When You Have to Break Bad News in Sacramento Real Estate
Nobody likes to break bad news in Sacramento real estate. Nobody. Especially not the agents to their fiduciaries. However, real estate is a two-way street. One side can do everything right and the other side can still make a mistake. The side with the mistake might feel like it’s not their fault because it’s some other party to the transaction that screwed up. Doesn’t really matter anyway who is at fault. What matters is the resolution. How we handle the solution.
When we have to break bad news in Sacramento real estate, the best way to do it is in person, but that is not always possible. Short of a hologram — why can’t we send holograms already — that means talking on the phone. Even when you know the other side is likely to lose their cool. Explode, maybe, even.
Like yesterday, for example. Things were fairly quiet Friday morning. I had my annual eye exam scheduled in Midtown for late morning. No phone calls. Very few emails and text messages. Started out to be a good day. No sooner did I step foot into my optometrist’s office than my phone blew up. Email after email. 17 emails at once. I know how this looks.
Oh yes, another eye patient glued to her cellphone. This one won’t even look up or address us. She keeps staring at her emails. So rude.
Well, they don’t come right out and say it, but you can feel the vibe going on. I am not another rude patient. Heck no, I put my phone in my lap when it came time to look at the letters on the wall and read them off. After I figured out the cup they handed me was not for my ear and actually placed it over my left eye, I was doing pretty well. Because, you know, it takes time for them to type the data into the computer, time to get the drops to dilate my eyes and make them look like I just dropped acid.
Time I could use reading and answering emails. Because a file that was supposed to fund and record by noon wasn’t happening. Which meant the concurrent closing wasn’t happening, either. How can I finish an eye exam when this is going on?
I left without my contacts’ prescription, too. Darn.
Got into my car and found it halfway blocked by an enormous moving van. I’m wearing dark sunglasses behind my own polarized sunglasses, and everything is so dark I cannot see to maneuver. But somehow I made it out of my parking spot. Tried to drive to the entrance to the street on Alhambra, but more emails dinged. Plus, my music was playing (because you cannot turn it off in a newer Mercedes). The dealer said I can only turn down the sound. Or pause it, which it what I would have done if I could see my phone.
I should look into this further because that is a stupid design flaw, if it is true.
Well, it was time to break the bad news in Sacramento real estate. Could not put it off. The seller absolutely needed to know what had happened and what we could do about the situation. Do you email? Text? What? Nope, that’s the chicken, loser way out. Not a loser. A phone call is best. Except, because I could not see my phone due to the dark sunglasses and eye dilation, I poked at the screen. Missed the “call” button and ended up in FaceTime. Uh, oh.
I got to watch my seller’s eyes divert to the ceiling. Look down at the floor. Scrunch up the face. Eyes a blaze. That was painful. But it was the right thing to do. Comes with the territory. Fortunately, I don’t have to break bad news in Sacramento real estate very often. Hardly ever. Most of the time I am able to anticipate problems and stop them from happening. But not much you can do when the other side makes a mistake. It reflects on the listing agent even if the agent can’t anticipate or cause it. It’s why we make the big bucks. Because the buck stops here.