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November 5, 2013

Why The Deal Fell Apart And Other Horror Stories

by mark mclean

trusted teamLet me ask you a question. Have you ever lost a deal because of something somebody else did or say? If you’ve been in the business you probably have. We’ve all lost deals because the house failed it’s home inspection or because the client didn’t get financing or because the status certificate revealed deficiencies in the reserve fund. Sometimes it’s just unavoidable. That’s just the nature of the game. What I’m talking about is when somebody says something during the course of the negotiation that cost you the deal. Case in point, last week an agent in my office was negotiating on a house and suggested to the client that they have a termite inspection because the house was in a termite area. The inspector who came said the front porch had termites and said that his company could rectify the problem for about $6000 and then suggested that the buyers renegotiate the sale price via an abatement to cover the cost of the repairs. My agent felt a little weird about the inspector’s comments so she decided to pay for another inspector out of her own pocket. The second inspector spent a great deal of time looking at the house to determine that, in fact, there were no termites nor was there ever any signs of termites. The deal went firm but that first inspector will never darken the doorway again. A similar situation came out of a recent mold inspection.
Here’s another one. After weeks on the market, an agent managed to get her own offer. The contract stipulated that there was no discounting commission if she got her own offer. Upon review of the offer the seller’s lawyer instructed the seller to renegotiate her commission. I have also heard of situations where the mortgage broker has done the same. Why?
Now, I have a couple of theories on why this is happening. I wonder if people involved in the transaction think we are charging too much for the job we do. To that I would argue that good agents are worth every penny they earn. Maybe they are simply taking advantage of buyers anxious to get into the hot housing market. More likely, inspectors are being overly zealous because they don’t want to be sued at a later date. Conversely, one might argue that we are products of the HGTV generation, that being that we all think we know more than the person doing the job. If it looks easy on TV, then it probably is?
So, what can you do? Part of having a good defence is having a good offence. Build your reserve of trusted team members. If you don’t have any….ask those around you. Get recommendations and do your own due diligence. I strongly believe that just like in any other business or service, the good players outnumber the bad. The good ones get rewarded with future business and the bad ones end up in court or out of business.
If you have any stories please forward them to me as I would love to hear them.

mark mclean

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