The X-Files of Real Estate

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

The X-Files of Real Estate



The buyers in this deal had a home to sell before they could purchase my sellers' home.  That was going to happen following our 11am closing at Noon.  No wait, someone just said it was happening at 4pm.  Then the processor from the title company walked in, hearing our conversation, and informed us that the first transaction that needed to close before my listing was considered sold was not closing until 8pm that night.  Yes, 8pm on Thanksgiving Eve.  If you are an experienced Listing Agent like me, that gives you serious pause.  Who is going to verify this signing actually took place at the other, seemingly clueless title company?  Everyone will be home getting their turkeys and side dishes prepped for the holiday.  And if it didn't happen, same question applies.  Who would know?

That's when I had to excuse myself from the room and call my sellers.  I explained that the settlement may or may not actually happen that day due to a delay by the buyer in the first transaction's lender.  My brain had already jumped to the worst case scenario, which was that our buyer's buyer may not be able to close, leaving them unable to consummate our deal.  Yet, there in the parking lot was a moving truck, packed to the gills.  The question asked to my sellers was simple, "Do you want to execute a Pre Settlement Occupany Agreement or tell your buyers they can't move in until we have proof of the other closing?"  Ah, the glamorous life of a real estate agent.

After serious discussion, which involved empathy for the buyer, my sellers found the best course of action was to execute a Pre-Settlement Occupancy Agreement that allowed the buyers to move in immediately at a rate of $100/day with a non-refundable $3,000 deposit if the settlement didn't occur by the last day of November.  My sellers also, realizing verification was an issue during the holiday weekend, waived any rent IF the deal settled by the following Monday. We got all the paperwork done to make sure my sellers were protected and I ended up getting delayed two hours longer than I thought.

So while I sat there in the dental chair, under the cozy blanket and watching The X-Files at 11am on Monday, I still had no confirmation if our deal from the previous Wednesday had closed.  It wasn't until my novocaine had worn off, much later in the afternoon, that I was able to tell my sellers that the deal was closed and provide them signed proof.

In this business, we have to always be prepared for the worst case scenarios and help our clients set themselves up for the best possible outcome.  And taking someone's word for things being "all good" is not a way to run a business, or protect your client.  Had our buyer's home not sold Thanksgiving Eve, or even on Monday, my sellers were protected with the documentation we had to put in place on the fly.  Thankfully, we didn't need it.



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Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Agent

Situations like the one you described can be stressful on all parties, that's when we must put on our "clear thinking" cap and consider the worst case scenario and make sure our clients are well protected! Well done!

Nov 30, 2016 04:51 PM #1
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Chris Ann

Ah yes, it's not over until it really IS over, and if things can go wrong so often they do. Sounds like you scrambled appropriately and were able to get things solved to everyone's satisfaction, even though it wasn't according to plan. That's the way this business is.


Nov 30, 2016 05:22 PM #2
Lauren Williams, CPO
Casual Uncluttering LLC - Woodinville, WA
Professional Organizer: Puget Sound homes

I'm not a Realtor, so maybe I understand the technicalities about as well as I speak Martian, but what rings out crystal-clearly to me was the effort that you (and your sellers) made to not only protect yourselves, but to do the best thing you could by the buyers. BRAVA!!!!

Nov 30, 2016 06:47 PM #3
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning again Chris Ann. What a horror story. The only good news is that it did indeed close.

Dec 01, 2016 09:42 AM #4
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Agents like you Chris Ann always go that extra step because that's just who you are. You want to protect your clients and being in the business as long as you have, well, you understand you can't just take somebody's word. You need to make sure your clients, above everybody else, will be OK, and no surprise, that's exactly what you did!

Dec 02, 2016 11:12 AM #5
Curtis Van Carter
Better Homes & Gardens Wine Country Group - Yountville, CA
Your Napa Valley Broker Extraordinaire

As I seat and ponder, I weep no longer. And then, I seek a better wisdom, I conjure the perfect peddler of dirt. For souls who are in journey, you need go no further to find that perfect being. For all those who have the yearn to sell their property, sometimes their soul. You have found that perfect wisdom, in the bosom of this woman. She is the best even if not perfected by these words. Sometimes I am besides myself, I don't know where to stop. OOOOOOPS did it again. Good night sweet princess. Your Dane stuck to his chin in purple.

Dec 09, 2016 02:04 AM #6
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Chris Ann Cleland

Associate Broker, Bristow, VA
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