The hardest call to make

phone call

The hardest call to make in real estate involves letting a client know that they did not get the house.  The other call is the one you see in advertisements. People on one end of the phone excitedly listening to their agent tell them “you got the house”, followed by shouts of joy and jubilation. Yeah, that is the easy call to make. The other end of the spectrum is the sorrow and frustration felt by clients that receive the call “the sellers decided to go with another offer”.

No one wants to be the bearer of bad news.  Some agents avoid making the call to the buyer’s agent because they don’t want to deal with questions. Some realtors avoid any confrontation and send a crisp email stating that their clients chose the other offer. Some even include platitudes about how it was a close call, but the sellers chose the other offer. Eventually, in multiple bid situations, one person will receive a call resulting in joy and everyone else will be left to share the bad news with their clients.

It is the hardest call to make. Cynics will share that the agent representing the people that were not chosen are only unhappy because they are missing a paycheck. Truth be told, it is only human nature to feel a bit let down when your clients are not chosen. It is not greedy to look forward to earning an income for doing your job. Sure, it is a bump in the road, but the difficulty in making the call has absolutely nothing to do with your income.

People have put their ability to buy a home in your hands. You have guided them through the process. You have used your negotiation skills and knowledge of how to write an attractive offer.  You have held their hand as they have put the best offer on the table. You have carried their dreams to the listing agent.

You receive the call (hopefully) or maybe the email (distastefully) or maybe you see the status change in the MLS without any notification (just cowardly and mean spirited) and you have to gather your wits about you and pick up the phone and make the call. Try as you might, the tone of your voice shares the bad news before the words can form in your mouth. You have to let them know.  Sure, you share that they put their best offer on the table. You encourage them. You tell them that “if it were meant to be, it would have happened”, “the right house for you is still out there” and you want to bang your head against the wall because you know how badly they feel.

We are not automatons. We do get emotionally invested. Our goal is to find the right home. Our goal is to guide them smoothly into the home they choose. At this point, we are way past the ciphering stage. At this point, we are way past what can be and what can not be afforded.  When you reach the point of writing an offer, you are at the end game stage.

This was the home they could afford. This was the home they wanted. This was the one.

The hardest call to make is letting them know that someone else just bought “their” house.

Tomorrow is another day. Tonight, you will feel their pain and dedicate yourself to work even harder to make sure they don’t receive that call from you again.