"Since nobody's perfect, how good is good enough?" (Andy Stanley)from the Jack's Winning Words blog. This is a tough one to call. I tend to be fairly hard on myself when I make mistakes and have a hard time letting others off the hook for their mistakes. In real estate there are so many opportunities for mistakes or something being incomplete that I suppose one could stay mad about it all the time.
So, how good is good enough in real estate? I suppose it would be that if you can get the transaction through the closing, you were good enough. What often happens behind the scenes, if one of the parties isn't very good at it, is that someone else involved in the transaction picks up whatever piece the not-so-good agent has dropped the ball on and runs with it. Sometimes that means writing an addendum that the other agent should have written or maybe correcting a mistake that the title company people should have caught or pushing on the mortgage guy to get his people moving on the mortgage approval. You basically do whatever is necessary to keep things moving toward and through the closing.
Every now and then I have to go into my manager's office and ask her to tell me again that it's OK to make mistakes; that nobody's perfect. I hate it when that happens, but it is cathartic and hopefully doesn't happen all that often. The measure that I tend to hold up to others in my "nobody's perfect" evaluation of them is whether or not they are really making the effort. If they are trying and doing the best that they can, that makes a big difference in the amount of slack that your can cut them. It's the lazy agent or the truly incompetent agent that I have the hardest time dealing with, and there are certainly those types in the agent mix today.
The worst things I hear back when I'm talking to another agent within a deal is, "I don't have time for that" or maybe, "that's not how I do it." Usually we are discussing some piece of documentation that is either required by state real estate law or which has a material impact on the deal. How can one not have time or just not do important addendums or amendments to a deal? Basically they are just lazy and hope that someone else will do their work for them. These same lazy agents often end up with irate clients at the closing table when the clients see their closing costs for the first time (due to the lazy agent not going over things with them ahead of time). In those cases, I guess they just aren't good enough.
So how good is good enough? My answer would be that the agents involved were good enough if the closing goes without a hitch, resulting in two happy parties leaving the closing table. That's a win-win situation, which should be our goal every time. To get to that end, lots of things had to be handled good enough by both agents involved between the signing of the PA and the disbursement of funds to keep the deal together. That's my answer and I'm stickin' to it.