You have CASH? Prove it!
I was a single mom and sole support of five young girls. After three months of having my real estate license and working at a local Re/Max office, I was hustling to make deals happen. I had learned the details of Contracts and the legalities of how a deal worked, but was still naïve to the intricacies of “protocol.” I was motivated and excited when I got a referral from an old friend.
The prospective Buyer had $350,000 cash, a nice purchase price in the mid-90s. She wanted to move as soon as possible. I saw dollars signs for feeding my daughters and paying my mortgage.
The Buyer needed a house big enough to accommodate herself, her daughter, her mother, her sister, and their grandkids. Each day they all took turns riding along in my new car in the blazing heat of summer, looking at potential homes.
Hot and tired on our third day out, having looked at dozens of houses with a swarm of people who couldn’t make up their minds, I pulled into a local 7-11 to get something to drink. I asked my sweet, elderly client if she would like for me to get her something. She said, “Oh, yes, Mimi, would you be a dear and get me a lottery ticket? It’s the only way I’ll ever have an opportunity to purchase one of these beautiful homes.”
Don’t Spend The Commission Before You Make It
It took a few seconds for her words to register. “Excuse me?” I quietly asked, processing the truth of what she’d said.
“Oh, we can’t afford these homes,” she replied through the din of screaming children in the back seat. “We just love to get the kids out of the house and look at places we’d love to be able to buy.”
To say I was speechless would be an understatement. In the blink of an eye, I knew I was learning a valuable, lifelong lesson. Within a matter of seconds, I grieved the money I wasn’t going to actually make. Real Estate 101 tells you not to spend the commission before you have it in hand. I was finding out what that meant.
Without saying a word, I put my car in reverse and took them to their vehicle. The daughter in the back seat had the audacity to ask, “Don’t we have another house to see?”
“Get out!” was my muted response. “NOW.”
I cried most of the way home. For weeks I was too embarrassed to tell my peers what had happened. Through the tears and the heartache and the anger at myself for not being smarter, I knew it was a lesson I’d never forget.
While we learn the basics of contracts in the classes we take, the true education in real estate starts after the exams are over. Believe me, no one gets in my car now to look at houses without proof they have cash in the bank or a pre-approval letter for a loan.
If you’re looking for an experienced Realtor who knows how real estate actually works, call, text, or email. I’ll be happy to share what I’ve learned through the decades of lessons to help you make your best move.