Holiday Weekends and Real Estate

By
Real Estate Agent with Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA VA License # 0225089470

Holiday Weekends and Real Estate

While I did enjoy a full day of, and half of another this Memorial Day weekend, I was shocked by the attitude by many listing agents and sellers had this weekend.  One incident in particular really set me off.

Let me begin by saying, I believe 100% that we do not have to devote our lives to the pursuit of real estate.  However, if we choose to take time off, having someone to cover for you is a MUST.  After all, we are to look after the best interests of our clients, and sometimes, that is time sensitive.  It doesn't wait for your cookout weekend to be over.  Deadlines in real estate are firm.  And whether you are representing buyers or sellers, the effects of deadlines trickle down.

My buyers were rethinking their home purchase.  They are under contract and their last "out" in the contract was up Monday, Memorial Day, at 9pm.  The neighborhood was concerning them, and they needed to see some alternatives immediately.  There isn't much on the market as homes in their price range are flying off the shelves.  So I set up appointments to show them a few properties.  One such property was in exactly the neighborhood they had wanted, but nothing had been available when the home they were now rethinking.  When I had to dig deeper for information on the HAP aspect of the sale, and what time frames my buyers would be encountering, I was ignored.  No call back or email from the listing agent.  These were answers I needed as the buyers were also sellers who had a limited rent back.  

I had explained in my messages the need for immediate information to the listing agent.  The sellers were cooperative and were going to let us see the property on Sunday, but the listing agent was stonewalling me.  So I called the alternate agent.  If the listing agent is taking time off, this should be his back up, right?  Well, this guy was a trip.  He answered his phone, had ZERO knowledge of the property and when I begged him to please have the primary agent call to answer my questions (since I had already called and emailed) he said, "I'm on vacation.  It's Memorial Day Weekend."  Really?  It's Memorial Day Weekend?  Thanks for the news flash!  

Despite being on vacation, he had answered his phone THEN developed an attitude.  Maybe his hands were too full of hot dogs and cold beverages to actually DIAL the phone and ask his partner to help.  That's literally all I needed.  Clearly, my explanation of the time crunch my buyers were facing was of no concern to him.  I wonder how his sellers would feel if it was explained that the lack of help from their crack listing staff ruled out their property for my buyers.

Quality time with family and friends is a must for everyone, but when you are in business, you need to make sure you have coverage for when you are unavailable on high traffic holidays like Memorial Day weekend.  The real estate world doesn't shut down because you are taking time off.   It's still rolling along.  Problem is, your propeties may not sell.  

 

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Rainmaker
3,360,748
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Chris Ann -- it makes you wonder why he even answered the phone....

May 29, 2012 04:41 AM #1
Rainmaker
588,465
Susan Neal
RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker

Hi Chris - Boy oh boy!  You have the same gripe as me!  I rushed to the office with my buyers on Saturday to submit an offer on a house they wanted to buy.  The listing agent had told me they already had some offers and were going to pick one that afternoon, and I didn't want my clients to miss out.

So my clients and I droped our plans to get that offer written and emailed to the listing agent, and I called and asked her to confirm receipt to make sure our offer would be considered.  I had to leave a voice mail.  I called her other numbers, still only voice mail.  I sent a text and and email as the day went on - never got any response. My clients were completely stressed out, and I was trying to calm them.

I continued to leave a daily message all weekend on her cell phone and kept checking MLS to make sure the status hadn't changed.  Not a word.  I called again and left another voice mail this morning, but by now I was wondering if she was okay.  I mean, if something had happened to her, or something.  About 10 minutes later I received a one sentence email saying that they will review offers tonight.

AArgh!  I'm glad she's okay, but I wish she could have sent me a quick text or email before now just to let me know she had received the offer. I guess she decided to take a few days off and refused to even respond to anyone.  Her office was closed all weekend too.

May 29, 2012 04:49 AM #2
Rainmaker
302,367
Marti Steele Kilby, CRS
Steele Group Realty - La Mesa, CA
Broker/Owner, San Diego, CA

One of my pet peeves as well!  If you're going to list a home it is your responsibility to be responsive to inquiries, period! I don't care whether it's by email, text or phone....just get back to me please!  I agree that we all deserve a life outside of real estate, but at least have someone else ready to respond if you're unavailable.

May 29, 2012 04:59 AM #3
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Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Let's see.  I'm on vacation. I've ratified a contract for my buyers, made sure a settlement today went off without any problems and just sent out two changes to two different contracts.  I've also been on multiple walks on the beach, enjoyed time at the pool and lots of time with my friends.  There is a way to prioritize what you are doing without it ruining time off.  Oh and I think I answered a question about HAP too :-)

May 29, 2012 05:06 AM #4
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Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Michael:  My thoughts exactly.  

Susan:  Real Estate Agents aren't government workers.  Our business doesn't stop on holidays and run only from 9am-5pm Monday-Friday.  That is sooooo annoying.

Marti:  We wouldn't close up a retail store we owned if we went on vacation, would we?  

Cindy:  You certainly did answer MY HAP question.  Unfortunately, all the things you told me to ask the listing agent went unanswered.  Grrrr.  Too bad they didn't hire YOU to sell their house...because it probably would be under contract by now.

 

 

May 29, 2012 05:15 AM #5
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Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

We have a negotiated "due dilligence" period on our contracts in Georgia and just for the reasons you stated about it being hard to get in touch with folks I NEVER ever put that number of days in that blank without consulting a calendar to make sure the end day does not NOT fall on a weekend or a holiday.  And when the counter back is changing that number of days a quick explaination of  "no, we don't want it to end on a holiday or weekend" usually resolves it.

May 29, 2012 06:16 AM #6
Rainmaker
1,560,731
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

We have a provision that defines "business days" as the count of time for deadlines or the days to perform ... whatever.  Anyway, I had a soft lead hit me on Saturday, emailed an agent I thought would be a good match.  Never heard from him until today.  Apparently, there were a lot of agents who were "gone fishin'" this weekend.

May 29, 2012 06:42 AM #7
Ambassador
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Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Tammy: This revolved around a delivery of documents that is not pre-planned and a certain number of days past that.  It was annoying, but a deadline is a deadline.

Carla:  Unreal.  We all check our voicemails daily.  Right?  Even on vacation?  If something needs immediate attention, the agent should have called you back or had someone filling in that could have gotten the message and called you back.

May 29, 2012 07:22 AM #8
Rainmaker
2,189,919
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Even if I don't feel like answering my phone on a holiday, I always return a v/m and respond to email. It's not a crime to check my email twice a day. It's kind of a crime not to.

May 29, 2012 10:06 AM #9
Rainmaker
1,234,213
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Chris Ann:  It's called being responsible.  It's called "doing the right thing" by your client.  It's called being mature.  It's called being sympathetic to the plight of others.  It's called alot of things.  And it typically means you have to extend .. or put yourself out some to accomplish something on the behalf of others.  I understand the sentiment of these others that are "on vacation".  I just don't seem capable of  following through on those actions.  Personally, I'm glad I can't ... and I think you most likely feel the same.  Good for you ... your clients are lucky they have you representing them ...

Gene

May 29, 2012 01:00 PM #10
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Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Elizabeth:  I'm with you on that.

Gene:  If I truly went on vacation, I would have another agent handling my phone, email and so forth.  They would be fully briefed on any pertinent details, for instance, on my Short Sale listings.  Being accountable to our clients is a must.  Whether we do it ourselves, or have someone cover for us while we are out.

May 29, 2012 01:21 PM #11
Rainer
278,100
Kathryn Maguire
GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881 - Chesapeake, VA
Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach

I don't really see the big deal of taking 30 minutes or so...even on a holiday... to take care of urgent business.  It certainly does not compromise family or fun time.  Crazy stuff!

May 29, 2012 11:00 PM #12
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Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Kathryn:  Especially if you are willing to answer a call, but not call your partner.  That is nuts.

 

May 30, 2012 06:34 AM #13
Rainmaker
773,682
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

You've hit the nail on the head.  This paragraph says it all:

Let me begin by saying, I believe 100% that we do not have to devote our lives to the pursuit of real estate.  However, if we choose to take time off, having someone to cover for you is a MUST.  After all, we are to look after the best interests of our clients, and sometimes, that is time sensitive.  It doesn't wait for your cookout weekend to be over.  Deadlines in real estate are firm.  And whether you are representing buyers or sellers, the effects of deadlines trickle down.

And, we all want to take the holidays off, but it turns out for us in our business that often some of them, especially once like Memorial Day or even busier weekends for us because our clients have the time off from work and the ability to get out there and look.  It's unfortunate for those sellers. -Kasey

May 30, 2012 08:27 AM #14
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Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Kasey:  Keep going back.  Must Haves is the title.

May 30, 2012 08:30 AM #15
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