Dollar Signs in the Eyes of their Customers

We couldn’t have had a more pleasant day evolve out of these recent bitterly cold ones. Of course it nearly always has to do with which direction the wind is blowing. While checking on a furnace of a vacant home before dawn this morning, I was saying a little prayer to the Powers That Be, it being my last visit because the closing on it was scheduled for mid-afternoon.

Nearly all of my morning was consumed with running errands, working on getting my accounting set up for 2022, along with meeting a client on short notice, and by the time I finished up with him, it was the hour to unlock the door on my listing for the selling agent to walk thru it with the buyer for final inspection prior to closing. I was certain there’d be no complaints because the work requirements that were made, caused that home to be worth at least $10K more on the open market.

For the next two hours, that’s all I did was busy myself with anything and everything, just so I wouldn’t be worrying if that home was going to close today because there was another “party” that had to sign off, who happened to refuse last week when it was supposed to close. When it was five minutes before the hour of that closing to take place, I grabbed my file and headed out.

Just as I walked into the conference room, I could “sense” anger and frustration in the air, so I sat myself down right next to the “party” who was being resistive. After listening to the closing agent explain the reasons for signatures, I interrupted and calmly said, “First of all, I’m not much of an interested party, and with that said, I will tell you that what you’re hearing is the truth.” After a few moments of waiting, the document was signed and we moved forward with the closing.

After these long years of selling homes, I’d say that closing came the closest to being a “no go”, and then I would’ve had to place that home back on the open market and re-sell it. It wouldn’t have been so bad if the seller were still living in our area, but unfortunately, she’s now residing out on the West Coast. As a footnote, I will be having several conversations with the parties involved in that transaction, and I’m sure they’re not going to like what I have to say, along with my warning that something like what just took place today, had better never happen again.

The major issue I have with those people, was my not being informed about the other “party” at the time the offer was submitted, and what made matters even worse, the lender not having alerted me until last week when the other “party” refused to sign. Can you imagine what my conversation must’ve been like when placing a call to the seller and telling her what had just happened? Believe me, such uncalled-for situations like that, are what give our real estate profession a bad name.

I was wearing my face mask at that closing today, and only because of what happened last week when another agent was looking under the weather and freely coughing. I’ve really been holding my breath in hopes I didn’t catch something, and in spite of nearly all of our general public going mask-less, I’m continue to remain diligent in wearing one whenever out in the general public. Just remember, the Japanese were the ones who dodged the bullet because of their having followed three hard rules, and them being, mask-up, stay out of crowds, and keep your distance. Of course they’ve always been fanatics about cleanliness which also helps.

When I got back to office, I called the seller to let her know she was “one-home-less” which was cause for a great sigh of relief. We both apologized to each other for being a little sharp at times, but I had to remind her that stress and fear can bring out the worse sides of the most angelic of people. Since I’ve known her for a good many years, I insisted she stay in touch because we both have seen the good and bad sides of each other and still remaining friends. For sure, that whole topsy-turvy transaction was a true test of friendship.

After I finished up on that closed file, I went to work on another which should’ve closed months ago, but unfortunately one of the owners passed away before it closed which triggered there having to be an estate opened. Of course what made matters all the worse, was there being two professionals who just couldn’t come to an agreement on what was to be done. Many weeks ago I had my say and left the cards to fall where they may. I going to remain confident it’ll get closed out before the end of this week.

What I learned about this transaction, is the fact that we have professionals sitting behind desks who’ve long-ago forgotten what it’s like to be in another’s shoes, and especially when those “little fish” files get cast aside until all the bigger ones are landed.

Because I’ve worked just about every price range in our market over the years, I’ve never allowed myself to become callous to where the lower price-range buyers and sellers are treated differently than those in the higher price ranges. What has kept me in line, is reminding myself that every buyer and seller has the right to be served in the best fashion possible because it all goes back to offering iron-clad customer service.

Unfortunately in these times, we’re finding businesspeople seeing dollar signs in the eyes of their customers instead of their needs which I find reprehensible. Shame on them, and all the others who’re hell-bent on making a name for themselves at the expense of others.

Tonight’s One-liner is: We occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of us pick ourselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

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