Back in the day, when kids used to walk to and from school instead of driving their own cars — which, incidentally, are nicer than what most corporate executives drive — or having their parents drop them off at the door, I was using my own two legs that the good Lord gave me to walk home from my fourth-grade class.
On this particular day, I was late coming home. I had somehow done something that had incurred a penalty in which I had to spend some time sitting in the principal’s office for 20 minutes after school. On my way home, I encountered a kid who was also walking home late from school, and he was carrying a chain that led from his back pocket to his front pocket. Unfortunately, I acted on my first inclination. “You think you’re so tough carrying that chain.” Well, he did think he was tough, and then he immediately proved it by pulling it out of his pocket and whipping me across the knees with it. I had, in essence, just picked a fight.
It wasn’t the first fight I had picked, nor the last. Fortunately, the pen is mightier than the sword, since I don’t stand a snowball’s chance in the bad place of winning a sword fight.
Just recently; however, I found myself in somewhat of a verbal altercation that I did not start, believe it or not. This particular incident came about as a matter of poor planning and vague communication on the part of a seller’s agent.
We were just wrapping up a transaction. I was representing the buyers and the other agent was representing the seller. We were doing our final walk through inspection on the day before settlement. There was no key box on the home, so the agent had told us that the seller would just be there to let us in. She wasn’t there and the doors were locked. I called the agent. No answer. This wasn’t the first clue that I had that there was little communication going on between the seller and the agent. We waited. He finally texted and told me the code to the garage and also informed me that there was still one large item left in the home that they were still planning on having moved but other than that, the place was cleaned out — including the TV mounts that were supposed to have been left.
After the walk through, I told my buyers that I would be sure the mounts were returned and they let me know that it wasn’t a big deal and they didn’t want me to pursue that. I let them know that the sellers were going to have the pool table moved.
The next day we signed and the transaction was funded and recorded. I gave my clients the keys. They were not able to move in until nearly a week later. A day after they moved in, I received a text from the other agent saying, “the movers are coming to get the pool table at 5:00, please be sure they have access to the home.”
Seriously? They had not come to get the pool table yet? This home had legally belonged to someone else now for a week. Still, I relayed the message. They buyers informed me that no one would be home during that time so that wouldn’t work. The other agent asked if they could leave a door open. The buyers were not comfortable with that.
Unfortunately, the message had not been relayed to the movers that this was not going to work. They showed anyway. When no one was there, they called the agent, who gave them my number. I told them that this was something that now needed to be scheduled with the buyer directly.
The next day I received a phone call from the seller’s agent. He proceeded to berate me for not forcing my clients to let the movers in. I let him know that we could either talk like big boys and girls or we couldn’t talk at all. He chose to stick with text. What we have here, at this point, is a matter between a buyer and a seller. If it is not worked out between them, one could file a suit through a small claims court. The incident could have been prevented with clear communication and planning. Some fights just don’t need to happen.
Jen Kirchhoefer is an associate broker and Realtor. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 801-645-2134.