer that wasn’t even her client, the Buyer’s agent was nonchalant and did very little to help, nor did he feel any responsibility toward the 4 families whose lives were in limbo for weeks. When he was asked to help so his client could close and the others could move forward as well, he refused. My agent stepped in, yet again, and got the deal done for everyone. Most agents would have given up well before it got to that point. This is why it is so important to find a real estate agent that you trust and one that will not only fight for you but fight to get the deal done if that is what everyone wants. If she hadn’t taken the reigns and exhausted herself, 4 families would have had to move back into their homes or continue sleeping on their floors while they put their homes back on the market.
On the other side, agents, you need to understand that not all clients are created equal. For the sake of everyone involved, or who could be involved, make sure you do as much due diligence on your client as possible. If you get a feeling that something isn’t quite right, ask questions. Communicate to the other parties. Some money is better left alone if you feel like there may be deception or illegal dealings involved. I had another agent who had a listing that was under contract for over a million dollars. The Buyer was paying cash. They said they were a relative of a celebrity and that they would have the Proof of Funds the next day. They sent a screen shot of a bank account with well over the amount needed. While that may seem legitimate, it was not a bank letter or anything truly verifiable. The earnest money kept getting delayed…for weeks. The Buyer was also under contract for another house down the street that was well over $1,000,000 as well. Things did not seem right and when the questionable Buyer’s agent was asked for some answers, they didn’t have any. They just took the Buyer’s word, showed them houses, and wrote contracts. Some due diligence would have gone a long way in saving 2 families time and heartache because their houses didn’t sell.
In both situations, the parties need to know when to call it quits. Sometimes, it is worth holding on and fighting, other times, you need to save yourself the heartache. Such is life as well. The tough part is, no one can really tell you when it is the right time to fight or fly. So, do your due diligence, trust the advisors you are working with and communicate. Good luck!
Michelle Froedge is a residential Realtor and Principal Broker in the Greater Nashville and Williamson County areas of Tennessee. “Mom” to four-legged fur babies, Tyler and Livvie, Auntie to Zelamie, she is a vegetarian and sings in her spare time. Michelle has lived in Nashville and Franklin since 1997 and has been selling homes since 2004.