Real Estate is Like Running a Marathon - From Contract to Close in 7 Months!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC NC# 218097

CommissionWorking in real estate isn’t for the faint of heart or those addicted to instant gratification. We’ve long forgotten the concept of “steady paycheck”. Working in real estate is like running marathons and requires intestinal fortitude, building endurance and astounding flexibility. We just crossed the finish line on one heck of a long distance run.



  • From showing to closing … 14 months.
  • From contract to closing … 7 months and 1 day.
  • Ability to deposit a commission check…priceless.


This marathon started with the Buyers Guide (print media). The buyer liked the image of one of our listings and loved our names. She googled us (pre-AR) and found our website…liked what she saw. Ultimately, as so often happens, that first listing didn’t suit her circumstances. Since she lived out of state and was searching for a retirement house, we could only work when she could arrange to be here. After looking at 492 , well okay…25 or so houses, she found THE ONE.

She worked for government, our government…the big cheeses in Washington. She submitted her paperwork to start the retirement process and was told it would take 2-3 months. Turns out that information was…ahem…bull messy pants.

Lucky for us, we are from the pre-social media era and have a few years of negotiating diplomatically and were fortunate to deal with sellers’ agents possessing similar skill sets. This deal could only have had a wonderful outcome through real time conversation and open honest dialogue. Not only were the sellers’ agents flexible and able to keep their seller soothed, we had the most astounding and dedicated loan originator with Nick Bazan of First Citizens Bank. With each delay we had to re-negotiate Due Diligence periods and closing dates, what extraordinary luck that the sellers, although nervous were accommodating.

The moral of the story is communication. Honest communication. The innards of the government are hopelessly tangled and confusing. Don’t even think about commenting that any particular administration is responsible for this abyss of red tape. It wouldn’t matter who was in charge. We know many long time government employees and they all have confirmed this sad fact.

The story has a happy ending. Even though our buyer was disappointed not to be settled months ago and would have loved avoided staying in motels and rental cabins for 7 months, the situation gave her a unique opportunity to really know the area before moving in. The sellers are ecstatic to have this behind them, the buyer loves her new house and surroundings, and the agents involved have gotten a great chance to see the best in each other. We’ve been paid, although shockingly the money will go out much quicker than it came in but I guess that’s how it goes sometimes.

The best news is that our intestinal fortitude is intact, we’ve increased our endurance, if we improved on our flexibility any more we’d be pretzels and most importantly we crossed the finish line on one heck of a long distance run.

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Comments (29)

Bill Cullen
REMAX Absolute Realty Inc. - Ottawa, ON

 I agree, honest communication is critical. In some ways it's harder than running a marathon. At least with a marathon you know exactly where the finish line is long before the starting gun goes off.  Although it's been many years since I ran my last marathon, I can see the similarities.

Dec 17, 2011 03:22 AM
Nancy Conner
Olympia, WA
Olympia/Thurston County WA
Congratulations!! Seems like perseverance is becoming more and more essential!
Dec 17, 2011 03:22 AM
Mark R. Hardy
Short Sales, REO, New Builds, First Time Buyer - Mesa, AZ
Short Sale Specialist Realtor - Mesa AZ
That is crazy, I worked 7 months with one client and just about lost mind. When you calculate the hours and expenses it's like a minimum wage job. Good thing other buyers find the house they like the first few properties out.
Dec 17, 2011 03:42 AM
Joy Daniels
Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd. - Harrisburg, PA

Instant Gratification - you said it!  It's not about "us" is another thing we need to remember.   2 things most people expect, but not when you are a realtor!

Dec 17, 2011 03:45 AM
Rolanda Pullen
Coldwell Banker Pryor Realty, Inc. - Chattanooga, TN

I love the comparison using the marathon, very creative!

Dec 17, 2011 03:45 AM
Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!

Mona, Congratulations on a great feature.  Steady paychecks???  What are those????

Dec 17, 2011 04:15 AM
Ira Bodenstein
PNC Mortgage - Montclair, NJ
NMLS#: 445143

Nice post and thanks for sharing.  This business seems to get more complicated each year. Congratulations on surviving the muddy waters.

Dec 17, 2011 04:22 AM
Robert L. Brown - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic

I do like Happy Endings. Congratulations on the sale. And yes it's NOT about us.

Dec 17, 2011 04:31 AM
Regina P. Brown
MBA Broker Consultants - Carlsbad, CA
M.B.A., Broker, Instructor

Mona, it's a never-ending marathon with (sometimes) a paycheck at the end... while we kill ourselves jumping through the bank's hurdles.

Dec 17, 2011 05:02 AM
Jo Olson
HOMEFRONT Realty - Kettle Falls, WA
Retired - HOMEFRONT Realty @ LAKE Roosevelt

I am glad it was a happy ending!  I worked in new construction for years - write a contract and get paid 6, 7 or 8 months down the road.  It taught me patience in this business.  My longest lately has been 11 months - gotta love the short sales!

Dec 17, 2011 05:39 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Mona, contract to close in 7 months! Hmmm....that's a marathon for sure. You are fortunate that sellers were understanding and working with good loan office always helps. Communication is the key, as you stated. So true. I wish all the agents were that honest.

Dec 17, 2011 05:56 AM
Jerry Morse
The Morse Company - Janesville, WI

7 Months sounds like some of the Short Sales we have been involved in.

Dec 17, 2011 06:34 AM
Nancy Timberlake
RE/MAX Shoreline - Portland, ME
REALTOR - Southern Maine

Good work!  It seems like there are no "short and sweets" these days!

Dec 17, 2011 06:38 AM
Gail Szeluga
Weichert Realtors-Marlboro, Manalapan - Manalapan, NJ
Manalapan, Marlboro & Monmouth County

Good things come to those who wait! Congratulations!

Dec 17, 2011 08:30 AM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Mona - That's definitely a long distance run. It's great that you were able to use your skills to hold it together for your client.

Dec 17, 2011 10:06 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Okay, glad you got the marathon run... but what about Sienna??? 

I know your clients were in good hands.  It's amazing how much we can get to know folks during the process.

Dec 17, 2011 01:50 PM
Mona Gersky
MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC - Sylva, NC
GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.

To Everyone!  I've read all of your comments and am so appreciative of the response to this post.  What a surprise to get a feature.  It's been a very long day, so I will not respond individually this one time...suffice to say, I know we aren't alone in having to stay the course on so many deals lately.  Believe it or not, it does help to know that we are in good company!

To Tammy,  Thanks for asking about Sienna - I've just posted the SiSi saga.

Dec 17, 2011 03:15 PM
Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Great example, Mona, and oh so true.  I learned a long time ago not to plan on what I was spending my commission check on.  Sometimes things fly, and sometimes things slog. 

Dec 17, 2011 04:25 PM
Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation
RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate - Victoria, BC
Accredited Real Estate Consultant

Hi Mona...Congratulations on your feature..I think in short what you're saying is have lots of Patience.

Well Done!

Merry Christmas-Fred Carver

Dec 18, 2011 05:58 AM
Mona Gersky
MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC - Sylva, NC
GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.

Mike, the one sure way to have a commission not go to completion is to prematurely "spend" the check!

Thank you Fred...patience is definitely what we need.  This long deal surely tried mine!

Dec 18, 2011 02:19 PM