Cutting Corners to Get the Deal Done -- I'm Not Impressed

Real Estate Agent with Realty Executives Integrity R.E. Broker 55289-90

real estate contract

I think one of our greatest responsibilities as a real estate agent is to provide service based on honesty and integrity. Sometimes it's tempting to cut corners to get the deal done quicker. Doesn't mean it's the right thing to do, but the temptation is there.

I think back to when I bought my first home and know that the agent could have so easily not completed the forms completely or accurately. And because of my lack of real estate knowledge at the time, I would have been none the wiser. I wish I still had those forms to take a look -- just for curiosity sake.

Hurrying through the pages of documents, ignoring deadlines and suggesting to the client and/or co-broke not to worry about it, and not filling in all the necessary blanks is simply a disservice. Part of our job is to ensure that our client understands the terms of the contract and what the deadlines really mean. While we might have to explain things a few times throughout the transaction, it's okay. That's what we're here for.

Running any type of business with anything less than the utmost of care and honesty is your choice. Encouraging others to do the same is less than admirable. So if taking the time to ensure all the T's are crossed and the I's are dotted means ending the year with a few less closings, I'll take a few less closings.


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Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


We have to review each contract and fully and completely prepare the documents are clients will be signing.  No cutting corners.

Jun 23, 2012 03:52 PM #6
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Peggy, very well said -- "Running any type of business with anything less than the utmost of care and honesty is your choice. " and still many agent do the business the way do it...we all know what it means...

Jun 23, 2012 04:36 PM #7
Phil Leng
Retired - Kirkland, WA
Phil Leng - Retired

Hi Peggy,

Something must have inspired this post.

Was it in your own office, or a transaction you were involved in?


Jun 23, 2012 08:17 PM #8
Pat Mistretta
PalmerHouse Properties & Associates - Atlanta, GA
Atlanta Lofts and City Living

Peggy - I can relate.  I have seen some contracts which left me wondering "what were they thinking?"  I am so detailed oriented it is second nature to me.  I am amazed at some of things that have passed my way.

Jun 23, 2012 09:43 PM #9
Peggy Wester
Realty Executives Integrity - Grafton, WI
Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County

Deborah -- Agreed. Maybe I'm too much of a "by the book" girl, but I just think it's worth the extra time to make sure everything is done accurately and completely.

Frank -- And it's so important to make sure our clients understand the terms of the contract. Takes some time and effort but it's a must.

Hella -- I think you hit something there. I do wonder if some of the agents themselves understand the contract. Recently had one comment that she really doesn't understand what that appraisal contingency is all about. Just puts the deadline as five days prior to loan commitment. What?!?

Evelyn -- Exactly!

Praful - They do. And eventually it will catch up with them.

Phil -- Just have seen sloppy contracts, verbal agreements rather than written agreements, and complete disregard for deadlines. A disaster waiting to happen, in my opinion.

Pat -- I'm very detail-oriented, too. I'm not saying I haven't made my mistakes over the years, but I would never intentionally skip over something just to get the signatures on the dotted lines and assume no one will notice.

Jun 23, 2012 10:05 PM #10
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

Ah yes, the details.  As unimportant as a few things may seem, they need to be done.  Every single time.  Good post and congrats on the feature.  

Jun 23, 2012 10:36 PM #11
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Hey, Peggy!  I included this post in Last Week's Favorites.  Have a great week.

Jun 23, 2012 11:53 PM #12
Pamela Smith
Award Realty - Sun City West, AZ
Sun City West, Corte Bella, Sun City Grand


There are several agents that I just cringe when I get and offer from them.  I know I am going to have to clean up the contract.

Jun 23, 2012 11:56 PM #13
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

This post caused me to recall when I bought a home and knew nothing at the time....I just never had any problems....because I had a good agent......a must for piece of mind

Jun 24, 2012 12:01 AM #14
Greg Nino
RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP - Houston, TX
Houston, Texas

Hi Peggy,

It's easy to rush and forget about details. We're all human. This is a nice reminder to slow down and understand how your own clients are likely to percieve your behavior. Good post!

Jun 24, 2012 12:25 AM #15
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Peggy, This is a wonderful post, thank you for writing it. I personally have to not cut corners because I have to look in the mirror every morning when I shave.

Jun 24, 2012 12:34 AM #16
Kathy Stoltman
Rockwood Realty - Ventura, CA
Ventura County Real Estate Consultant 805-746-1793

What you have stated is so important and in this fast paced real estate environment it requires even more vigilance on our part not to cut corners just to get an offer in.

Jun 24, 2012 03:07 AM #17
Lloyd Binen
Certified Realty Services - Saratoga, CA
Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411

Peggy, Pat's Favs sent me here.  Corner-cutting has been a perpetual problem in real estate and I blame brokers who allow their sales associates to take short cuts.  Good for you that you've chosen to be thorough and professional.  Your clients are fortunate to have you.

Jun 24, 2012 03:14 AM #18
John Fauth
Coldwell Banker King Thompson - Grove City, OH
Turning your dreams into an address!

No room for cutting corners or back dating. I have recently worked with an agent (I represent the Seller), and her forms were not filled in well or incorectly. To boot she is a top selling agent. I kind of looped me that someone this succesfull did not worry about all the blanks or what needed filled in. On top of that it is a short sale. With a flurry of emails all has been hammered out. Cutting corners can also hurt if you don't read what you receive to make sure it is done right.

Jun 24, 2012 04:22 AM #19
Bill Reddington
Re/max Southern Realty - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

At our board of Realtors there are approx. 2300 members. Over 1700 did not sell a property last year. As such, learned a long time ago thatyou have to check every contract/offer for all the necessities. This is reality.

Jun 24, 2012 06:24 AM #20
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

I actually had a client accuse me of being too honest once. I always tell clients that trust is an important part of any real estate transaction. I do my best to foster that relationship of trust.

Jun 24, 2012 06:42 AM #21
Laura Murray
Weichert - Silver Spring, MD
Search Montgomery Co., MD for homes
I think that there may be a shift happening in this industry. I believe that in the past clients selected agents based on personal relationships. However today with technology transforming the industry I believe competancy will begin to play a bigger part.
Jun 24, 2012 07:41 AM #22
Peggy Wester
Realty Executives Integrity - Grafton, WI
Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County

Christiansen Team -- Thank you!!

Patricia -- Wow!! Thank you!! A great week to you, too. :)

Pam -- I hear ya! Makes me shudder sometimes!

Richie -- And there has to be trust between the client and agent and a commitment from the agent not to betray that trust.

Greg -- Well put. I agree errors are made, but when details are intentionally overlooked -- just not a good thing. Thank you for stopping by!

Tom -- Exactly!! Thanks for stopping by.

Kathy -- Everything just seems so fast-paced these days. So easy to skip over the details in so many different ways.

Lloyd -- Thank you for your kind words. I agree with what you say, too. Unfortunately I think some brokers are willing to turn the other way for some "top producers."

John -- I agree; amazing how sloppy it gets sometimes.

Bill -- Wow! Your stats make me want to call our local board and see what the numbers are for us.

Tammie -- I do, as well. Takes some extra effort, I think, but it's worth it.

Laura -- That shift would be a welcome change.


Jun 24, 2012 09:23 AM #23
Peggy Chirico
Prudential CT Realty - Manchester, CT
REALTORĀ® 860-748-8900, Hartford & Tolland County Real Estate

Hi Peggy - I just had an incident where a client and the agent didn't read part of the contract and signed it! They were a bit surprised to have to give a little more than they thought they should at closing, but we wrote it in the contract! Yes, they should have been more careful.

Jun 25, 2012 01:06 AM #24
Frederick Glasser
S18 Photography - Evesham Township, NJ
Real Estate & Headshot Photographer

Great article!  I agree.  I see a lot of agents who cut corners and offer their clients less than optimal service.  There is not a whole lot of room for sloppy work, especially in this type of market.  I'm a real estate photographer, and I see it from another perspective other than just the paperwork...

While everyone has likely gotten a good chuckle at some point from Googling "bad real estate photos," I was recently shocked to see how prevalent extremely poor listing photos were.  Within seconds of loggin onto my local MLS, I found dozens of appauling photos.  

My post below gives some examples and then some quick stats about the impact solid photos can have on a listing. 

Fantastically Awful MLS Photos

I hope some of you guys at least get a good laugh out of what I found, and cheers for being diligent agents!

Jun 28, 2012 11:41 AM #25
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Peggy Wester

Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County
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