If you have been in the real estate business for at least a couple of years, you have seen the best and worst sides of people. Both literally as figuratively speaking! We can talk about sellers having experienced a horrible day at work and now venting at you as the agent when you’re trying to do a viewing of their home in the evening. Or the time when the seller opened the door, wearing nothing more than a towel around the waist, all ready for you to present the contract. What has been seen, cannot be unseen.
Oddest places yet…
I could be going through a possible check list of things that can go awry, but instead let me give you a few real life examples. Let’s build this up from somewhat normal to quite different.
Last week, my colleague signed a ZAR 7.3 million (USD 730,000) contract for a Bryanston mansion, laying flat on the property’s driveway. Despite her suggesting numerous times to back go into the house and use one of the marble kitchen counter tops, the buyer felt quite comfortable sitting in the middle of the property’s driveway. She just wanted to get it over and done with.
Earlier this year, a very successful businessman had mandated me to sell his exclusive ZAR 14 million (USD 1.4 million) property. With a limited amount of interested buyers available for his property, I was very eager to please those handful of people who did show a serious interest. After a bank guarantee of sufficient cash available to fund the deal was emailed to me earlier that morning, the foreign buyers wanted me to bring the necessary contract paperwork to the nearest airport that evening.
Not knowing what to exactly to expect, I was quite surprised nonetheless when I was escorted to the private jet portion of the airport where an AgustaWestland helicopter awaited me with both buyers inside. An hour later, after all papers were signed, the buyer finished the conversation with “Can we drop you off somewhere?”
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The cherry on top of my personal oddest experiences where I tried to present the contract must have been years ago when I initially started in the real estate business and didn’t know how to interpret some obvious clues. I can’t recall exactly which listed Bryanston property I was dealing with, but I vividly remember the buyer.
Having arrived in his yellow Audi R8 for the property viewing, dressed in something that looked like a Versace outfit, but nonetheless showed me proof of funds, he consequently needed some extra time to think it all through. Later in the week, he wanted to put an offer forward and requested me to join him at his place of business and gave me the exact street address where we were going to meet at 7pm.
The closer I got to the exact address, the more suspicious I grew about where this meeting was going to be held. In the end, my car stopped in front of The Lollipop Lounge, which was (still is?) an infamous gentlemen’s club in Johannesburg. I’ll skip the details of what I encountered there but before walking out with a signed document and ready to present the contract to the seller, the man offered me to stay for a few drinks and relax after a long day’s work.
Still need to present the contract…
Even though these are just a few of the many examples I gave and might have thrown you off, shocked you, disgusted you or put you off altogether on that particular client, dare I say that it’s unfortunately business as usual? You quickly need to pull yourself together and finish off whatever you went there to do in the first place. Your professional responsibility as a real estate agent needs to prevail, as much as you would like to just do a 180 degree and get out of there as fast as you can!
Even though I must admit, it was easier to type it than actually do!
Over the years, what has been your most memorable situation to present the contract to clients? Is there a limit as to what/where you’re willing to go before you walk away?