I'VE BEEN STOOD UP! How can we avoid this?

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Alliance

I got a call from a fellow Realtor, he has a client in his area that NEEDS to sell a property in my area.  The best type of call, right?

I do some preliminary homework, I call the client, we go over the details...nice conversation.

As with many people right now, this guy is in a bad position.  He purchased the property at the peak, somehow got more money later (than I think it was ever worth!) with a HELOC, had some issues with the developer and the quality of the product, got frustrated and stopped paying the mortgage.

Who hasn't heard this story lately!

So, since I have made a decision to learn as much as I can about Short Sales & lean into them rather than run away from them, I schedule an appointment to meet him Saturday morning.  I left the time a little open since he has a long drive. So here is how it plays out...

Wednesday, got the initial referral from the Realtor (15 minutes?).  Do my homework (20 minutes). Call the client and hear his story (25 minutes). Schedule to meet on Saturday morning around 11:30. Total Time Investment= 60 minutes

Thursday,look up tax records, county records to research the status of the mortgage (ie lis pendence, other judgments), research the comps from when he purchased and current. Determine a rough list price considering that I have not seen the property and I know there are some issues. All total probably almost 2 hours (yes I like to be thorough). Total Time Investment = 120 minutes

Friday morning, changed up my schedule to attend another Short Sale seminar so that I can ask some questions relating specifically to this guys problem. 2 hour seminar, 30 minutes networking, 30 minutes drivetime. Yes it is education anyway and worthwhile.  Total Time Investments=180 minutes

Friday afternoon, call loan service 11 minutes on hold, 4 minute conversation. Total Time Investment = 15 minutes.

Saturday morning (which i had scheduled off to be with my family but..the guy is in a bad way and needs quick attention so i will go to work.) 10:00am Go to my office and prepare listing agreement (15 minutes). He is supposed to call when he is on his way so I hang out at the office and do some other work. 10:41 I call him to make sure he is coming, he says yes but he is on another call and he will call me right back. 11:00 I call his phone...no answer. Keep in mind we are supposed to meet around 11:30 and he lives 1.5 hours away.  11:36 still no return call so I call him...no answer (of course).  Total Time Investment =about 120 minutes

Now I (very nicely)call the referring Realtor to let him know I am being stood up! He calls the client...It turns out that he is sitting in a meeting with his accountant & attorney to discuss his options!!! Obviously he had to schedule the appointments with these two Professionals!!! HE DID NOT STAND THEM UP!!!


What was my biggest mistake...

1. Not confirming our appointment on Friday (I did try but got no answer)?  By now, most of the work has been done.

2. Trusting a guy who has not paid his mortgage in probably six months or more?



I do enjoy my job and I will try to help this guy out if he needs me.  I will continue to lean into Short Sales because I see a way that I can help people out of a bad situation.  I am not mad at this guy, just frustrated that he had so little respect for my profession that he could not make a simple phone call.  We should all respect each others time regardless of the profession.  By the way, he is a mortgage broker...how ironic.

Wishing everyone a Positive & Prosperous 2009!

Kathy Manganello 

No names have been used in order to protect the identity of the irresponsible. May we all learn a thing or two from each other.

Comments (55)

Toula Rosebrock
Diane Turton, Realtors, Forked River, NJ - Lacey Township, NJ
Broker/Sales Associate, Realtor, Lacey Township,

Hi Kathleen:

Well, there are people who have absolutely no respect for other people's time.

At this point, you need to decide whether you are willing to let it happen again with this person... 

Dec 07, 2008 07:02 AM
David Green
RE/MAX at The Shore - Cape May, NJ

Hi Kath,

As the co-referring agent on that one I wish it would have turned out better. It does sound like one more kick in the teeth which this business is known to bring about. A few of the replies did mention the whole cost of OJT.  As the time goes by we learn to act and prepare differently for who we deal with. It's alot like investing in stocks and intuitively knowing what risk is better and how much you want to invest.

Keep up the great work it does pay off, don't get too discouraged.


Dec 07, 2008 07:22 AM
Ella Glover
Lubbock Homes - Lubbock, TX

It's time like this that you try to reflect and say what could I have done differant?  If you had done this or that.  Then let it go, don't waste any more time on him, but dont give up.  It happens to all of us.

Dec 07, 2008 07:32 AM
Debbie Hutchins
Birmingham, AL

Oh if I had a dollar for every time that I have been stood up over the last 20 years!  Well I wouldn't get rich but there have been times.  I do always confirm the appointment before I leave home to go to the office....just in case something may have come up.


Dec 07, 2008 08:08 AM
Marian Goetzinger
Pine Knoll Shores Realty 252-422-9000 - Pine Knoll Shores, NC
Crystal Coast Real Estate NC

Hello Kathy,  I think we often pay for other less professional REALTORS who don't act like professionals and so we all get treated as less.  However, I also think you may need to give the guy the benefit of the doubt.  He's in a tough spot and much of that is because of what's going on the world, not necessarily his fault.  So now he's stressed and probably even scared and finds it hard to make good decisions.  He should not have treated you so disrespectfully but maybe that's not the norm for him and I think you should give him another chance.  Remember, "Do unto others..."

Dec 07, 2008 08:35 AM
Jason Fleming
Jason Fleming Agency INC - Coon Rapids, MN

I have not and will never stand someone up, I think that is just plain rude! With that being said, try to make something out of attending the class.

Dec 07, 2008 08:53 AM
Isaac Bensussen
Pacific Coast Real Estate Group - La Jolla, CA


It has happened to all of us. Nevertheless, there is never lost time in Real Estate. Think of the tremendous amount of information that you learned preparing for this client. It will help you with the next person in the same position; and I will guarantee you that it will happen.

When somebody stands me up, I leave a nice note at their door letting them know that I showed up, that their home is beautiful, and to please call me back so we can schedule another appointment.

Isaac Bensussen-Best Homes in La Jolla

Dec 07, 2008 09:36 AM
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

This unfortunately does happen -- not sure how you could have prevented it really .All the best.

Dec 07, 2008 10:13 AM
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Kathleen, My question is how many times did you speak with this guy from the time you made the appointment on Wednesday until he didn't show on Saturday? At a minimum you should have communicated with him on Thursday after doing your preliminary records search and again on Friday after speaking with his loan service. Then I would have certainly called before I left on Saturday to go meet. These contacts would have made sure you weren't wasting time and/or really locked him in a loyal customer/client. Doing things this way lets folks know you are serious. I've maybe had 2 or 3 no shows in 14 years and I can't even remember the last time it happened.

Dec 07, 2008 10:46 AM
Kathleen Harron
Century 21 Alliance - Wildwood Crest, NJ

WOW!  Thanks for all of the great responses!!! It is nice to have somewhere to vent your frustrations while also getting encouragement from others.

I spent my day shopping with a friend, licking my wounds, & making lemons out of lemonade.  I was however, addicted to my emails on my phone as all of the comments were coming in!

This is not the first time I have been stood up (being in the business for 5 years) & will probably not be the last.  I did enjoy the seminar and I will use the information that I have learned. 

Since this fellow has yet to call me back..I will not work with him now.  Different if he would have called after his appointment and filled me in (maybe an apology would have been nice too).

So here is what I have learned...

-Communicate more with the client (even if they assure you that they are set to meet with you).

-Try not to get so involved in preparing for the first meeting, this can be tough when the client is from out of town and previewing is not an option. I like need to be prepared for all appointments.

-Treat others as you want to be treated. (I hope know that I am good at this already)

-Dave Green believes in me enough to refer clients to me.  Dave, I truly appreciate the referral and know that I will continue to work hard for anyone that you send my way...regardless of the outcome.  I owe you my friend.

-ActiveRain is a great place to vent, help others, give & receive some enouraging words, & surround yourself with a wonderful network of people.

I am sure there are many other lessons here but it has been a loooong day.

Thank you all.



Dec 07, 2008 11:29 AM
Bobby Wallace
Vacant Land Solutions - Charleston, SC
Sell Your Vacant Land The Hassle Free Way!

Kathleen- Hindsight is always 20-20. Unfortunately, this is the way it is when you try to help some folks; they do not value your time. Hang in there.

Dec 07, 2008 12:21 PM
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
850-476-4494 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

Some people will never respect another time and unfortunately this is one. I don't know if there is anything we can do. That is why I meet people on my terms, I don't give up what I'm doing for someone else. What's the saying"someones emergency is not mine" anyway good luck and Happy Holidays to all.

Dec 07, 2008 12:38 PM
Roland Woodworth
eXp Realty - Clarksville, TN
eXp Realty

Kathleen.. I know what you mean.. been there.. done that. Not a happy feeling after you put in so many hours of work and get not even a chanve at earning a return

Dec 07, 2008 01:14 PM
Morgan Evans
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY

Thats a rough story, hopefully you can still list this guys place and sell it quickly and get some return on your time investment.  I had a similar situation Friday night!

Dec 07, 2008 01:26 PM
Frank D'Angelo
EXIT REALTY NEXUS Minneapolis & St. Paul MN - Coon Rapids, MN
Helping people is my business in Real Estate

Kathleen, the general public doesn't see nor understand what a good agent does behind the scenes, nor do they care.  Particularly the one's who cannot see anything beyond the financial crisis they have in front of them.  (not making excuses for this slug).

Ultimately the one's who do hook up with a good agent generally will always respect the time and effort we put into each and every file before, during and after.  Even the one's that do not close.

Best of the new year girl


Dec 07, 2008 02:45 PM
Kris Wales
Keller Williams Realty - Lakeside Market Center - Macomb, MI
Real Estate Blog & Homes for Sale search site, Macomb County MI

It's frustrating when this happens, but I would like to think that a private conversation with the gentleman who is having a rough time would be appropriate. 

Dec 07, 2008 09:23 PM
Wayne Warshawsky
RE/MAX Four Corners - McKinney, TX
Realtor, ABR,IRES,CDPE,SFR Your Texas

Though I know it has been said before above... (I refuse to read lest I copy)

I know the time you spent will payoff in knowledge and experience for next time.  Nothing is wasted when it comes to the education you got in dealing with this situation. 

Try working to find someone a lease for 8 hrs and they find it on their own in the paper.  Now that is a waste. :) 

You are going to be fine.  Experience well earned.



Dec 08, 2008 09:18 AM
Marian Gregor-Ann
Keller Williams - Ann Arbor, MI
Arbor area Real Estate

Hi Kathleen, That was rough. I typically do some prep work before actually meeting interviewing the prospective client.  Once burned it's good to assess the warning signs (often 20/20 hindsight) so it doesn't happen again... Good luck.

Dec 12, 2008 01:18 PM
Tom Giansante
The Title Company of Jersey - Wildwood, NJ

Kathy.  I feel your pain.  Although we shouldn't get ourselves too worked up over these situations, the truth is that we're only human.  Disappointment is part of the process.  

Being a Title Guy in our area, I have learned to handle rejection and move on.  There are times when my associates and I do all the work on a file only to have it pulled and settled by a competitor.   I personally do dozens of accomodation searches in the hopes that a few may actually turn into a settled deal for us. 

Regarding Short Sales - Any experience you have gained on that topic is valuable, as that type of property wil be around for some time to come.  As I have explained at our seminars, you need to be armed with all pertinent information prior to your first appointment - that's exactly what you had done here.  Just reload and be ready for the next opportunity.   Please be aware that I am always available to assist with your research needs and will work to help you get to the table.  

My batting average isn't all that great, but I expect to get a hit each time I come to the plate.....    

Dec 12, 2008 03:33 PM
Johnny B

I think your biggest mistake was dealing with a mortgage broker!

Jan 12, 2009 04:38 PM