Learning to Go with the Flow When Things Go Wrong in Real Estate
Somewhere along the line, we got the idea that life was supposed to be perfect.
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When things are anything less than perfect, we all moan and groan. I’ve had a revelation this year where that is concerned and in the process, I have learned that when you just take a deep breath and learn to go with the flow life is so much easier and so much more pleasant. Besides, we usually can’t change the situation anyway. And with real estate investing, “There’s always something”.
Imperfect Is the New Perfect
I have also come to the conclusion that “imperfect” is actually the norm. It is how we deal with all of these imperfections that ultimately will determine not only our success but our happiness and our state of mind. When things seem to blow up in our face we get to choose how we react. And it is during those times that the people on our team get a close look at how we conduct ourselves and how we do business.
My Last Closing of the Year
I had a closing the last week of the year that should have taken less than 30 minutes. This process ultimately took about 5 days before it was finally complete and I had a check in my hand. As a general rule, closings go pretty smoothly in my world. Since most of my closings are double closings or “simultaneous closings” there is always the risk of “double the trouble” right from the beginning. My closing attorney (and his staff), are some of the most important members of my team. Whenever a problem crops up they just take care of.
My sellers in this transaction were two sisters that were residing in different states. One of the sellers actually lives in my city, but had gone to Florida for the winter. This house was part of an estate and the way this had been set up both sisters had to sign the paperwork. My closing attorney sent all of the necessary paperwork to the sisters with instructions to return it to his office.
Simple enough right?
One of the sisters did exactly that. She returned the documents in the overnight envelope that was provided. The other sister mailed the paperwork to the probate attorney who never bothered to forward the documents to the closing attorney. The day of the closing, we were still missing the documents. So they got the probate attorney on the phone to let him know someone would run over to his office to pick up the missing documents.
This is what he said; “I’ll have to see if I can find the paperwork, and we are closing early. We plan to leave the office at 12:00 today”. Was anyone there when the courier arrived? Nope. No one waited for him.
Problem Number Two; Insurance
My buyer was using a local bank for his construction loan, so he needed proof of insurance. As soon as the house was under contract he promptly called his insurance agent. After leaving numerous messages with both the insurance agent and the company itself, he still didn't have the insurance binder on the day of closing. In fact he had nothing but a bucket full of excuses. The insurance binder finally came several hours after the start of the closing, but not before we had all gone home.
The Check is Made Out to Whom?
As I said, this particular buyer was using one of our local investor friendly banks. They were ready to close in about 7 or 8 days from the date of the accepted contract. I was really impressed by this and also with the man who represented the bank. While we were waiting for everything to get sorted out, we spent time talking about customer service and the benefits of working with small, local businesses.
At one point he looked in his folder and stared at the check. He held it up and said, “I’m not sure how this happened, but the check is made out to the wrong attorney. I will have to arrange for a wire transfer.” All we could do was laugh.
Get Mad or Get Over It?
Two hours after our 9:30 am closing began we all packed up and went home. What we had was a dry closing. The documents were signed, but we were still lacking:
- The missing signed documents
- The insurance binder
- The wire transfer
Since the offices were closed on New-Years day, roughly 5 days after the start of this process we were finally finished. My last closing of the year ended up being my first check of the New-Year.
As you can see, things generally work out in the end.
Photo Credit: VernsPics