A man stands looking across a room and before his eyes is the most beautiful woman that he has ever seen in his life. He doesn’t know a thing about her but she is perfect and he is sure of it. That is the beginning of the story.
My colleague and I cover for each other when we unplug (i.e. get away). She was heading out to backpack in the Tetons. 8:3oam the morning of her departure she calls me.
“Pam last night I got a call and didn’t recognize the number and wasn’t going to pick up but thought, what the heck.” She picked up the phone and a client that she had been sending listings to for years yells,
“The house of my dreams is on the market and if I don’t get it I am going to fire you!”
She asks me if I would mind calling him. I call immediately.
“Hello: this is Pam Blair of Meadows Group.” Before I could get another word out I hear a blast through the phone from this gentleman, “I don’t know how she didn’t know about this house!!!! She has been sending me crap for ……. @#*@#*!!!!!.”
Me “Sir, I am trying to help you.” The client went off again. Me “Would you like to write an offer?”
Him “YES I WOULD LIKE TO WRITE AN OFFER!!! (yelling).
Me “How about we meet at my office in an hour?”
9:30 am was our appointment. In the meantime, I call, text, email the agent to make sure the house is available.
I am sitting at the office at 9am preparing the offer. The listing agent texts me back the dreaded news.
“I am so sorry but we have an accepted offer as of yesterday.”
SHIT!!!! I call him to break the news. He loses it BIG time. The yelling ensues.
Me “Would you like to be in back-up position? There is a chance that the accepted offer will fall through and then you would be put in first position.”
Him “YES, I WOULD LIKE TO BE IN BACK UP AND YOU CAN DO THAT AND YOU CAN LOOK UP THIS OTHER HOUSE!!!” He hangs up on me.
My thought, “What an *#@!” After a pause, I call him back and get voicemail.
Me: “We just spoke and I want to let you know that I do not tolerate being treated that way nor does my colleague and I think you should find another agent. Best of luck to you in your search.”
Ten minutes later he walks into my office…. I knew it was him right away. The vibe gave it away immediately.
Him “Are you Pam?”
Me “You must be John. I wasn’t expecting you since you hung up on me.” Silence. “Would you like a cup of tea or water? Since I assumed you weren’t coming it is going to take me a couple of minutes to get your offer together.”
After initially refusing any refreshment, he finally got himself some water and settled in. Let’s just say the air was thick but I could see the lion settling in a bit.
Then I get the story.
Him “I have been watching this house for 10 years! It is the perfect house for me. It is on Laurelhurst Park. The perfect size. I cannot believe that she didn’t tell me about it!!!”
I know my colleague is an excellent agent.
Me “I cannot speak for my colleague. I am really sorry that you are so upset. That sounds incredibly frustrating. We are where we are right now so let’s do everything we can to facilitate you getting this house.” We wrote the offer. It was generous.
He shares with me that he has never seen the interior of this house but he knows that it is perfect. Blind Love.
He is about to leave and I touch his shoulder and say, “We did not start out on a very good foot this morning. Before you leave and I send this offer to the agent, I need to know that we are ok.”
Him “We are NOT ok!!!!” He goes off again.
Me “Well then I will not send this offer off until I know we are ok. I understand you are upset but I need to know that you are good with what happened here this morning.”
Him “Yes. You did a great job. I am satisfied.”
Me “Well then we shall proceed.”
I sent the offer.
What the hell was all of that!!!
The agent suggests that he looks at the house before the seller responds. I concurred. The house was very well positioned on the park and lovely but far from perfect. I was looking for the same beauty that my “new client” saw and kept my opinions close to me as I felt I was walking on tenuous ground as it was. After the viewing I asked, “Well do you still like it as much?” Him: “Yes this is the PERFECT house for me!” Well, ok.
I get about half way home and the front desk calls me from the office. “Pam there is a client here to see you.” I didn’t have an appointment. Crap! Did I forget something!!! Then I said, “Is he tall with white hair?” “Yes.” “Put him on the phone.”
Him “Let’s raise the price to 1 million to give them something to think about.”
Me “Ok.” I write an addendum and inform the agent.
At this point, I am seriously contemplating this experience. It is so out of the ordinary of my years in real estate. I am amazed at the apparent infatuation with this house and deeply see the blinding power of attachment. The house was probably worth around $875K.
The story goes on….
Time goes by and the seller never responds in writing to our million dollar back-up offer. The seller asks what my client is willing to pay if he would remove all of his contingencies and buy it as is with no opportunity to back out. We visit the house again with new and an extra set of eyes (my client’s friend). We gather the other buyer’s inspection report to help evaluate the situation.
Then 8:30pm my client leaves a voicemail for me.
He went out as emphatically as he jumped in. Honestly I wholeheartedly supported him.
The next day I get a call. “I am the seller of the home on Laurelhurst Park. I realize that it is inappropriate for me to call you but I want you to know that I didn’t question your client’s sincerity I just wanted to know that if I let go of one buyer I had certainty in another.”
Me: Sir, there is no such thing as certainty in real estate. The grave mistake you made is failing to formally respond to my client in written form. You left the window open and he stepped out of it. Good luck to you.
There are more highly unusual details to this story which I am happy to share over a cup of coffee. I grew to appreciate the sensitivity and quirks of this client and ended up actually liking him. After showing him the house for the second time, he embraced me with a enthusiastic genuine hug.
I’ve learned more than a few imperative life lessons through this sometimes crazy business.
- NEVER take anything personally especially if someone is yelling at you.
- NEVER judge a person based on their reaction in one situation.
- There is NO SUCH THING as certainty. As soon as I get attached to ANYTHING, I set myself up for disappointment.
- Naivety and blind love never turn out well.
The Yoga of Real Estate.