I received a phone call this past Friday from a frantic client. On a short sale that was approved ten days ago by the bank, she received a letter from a law firm stating that her foreclosure sale was to take place on October 5th. She was apoplectic because we had a letter from the bank approving the sale on or before October 21st. I assured my client that this happens a lot more than I would care to admit, and that the bank simply had not yet informed the law firm to postpone or cancel the sale. The call came in at 5:30 on Friday afternoon, so there was absolutely nothing to be done until Monday morning.
I had a full schedule on Monday morning – only two days away from the scheduled foreclosure sale – so I spent a good chunk of Friday evening and Saturday morning rearranging my appointments. I finally got in touch with the bank, and they had the sale postponed.
To say I was annoyed with the bank would be a colossal understatement. The initial approval letter said that we had to close before October 5th. The first approval was issued on September 15th. I had to go back to the bank and “remind” them that the buyer was obtaining financing, and that this approval did not give us enough time for the buyer to clear underwriting. The investor agreed, and they issued the updated approval.
Here is where the rubber meets the road. I am often reminded by my business mentors and colleagues that I get to place the emphasis anyplace I want. I can complain that we already covered this issue with the bank. I can get aggressive with the negotiator at the bank and let her know that I am displeased with having to completely change my schedule and my week on a matter we have already settled.
I can instead choose to remember that my client has had a ratified contract submitted with the bank since April 4th. It’s a long story – aren’t they all? I can also recognize that she is broke and facing foreclosure. No matter what problems have been created for me, I am not living the nightmare that she is enduring.
When I properly “right size” in my mind the situation, it’s amazing how much gratitude I have about my job, my life, and my good fortune. I have a skill set that can help others. I remember that I love this business. I also remember when I first started out and did not know what a short sale was. I begged for these kinds of problems because that meant I was dealing with closings and getting paid.
The banks are going to do what they do. They are inundated with files and largely overwhelmed. My job is to push, encourage, and cajole so that my transaction does not disappear into the “black hole”. And in those moments when I am feeling angry and annoyed, I can think back on the tearful thank you, the stick-to-itiveness of the buyer and her agent who patiently waited for six months, and recognize that most people really do have a capacity to be wonderful!