I had a rough day today. I guess you could say that it's the accumulation of a few rough weeks with one particular transaction that I have been dealing with. The transaction started out just fine. I had a customer come to look at one of my listings and decided to use me to buy another property. The truth of the matter is that the customer only looked at a few houses and decided to buy this one quickly. He wanted to be able to get into the house before his children started the school year, so we planned on a quick process. He told me that he was in the process of refinancing his home in NY and would be using the proceeds for his downpayment and would be getting a loan for the rest. I talked to the broker and he assured me that they would be able to do everything in time, with no problems, so we submitted the offer.
The problems started when he decided to change his financing. His mortgage company decided to change his financing, I should say. It wouldn't have been a problem except that I wasn't informed of the change until I called the broker, looking for the loan commitment letter. I had set the date for 2 weeks before closing in order to have enough time to overcome any last minute issues that might pop up. When I called for the loan commitment letter, the broker told me that they were changing the financing and would be refinancing the total amount and would be paying for the house in Wilkes-Barre with cash. He also told me that they would be able to close early because of it. Cash sales are the best, so I was very pleased. I called the listing Realtor to let her know that we were changing the financing and would be doing a cash sale now. I told her we might even be able to close early. She was pleased as well at the thought of closing early.
I didn't hear anything else from the broker for a week and was confident that they would be able to do as promised. I started calling the Friday a week before closing to check on the progress and couldn't get a response from anyone, not from the broker or from my client. When the listing agent called, I told her I hadn't been able to get in touch with anyone, but we should be fine. It's just a refi after all, right? Wrong. I finally got in touch with the broker and he told me we weren't going to make the closing. We needed another week to close. I called the listing agent back to let her know tha bad news. Of course she was upset, but what could I do? We had to wait. She insisted that we get it closed by September 30th, so it didn't stretch into October. I called the mortgage broker back and he assured me that we would be fine to close the last Saturday in September. I called everyone to make the arrangements for the closing to happen.
A week later, I get another call telling me that we weren't ok to close that day either. He told me that it was perfectly normal to miss a closing date. I detailed this conversation in another post recently, so I won't get back into that today. Needless to say the ensuing conversation with the listing agent wasn't great because I had to move the closing date off again. I apologized profusely and explained that the situation was out of my hands and that we did want to close. I knew that the agent was getting frustrated with the transaction, but it really wasn't in my control. We reset the closing date and time again, deciding to do the final walk-through tomorrow afternoon and the closing on Tuesday at 11am. I let her know that all of this was contingent upon the refi closing in time to wire transfer the funds today because my client lives in NY.
Well, guess what? Yes, the refi didn't close until Tuesday and the money wasn't available today to wire transfer the funds. On top of that, my client was told that he had to work Saturday and has nobody to cover for him. I had to make the dreaded phone call to the listing agent again. We need to change the closing until later on Tuesday and we need to do the walk-through on Tuesday before the closing as well. The listing agent was livid. She had made plans to do the walk-through tomorrow, a Saturday, and now faced an unproductive day. She also had planned to show a house at noon on Tuesday after the closing. Those plans would need to be changed as well. I added to those miseries by calling her today on her "free day", which she made very clear to me I was ruining. I believe the phrase she used was that she was tired of getting "pushed around" in this transaction. She also said I was ruining her reputation and that I needed to put my foot down with this client and make them do what we had planned to do.
This upset me very much. I try to do my best to be understanding and cooperative in every transaction. After all, as I pointed out to her, I will most likely work with her again at some point in the future. (she also told me that was unlikely. I wonder what that means) We both work in the same market so it seems reasonable to me, but maybe she sees things differently. I think she needs to understand something. I work for my client. It's his best interests that I have to look after, not hers or her clients. He has the contract with me and I owe him a duty to see that his interests are protected, even if it means going back 100 times and asking for changes. If those changes are in my client's best interests, you can bet that I will do it because that's where my duty lies.
I don't think that I did anything at all that would be grounds for holding a personal grudge against me. I looked after the best interests of my client. I communicated promptly as soon as I had the facts I needed. I did everything politely, apologetically and professionally. I have had the occasion to bully people when I can't see any other way, but that wasn't the case here. I think, considering the circumstances I had to deal with, I did a fine job. The deal will close on Tuesday and this will all be over. That should be a day for everyone to be happy, but it won't be. This became personal somewhere. I have no idea where, but it did, and that saddens me to no end.
In the face of all of it, I really have only one thing to say. It's not personal, it's my duty.
Until next time...
My name is Andrew Trevino. I am a Realtor, working in the Wilkes-Barre, PA area, and I'm affiliated with Realty World, Rubbico Real Estate. Thanks for investing your time in reading my blog. If you're interested in contacting me, please visit my website at http://www.wilkesbarrehomesales.com/