#7. It is easier to prevent a problem than it is to solve one.
Years ago, I wrote a list of things I’ve learned over the years. This was one of them and it has really helped my clients.
I recently wrote an offer on a corner lot house. Any seasoned agent knows that there might be an issue with where a fence can be on a corner lot house. I told my people that I suspected they could only fence from the rear corner of the house, which means that the space you can fence is smaller than a normal lot, and you have all this space outside the fence that you can’t really use.
They liked the house, so we called the city to see if it was okay. The city gave a verbal “Ok” to fencing all the way to the sidewalk. We wrote an offer. I wrote that the offer was contingent on both the city and deed restrictions allowing a fence to be put up where my clients wanted it.
We got the deed restrictions. They said that no fence is allowed closer to the road than the building set back line. While that is better than my worst case scenario, it only bought my client about 11 feet more of yard. They didn’t want the house. All I had to do was tell the other agent and it was over.
Can you imagine what it would have been like if I hadn’t put those contingencies? The buyer might have found out later and lost their earnest money for backing out of the contract. Even worse, what if they had moved in, paid for a fence to be put where the city approved, and then get a letter from the HOA saying they had to remove the fence?
I just closed a deal where the buyer’s agent kept telling me that the buyer may change their lender. This doesn’t happen often, especially when you are already past the closing date on the contract. I told the other agent to let me know when we had a closing date and THEN I would have the seller schedule a mover. There was no way I was going to let my seller move out and be paying for a vacant house while we waited on this buyer to decide which lender they wanted to use.
I just sold an old friend a house that has propane heat. When we saw the house, it was very cold inside. My buyer got the home inspection scheduled. I texted the listing agent to make sure the utilities are on. Sure enough, there is no propane in the tank. That would have been a problem on inspection day if I had not asked. We would have needed to extend the inspection timeline, paid to bring back the inspector to check it out, etc. The other agent tells me they will have propane for the furnace by inspection day.
I guess a reality show about me would not be worth watching. I try to think things through and prevent as many problems as I can. It would be pretty boring to have a show with very little drama. I doubt people would continue watching it after the commercials.