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Remembering Some Rookie Mistakes I Made

Real Estate Agent with Fathom Realty 8431215

While recently observing a new agent here in The Rain,   and if I am keeping it real, judging them too harshly, I was reminded of some of my rookie blunders.  Here are a few that I recall:


1.  Pre email and fax, showing up to my first closing with no commission bill.   The seller attorney, who I later came to respect, embarrassed me.   Never made that mistake again!  Now, the title co. typically asks for this 7-10 days pre closing.  

2.  Upon hearing that my under contract listing had "sill plate termite damage", I called my seller to tell her that an inspection revealed her window sills had damage due to termites.  While funny now, I was very embarrassed.  

3.  On more than one occasion,  I became miserably lost with buyers in my car.  These were different times, pre-GPS and before buyers mt you at the first house (showing).   To this GPS day, I leave early, just in case!

With my days of being embarrassed long behind me,  if you need any real estate guidance in Central or South Jersey, I would love to be of service.  Contact me at (609) 864-8164.



Posted by

Michael Elliott



Burlington, New Jersey Real Estate 

Broker / Salesperson

Fathom Realty


cell (609) 864-8164   office (888) 455-6040


Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Wow , we have stopped asking for Bills from the Buyers Agency in 1989  ! The Title companies merely ask us to verify the Commission Distribution 10 days before Settlement…

May 22, 2024 06:20 AM
Michael Elliott

Not here in NJ.  I am thinking that maybe terms from the contract have been adjusted many x over the years?

May 22, 2024 06:24 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

I have made more than my share of mistakes over the years.

We learn from every error.

May 22, 2024 06:24 AM
Michael Elliott

Yes we do!

May 22, 2024 06:26 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Michael,

We have all made embarrassing mistakes and learned from them. Our company has always sent to the title company our commission to be disbursed..one less thing to worry about!

May 22, 2024 06:32 AM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Interesting how different our closings are . . . we place into escrow any reimbursement invoices prior to closing and they are on settlement statement. And commission instructions are signed off by all parties as soon as we know we're proceeding to close. 

What is 'sill plater termite damage'? 

As far as getting lost . . . oh so many times, LOL 
I used to say I get one free U-turn per tour by playing the blonde card!

May 22, 2024 06:37 AM
Michael Elliott

Oops, typo--  SILL PLATE.     Yes each region seems to do things differently.  Keep in mind this was 1984.

May 22, 2024 06:46 AM
Candice A. Donofrio

I had to look that up! So the damage was on the frame at the foundation? 
Learn something new every damn day!

May 22, 2024 07:09 AM
Michael Elliott

Yes!    I was so green.

May 22, 2024 04:41 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Michael - mistakes of many kinds are a part of the learning process.  And that's a lifelong journey.   That said, rookie errors can be especially difficult.  Hopefully, they are not repeated.  

May 22, 2024 07:23 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Realty ONE Group Advocates 484-237-2055 - Downingtown, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

Add thsse couple, breaking the key in the lock, dropping the key into a grate in front of the door. I also had a buyer close a deck door behind us as we looked at the view only to realize it had locked. Luckily I could hop down, as it was not too high and get back in through the front door. now I always make sure I am the last one onto the deck and that the door is unlocked.

May 22, 2024 07:25 AM
Michael Elliott


May 22, 2024 07:26 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Michael, And I made my share as a rookie but I learn from them and got so much better and now help other rookies that they do not make them.

May 22, 2024 10:02 AM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Michael Elliott  : My first broker taught me the mistakes that cost us money we never make again. There is a section called Levittown that I would always get lost in. I remember I thought I was in the clear when I saw the sign  Exit Lane  - wrong, just took me into a different section. Looking back those days were fun - 

May 22, 2024 10:17 AM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Michael Elliott I also had my share of embarrassing moments, BUT even though they were embarrassing, they were good teaching tools.

May 22, 2024 02:26 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Michael- we learn from our mistakes!  It's the law of the land!!!

May 22, 2024 05:30 PM
Patricia Feager, ABR,CRS,GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Michael Elliott - "To err is human; to forgive is divine." ---Alexander Pope. 

Dear Human - I don't let buyers in my car when showing. But on more than one occasion the buyers followed, and I made the wrong turns, couldn't get my directions right, etc. Each time it happened, I apologized, and they were always forgiving. 

May 22, 2024 10:02 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Michael Elliott  having relocated from Boston, MA  to Los Angeles, CA 26+ years ago, I had bought a Thomas Guide, then upgraded it to a Laminated Thomas Guide.... I would pre-drive my showings to make sure I looked like I knew what I was doing... yes the good old days of pre-GPS:)Endre

May 22, 2024 10:58 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

HI Michael... I don't think I ever submitted a commission bill. In fact, I know I haven't. Our settlement attorneys use buyer and seller information sheets that ask what the commission is for each agent. They "magically" show up on the closing statement.

May 23, 2024 03:54 AM
Michael Elliott

In NJ, you don't get paid unless you do.  

May 23, 2024 03:55 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Even being 15 years into the business, I am pretty sure I still make some mistakes that I would consider rookie mistakes, haha.

May 23, 2024 05:28 AM
Michael Elliott

As long as we fix them, no harm, no foul!

May 23, 2024 05:31 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

When I first got into this business, I drove a 4-door sporty car with a 5-speed floor mounted stick shift. I quickly learned that trying to drive, look at my Thomas Bros Map book and shift did not work out well. I soon bought a new vehicle with GPS.

May 23, 2024 08:01 AM