What does that even mean?

Real Estate Agent with ERA Excel Realty

Yesterday I was talking with (emailing actually) the processor for a mortgage broker.  I represent the seller in this particular transaction which is 120 days into a 45 day escrow, yes way over due, and trying desperately to finish funding conditions.  One last item remaining was a buyer's affidavit that needed to be redone.  When I asked if they either had it done or would have it completed and back to the bank in time for the one o'clock funding cut-off the response I received was...    " We're working on it"

Now I don't know about you but I have to admit I have used that response before in similar situations and suddenly it occurred to me.  What does that even mean?  Are you completing it now?  Is the buyer on the way to sign?  Has everything been done and just needs to be faxed?  What What What? 

Ok I admit I have given this non-answer, answer more times than I care to admit.  So on my oath as a Realtor NEVER again.  Or you can pummel me with a carrot until I lose consciousness.

Admit it you have used this response, or something like it yourself.  Does it really answer the question?  Your broker asks "How are things going on the Jones' deal?", or "Is the contract done for the (pick your street name)?"  How about when a client asks " Any news on selling my home?"  And without even thinking we respond I'm working on it.  Ok ok, I know you would never do something like that your freaking perfect at communicating with those around you.  Good for you then go read something else.  For the rest of us can we all agree that this answers nothing, allows us to pretend we are doing something and does not serve our clients, companies or ourselves.  Great so from now on, no more "I'm working on it."

Comments (4)

Judi Glamb
Coldwell Banker Hearthside - Hellertown, PA
Associate Broker, ABR
"I'm working on it" is our standard co-out response at our office meetings when we have no new listings.  I know how hard is relative - but it seems to keep us out of trouble.
Mar 28, 2008 07:44 AM
Diane McDermott
Realtor®, GRI, Landis e2 Real Estate, LLC - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte NC Real Estate Market
Very well written Russ, and an excellent point! The "it looks good" answer also drives me crazy...looks good to who? how good? is good just to mean not great or excellent? 
Mar 28, 2008 07:48 AM
Chaz Ramirez
DE Underwriter, VA Automatic Credit Underwriter, VA SAR, Six Sigma Green Belt, Trainer, HUD Title II Approval Consul... - Dallas, TX
Russ, I couldn't agree with you more!  Cryptic questions and answers are the worst!  But I have to say that you should never settle for accepting that type of answer from a lender.  Especially when a transaction is over due for escrow.  We (the lenders) probe everyone for everything.  It's expected that we'll be pushed and probed for Clear Communicable responses as well!  Better luck on the next deal hopefully it's a different lender!
Mar 28, 2008 07:58 AM

Well Said! "I'm working on it" is a frustrating response, especially in urgent matters, as in your own personal example. I can't stand it when I need a detailed answer, and I get a run around which in turn makes me worry that the person I am dealing with either doesn't understand the problem or really hasn't done anything at all about it!

Mar 28, 2008 08:49 AM