Smooth Ride…not!

Who doesn’t like smooth rides?

I do.

First thing I tell my clients once we sign a contract is:

-“I am your pilot, we may encounter some turbulence along the way but rest assured we will sort it out and land safely.”

The analogy goes well with my passion for aviation.

This happened a few years back, It was a saturday morning when I got the call.

-“Miori, I need your help. We have a problem and I spoke with my agent and he gave me your number, he says he cannot help me.”, the person said.

I was representing the seller and this person was the buyer.

After the conversation I thought:

-“His agent took the parachute and jumped in flight, leaving all passengers to land the plane themselves. It seems he only fly on clear skies and he cut corners on maintenance.”

This agent, whom I will call The Joker, and his wife are the leaders of a well known team of large big name brokerage. We had negotiated a fair price after appraisal and my seller agreed to extend the closing date a 3 times for a period of 5 weeks in total.

The Joker told me when he presented the offer:

-“This buyer is super qualified, we can close in 30 days.”

As I suspected, after many attempts to reach him a few days before the original closing date, he got back to me one week after and said:

“Bank needs more time, we need another week.”

I was smelling something strange but my seller said, –“If it is only one or two weeks, lets wait.”

Now it was two days before last agreed closing date. All loan commitment periods were expired already, buyer had no other option but to close.

I notified The Joker that if they didn’t close Seller would claim Escrow deposit for compensation.

The same as many times before during the transaction I got no response.

I had no option. I emailed title company and called:

-“Please do not release money to buyer, seller intents to claim full deposit amount as compensation.”

That was  a bomb. It triggered buyer’s call I referred at the beginning.

Buyer continued explaining me the situation.

-“We have an issue with the house we are selling, appraisal come 30k low and buyer cancelled thus we cannot close on your deal.”

I responded, -“Your agent never told me this was depending on another closing. Seller waited for you, had to pay extra mortgage and expenses and now she has to go back to the market and may need another 1 or 2 months to sell.”

The Joker never disclosed to anyone  he was selling buyer’s  property and our deal was depending on such transaction to close.

He just chose to walk away and leave his buyer to the mercy of my seller and myself.

In delicate terms, buyer was screwed. 

It was clear the buyer was on default and seller should be entitled to the deposit.

Contrary to popular belief it is not that easy to get an escrow deposit released.

Title company and brokerages say: –“Both parties need to sign before a penny gets out!”

If there is no agreement is when it gets complicated, attorneys need to sue, brokers involve the real estate commission and so on.

In conclusion: Buyer won’t see any money for a long time and most likely attorneys will prevent seller from selling the property until all is settled.

I knew seller was in a delicate financial position and such litigation wouldn’t be helpful. I recommended her to propose a reasonable amount and claim just that.

She was a fair person and after we discussed the situation she told me:

-“Miori, I just need enough to cover the mortgage for the months I had the property off the market waiting for them”

With that information I tried to reach the Joker and he didn’t respond.

Then I called the buyer and told him about seller’s proposal.

He said:-“Thanks for all you are doing”, he made a counter offer, seller agreed.

Both signed and title company cuts one check for each party. Buyer was really grateful and so was the seller.

90 days later I closed the sale with another agent and another family.

That was a smooth ride. A team of true professionals.

This anecdote taught me about the importance of a great crew.

From pilot & co-pilot to maintenance and air traffic control.

And remember…Next time you are on a plane, make sure your pilot does not have a parachute on him. 😉

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