I thought being a real estate agent was going to be filled with long days of happiness and joy. I had visions of Ren and Stimpy singing, Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy, in my head.
I quickly learned that could be the case, but many times it would be much more challenging. I like to call it, what they do not teach you in Real Estate 101.
There was the time my client threw disclosures at me and told me to fill them out. After all, I was his agent. He also went a little crazy when I called him, "Sir." I can't really tell you what he said, but it was not nice.
There was the time I showed up at a listing agreement and had the homeowners break down in tears over selling their home during the Great Recession. It is really hard to lose your dream.
There was the time I tried to negotiate a short sale with a relatively small short fall amount that I thought we could split four ways between the buyer, seller, listing agent and myself. It went over like a lead balloon and the listing agent hung up on me after telling me, "never to call her again." I was shocked that such a suggestion would create such vitriol.
There was the time an attorney asked me to modify a bank's purchase agreement to better align it with his client's (the buyer I was representing) interests. I showed it to our number one agent at the time and asked him what he would do if he received such an offer. He took the contract and, without saying a word, threw it in the trash.
There was the time I represented a young man. Each house we viewed had the whole family there. Mom and dad wanted a fixer upper. Grandma and grandpa wanted a perfect home and the young man was not sure what to do. I showed them at least 70 homes.
There was the time a lender did not check his client's employment until after his client removed all contingencies only to find out that his client's job was classified as a part time position even though his client worked over 40 hours a week. I was representing the seller and the seller ended up getting the buyer's deposit. It was a sad day.
There was the time that I listed a home just before COVID changed the world and I wrote about it in, Selling is Not Always Easy, The Best Laid Plans.
And there was the time, I was fired for doing a good deed. I relayed that story recently in, No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.
A career in real estate is not nearly what I had envisioned. I used to joke that I just wanted to have one, simple transaction in my career. They do happen and most of them really do involve happy outcomes, but you always have to be prepared for the unforeseen bumps in the road. Of all the transactions above, I closed almost all of them.
I could not come to terms with the agent that hung up with me. In retrospect, I think she was financially in a difficult situation and just could not share any of her commission. It was early in my career and I should have pursued other avenues.
I also lost two new clients in, No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.
For me, the key has always been to be persistent and to seek win-win, creative solutions when problems arise. It is also so important to continue great communications with the other agent. If things go wrong in one of my transactions, you are going to get a phone call very quickly, even more quickly than if something good comes up.
At times, real estate transactions feel like you are in the midst of a hurricane. Just be ready. Most problems can be overcome.
And remember, be happy!
Thank you to Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP and Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist for this month's ActiveRain Challenge. I have enjoyed learning from other agents posts. It has also given me a good chance to reflect on my career. I do love what I do. Thank you!
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