If you are on the phone with me and suddenly discover that you are talking to dead air then one of two things just happened.
1. The call was dropped due to a weak cell signal.
2. The call was dropped because I just knew you were about to say something you'd regret.
Mary Lou is an incredibly nice lady with a nose for things that just smell bad. When we first met, she told me how she'd worked recently with another agent that she terminated the business arrangement with because MAry Lou didn't feel like the agent was looking out for her best interests. Apparently there were issues that arose out of being told and even signing off on one thing but getting different results.
There was no doubt in my mind that in working with her, I'd want to make sure that everything we discussed would be confirmed and recapped in writing. She would be more comfortable and it's how I like to do things, so I was sure we'd work well together.
Mary Lou found the home she loved and we negotiated a favorable deal. She was happy with the terms and the contract was signed. Part of the deal included a builder warranty for one year. Combined with a residential service contract to protect her in case an appliance stopped working or the HVAC failed, MaryLou had peace of mind.
Three days after contract signing, the listing agent called to tell me that the RELO seller just told them there is an addendum to the contract that needed to be signed by the buyer. I just assumed that she misspoke or I misunderstood and asked that the amendment be faxed over.
It was a 5 page addendum and among so many other things, it stated that the property was to be sold "as is, where is" with "no warranty" and "this addendum supersedes any other agreement written or otherwise".
I knew Mary Lou was gonna flip her lid...and with good reason. You can't kill part of the contract after the fact and expect a buyer to accept it. Especially when it deals with a home warranty.
I knew I could send it to her and let her call one of her attorney friends that she'd known for a long time and had tons of trust in who would explain the difference between an amendment and an addendum. Surely one of those attorney friends would explain that she didn't have to sign anything else until closing.
She was even madder than I thought she'd be and got so disgusted that I knew what was coming next but the call magically dropped right as she saying to "Kill the....."
Click. Silence. I didn't hear a thing. Must be a dead zone on my cell.
She was mad and she had every right to be. But if she'd just calm down for a minute or two I could explain to her that there was a contract for her to buy and the seller to sell...the deal was done and all she needed to do was stick to her guns, call an attorney friend and go to closing as agreed with the builder warranty intact. She could just forget the addendum...just refuse to sign it or red line it until she liked the way it read.
Space and time. She's very smart and she'd get it...if she just calms down.
She called me back...immediately. I let it go to voice mail and crossed my fingers to no avail. She left a message notifying me that the deal was off and instructed me to send her an email confirming that I did indeed terminate. She would not do business with liars and that's that. She absolutely felt like the seller was reneging on the warranty.
OBEDIENCE - As a Texas Real Estate Broker, it means that if it's not illegal, my client is the boss and I have to do what I am told. Even though I believed she would regret it, it left me with no choice but to notify the listing agent that the deal was dead and the termination docs would follow.
Stupid voice mail. Twenty-five years ago, people had time to think it all over & now things are over in an instant.
Three days later, Mary Lou did calm down and realized exactly what occurred. It was an addendum! She now realized that the addendum couldn't be forced upon her once she was under contract. What the RELO seller (relocation company) should have asked for was an amendment but even that would require a meeting of the minds and Mary Lou wasn't about to sign an amendment that took away the coveted warranty.
OBEDIENCE - It means that even if it's not in the client's best interests, if it's not illegal, I have to do what I am told and kill the deal. And when the client calls me back three days later asking me to put it all back together, I do it even though I know that the seller is now going to require that lousy addendum to be signed.
And they did require the addendum be signed. Fortunately, the seller agreed in writing that the builder warranty would remain intact.
That all happened in March of this year. Mary Lou and I had a moment to catch up for coffee one day last week and aside from a few minor warranty issues (imagine that), she is very happy in her new townhome. I told her I'd be writing this post but that I would not use her name. She insisted that I not only use her name but that I warn people to calm down and not to be hot headed like she was!
OBEDIENCE - When the client tells you to tell the whole story, you tell the whole story.
It's Not Just Where You Live, It's How You Live
Amanda Hall - Broker/Owner of Hall Team Homes
Coming Soon www.hallteamhomes.com Coming Soon
Hall Team Homes proudly serves the real estate needs of the Fort Worth and surrounding communities including Arlington, Hurst, Euless, Bedford, Colleyville, Grapevine and North Richland Hills.