Real Estate Agent with Douglas Elliman Real Estate 30HA0800896


It's happening more and more now: 

Are you noticing a different tone to the way a seller or landlord speaks to you? Do you have buyers who are angry with you when the house they want so badly is no longer available because another buyer came along and paid all cash?

When a deal dies do you take a pro-active postition or do you just let it go and find yourself in state of mind that is hard to get over? Do you feel like the deal fell apart because you did not do your job properly?...that if only you had remembered to say such and such you woud not have lost the deal! If only you had used another technique in handling the whole affair, maybe you could saved the deal???

All of these feelings and reactions come naturally in a normal market and disappear quickly when  the next deal comes together. In this real estate market however, those next deals are just not coming into the pipeline like they used to and it becomes harder and harder to "get over" a lost deal and move on.

 Here are a couple of situations that I faced just recently:

  • A deal is ready to go to contract and the buyer gets bad news about their financing--they may not even be turned downWHY DO WE BEAT OURSELVES UP WHEN A DEAL GOES SOUTH? but the bank has scared them sufficiently to keep them from wanting to sign on the dotted line! The bank now requires that the buyer buys PMI, or Private Mortgage Insurance.
  • An appraisal comes in significantly under the price the buyer is about to pay for a house--the bank has told the buyer to pay the difference and the buyer decides to stop looking.
  • A seller has second thoughts about completing a transaction on his accepted offer after talking to a neighbor and finding out that they are getting a lot more for their newer house than this owner is getting.
  • It is impossible to resolve the conflicting feelings that a seller has that maybe he took an offer too quickly; or maybe even priced his house too low!


What do You do when these things happen to you? I have worked very hard on creating a certain way now to keep myself from re-acting in a way that is harmful to me, both from  the negative treatment I may receive from someone and from the upset that naturally comes from not being able to complete a deal for someone. I have stopped literally beating myself up when a deal goes South!!!

  1. First of all I always have a list of options for a buyer when I am working with one--I make sure it is prepared in the very beginning so that the buyer knows about it and can quickly review it.
  2. The list will include all other properties that are available in the price range and area--this includes the houses we looked at that were potentially going to fit the bill. The list will lay out a series of instructions to the buyer to prevent or to prepare themselves for a turn-down on their financing--I always have 3 mortgage professionals who are ready to step in to save the day.
  3. I go overboard to give the seller of my listings the comps for their home in their neighborhood...I also drive them by these comps so they get a real sense of what I mean when I talk about comparables. This gives the seller a confidence that they need so they feel they are getting the very best price possible when a buyer or buyer's representative begins the bidding process.
  4. By diligently informing and guiding a buyer, I have not "lost" anything because they are still there working with me; these are the future buyers who will eventually buy a house and will buy it through me because of my persistence and diligence.
  5. The final and most important thing I do now before I work with another person is to meditate; I need to clear the air of all negative energy and bad feelings that may have arisen during the difficult process of listing or selling a property. I ask to be shown the correct way to handle this individual and this particular situation and I am sure to show gratitude for abundance that is now available to me...and then I follow my instincts carefully--I listen to the urgings of my intuition more than ever now, and it works very well for me.

BUYERS AND SELLERS ARE WORLDS APART TODAY..Buyers and sellers today are worlds apart:

Sellers are usually NOT very happy--in most cases they do NOT want to sell their home. This is happening at ALL price points too! There is a whole new level of "hurt" when it comes to those who NEED to sell!

Buyers can be ruthless in trying to get the lowest price possible--gone are the days when a buyer would reluctantly offer a ridiculously low price because they didn't want to "insult the homeowner"....In today's real estate market, there is no shame when it comes to bargaining for a low price. The only exception I have found is in the case of a buyer who wants a "new build".

When I have someone who wants to get the house they love for a "song" I work with them very carefully to give them the right ammunition with the facts about the actual current value of a property. I do this so that the buyer has a comfort level and does not expect that the owner, pushed into desperation will throw in the towel and give in to an unrealistic offer. I do this as soon as a buyer has identified the house they like.



Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Bob Crane 07/22/2012 04:29 PM
ActiveRain Community
New York Suffolk County Southampton Southampton Village
Active Rain Newbies
Real Estate Tomato Bloggers
Addicted to Active Rain
stop beating yourself up
clear the air
when a deal goes south
unrealsitic offers are real deal killers
sellers are not very happy

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Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Hi Paula, it is only human nature to question what could we have done to prevent the lost deal. Best to learn from your mistakes and those of your client and move on to a better deal.

Jul 22, 2012 04:26 PM #1
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

Paula, I agree, there comes a point we have to let it go, not blame ourselves, especially when we've done everything we can. Some things are out of our control. The market is not an easy one because buyers do want the deal of the century, and sellers that need to sell aren't all that happy about it. 

Jul 22, 2012 05:11 PM #2
Janis Borgueta
Key Properties of the Hudson Valley - Newburgh, NY
LIC RE Salesperson

Paula... I agree that we can't blame ourselves, but of course it is human nature to do so. I frequently go back and think if I was better at what I do I could have predicted the turn of events.. but of course I don't have a crystal ball to foresee everything that is going to happen. Some things are just too strange.. Reality is that deals today take longer and are so much more complicated, and as a Realtor you never know what is going to happen next.

My broker tells me to just move on to the next one...

Jul 22, 2012 09:00 PM #3
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

Great job with your post! Outstanding suggestions.

It takes some experience to come up with the coaching that you have shared. Not everyone will move on as quickly as you do, some will allow events to fester.

Jul 22, 2012 09:22 PM #4
Bobbie Smith
Stroudsburg, PA

Paula, It is so hard not to get upset with yourself when a transaction falls through, this is true.  Your prep ideas are good helpful hints. Be prepared for the worst and get past it is an excellent idea. Great post. Thanks. 

Jul 22, 2012 09:25 PM #5
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Bob: That's exactly what I used to do--but of late it is very hard to do  that because the next deal is not waiting at the door that just closed! The next deal could be a month away--or more! What do YOU do when there is long time between deals now?

Pamela: If only I had learned a technique that helps me to do that sooner! In today's market I keep in touch with a buyer or seller for a much longer time period--even if the deal is long dead. It just feels better to me if I can keep a dialog going for a longer time afterwards. This can mean something in the future and I keep holding onto the idea that I will get another deal soon!

Janis: Very wise advice, indeed! These things have gone on since the beginning of time--but now the "beating oursleves up" thing can become a very bad habit that will be harder to get rid of the longer we do it! Over time, we will not even recognize that we are doing it!

Jul 22, 2012 09:36 PM #6
Richard Burge Realty/ Burge Homes
Richard Burge Realty/Burge Homes - Conway, SC
Broker in Charge/Owner

Deals that fall apart and go south are not in our control most of the time.  I have had deals that could have be saved if the sellers and buyers would have be more flexible in their thinking about fixing the problems and just not digging in their heels to the point of a no win for anyone. 

Yes,  Mr. & Mrs. Seller your home did not appraise for the amount of the offer to purchase because of the other low sales in the area, we need to compromise on the sale price for the buyers to get the loan needed to buy the home.  Oh NO I am not going to give my house away just becasue others have sold cheap.  My home is worth a lot more than theirs.  Buyers say I am not going to pay more than the appraised price.  The home is just what I want but not for a premium price....

Is the deal dead or do we prusue compromise???   Either way it is not the agents fault that the appraisal was out of our control and we can't can the numbers....

Work it out or move on....the road in real estate has many turns and bends....

Jul 22, 2012 09:42 PM #7
Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl
Samsel & Associates - Clark, NJ
The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

Good morning Paula - You've summed up our experience in NJ in this post. Deals are taking much longer to put together lately - probably, as you've pointed out - because sellers have low confidence and buyers are getting more and more demanding about getting a good deal. Negotiating a deal takes longer, and seeing it through to the end has seen more and more complications. Not a job for the fair of heart!

Jul 22, 2012 09:45 PM #8
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Joe: Thank you and I hope that you too are able to get over a deal gone South! It took me about a year to fully realize the damage that was accumulating in my life just from the bad deals that were happening....then I found out that the same thing is happening to most agents! They just don't share that information---which is another thing I incorporate into my daily "fitness" in my business. I share with a certain few what I am going through with a deal, asking for some suggestions as to how to handle it. This is remarkably therapeutic for all involved--just be careful who you  pick to share with!

Bobbie: Thank you and I hope you too are able to overcome the negative energy that naturally comes our way in this business! Talking about it with someone you trust, in the business helps also. As I was writing this post ( and re-writing too) I found out that as crippling as some lost deals are to get over, there is always something I learn from each one; I don't have to even try to remember them. They are embedded in my brain!

Jul 22, 2012 09:47 PM #9
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Richard: Well said--we need to learn the best way to move on--especially if we are not looking at another deal any time soon! That, and the need to earn money to live, can become a focus that cripples us and keeps us from being open to the next deal!! It can be a vicious circle...Thanks for sharing your ideas..

Wayne and Jean: You have seen the light too, I see! All kidding aside, the idea that we are going to get on to the next deal and get over the negative energy from the last lost deal is a stretch now. This market has it's most difficult deals all waiting for our attention; we need to have the tools to deal with them too! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this important topic 

Jul 22, 2012 09:54 PM #10
Jenny Durling
L.A. Property Solutions - Los Angeles, CA
For Los Angeles real estate help 213-215-4758

Suggested!  I do think alot of us beat ourselves up about alot of stuff, even those things way beyone our control.  I'm ok when a deal goes south , I just make sure I have enough going at once that it's not a 'big deal'.  Of course it feels like a big deal at the time. I find I stress more over the waiting for buyer and seller to decide if the are or are not going to move forward once they hit a snag.  My conflict has to do with wanting to advice my client properly without sounding like I just want to sell something.  It can be hard to get that across sometimes and I will actuallly say " I don't want to sound like......, I am giving you my honest opinion based on my experience.  That can do the trick, but there's still the waiting.

Jul 22, 2012 11:56 PM #11
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Jenny: In those "waiting" times is where the trouble lies--if one can not get beyond a sense that they did something wrong then that waiting is where they end up haivng difficulty with the public--the effects of stress in real estate goes well beyond the people involved in the actual deal--It affects family and friends and even strangers when an agent who can't deal with a lost deal "loses" it in public or on the phone. I have seen anger in some agents that goes well beyond being "upset"--it is not a pretty picture.

Jul 23, 2012 12:46 AM #12
Doug Bullwinkel
Envoy Mortgage, NMLS 6666 - Roseville, CA
Mortgage Loan Originator NMLS #281609

Most of us take our jobs very seriously and we want our buyers to achieve their dream.  When it doesn't work out we ask ourselves, could I have done more to make it happen?  

Jul 23, 2012 04:57 PM #13
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Doug: you are so right! Currently there are 3 people in the office here who are not handling the stressors very well..I can't wait for normacly to return in the market--maybe that will ease the stress!

Jul 25, 2012 12:49 AM #14
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