Here are examples of some of the wacky stuff that happens in this business, and why it’s important to get good help:
We represented the buyers of House B, whose sellers were buying their listing agent’s personal residence (House A).
They had included in their listing agreement that the sale of House B would be contingent upon the successful purchasing of House A – but the listing agent forgot to include the contingency form in our documents. As a result, the sellers were locked into selling their House B to my buyers.
When the discussions of repairs and termite work of House A got testy, it was revealed that the contingency form had been omitted from our House B deal. The client called their listing-agent/owner, ‘unprofessional’, which set her off and she refused to do any repairs to her house. The clients backed out of the purchase – but she was still their listing agent on our sale of House B, and the sellers only had two weeks left to get out of their house.
The listing agent went quiet, so the seller of House B called me directly for help. Sorry, but my buyers wanted the house, and wanted to close on time. He offered us $20,000 to cancel, but because the house and timing was such a good fit, we declined.
But I came up with a package deal. We would give him a rentback for up to 60 days at market rate plus deposit, if he gave us a credit for $7,000 for repairs on House B. He took the deal.
2. When I’m the listing agent, I always meet the appraiser – no exceptions. If you don’t, you’re just asking for trouble. Another one where I had the buyers for a listing agent selling her own primary residence, and she doesn’t show up for the appraisal of the house she lives in! The appraisal came in $12,000 under the sales price.
3. We are experienced at handling difficult situations, many of which are regarding repairs. As the market slows down, the buyers will be more demanding about the condition of the home, and want things done their way (or the way their agent wants them done).
We sold a tenant-occupied condo that had a regular attic – how often does a tenant go into the attic? In this case, the answer was ‘never’, and even if he had, he might not have noticed that lint was building up because the dryer vent did not extend through to the exterior.
The buyer had a logical concern about it being a fire hazard, and because we were happy with the price he was paying, Donna went to work on getting it resolved. We needed HOA approval to go through the roof, and they insisted on having a longer warranty. Our roofer gives extended warranties because he has pride in his work, and the HOA was impressed. Our roofer will be getting more work there! The buyer’s agent appreciated the effort, and said most listing agents would offer a credit or shrug it off, which isn’t smart with fire hazards.
4. I was holding open house and a couple arrived who had been sent by their agent. I had received a phone from the agent that her buyers would be attending, and would I mind showing them around? As always, I said I wouldn’t mind at all, as long as you don’t mind if I talk them into buying the house! Not only did they buy it, they also told me that it was the first time in the five years they had been looking for a home that they thought they got real help.
5. I represented the sellers of a home that had undergone extensive foundation repairs. The buyer had concerns which were understandable, and he arranged for thorough inspections. Then we had the contractor who did the work come out for an on-site explanation, and discuss the one-year warranty. At the end, the buyer’s father came over to me and stuck his finger in my face and said, “What do you think?” Most agents can’t handle confrontations, and think their job is to dodge liability and be responsible for nothing. Not me, and not when the sale is probably riding on me delivering a solid response. I told the father that I had several previous experiences with the engineer and foundation contractor, and found them reliable and trustworthy. I also said that because the house had been extensively remodeled, the overall package was a good deal. They closed escrow (with 95% financing).
6. The first day on the MLS, a buyer’s agent asked what it would take to purchase a new listing of mine. Most agents would be satisfied with full price, and hurry off to their next deal. I told her $50,000 over list – and her buyer paid it.
7. Our seller moved out, and the buyer came to complete their final walk-through the day before closing. They discovered a water leak, and a dis-functional garage-door opener. We handled all of the above on behalf of the seller for less than $500, and closed as expected the next day – with no inconvenience to the seller, who kept their focus on their new home. While the event seemed minor, it was only because we were readily available and jumped right on it that no momentum was lost.
Every sale has hitches – some are smaller, and others can kill the sale. Your agent’s commitment to full service makes the difference on which is which!