It’s rare when I tell a client we have to part ways. I’ve only done it once in the last 10+ years. Well, until a couple months ago, when I did it twice in the same week. That puts my score at 3 terminations now.
Wasting time is the one thing that really aggravates me to my core. At various times in my life when the only thing I had to do was go home to my single-girl apartment, wasting time – whether by my choice or someone else’s, was a daily event. I would head out to walk the loves of my life, Sammy and Thora, bump into people, meander around Dupont and generally forget to go home. Now that I have those little girls at home waiting for me (but not waiting to grow up,) I try to do things as expeditiously as possible. I like to get back to them and that hunk of sexy who I call Real Estate Dad.
I’m not going to lie, I have enjoyed the pandemic. I mean, the whole people-dying thing aside, it allowed me to spend more time at home with the family. When I went out to show houses, it was only with clients with an imminent need to buy or sell. They were the only people willing to risk being exposed to Corona. Everyone else self-selected themselves right out of the market, shrinking the market down to just the people who needed to be in it.
A client resurfaced as things slowly started to open up early in the summer. This particular client had a ratified contract on a home several months earlier, but terminated the contract. I somewhat understood the reason for the termination, though it was frustrating for two reasons:
I cleared unbelievable hurdles to get this house for this client in a multiple offer situation.
I had to negotiate with said client’s boyfriend. Who wasn’t purchasing the house. Who also happened to be someone else’s current husband.
I pulled some stellar-ass magic out of my magically unstellar-ass to get EVERY SINGLE THING on the home inspection report fixed, as well as several big ticket items NOT on the report. Rule of home inspections: if it isn’t on the report, the sellers don’t have to do anything about it. The inspector (not one of my recommended inspectors but one the client found on their own) refused to put anything the buyer and “boyfriend” requested on the report that he felt didn’t apply to the condition of the home.
I somehow got the seller to agree to do things that were not on the report. It was unprecedented! I sprained my rotator cuff patting myself on the back.
… but the client still terminated because the seller didn’t say yes the first time we asked. (Yes, really.) I tried to explain that this is negotiations and how they go, and to focus on the fact that they got what they wanted. It didn’t matter how many times we had to ask, we got what was wanted.
When this client returned and wanted to buy a house, it happened to be a “hot home” on some websites. Offer terms were spewed in a frenzy, asking for a significant reduction in purchase price. In this market? Totally unlikely. When I questioned it, I was told to do as I was told.
Nope. I will not write this offer for you and I am not the agent for you. Good luck in your search.
Read: I ain’t your bitch.
Another client was referred to me from a loan officer I have worked with in the past. The buyer wanted to see houses that day – houses that were an hour away from me. I was already running around with another client so I said no, but that I would do it the following day – despite that it was a holiday weekend and I had told the family I was only working for a couple hours one of the days. Now I had to go home and say “sorry…about that 3 day weekend…it’s now a 1-day weekend for me.”
That’s the funny thing about real estate. You’re constantly at the beck and call of the market, inventory, interest rates and client schedules. That’s okay for me 99% of the time because I so love what I do. But there are rare times I say no. I should have said no but I was doing the loan officer a favor.
I ended up giving up the holiday weekend to run ragged with them, seeing houses all over the place. They decided to write an offer on one of the houses I showed them (twice.) But they wanted to write it for a fraction of the list price. The house just hit the market 3 days prior. You can’t see me but I am slapping my forehead, not only for the lack of grasp on reality but that I had to put up with two days of one of them grabbing their crotch every time he got excited about a house. It became a little game with myself. Will the crotch grab happen or not?
Both consistently went against all my advice and wanted to write really low offers. Like, insultingly low offers. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE scoring a deal for clients. It’s in my blood, all of us Terzis’s love getting a deal!
But, when I heard, “If they say no I’ll just keep looking, I’m not in a rush” I about lost my mind. If you’re not in a hurry, then please tell me two things:
Why are you running my ass all over the county with the highest COVID infection rate in Maryland to see houses the second they come onto the market…only to write horrible offers that won’t even be countered because they are so low, and,
Nope, that’s all. Just answer the first question.
Most of the time, 99% of the time, I have no issues with my job or the lifestyle it has created for me. But during a pandemic, while taking on risks to myself and my family only to hear “I’m not in a rush.”
I’ll do a lot of things for clients. But, I draw the line at treating me like crap, putting me in jeopardy for no real reason because you’re not in a rush, and most importantly, wasting time.