Caution: The following story may contain the graphic, unexpressed thoughts of the writer.
Part 1. One week before closing, I received a phone call and email from the listing agent of a home my Buyer client is purchasing stating that, “due to unforeseen circumstances,” the Seller is unable to close. Unable to close because they have a recorded $7,000 loan modification lien that they didn’t know about, don’t have the funds to pay off, too bad, so sad, best wishes to me and my client. Unforeseen?
Ummm, no. And I told the listing agent that in only slightly more eloquent terms.
Part 2. I then received an email from the listing agent’s assistant, presenting the agent’s resolution to this problem created by this incomprehensible lack of professionalism.
a) reduce the seller’s contribution towards the Buyer’s closing costs and b) cut my commission in ½.
Ummm, no. Or as my Buyer client put it, “hell no I’m not agreeing to that.”
Part 3. After discussing my client’s rights and obligations under the contract with her, I prepared our response. Armor On. Excerpt: “… I understand that mistakes are made. We’ve all made them. But when I’ve made them, I’ve taken full responsibility for them. I have never asked another agent to reduce their commission, nor, worse yet, asked that agent’s client to literally pay for my mistake. I’ve never blamed my own client, nor made them pay for my mistake either …”.
Finally got to the bottom of how this issue fell through the cracks. Intriguing because I brought it to the attention of the listing agent during one of our very first conversations and he pooh-poohed my concern. Well, it turns out the listing agent and the Seller’s escrow officer knew about it from the very beginning, too. They had simply relied on the Seller’s undocumented reassurance that they didn’t owe the $7,000 – a $7,000 deficiency lien recorded by HUD. What Title Company issues a commitment for title insurance like that??? Rhetorical question. I now know of one. smh.
My Point of Difference?
The sale or purchase of a home is personally unique. It is often an emotional experience, but should never cause a moment of angst, nor a sleepless night. This is my professional commitment to my clients. Armor Donned. Battle for My Client’s Interests Won. Seller figured out how to make it work. Both parties are scheduled for closing.