A Time for Tears?

Real Estate Agent with Greene Realty Group

There is a first time for everything they say.  I had never been brought to tears before, but a couple of weeks ago when some "long term" clients backed out of a transaction after the inspection the tears fell.

It's a long "real estate story" familiar to those of us in the field.  We have been looking at houses since 2008 with a hiatus of a few months.  I have had Ron & Eileen (not their real names) home on the market for many months also without a bite and with very few showings.  They can afford to buy without selling and seemingly were determined to do just that.  Their plan was to rent out the new house and fix it up for themselves when their own house sells.  I ran with them on that decision.  They honestly are great people, but they were deluding themselves, or at least he was. 

They were fanatic about looking at houses and spent my time and theirs doing it often and at length.  The showings always turned into an inspection with them pointing out all that was wrong with the home. They found a home not even listed that they wanted to see.  They saw a "for rent" sign and called the property manager which led them to the previous listing agent.  She was happy to show them the house and called me soon after.   They always tell other agents they are working with me.  That is great!  She had the house listed twice for long periods of time before the seller took it off the market to rent.  It wasn't renting either.  My clients after three long looks decided to make an offer.  He was clear that his wife really wanted the house because of the location and many other aspects of the home.  They accepted our first offer and that had him perplexed: should they have offered less?  Mr. Client told me he had reservations, but his wife really wanted the house and he would move forward.  He went into the inspection, I believe, with the intention of not buying the house.  It is a good house with three LP boards needing replacing, a refrigerator on a GFI, and some other minor issues.  They wanted almost everything fixed.  The seller offered to do at least half and they said no to the purchase.

I am not a person that counts the money from the commission check prior to close.  I know better.  But in this case the amount of time I had put in with them caught up with me.  When they sat in my office telling me why they were not going to buy the house, I got teary eyed.  I didn't cry till later, but they knew I was upset. The wife was also; they apologized.  I did the paperwork and handled it all very professionally until they left.  At that point I hung my head and had a bit of a breakdown.

No one should ever minimize the stress we endure as agents working so many hours for absolutely nothing.  I had spoken with this man on the phone for lengthy periods of time.  Is my time worth anything?  At one point they talked about buying a FSBO and asked how I would feel about that.  I asked him how he would respond after putting in months of work for his boss to tell him thank you with no pay. Thanks just doesn't pay the bills.  They agreed.  And that was a good thing.

I don't want to be a whimp, nor do I want to be a whiner.  Sometimes it just hurts too much and I give in.  And they are still my clients and I am still their agent.  I have their home listed and I hope to get them into the house of their dreams...soon!

Posted by

Shelly Field, Realtor



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Tamra Lee Ulmer
Arizona Resource Realty - Payson, AZ
FORCE~NRBA ~ Over 1000 REO Assets SOLD!

You have an amazing positive attitude. Everyone has moments where it is more than they can handle, and you seem like you are keeping your head up despite it and that is definitely going to make a difference in any outcome! Good luck to you!!

Feb 15, 2011 07:37 AM #1
Lisa Coates
Level Ten Construction Consultants - Halifax, NS
Residential Home Sales Specialist

It's okay to hang your head a cry. I had 5 deals like yours in the past 3 months. I find it hard to get out of bed somedays lately.

Feb 15, 2011 07:45 AM #2
Shelly Field
Greene Realty Group - Olympia, WA

Thank you, Linda.  It is good to hear from others who feel the same way.  We just have to keep plugging away.  The smile just fades more some days more than others.  Time is so dear!

Feb 15, 2011 07:52 AM #3
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Shelly, Sometimes we need to value our own time enough to know when it makes sense to fire pain in the A$ clients like you have worked tirelessly for. Even when/if you close them you will have spent far too much time, effort and energy on them. Cut your losses now and move on.

Feb 15, 2011 08:12 AM #4
Rob D. Shepherd
Windermere/lane county - Florence, OR
Principal Broker GRI, SRES

I think a lot of clients have no clue to our expenses vs. lack of income. They think we get the full commision rate stated instead of a fraction of it.

Feb 15, 2011 09:07 AM #5
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