"Guess what? I don't care who agrees with you. You're still wrong!"
Okay, so it's true. Sometimes, I like to write a good old-fashioned rant. Now that I think of it, is anything really "old-fashioned" if it involves getting real-time feedback from all over the world after I write down my thoughts? I suppose not. But I digress...
Earlier today, when I was returning home from an errand, I was sitting at a stoplight and I glanced over and saw an agent that I had worked with on a couple of deals years ago. She is nice enough, but it reminded me of the time that she was cited as an "authority" by a moron listing agent when I was helping some buyer clients back around 2001 or so.
Please allow me to explain.
I had some clients who relocated to the area from out-of-state. They were very pleasant and easygoing, and I really enjoyed the time I spent with them. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for the agent who listed the home that they purchased.
In fact, this particular agent managed to immediately make all of us uncomfortable with his "salesy" tactics at our first showing. If ever there were an argument in favor of lockboxes and no listing agent present, this person exemplified it.
Unkempt? Sadly, yes.
It made me wonder this guy managed to remain in business at all, much less at the level that I knew he was producing. The correspondence and interaction that I had with him did absolutely nothing to remove this initial impression.
You can find elements of this specific sale in this retro post of mine:
And here, too:
As always seems to be the case when I am dealing with difficult personalities, we had a series of small hurdles with the lender, and we experienced a short delay (2 days) with the closing itself. The buyers did a walkthrough and realized that the seller had taken two items that they had previously agreed to leave at the property, namely some nice window treatments and a porch swing.
I called the other agent to discuss this. He was attending the seller's side of the closing right then, and he tried to excuse the sellers' behavior with this gem:
"Jason, we talked about that before, remember? We decided that they would take those things with them as compensation for the closing delay."
I could feel my blood pressure hit the roof swiftly. My reaction was quite possibly the most harsh and direct that I can remember during an active transaction. In fact, I am proud of myself for not resorting to cussing openly:
"You..are...wrong! We NEVER discussed this, and now you have thrown an additional wrench in the works by justifying their behavior now. You know darn well that we never talked about this at any point. We need those items returned. Period. Figure it out."
Anyone care to take a guess at what he did next?
He CALLED AROUND to try to find people to agree with him that those items were not "attached" to the property so they didn't have to convey.
"Jason, I spoke with a friend of mine who is the broker for Yakkity Smakkity Real Estate, and I also talked with Susie Stupid, who was the Chair of the County Association of Realtors, and they both agreed with me that the curtains and porch swing are not actually attached. The curtain rod and the hooks for the swing are attached, so the seller doesn't have to leave that stuff."
Are you joking? No, he wasn't joking.
I told him that by his way of thinking, ceiling fans wouldn't be attached, only the mounting hardware. Also, cooktops wouldn't be considered attached either, just the gas connection.
The sellers ended up shipping the curtains back to my buyers. They decided that they wanted a new, nicer swing, so we didn't bother with that part, although I would have loved to make them drive it back.
So, what did I learn from all this?
- Don't work with that guy if I can avoid it.
- It's possible to get others to back you up on almost any premise, no matter how far-fetched. However, that DOES NOT make it right.
- Don't back down when you know you are right.
- Any deal, no matter how frustrating, has the potential to become an entertaining and informative blog post.
Thanks for reading!