The Principle of the Thing
Seems like this Top Bristow-Gainesville Agent has spent a lot of time in the last few weeks saving clients from chasing down a position rooted in principle. Believe me, as a very principled person, the principle of the thing has gotten hold of me in my own life too. I once chose to fund an attorney to countersue a psycho intern who decided to hack into my email and create havoc among my contacts. Mind you, my contacts ranged from national radio hosts to my own friends. The kid had a problem and hopefully found counseling after our issue. His suit alleged I had blacklisted him at the radio network and sister companies after reporting his hacking into my emails to my superior. The fact that he was fired for hacking into emails seemed to fly right over his head. He was sued ME for reporting it, which got him in serious trouble and changed the course of his professional life. Rather than give the kid a blessed dime to drop the suit he filed, I funded a trusted attorney to countersue. Who knows if it was the right business decision, but it sure felt good to show the kid that actions have consequences. In fact, thinking back on it, I seem to recall that the attorney I hired advised it would be cheaper to throw money at the intern and make him go away. Nope. I preferred to spend money sending my attorney's kids to college vs. giving the intern the feeling he had won.
Had I been in a real estate transaction with this unstable person and had a common goal which involved the changing hands of a property, I would have been silly to push the principle of the thing. It would have gotten me off course from the goal of getting to the settlement table. And when there is a mutual goal of the opposing parties, it is wise to keep that common goal in mind.
In a real estate transaction, emotions run high and it is easy to feel you are in an all out war. Negotiations surrounding home inspection and appraisal are probably the most heated battles I see between buyers and sellers. When either side picks up the weapon we call "the principle of the thing" my mind immediately conjures up the opening scenes from the movie Saving Private Ryan where soldiers are being slain as they storm the beach at Normandy. The odds of keeping a deal in tact when the principle of the thing has been conjured up in negotiations is slim to none.
If buyers and sellers could see the wasted deals of buyers and sellers before them that were wasted due to the principle of the thing, they may back off. And in our role as their professionals, at the helm of their side of the deal, it is our duty to keep emotions out of negotiations. Focusing on the dollars and cents difference versus focusing on the hurt pride that goes along with the principle of the thing goes a long way to keeping heads level. Hurt pride has an internal multiplier to those dollars and cents that we as agents can't see or feel. However, if we keep focus on the wins vs. the losses, and what chasing the principle may actually end up costing our clients, we allow our clients to not just feel they have won, but actually achieve the goal of making it to the settlement table.
It is okay to drop the principle of the thing in exchange for achieving the desired goal of buying or selling a home. The principle of the thing can't put a roof over your head, or find you an identical deal to sell if the current one blows up. The principle of the thing is a sneaky devil that can keep us from achieving real estate goals, while making us feel we have won. But have you really won if you no longer are under contract to buy your dream home because you walked when the seller wouldn't include the washer and dryer with the home? Have you really won if you lost a deal that was going to keep from unknown expenses of pursuing another sale when you have merely lost $2,000 in a low appraisal? Take a deep breath and focus on the goals you had at the outset of the transaction. If they are still in view, don't let the principle of the thing drag you off course.