Real estate isn’t really a job or a business. It’s more of a lifestyle. The good days are fantastic and the bad ones are terrible.
Here are two of my stories (insert the DUN-DUN sound effect from Law & Order.)
My best day was at a closing in the spring of 2011. The events that lead up to that day actually began at a closing in the spring of 2010 for the same house.
I had some great clients that bought a cool house. Immediately after buying it, the basement flooded. The entire basement was gutted. Shortly afterwards, the husband’s company downsized. This was when the economy was terrible and people were getting laid off left and right. They decided to take a job out of state. I listed the house. Only the market was worse than it was when they bought it and the house no longer had a finished basement. 212 days later, it finally sells for $16k less than my people paid for it a year earlier. Now, if you’re reading this and wondering how that could happen, trust me, the market was totally the opposite from where it is now. There were tons of houses for sale and values were decreasing. I hope we never have to live through times like that again. I don’t think all of my listings from the past year have been on the market for 212 days combined.
I really really really liked this family a lot. Still do. I was happy to waive my commission to make the sting of losing money hurt a little less. It was harder to sell a house back then. I felt very good about getting it done for them so they could move on with their lives.
I get to relive that day every once in a while because that family occasionally, out of the blue, thanks me for my help.
I think of this family when I have a day like the absolute worst day I’ve ever had in real estate.
That day happened around the same time.
Back then, probably half of my work was random people who would find me or were found by me. Today, almost all of my work comes from past clients, friends, or referrals from past clients or friends.
Another agent in my old office gave me what we call a “Lead.” I contacted this buyer who said they had just gotten some giant settlement from a drug company and wanted to buy an expensive house in Scott Co. I was skeptical at first, but the agent who sent me the lead would get a 25% cut of the commission, and I knew she really needed it so I agreed to work with this buyer.
I scheduled several showings for rural houses all over Scott County.
As I spent more time with this buyer and his family, it was clear to me that they were not really buyers, but were dreamers. Probably liars too.
The husband supposedly owned all my favorite cars while he was in Germany. He just got millions of dollars in a settlement but would be doing a VA loan, and he didn’t want to tell me who his loan officer was.
It was a strange day for sure, but it got even stranger.
When we arrived at one vacant house, there was somebody walking around out front. I thought it was the seller at first. It was somebody who had stopped to see the house. He said he wanted to see the house. I told him that I had scheduled a private showing for my clients and that we had a schedule to keep. He should call the listing agent to schedule his own showing, who would be very happy to show it to him. I thought that was over and he would get in his car and leave. No, he tried to follow my clients into the house. I stepped in front of him at the door and said the same thing again. He said he tried calling the listing agent and she didn’t answer. I told him again that I had scheduled a private showing for my client and that this wasn’t an open house. I surely didn’t want to let him in after all this.
He walked away. I watched him out a window. He keyed my car as he walked past it.
We ended up staying at the house forever waiting for the police to show up, which made us really late to the other showings.
When the police arrived, the buyer’s account of what all happened was a little more dramatic than mine…..turns out that the buyer had also been a bounty hunter too, or so he claimed. I think the buyer thought he was helping me by embellishing the story a little. The policeman needed my registration for the complaint. Turns out my registration had expired. This was the first car I had ever leased. The leasing company doesn’t send renewals in your birth month like they do for cars you own. The policeman didn’t care, but the buyer and his family acted like I was driving a stolen car.
So, by the end of that day, I had wasted a lot of time with a crazy fake buyer and had to get some of my car repainted. Shortly after this, the agent who sent me these fine people unfriended me on facebook.
I’ve had plenty of other rough days. When I have them, I try to think about all the great people I have met throughout my career. The good ones far outweigh the bad.