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Its The First Time EVERY Time In A Real Estate Transaction... But Should It Be?

Real Estate Agent with I.V.P.G. - Inland Valley Professional Group

Hi All,

I closed another transaction yesterday and I awoke this morning with that Scarlett O'Hara morning after glow about me.  After a languid stretch and a considerable amount of humming to myself I sauntered into my living room only to find that my cellphone had already been far busier this A.M. than I had. 

Upon checking my voice mail I heard the harried voice of my Escrow officer admonishing me to check my email urgently as there was a document that she claimed my client had neglected to sign and without it they were not going to disperse my funds.  I hasten to point out here once again that the transaction was recorded yesterday so we are closed, finito, a done deal, that's all she wrote and ba-de-ba-de-ba-de "That's All Folks".  Or it should be. 

Popping up with a 13th hour document never before presented to my client or me which is not a lender requirement, escrow instruction, CAR form, or otherwise discussed, let alone negotiated item (and which says right there on the face in big, bold black ink that it is not to be presented prior to the close of escrow so it appears to be designed to be a "surprise"), amounts to strong-arming my client into signing away their rights after the fact, (something they don't want to do), while holding my paycheck over my head in order to use me as the muscle, (which is something I am not willing to do) is not just dirty pool, it is something akin to an attempted contractual rape.  But as usual, I digress...

As is the case with every transaction I have had the pleasure to participate in actively, observe passively, or read about objectively, I am reminded time and time again that in a real estate transaction despite every appearance to the contrary, each time is "The First Time" for all the players and after the deed is done, memories are erased and virginity is mystically restored. 

Alas, there seems to be an inability for all concerned to peruse any sort of real estate Kama Sutra in order to ensure that we all wind up satisfied and happy and that no one ends up getting an elbow in the eye.  Must we all really behave each and every time we are confronted with the opportunity to shepherd a client from contract to close as though this is the very first time we've ever "done it"?

Yes, I am aware that each client is different, and yes, I like to spice things up now and then too, but in real estate, much like other pursuits in life, there comes a point where you realize that there are only so many Slot "A's" your Tab "B" can go into before you begin to repeat yourself and things become at least vaguely familiar, somewhat smoother and a whole lot less painful. Or they should.

We all know what the minimum necessary elements for the successful consummation of a deal are.  And some of us (escrow officers, title companies, lender's, etc.) have been involved hundred's, if not thousands of transactions which you would expect would render them "pros".  And yet, each and every time we get into bed with each other we flail and fumble like Victorian maidens on our wedding night. 

It is not too much to ask that when we are working, instead of behaving like blushing brides we comport ourselves instead like old lovers.  Taking pleasure in the familiarity of the act, seeking comfort in its sameness and enjoying the surprises, but always making sure that our partners are able to be confident that we have been down this path before, will get them there safely and will do our level best to keep elbows from meeting eyelids.

Take care all, help lots of people and have a wonderful day!



Comments (27)


You withold my paycheck hostage today, you've got me (today).

I make sure I never close again with you (and maybe I mention what happened to others) and the closing company loses future earnings.

Who really has the power in this situation?

Its uncanny how the companies that piss me off seem to go out of business.

Treat others as you want to be treated.

Mar 13, 2009 12:31 AM
Marian Goetzinger
Pine Knoll Shores Realty 252-422-9000 - Pine Knoll Shores, NC
Crystal Coast Real Estate NC

Hello Tisza.  Good to meet you.  I love the way you use words and metaphors.  And you're right, nothing is ever the same and we have to stay on top of things every minute.  Good job and good luck.

Mar 13, 2009 12:33 AM
Retired Notworking
Tallahassee, FL

Great metaphors and wonderful reading. Have you ever written a book? I would buy a copy.  Your message is so true. Every once in a while, there is a smooth transaction, but nowadays, they are few and far between.

Mar 13, 2009 12:43 AM
Caren Wallace
Premier Property Group LLC - Tualatin, OR
Portland Caren Real Estate

Tisza, the title companies I work with have the buyers and sellers sign a paper that says if they missed a needed document that they will cooperate and agree to comply with needed doc!

Mar 13, 2009 01:13 AM
"The Lovely Wife" The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL


Good to see you around :)

Excellent post as usual. There aren't too many people in our neck of the woods that would consider an attempt at holding our paycheck hostage. They've seen what I can do with my gun :)


Mar 13, 2009 01:22 AM
Brien Berard
Remax Professionals Laurel MD - Laurel, MD
Maryland Real Estate Agents - Laurel Real Estate

Caren, it is the same here. You sign a paper that says you agree to come back if one signature is missing.  I sort of understand this because of all the paper work involved.  However, I do like it when people admit that the mistake was theirs.

Mar 13, 2009 01:32 AM
Christianne O'Malley
Dickson Realty - Reno, NV
Exceptional Service - Delivering Results in Reno!

Funds aren't disbursed here until the document is recorded, which is different than DC/MD/VA where funds are disbursed at settlement. I always liked that better - a wet settlement is much more fun, and then they couldn't hold your commission check over your head, because you'd already have it!

Mar 13, 2009 01:33 AM
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Tisza, I so miss your writing----thanks for showing up here in the rain again:)

Mar 13, 2009 01:39 AM
Paul McFadden
Responsive Pest Control - Seattle, WA
Pest Control, Seattle, WA.

Thank you, Tisza. I would argue that when we lose that first-time feeling we're in potential trouble. Passion is key and that is what a first-timer has in abundance!

Mar 13, 2009 02:13 AM
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Virginia doesn't disburse until title is recorded.  MD usually does. 

Mar 13, 2009 03:00 AM
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Great post it was funny and informative, well deserving of the gold star.

Mar 13, 2009 03:28 AM
Blowing Rock Real Estate Boone Real Estate
Blowing Rock Investment Properties - Blowing Rock, NC

What a great read. I loved your post and how true it is.

Mar 13, 2009 03:50 AM
Blowing Rock Real Estate Boone Real Estate
Blowing Rock Investment Properties - Blowing Rock, NC

What a great read. I loved your post and how true it is.

Mar 13, 2009 03:50 AM
Tisza Major-Posner
I.V.P.G. - Inland Valley Professional Group - Claremont, CA

Hi All,

Thank you for all the wonderful comments.  It is nice to touch base with my friends again.  And a feature is totally icing on an already very rich cake :-)

I am off to collect my check from escrow (Yippee!) but I don't want to neglect responding to everyone.  I will be back soon and will be parked before the laptop in a few hours.  I am looking forward to seeing who else will stop by.

Take care, help lots of people and have a great day!


Mar 13, 2009 04:35 AM
Emily Lowe
RE/MAX Homes and Estates, Lipman Group - Nashville, TN
Nashville TN Realtor

Tisza - Such a well written post!  I hope that it has all sorted itself out - have a great day!

Mar 13, 2009 06:10 AM

Great read. Thank you




Mar 13, 2009 08:20 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Tisza - good to see you here again, and with a feature! Intriguing story, and actions which I suspect may be a violation on the part of the escrow company. But I'm no attorney. Shame on that escrow officer for holding your fee hostage when it appears someone did not do their job. I don't think payment of the commission per the contract is dependent on this sort of thing but, rather, on the close of escrow which had occurred. But what do I know.

So is your bank account a bit richer now?


Mar 14, 2009 02:56 AM
Michele Connors
The Overton Group, LLC Pitt & Carteret County - Greenville, NC
Your Eastern North Carolina Realtor

Ha! Love every senntence youwrite girl! Heres one for ya...

thanks for stopping in the rain..vistit more often!


Mar 15, 2009 05:51 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

Tisza - Don't you just hate how those little "must have" documents show up from nowhere, immediately after closing escrow?  I always feel so unprofessional having to meet with my client to get those "post mortem" papers signed!

Mar 15, 2009 12:18 PM
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
HomeSmart - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Tisza, yes Real Estate in general is a repeat business, but I have found that not one transaction is like another. Add to that the fact that you are typically dealing with a different buyer, seller, and agent on the other end of the transaction. Also, oftentimes you are dealing with a different title company (or at least escrow officer), lender, home inspector, etc. So, although the process is somewhat repetative, we are dealing with many different people, and this doesn't even include the contract and all the variables and concessions within the contract itself.

Mar 23, 2014 11:35 AM