When I got the message yesterday that my listing for the condo in Roseville had closed, I had just picked up the lockbox and stopped at Nordstrom in the Galleria to try on shoes. I can’t drive by the Galleria without stopping at Nordstrom, apparently. Whatever happened to the 3-inch heel? That’s what I’d like to know. Poof, gone, vanished. Almost every shoe in the store was either completely flat, a 2-inch heel or some crazy Lady Gaga / Elton John shoes which, when I try to wear them, makes me fear for my life because it’s a long way down to the pavement where I shall smash my face if I topple.
You know what’s funnier than watching a baby trying to walk in her mother’s shoes? Watching women over 60 trying to get up off the comfy sofa at Nordstrom and strut about in 7-inch platforms. I couldn’t even stand to look at my own feet.
So, I sat back down to call the seller of the condo in Roseville and let him know that his long ordeal was over. It seems to me the last time I had a lengthy conversation in an odd place about this condo was last year at the Four Seasons in Lanai at Manele Bay. That was a phone call with an agent involving the first buyer who was freaking out because there had been litigation at one time in that particular complex, so the buyer wanted to cancel.
As I do when these unfortunate things happen beyond my control, I put the condo in Roseville back on the market and found another buyer. We waited almost a week while calling the buyer’s agent every day to receive the buyer’s deposit. Shortly after the deposit arrived in escrow, that buyer canceled as well. It’s hard to say why. Usually it has nothing to do with the property and more to do with the fact the buyer gets cold feet.
I pleaded with the Roseville condo seller to please be patient, and I would find another buyer. Find another buyer I did. This time through a veteran agent who used to work at Lyon but had gone off elsewhere as agents often tend to do. My gut instincts told me we could rely on this agent. Not so much his lender, though, who could not do the loan for a variety of odd reasons. But the agent was resourceful, his buyer really wanted the property, and she finally came up with cash.
We closed yesterday, and nothing thrilled me more, not even the nude Tory Burch patent leather sandals, than to call the seller to assure him this transaction was over.
There are times in the Sacramento real estate business that I am reminded how it can really take two REALTORS to close a transaction: both a listing agent and a buyer’s agent. Just for the record –and because it tends to confuse both agents and the public alike — a buyer’s agent is a selling agent. A listing agent is a seller’s agent. The listing agent represents the seller but can’t really sell the property without an agent who represents the buyer, which would be the selling agent. No agent is an island in real estate. It takes two, baby. God, I hate that Marvin Gaye ear-worm and can’t believe that I, at any time in my life, could possibly have sung along to it.
I am very grateful to work with selling agents who on occasion can save my butt, too. I am not forced to interact with selling agents throughout every transaction, but I generally prefer to communicate directly with my fellow agents. Unless, of course, they are an asshole. Then they can talk to the wall for all I care. It is possible to never communicate through any type of technology, if one so chooses, and some agents are like that. Hi, this is Joe and I answer my phone during blue moons between 1:15 and 1:17. But I don’t run into very many of those, maybe one a year if I’m unlucky. For the most part, selling agents are professional, smart, funny and a sheer delight, even though we represent opposite sides in the transaction.
There are people who think the selling agent and listing agent need to maintain an arm’s length distance, and while we cannot divulge any confidential information about our clients to the other agent, it doesn’t mean we can’t work together toward a common goal and still have fun doing it.
Here’s an example of above-and-beyond cooperation for you. I listed a vacant home in Roseville a while back that had a series of apparent issues, fogged-up windows, no carbon monoxide detectors and no keys. The seller lived across the Pacific. To expedite matters, I hired a locksmith and paid for a new set of keys. I also bought 3 carbon monoxide detectors to install on each level of this tri-level home, and plugged them into the respective walls.
When the home sold, the buyer’s appraiser could not locate the carbon monoxide detectors. They all had vanished. Carbon monoxide detectors are a huge, huge deal, a bigger deal than whether a home has a functioning air conditioner or a solid finished floor. A carbon monoxide detector is to real estate as a door frame is to a door: without it, you’re not closing. And somebody had stolen the carbon monoxide detectors. I tried to imagine a mother collecting CO detectors throughout the tour and stuffing them into her baby bag. Why? Or, a real estate agent blazingly walking out the door carting all 3 in his hands.
Nobody broke into this house. Whomever swiped the CO detectors entered through the key in the lockbox.
Yet, the selling agent didn’t shrug once, and she replaced the carbon monoxide detectors, even though it wasn’t really her place to do it. We all do what we need to do to take care of our clients and each other. At least the professionals do. The others apparently walk off with carbon monoxide detectors.