Sometimes it really sucks to be a good real estate negotiator. Yes, I negotiated a really great outcome for my client, so why do I, an experienced Realtor, feel so bad about it?
I feel bad for the buyer who had to give up all of his earnest money, which he borrowed. He was only trying to find a home for himself and his kids, and he believed the bad advice that his agent kept feeding him, that he could get his earnest money back under any circumstances as long as he filed the paperwork to cancel the contract before the loan objection deadline, even though they tried to push that deadline right up to the closing date, and then continue to try to get the loan approved even after they cancelled, That doesn’t fit the definition of “earnest”.
My client won, sort of. But he lost, too. He was unable to complete the sale of his home. He was unable to purchase the out-of-state home on which he had a contract. He’s living in temporary quarters in a different state.
That earnest money recovery was some compensation, but he’ll recover. His house will get sold; he’ll find another house to buy. It won’t be long before he forgets this hiccup.
Not so for the buyer. It’s going to be much tougher for him. He has to pay back the money he borrowed, and has nothing to show for it. That sucks. He depended on advice from his agent who led him astray because he didn’t know his contracts or the law behind those contracts. I know I’m repeating myself, but that sucks.
I’ll remember this too. Will it affect future negotiations of this type? No, I have an obligation to my clients to act in their best interest.
What about that other agent, the one who kept giving him bad advice? I’m not sure exactly when, but he bailed. Maybe someone told him what he was doing wrong. I don’t know. I hope he learned. This industry doesn’t need bad agents out there.
Moral of this story for both buyers and sellers: please make sure that the agent you hire knows what he or she is doing. Just because your cousin Elmo recently got a license doesn’t mean that he is competent. Do you want him to learn by trial and error at your expense? Most rookie agents make mistakes; some are inconsequential, but some can end up costing you big money.
Experience, knowledge of contracts/contract law, and wisdom are really quite important when it comes to buying or selling a home.
It’s a big deal, friends.