I was so happy for my clients—they had found their dream home and were ready to close the deal and move in. All they had to do was sell their current home, which was under contract and all was proceeding well until…
We received a panicked notice from the buyers indicating they suddenly wanted a $15,000 price reduction! It turns out that the buyers were in a leasing situation with five months of $3,000/month lease remaining. They wanted my sellers to compensate them for the double payments they assumed they would have to make: $3,000 for their current lease obligation, and the mortgage payment on the home they were purchasing from my clients.
I certainly didn’t want the deal to fall through—and my clients didn’t want to drop the price of their home by such a significant amount. I knew there was a solution.
The Discount Broker Problem
But first, let’s back up just a bit to provide a little background. The agent representing the buyers of my clients’ property was with a discount brokerage—one of those online organizations that’s not really full service. The agent they were working with was inexperienced and clearly unprepared to handle a panicked moment like this.
I actually find this is often the case when I work a deal with discount brokers. They are usually quite green and don’t know how to handle unusual situations. I often end up having to do double the work when the agent on the other side of a transaction works for a discount broker.
I sat down at the computer and typed out a short email to the buyer’s agent. I explained that her clients actually would not be on the hook for five double payments. Because the closing process would take at least a couple months, there would be no double payments for those months. And because buyers usually skip the first month’s payment after closing, that knocked off another double payment. So they weren’t looking at a $15,000 double payment after all.
It was not my clients’ obligation to reduce the selling price of their home by $15,000 to help the buyers out of their tough situation. A more seasoned agent on the buyers’ side would have known it was an unusual request. With an inexperienced agent you save a little bit on the commission, but what do you lose because your agent is inexperienced and rushed, working with many clients at the same time?
Happily, it all worked out. My short email carefully and without judgment explained how the buyers would not have the number of double payments they feared. The agent shared this information with her client and the deal proceeded.
In the end, both parties were thrilled with their new homes!
Working with an experienced real estate agent has true benefits, some tangible, some intangible. And the terrific thing about working with a live human who lives in your community is the service you get even after the deal is closed. Unlike a discount broker, I don’t drop you the minute the deal is done. I’m your partner for the long haul. If you need a recommendation for a plumber six months after the close, call me, and I’m absolutely happy to help!