My Craziest Real Estate Transaction

Real Estate Broker/Owner with 1 Month Realty 49855-090

My Craziest Real Estate Transaction


Don't Sleep on It


As a REALTOR, it is common to say "each week I learn something new in this profession".  Actually each week brings us something that "never" happened before. Thus I can say "I will never know everything there is to know about people or the practice of buying or selling real estate."


This year I had the opportunity to list a property with a couple who is planning to downsize after raising their family and getting closer to their retirement.  I was highly recommended by their daughter, who I had listed and sold her home ... so they were expecting a similar experience.


I listed the house and on Day 1 we had 4 offers. Three of the offers were reasonable but one was almost perfect and the seller decided to counter the best offer on a small but technical point. We waited a few days for the Realtor to respond.  After numerous attempts to get a response the agent relayed that his buyer changed his mind and moved on to another property. And luck would have it, so did the other 3 buyers as the market was so hot no one was waiting long before continuuing their search.  I assured the sellers that since we got those offers so fast we would be fine.


A few days later another excellent offer came in.  The seller accepted the offer right away and everything seemed wonderful.  After a successful Home Inspection and Earnest Money Received I got a call from the Buyer's Agent letting me know her buyer wanted out of the deal because he found out that it was going to cost more money than he "thought" to build a 3-car garage on the property. Seriously?  Deal went dead and rather than get stuck in litigation we let the buyer go and put it BOM (back on the market).


This time is took about a week and I had a very nervous seller thinking we would not find another buyer.  But another buyer couple came in and wrote a fabulous offer after previewing 3 times.  The progress seemed to be moving along nicely and the seller called me every single day to see if I had any news for him.  I assured him all was well and that I would be in touch as soon as I heard anything about our sales transaction.


About a week before closing I got a call from the Buyer Agent with a serious problem on the buyer's of the buyer's home sale.  WHAT?  What home sale?!*!?  Luck for all of us ... no one ever mentioned the buyers had a house to sell before they could close on ours!  And on top of that, it was a Short Sale? SERIOUSLY??? Too many details to share ... let me just say emotions were running high and wild and I was on the phone what seemed like 24/7. It was up and down and all around trying to come up with plans that would or might work.  The Seller and his wife were pulling out their hair and were willing to give up a portion of their proceeds in an effort to help the buyers. But at the end of the day (before closing), the buyer of the buyer walked.




This can't be happening.  I can understand once, but finding myself in this place a third time was more than crazy. Something I never saw in my 25 years in real estate.




That weekend I did everything I could to keep my sellers calm.  And of course, I put the house again, BOM!  Now it was going to be much more difficult as the market was so hot that a house on the market 2 months looked like there must be something "wrong" with it.


I got a call from a First Time Homebuyer over the weekend and you can just guess how FAST I ran out there to show the house.  He and his girlfriend loved the house, but as First Timers they wanted to think about it overnight and said they would get back to me after talking with their parents, etc. I mentioned my meme (see above) to let them know if they decide to sleep on it they may never sleep in it.


That night the seller called late in the evening and left a discouraging message saying, "we are taking the house off the market - we are so upset - so prepare the paperwork" ...  since it was late I decided to wait til morning to call him back. To let them sleep on it and hopefully cool down. The tone in his voice was one of anger, disappointment and resolve.  The next morining I called ... there were MANY words exchanged and I did my best to stay calm for my clients and reminded them that I had shown the house the day before and could I have just 30 minutes to at least call them to confirm if there is or isn't any interest?


Long story, made short.  My buyers did love the house. I met with them and we wrote a Full Price Offer -- void of any home inspection or contingencies other than financial.  We closed in less than 30 days and my reputation was resurrected.


The Sellers are now living with family and we will be home shopping after the New Year!



Comments (14)

Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Diana. You and the sellers had the patience of saints that allowed for a transaction that turned out well in the end. Enjoy your day!

Dec 10, 2019 04:51 AM
Diana Dahlberg

Thanks Wayne Martin 

Dec 10, 2019 04:13 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Diana - selling a property can be stressful and despite some serious obstacles your clients prevailed and were fortunate to sell and close with buyers who were likely quite happy to "win".  

Dec 10, 2019 05:03 AM
Diana Dahlberg

It was a WIN/WIN/WIN! We all won in the end.

Dec 10, 2019 04:13 PM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Diana,

Wow... that is unusual to have so many flips, especially in a hot market. Patience truly is a virtue!  It takes a lot of faith too, doesn't it? 

Dec 10, 2019 07:40 AM
Diana Dahlberg

Carol Williams Yes!  I prayed through and God honored my prayer and tenacity.  I'm learning patience more and more. 

Dec 10, 2019 04:10 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, CRB, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

OMG Diana Dahlberg that is a doozie of a story. Can't imagine having 3 sales fall through and then BOOM the sellers go sideways and want to take the home of the market. Thank goodness those buyers were the right and perfect fit for that home. And so happy to hear the relationship with the sellers got back on track and you'll be helping them purchase their new home.  You sure have a STICK TO IT ATTITUDE!  That's what it takes in this biz!

Dec 10, 2019 11:10 AM
Diana Dahlberg

I like that ... STICK TO IT ATTITUDE!  I'll take it!  Thank you for all you do here in AR!  It does not go unnoticed!  Merry Christmas!

Dec 10, 2019 04:12 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Oh my dear Diana Dahlberg - On most of your examples, I couldn't help but wonder if these folks were related to some buyers that looked at one of my previous listings! Now I know, it can happen to any of us, any time, any where! 

Geeze! What a circus and pack of lies and wasted time. I could understand your Seller's frustration as I have gone through similar situations but how you handled the stress at the very end was "Pro!" Only a true professional can hang in there and know it is better to wait until the situation is defused before taking action with a disgruntled seller. What a difference a good night sleep meant to you, the buyers, and of course the sellers too!

Well done, Diana!!!

Dec 11, 2019 05:42 AM
Diana Dahlberg

Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP Thank you for your kind and encouraging words!  You have such a gift!  I appreciate you taking the time to respond to my blog.  God only knows the "rest of the story" -- which would have become a small e-book  (LOL) so I opted to cut to the chase.  But I am more than thankful and am trusting you and I both have a fabulous 2020.

Dec 11, 2019 03:15 PM
Bruce Hicks
Best Homes Hawaii - Honolulu, HI
Your Best Hawaii Realtor!

What a great story Diana Dahlberg ! At least it's something you can write in your future book!

Dec 12, 2019 04:25 PM
Diana Dahlberg

Yes, we should all write a book ... A Day in the life of a Realtor!

Dec 13, 2019 07:25 AM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

OMG, that sounds like a good ole nightmare.  I'm proud of how you hung in there and managed to salvage the listing and likely save the sellers' money and heartache with other non-committed buyers.  I'm guessing this is a true one, Diana.  D

Dec 15, 2019 02:24 PM
Diana Dahlberg

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD Yes you are right, this is a TRUE BLUE one.  But I can tell you there were so so so many details of back and forth - up and down - and all around - wash - rinse - repeat. Very emotional for all parties. But I think that full story may be an e-book one day.  LOL 

Dec 15, 2019 02:38 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Diana Dahlberg - wow now that is some set of circumstances.  I am glad everything turned out.

Dec 19, 2019 10:47 AM
Diana Dahlberg

Yes, and I only covered the basics, otherwise it would have turned into an e-book!

Dec 19, 2019 12:01 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Yes, Diana Dahlberg, a long story. Well worth reading. Seems to me that at least of a couple of the buyers were guilty of default which would have put their EMD in jeopardy.

So glad the tale turned out to have a happy ending. 

Dec 24, 2019 12:56 PM
Diana Dahlberg

You are correct in your assessment, however we were looking at the large picture and not wanting to hold up anything in litigation.  All Happy Now!

Dec 26, 2019 08:27 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

OMG, what a living nightmare with a happy ending, thanks to YOU, Diana! The words your seller had for you - I do hope that he now realizes that you could not have helped ANY of that! I'm so happy that it worked out and that you actually had the buyer - you totally deserved that.

Your professionalism is what saved this one - I can only imagine what the outcome would have been with anyone any less professional than you.

Dec 30, 2019 03:08 PM
Diana Dahlberg

Well it was definitely the highlight of 2019! I'm glad I only recapped some of the details as this would have become a mini-book series.  Thank you for your always kind and encouraging words.  I did have my heart and mind in the right place and being professional was my goal no matter how it turned out. The ending was a positive one and for that I am grateful as are the sellers and the buyer!  All good!

Dec 31, 2019 09:30 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Happy New Year Diana Dahlberg - May Wisconsin snowflakes be gentle and pretty. Have a safe and great New Year. 2020 has a nice ring to it, don't you think???

Jan 01, 2020 05:42 AM
Diana Dahlberg

Happy New Year Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP ... believe it or not we have had fabulous weather these past few weeks -- in the high 40's and 50's unlike my daughter who lives in Arizona having 30's and 40's ... strange as it seems I'm not complaining.  As for 2020 ... it's the year of VISION! Best wishes to your prosperity !!!

Jan 01, 2020 09:39 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Good morning Diana!

Cheers to the crazy transactions! They are memorable, aren't they? And we learn so much too! 

I'm wishing you great business, excellent clients, and many successful sales!

Jan 09, 2020 03:17 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP

Diana Dahlberg - What type of a book should we write? Mystery, Suspense, Comical, Mournful, Hillarious, Romancing the Home, Fraudsters, Actors pretending to be Agents?

Jan 09, 2020 10:16 AM
Diana Dahlberg

Awe THANK YOU Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP !!! How nice of you to think of me.  I Ditto your great wishes! And yes, cheers to all our crazy transactions!  We should write a book! Enjoy your day my friend!  SMILE!

Jan 09, 2020 09:51 AM
Diana Dahlberg

I think a comical book would be the most fun!  We have to find humor in all the interesting things that befall us as Realtors ... Never a Dull Moment right?

Jan 25, 2020 08:35 AM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Hey, you're getting so close to 500K mark. I'm going to make a point to help you amass those final points to close the gap. Happy Saturday, Diana Dahlberg 

Jan 25, 2020 07:46 AM
Diana Dahlberg

Thank you!  I appreciate you reaching out to me.  I am getting so close ... I think I will do a Happy Dance when it finally happens.  

Jan 25, 2020 08:33 AM
Kathy Schowe
California Lifestyle Realty - La Quinta, CA
La Quinta, California 760-333-8886

Wow!!  That is bananas!  People would not believe what we go through as agents... they really wouldnt.  Great job hanging in there... and I'm so glad it had a happy ending!  Take care,  Kathy

Sep 29, 2020 01:12 PM