An Interesting Real Estate Conundrum

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Beam & Branch Realty TREC #547752

Let me set this scenario for you:

I listed an unimproved acreage lot in a brand-new development. No homes yet, just roads and infrastructure. Received an offer on MY listing and was set to close in just a few days when the phone rang....

"Hey, Paula, This is agent so and so and WE HAVE A PROBLEM!" I kindly asked him what was the issue. He responded, "Well, I sold the lot you have a contract on."


He then tells me his contract is already in escrow at the Title Company??? I then tell him:

1. This property is MY listing, therefore, had you done your homework, you would have known it was listed and all offers would have had to go through me.

2. How did the SAME Title Company miss this as both contracts were escrowed with them? Well, the other agent used the address of "TBD" rather than going through the process of locating the proper address which was CLEARLY listed on my listing.

He goes on to inform me that my clients would need to find a new lot.


Um, NO! You did not do your due diligence as an agent. Had you done your homework to pull comps for your clients, this lot that is LISTED would have come up.

He continues to argue with me and basically hangs up on me in a huff. I call the Developer who didn't realize the lot he allowed me to list was one and the same as the one this agent brought. Rut Roh!

Oh my! In my 18 years in real estate, THIS is a first! Thankfully, he realized the error of his ways and found his client another lot - WOW!

So many missteps that were unnecessary, to say the least. Bottom line, we are all responsible for the work that we are doing. It is essential to our clients that we are completing our due diligence. This could have been a train wreck!


Posted by

Comments (34)

Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Eileen Burns yes, there were so many issues on multiple fronts. It was nuts.

May 18, 2022 07:16 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Wow Paula- Good for you for maintaining your cool. Many things fell through the cracks on this one. I'm going to ask Larry if this ever happened when he was a builder. 

May 18, 2022 10:59 AM
Adam Feinberg
Elegran - Manhattan, NY
NYC Condo, Co-op, and Townhouse Advisor

Unimproved lots are an oddity in my market- so I am extremely unlikely to come across this kind of situation so I can't exactly fully appreciate the errors that occurred here. That said, I am glad the issue was resolved without getting too ugly. 

May 18, 2022 12:19 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

I am not typing what I am thinking as I read this post.  

The only person that seems to be on top of things in this situation is YOU! 

No surprise there. 

Thankfully, this ended well. 


May 18, 2022 02:03 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services



Mr. Crappy Says

Let Not the 💩 Hit the Fan!

Flush the Conundrum!



May 18, 2022 02:06 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Train wreck indeed! And where was the title company in all of this?  How can you use a TBD when an official address was indeed in place?  Interesting - have to watch out for this one!  Glad it all worked out!

May 18, 2022 04:04 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Perfect post for the Crap-Tacular Group. Oh, so lucky that there was another lot and all's well that ends!

Thanks for sharing, Dr. Paula McDonald!

May 18, 2022 07:06 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Paula:

Wow that is quite a story. Someone was definitely not on the ball. Glad it all worked out.


May 18, 2022 08:36 PM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

WOW! How crazy is that? I would be one unhappy buyer. Glad that were able to straighten things out.

May 19, 2022 04:32 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Paula,

OMG..You are so right..this could have been a train wreck!! I've never had this happen and that agent was so in the wrong on so many levels. Glad it all worked out for YOU and your buyers.

May 19, 2022 05:09 AM
Ed (Edward) Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

That was truly a strange issue and somewhere along the way someone dropped the message, including the developer that didn't recognize what was already under contract

May 19, 2022 07:34 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Paula,

I can't add anything that has already been said.  I do sell land and have never run across anything like this.  I am glad it worked out for you and your client.

May 19, 2022 07:50 AM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

   My late real estate attorney Joe Boyd, who was legal counsel for Tallahassee Board of Realtors, stressed the importance of a LEGAL DESCRIPTION in the contract, even for a lot and block cookie-cutter subdivision house.  He said that street addresses might not be correct, for a host of reasons.

 But "address TBD" accepted by a Title Company, with no legal description?  Good grief!  They should be reported to whatever State agency or BAR regulates them.

May 19, 2022 09:30 AM
Kris Collis, Associate Broker
Smart Way America Realty - East Stroudsburg, PA
Professional Results you Expect 570-801-5525

Paula  you were at the ready and took appropriate actions to prevent a lawsuit!  New agents, take a listen and learn from Paula's example.

May 19, 2022 11:23 AM
Mercedes E. Santana
Santana Property Group - New York, NY
Investment Properties

Well done Paula, you stood your ground and you were right. Rather than hang up in a huff, the other agent should appreciate your professionalism and advice...pulling comps is a no brainer.

May 19, 2022 03:36 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 / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Paula,
Why can't people just do their job... and not blame others when they don't? 

May 21, 2022 09:20 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Makes my stomach turn just reading about it.  Yikes.  Close call indeed.

May 22, 2022 07:48 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Featured in the group:  BARTENDER, MAKE IT A DOUBLE.

May 22, 2022 07:49 AM
Kris Collis, Associate Broker
Smart Way America Realty - East Stroudsburg, PA
Professional Results you Expect 570-801-5525

Paula, wonder Why buyers didn't cancel existing contract and write the offer on your lot since it was the one they wanted. 



Aug 11, 2022 12:30 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Sometimes these places find the right people with the right mentality to do the right thing, not always, but thankfully sometimes

Apr 02, 2023 08:28 AM