Gulp! Some Things Are Just Beyond Our Control

Real Estate Agent with Henderson, Thornton, Broomfield and Westminster 100026886

"Gulp!"  Sometimes, things are just beyond our control.  Greatest american hero logo

As a Realtor, I put on my cape several times a week to save the day, but when it comes to certain things, I am a mere mortal.    And sometimes there are things that cannot be controlled:

  • I cannot help the fact that the lender who wrote the "pre-approval" letter lied.
  • I cannot help the fact that the buyer lost their job.
  • I cannot help that the seller's hot water heater went out 3 days before closing.

These are fairly obvious, I guess.  But there are other things that are beyond our control as Realtors.  So, when I got the email 45 minutes before closing that the buyers couldn't close and would need to delay another day, I wasn't angry.  A little disappointed, sure, but not angry.

Luckily for me, my sellers have already moved out and aren't counting on the sale of this home to move on to their next chapter in life.  

When I called the buyer's agent back, it went to voicemail.  Having been on the other side of this situation, I wasn't surprised to have the call go to voicemail.  So I left this message:  "Hi, Bob, it's Jennifer Prestwich calling.  I just got your email.  >GULP!<  (pause)  No worries about not closing today, I'm just sorry that your buyer won't have this weekend to move in.  Let me know if we can schedule it for Monday, or if Tuesday is better."

"Bob" called me back in about 3 minutes, with laughter and relief in his voice.  "'Gulp!'  Haha, that is so funny!" said he.  "Thank you so much for understanding.  You wouldn't believe how many people have been yelling at me today, as if I am in control of the lender!"

While Realtors are generally independent contractors, we do need each other.  There are nearly always two sides to a transaction, and more often than not, that means that there is another Realtor in the mix.  

None of us are perfect.  And we cannot control every single aspect of the sale.  Injecting a little levity and understanding into our communications with each other will mean everyone is happier in the end.  

Believe me, happier Realtors will end up making happier clients!



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  1. Ginger Harper 09/10/2012 07:19 PM
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Real Estate Sales and Marketing
Diary of a Realtor
Bartender, Make it a Double
Club Chaos
be nice
things beyond our control
wacky lenders

Comments 37 New Comment

Alan May
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate
Coldwell Banker Residential

even if your sellers had been counting on closing that day, and there was another purchase in line for the afternoon... I've found that a whole lot of yelling, doesn't really accomplish much.   you catch more flies with honey.

September 11, 2012 10:38 AM
Ginger Harper
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent!
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage

Thanks for sharing.  True...shouting does not prove the point.

September 11, 2012 11:10 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Specializing in Brookside, Waldo, Prairie Village
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes

At least a few times a week I want to say "don't blame me, it's out of my control" yet so often we are expected to 'fix' it.

you handled the situation beautifully..and I'm sure the other agent really appreciates your attitude!

September 11, 2012 02:55 PM
Lloyd Binen
Silicon Valley R since 1976;408-565-8177
Certified Realty Services

Jenn, you're right and eventually every agent will experience every problem from both sides of the transaction and that increases empathy and understanding and sympathy for the other side.  I think the most experienced agents are the most understanding of problems on the other side of the transaction because they've been there.  And, guaranteed it won't be the last time a transaction is delayed by the lender whether you're representing a seller or buyer because, as you say, you can't control everything.

September 11, 2012 10:56 PM
Debbie Laity
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO
Cedaredge Land Company

I think acting as a professional can go a long way. Things happen that are out of our control, and people do make mistakes. Great Blog.

September 12, 2012 10:56 AM

Jennifer Prestwich

Your Castle RE Colorado
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