Gulp! Some Things Are Just Beyond Our Control

Real Estate Agent with Henderson, Thornton, Broomfield and Westminster 100026886

"Gulp!"  Sometimes, things are just beyond our control.  Greatest american hero logo

As a Realtor, I put on my cape several times a week to save the day, but when it comes to certain things, I am a mere mortal.    And sometimes there are things that cannot be controlled:

  • I cannot help the fact that the lender who wrote the "pre-approval" letter lied.
  • I cannot help the fact that the buyer lost their job.
  • I cannot help that the seller's hot water heater went out 3 days before closing.

These are fairly obvious, I guess.  But there are other things that are beyond our control as Realtors.  So, when I got the email 45 minutes before closing that the buyers couldn't close and would need to delay another day, I wasn't angry.  A little disappointed, sure, but not angry.

Luckily for me, my sellers have already moved out and aren't counting on the sale of this home to move on to their next chapter in life.  

When I called the buyer's agent back, it went to voicemail.  Having been on the other side of this situation, I wasn't surprised to have the call go to voicemail.  So I left this message:  "Hi, Bob, it's Jennifer Prestwich calling.  I just got your email.  >GULP!<  (pause)  No worries about not closing today, I'm just sorry that your buyer won't have this weekend to move in.  Let me know if we can schedule it for Monday, or if Tuesday is better."

"Bob" called me back in about 3 minutes, with laughter and relief in his voice.  "'Gulp!'  Haha, that is so funny!" said he.  "Thank you so much for understanding.  You wouldn't believe how many people have been yelling at me today, as if I am in control of the lender!"

While Realtors are generally independent contractors, we do need each other.  There are nearly always two sides to a transaction, and more often than not, that means that there is another Realtor in the mix.  

None of us are perfect.  And we cannot control every single aspect of the sale.  Injecting a little levity and understanding into our communications with each other will mean everyone is happier in the end.  

Believe me, happier Realtors will end up making happier clients!



Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Ginger Harper 09/10/2012 12:19 PM
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
Club Chaos
Diary of a Realtor
Bartender, Make it a Double
be nice
wacky lenders
things beyond our control

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Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
It is definitely important to remember that there are many things out of our control. Fortunately, your sellers did not HAVE to close. That is when it gets sticky. There is often a chain of sales that are dependent on one another and someone is bound to get mad down the kind somewhere. Way to stay positive and let the other agent know that you understand!
Sep 10, 2012 02:17 PM #18
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Jennifer, we have to keep the big picture  in mind, don't we? If we can rise above the circumstances, it's much better.


Sep 10, 2012 02:32 PM #19
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

Very good post Jennifer.  Delays are just a part of selling real estate today.  Right now we have six deals pending, and guess what?  Four of them have been delayed.  Good for you for handling it so calmly.  

Sep 10, 2012 10:18 PM #20
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Jennifer, threats don't make for a happy ending. Your sellers were obliging so there was no need to get anyone upset. You handled it nicely.

Sep 10, 2012 10:35 PM #21
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

You handled this like a true professional many would have been upset and still not gotten any further.  Congratulations on the Feature also.

Sep 10, 2012 10:37 PM #22
Harry F. D'Elia
Real Estate and Beyond, LLC - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

There are times we are just the bearer of news. I get the same thing in property management.

Sep 10, 2012 10:55 PM #23
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

I only have one criticism for the post...instead of "injecting a little levity" as you put it, inject lots of it.....put humor on point

Sep 10, 2012 11:51 PM #24
Vanessa Saunders
Global Property Systems Real Estate - White Plains, NY
From Manhattan to the Catskills of New York

The power of a positive attitude never ceases to amaze!

Sep 10, 2012 11:57 PM #25
Ashley Connolly
Northeast Water Wells Inc - Jaffrey, NH

What a great story both of your positive additudes sure did save the day :)

Sep 11, 2012 12:41 AM #26
Jennifer Prestwich
Henderson, Thornton, Broomfield and Westminster - Henderson, CO
Your Castle RE Colorado

Doug- You can cuss in 3 languages?  That must come in handy!  I can only cuss in two.... ;)

Kim- I have never screamed at someone on the other side of a deal - even when they were being a numbskull.  It just plain doesn't accomplish anything.  I have been yelled at for things that weren't my fault/problem/responsibility, and I just don't play that game!

Banana- Isn't it great when the other side "gets it"?  Isn't it a shame that this comes as a surprise???  I'm glad that you are working with great folks.  It makes life so much more pleasant!

Nancy- I could just tell when I got the email that he was expecting me to explode... There was no note, just a forward with his signature line.  

Jeanne- SO true.  I've been there too many times, with the other agent throwing fits... I just don't get why???!

Sep 11, 2012 12:55 AM #27
Steve & Lorri Hose
Your Castle Real Estate - Littleton, CO

Good morning Jennifer, you hit this one out of the park. Nice job.


Steve You tomorrow at Ninja..


Steve & Lorri Hose


Sep 11, 2012 12:55 AM #28
Goran Utvic
606 Homes LLC | Chicagoland Brokers Inc, Chicago IL 60656 - Chicago, IL
We Buy & Sell Chicago Houses Fast

Jennifer that's great..we are all so ready to put on the boxing gloves when the s**t hits the fan! Blame and point fingers, besides when do deals ever go without a hiccup or two?

Sep 11, 2012 01:08 AM #29
Jennifer Prestwich
Henderson, Thornton, Broomfield and Westminster - Henderson, CO
Your Castle RE Colorado

L&L- Geez!  Don't youjust love the "threats"?  One time, closing had to be delayed for my buyer by a couple of days, and the seller/agent told us that my buyer would now have to submit a $15,000 non-refundable deposit....  My buyer had a few choice words in response to that one.....

Jim- UGH.  Short sales... don't even get me started on those... ;)

Thanks, Peggy! 

Melissa-  I try not to... after all, it isn't brain surgery!  (Luckily!!)

Mike- That would be ulcer inducing for sure if all parties weren't willing to be patient.  Congrats on getting it done!

Donna- Aw shucks!  Thanks!  This story is actually ongoing.... I might need to do a follow-up post....

Joan- GREAT idea.  Things sure do change quickly - it used to be that when a closing date was set, everyone made sure that it happened... Not lately!

Pam- Thank you!  It makes SUCH a difference when we are all respectful and professional.  

Sep 11, 2012 01:09 AM #30
Jennifer Prestwich
Henderson, Thornton, Broomfield and Westminster - Henderson, CO
Your Castle RE Colorado

Tammie- I have been the Buyer's agent who was screamed at before too.... One time, I was even being screamed at over my cell phone when I had barely any reception and I kept losing the call... talk about the seller's agent FREAKING OUT!  I don't play that way.

Jan- I certainly hope so!  I remember the agents who have been a joy to work with, and those who... uh... weren't.  It does make a difference in the way we conduct our business moving forward!

Karen- That was a relief.  I was very fortunate that this one worked out like that!

Sharon- Always.  I am learning to be a Big Picture person more and more.  A day's delay - or even a week - isn't really that big of a deal in the long run!

CTs- Yikes!  4 delayed... That seems to be the norm over these past few weeks... 

Michael-Thank you.  Staying calm is the best way to be in this kind of situation!

Roger- I try to remember that it isn't about me.  I am a part of the deal, but we all need to work together for it to close!

Harry-  I can only imagine.  Keep smiling!

Richie- A sense of humor is vital in our industry!


Sep 11, 2012 01:30 AM #31
Jennifer Prestwich
Henderson, Thornton, Broomfield and Westminster - Henderson, CO
Your Castle RE Colorado

Vanessa and Ashley- Positive attitudes are what keep us going!  Plus, negativity causes wrinkles... ;))

Steve and Lori- Thanks!!  See you tomorrow!

Goran- This one has had its share of hiccups... But you are correct - none of them go off without a single hitch these days. 

Sep 11, 2012 01:32 AM #32
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

even if your sellers had been counting on closing that day, and there was another purchase in line for the afternoon... I've found that a whole lot of yelling, doesn't really accomplish much.   you catch more flies with honey.

Sep 11, 2012 03:38 AM #33
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

Thanks for sharing.  True...shouting does not prove the point.

Sep 11, 2012 04:10 AM #34
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Specializing in Brookside, Waldo, Prairie Village

At least a few times a week I want to say "don't blame me, it's out of my control" yet so often we are expected to 'fix' it.

you handled the situation beautifully..and I'm sure the other agent really appreciates your attitude!

Sep 11, 2012 07:55 AM #35
Lloyd Binen
Certified Realty Services - Saratoga, CA
Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411

Jenn, you're right and eventually every agent will experience every problem from both sides of the transaction and that increases empathy and understanding and sympathy for the other side.  I think the most experienced agents are the most understanding of problems on the other side of the transaction because they've been there.  And, guaranteed it won't be the last time a transaction is delayed by the lender whether you're representing a seller or buyer because, as you say, you can't control everything.

Sep 11, 2012 03:56 PM #36
Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

I think acting as a professional can go a long way. Things happen that are out of our control, and people do make mistakes. Great Blog.

Sep 12, 2012 03:56 AM #37
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