Real Estate Challenges

Real Estate Agent with eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) DRE# 00949880

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!

Choose to 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!

Posted by

             eXp Realty of California, Inc

Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI, e-Pro

Past Client Testimonials   

3412 Babson Drive

Elk Grove, CA 95758




Comments (65)

Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Good morning, Dr. Paula McDonald.  It is probably a good thing that I did not know what I was getting into.  I would probably still be a contractor.  I do not think I could hold up to the physical demands of that business any more.  Real estate does have its advantages.

Mar 30, 2023 06:48 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Ray,

When the times in real estate get tough, we lose a lot of agents.  They only see the $$$. For me, real estate is a love and a passion.  I let the bad things roll off my back.  I have seen most of what can be thrown at me, so not much is surprising.  you have endured, so obviously, you have also let it roll off your back. 

Many agents will be gone by the end of the year.  They won't be able to handle the ups and downs of this business.

Mar 30, 2023 09:41 AM
Diana Dahlberg

It can be A ROLLER COASTER ride at times, but I say hold on, better days are coming, and they always do!  Thanks for your comments Sheri Sperry - MCNE® 

Mar 31, 2023 07:29 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

I think I handle most of it pretty well, Sheri Sperry - MCNE®.  I learned early on that I had to keep my emotions out of it.  Otherwise, I might hurt my clients and I never would want that to happen.  I have learned to ignore a lot.  I started in the down cycle of the Great Recession.  It was probably my most successful time as an agent.  I don't mind the changes.  It keeps life interesting.  Thank you for dropping by!

Mar 30, 2023 01:28 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good afternoon Ray Henson ,

Great post and congratulations on the feature! That photo fits our lives in real estate perfectly! Sometimes we find ourseleved in the eye of a hurrican! But we survive and place our problem solving hat on!! I son't mind the changes keeps life interesting..never a dull moment!

Mar 30, 2023 01:43 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Isn't that the truth, Dorie Dillard Austin TX?  There is never a dull moment.  Let's hope the hurricane doesn't hit home again for a long time.  

Thank you!

Mar 30, 2023 02:05 PM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

Congratulations on the feature and my sense is my agents can relate as well to your experiences.

Mar 30, 2023 02:31 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Thank you very much, Leanne Smith.  I hope you are doing well!

Mar 30, 2023 03:07 PM
Leanne Smith

Yes very well, just invested 10 long days, 5 showings and a house is under contract above asking price with a cash offer.

Mar 30, 2023 03:26 PM
Ray Henson

That is great to hear, Leanne Smith!

Mar 31, 2023 06:50 AM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Really enjoyed reading this post Ray Henson and congratulations on the FEATURE!  This has been such a fun challenge and getting to see that none of us cheese stands alone (like The Farmer in the Dell) but we are encouraged and draw strength and wisdom from others and how they made it through the storms of life in real estate.

Mar 31, 2023 07:33 PM
Kimo Stowell
HI Pro Realty LLC RB-21531 - Honolulu, HI
REALTOR Associate® RS-76763 - Honolulu Hawai'i

Aloha Ray Henson, the trials and tribulations of the Real Estate transaction reminds me that there was another ditty by the dog & cat duo that I think applies well here. The song is “Log” and if you recall the chorus went something like this. 

it’s log, it’s log

its big, it’s heavy, it’s wood

it’s log, it’s log

it’s better than bad, it’s good!

Real Estate is like Log. Some days it’s rolling down the stairs in pairs and then, without warning, it’s out the door running over the neighbors dog.

When it comes to Real Estate, Log is more than what you make of it calling us to take stock of the immortal words of Blammo… it’s better than bad, it’s good!




Apr 01, 2023 11:19 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Thank you very much, Diana Dahlberg.  I am always surprised when a post of mine is featured.  It is always appreciated.

One of the things that I like about ActiveRain is that I can read about so many other agents experiences and learn about how they would deal with an issue.  It really helps!

It is good to hear from you and thank you for stopping by!

Apr 01, 2023 11:35 AM
Diana Dahlberg

Sorry Ray Henson for the delay in responding.  I was on a Caribbean Cruise with my daughter who lives in AZ.  I was UNPLUGGED (literally) and it was a wonderful trip.  So glad to be back!  Thank you also for your kind comments -- hope to see you again when I visit AZ -- not sure when that will be. 😇

Apr 12, 2023 02:34 PM
Ray Henson

It is good to hear that you have been on vacation with your daughter and that you have been totally unplugged.  I don't know how it gets any better than that!

Welcome back and I will be looking forward to your next visit!

Apr 13, 2023 09:00 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Aloha, Kimo Stowell!  I love it!  You added a little Ren and Stimpy color perfectly, "It is better than bad, it is good!"  Those challenges can feel very good each time we overcome them or learn from them.  

Click here for the link to the full song.

Apr 01, 2023 11:45 AM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

You are so right all of what you described is never mentioned while taking real estate classes. The school of hard knocks book, includes all of them and more.

Apr 01, 2023 12:40 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Your list sounds very much like every single SUCCESSFUL agent I know, Ray! These things happen and if others say they haven't attended the 'school of hard knocks' as Ed Silva referred, they don't sell real estate...or much of it at all! 

Great stories and the 70 homes one HAD to be during The Great Recession! I don't remember a time that many homes in the Charlotte Metro, fit the list of criteria for any client...except during The Great Recession! During that time, I showed a ton of homes - just to take away the stress of waiting for the banks to phone me back with short sale Offer answers!

Thank you for participating in March's challenge - all 3 were great stories and we all enjoyed how you shared them, Ray!

Apr 01, 2023 06:16 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Good morning, Ed Silva.  Looking back, I am surprised that I stayed with this career.  It is probably a good thing that I did not learn about these challenges up front.  Ha!  

I hope you are doing well and it is good to hear from you!

Apr 02, 2023 07:09 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Thank you very much, Debe Maxwell, CRS.  My career started during the Great Recession and it was probably my most successful time as an agent.  There were so many homes to show and it was so easy to show them.  I did learn at the end of that period that I could not just be a buyer's agent.  When the market shifted to a big seller's market, I lost my mojo!

Apr 02, 2023 07:12 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Yours is a wonderful post, especially for those new agents who may think that they're the only one who has run into such problems.

Dealing with people, there WILL be issues to solve.

Apr 02, 2023 04:09 PM
Diana Zaccaro Broker Associate
Tropical Beachside - Cocoa Beach, FL
"The Accidental Blogger" Cocoa Beach, Florida

Great post and I can relate to some of your experiences. If your post was required reading for those thinking of getting a real estate license, it would probably scare off most of them! 🤣 My motto has always been "fall down six times, get up seven" and that pretty well sums up some of the things we deal with.

Apr 02, 2023 07:04 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Thank you, Marte Cliff.  I agree. The real estate process has so many moving parts and people involved that even in the best of circumstances, there can be challenges.  Maybe my years as a contractor helped me deal with it all.  

It is good to hear from you.  Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment.

Apr 03, 2023 07:04 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Thank you, Diana Zaccaro Broker Associate.  I love your motto!  I may borrow it sometime in the future.  😃

Apr 03, 2023 07:06 AM
Kieran Jackson
Keller Williams Hollywood Hills - Los Angeles, CA
Realtor®, SFR, U.S. Army Veteran

Thanks for sharing these experiences. I had an attorney for a client, and she seemed crazy! She would call at all weird hours of the AM (1, 2, 3) to talk about houses. Every conversation with her was like a full on court battle. Then there was the time we were sitting in her car in Palos Verdes after seeing a few homes. She BLEW UP yelling and screaming. Meanwhile, I'm sitting there thinking, that's iot. I'm doine with her!


May 03, 2023 03:12 PM