Murphy's Law and the Real Estate Transaction

Real Estate Agent with Front Gate Real Estate Broker 11085

Murphy's Law: What CAN go wrong WILL go wrong


This post was inspired by a missing prescription. I went to my doctor who said she would phone in my prescription. After work I went to the pharmacy, only to be told they had no record of an order. They blamed the doctor's office, who was closed by this time, and suggested perhaps I was at the wrong pharmacy!  


pointing fingers

Regardless of how much I protested, they didn't budge. The next morning, the doctor's office called to confirm my prescription WAS called in, this time with a confirmation (?), and my script was filled. 


So, WHY did I think this relates to real estate? If anything goes wrong, someone's going to point a finger. It's human nature to want to place blame, and I see it happen all the time.


A real estate transaction has many moving parts. Lots of people are involved from contract to closing. There is a buyer and seller, the buyers agent, the sellers agent, the loan officer or mortgage originator, the processing department, underwriting department, appraiser, home inspector, termite inspector, title company, attorney, paralegal, etc. A lot of people have jobs to do. and if something goes wrong, the finger pointing begins.

Teamwork Clip Art

I do my best, and I expect everyone else to do theirs. If I make a mistake, I will own it. And if you screw up, admit it, correct it if you can, and move on. 


Real estate transactions, as in life, take cooperation and teamwork, patience and understanding. Let's stop placing blame and work together toward a mutually satisfactory outcome.


Today was one of those days. Someone dropped the ball on a loan. I could have reacted badly and blamed the guilty party. Instead, I took a few deep breaths and looked for a solution instead of pointing the finger. If there are no other hiccups, we will still meet our scheduled closing time.


If you are buying or selling a home in Brandon MS, I will explain each step in the process and let you know what to expect. I will follow up with vendors and do everything possible to keep your transaction on schedule. Sometimes there are hurdles but we'll face them head on and do our best to work through whatever Murphy's Law throws at us.

Comments (13)

Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

HI Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty - Sometimes we have to bite the bullet and move on... 

I was thinking of a final walk-through after we had one of the first rains with months of fairly dry weather.  My client could not be at the walk-through and I went - I noticed water on the white basement floor. Long story short... we had to cancel the contract!  Nobody could figure out where the water was coming from. 

Oct 25, 2018 01:36 PM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Ok Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty  so where is your perscription ?  This is why I use a small Pharmacy that gives personal service .  Just like in RE personal service is so important .

Oct 25, 2018 03:08 PM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Pat no one walks away looking good when they finger point at someone else, but when you take responsibility for what you did, many times it turns into a positive.

Oct 25, 2018 03:20 PM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

Oh no!! Sheri Sperry - MCNE® - a leaky basement sounds awful. We don't have basements in my neck of the woods, so that isn't a problem for our transactions, but a lender who doesn't process the loan IS a problem.

Oct 25, 2018 04:07 PM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

The problem with the prescription was blamed on the call in system Hannah Williams . I tried my best to get another doctor to validate the prescription that evening but to no avail. I had to wait until the next morning. You're right about one thing, SERVICE is so important in the real estate transaction.

Oct 25, 2018 04:10 PM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

I see it all the time @GGeorge Souto. The lender or the Realtor seems to get blamed in most cases. I just want everyone to step up and get the job done, and don't pass the buck.

Oct 25, 2018 04:12 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Great analogy, Pat. Very few mistakes can't be fixed if someone just owns up to them and moves to fix them instead of looking for someone to blame.

Oct 26, 2018 04:07 AM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

Exactly! Nina Hollander although this particular situation is exasperating, fortunately the buyers and sellers are both reasonable, and I've been keeping them updated on all the steps involved in the process.

Oct 26, 2018 07:40 AM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

There is a lot of finger pointing and blaming. If everyone does their job, it usually works out just right.

Oct 26, 2018 09:01 PM
Francine Viola
Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA - Olympia, WA
REALTOR®, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs

Hi Pat - your title says it all and we all can agree on this! Sometimes I think it's a miracle transactions even close these days.     

Oct 28, 2018 02:31 PM
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

I agree that finger pointing doesn't help. Like you, I try to fix the problem and move on.

Oct 28, 2018 06:56 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

I loved the parallels, like you I am all about coming up with quick solutions to correct the problem rather than wasting time with finger pointing. That is why Escrow Officers and other agents like working with me...Endre

Oct 28, 2018 11:49 PM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

The transaction I had in mind when I wrote this post continues to linger in processing... the lender has no sense of urgency. Eventually we'll close Debbie Reynolds and Francine Viola 

Oct 30, 2018 02:53 PM

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