A young couple was referred to me--first time buyers. We looked at homes for about 4 weeks. There were a couple of homes that they liked but I thought would be a bad investment for them. We went back and saw them a couple of times and the emotion wore off and they agreed--not a good choice. Some days later, we did find the exact right house for them. We walked though the mortgage process, the inspection process, review by parents (usually a death knell), the walk thru, and closing.
Of course, they were excited--the closing went well. When keys were exchanged, papers passed out, and handshakes all around, they asked me to stay for a minute. Then they asked if I would mind posing for a picture with them. They asked the closer to take a picture of us. They said that they were so grateful to me for working with them, that they had no idea how to proceed, but that I earned their trust very quickly. Obviously, a lot of smiles in that picture.
About 10 days later, I received a letter from the parents of one of those buyers. They thanked me for being so honest with their son. They especially thanked me for pointing out the problems with the first tow houses they were interested in. They said that I could have easily written an offer on either of those houses and made my commission, but I chose instead to work with them until they found the right house.
When that "other" agent does not return your calls, when you walk into what was listed in the MLS as a 2 bath house to find it only has 1, when that mortgage company withdraws the approval the day before a closing, when that other agent leaves the front door ajar on a vacant listing and a squirrel takes up residence, it helps to remember that closing and that picture.