When saving money really costs you more
“All that glitters is not gold — You’ve often heard that said. Many men have sold their souls just to view my shiny surface. But gilded tombs contain worms. If you’d been as wise as you were bold, with an old man’s mature judgment, you wouldn’t have had to read this scroll.”
More words of wisdom from ole Will Shakespeare.
He wasn’t kidding either. In this particular context, it was the prince of Morocco, one in a long line of suitors attempting to win the beautiful and wealthy Portia’s hand.
She decides she will marry the one who correctly picks the one casket that contains her picture. One is gold, another silver, and the third is made of lead. The Moroccan prince, thinking it would demean the virtuous Portia to have her picture in anything other than a gold casket, unlocks it and finds, not a picture of Portia, but one of death with the aforementioned lines of speech. Poor prince.
Again, we are falling upon the principal of quantum mathematics. When is “saving” money really costing more money? I can actually answer that question with two very recent examples.
I recently represented a buyer on a purchase of a home. This home was listed with a discount brokerage. As we are often seeing now, this was a home that had multiple offers on it. I pulled the comparisons, advised my clients on what to offer and went all in to the point where it made sense. Once we won the bidding process, we set to work doing inspections, gathering the HOA minutes, budget and codes, covenants and restrictions, and reading through the preliminary title report as part of a due diligence period. We went through the disclosures together as well and clarified some things in which my clients had questions. The appraisal was ordered and then we waited.
A few days later, my clients got a copy of
the appraisal report. It had come in a few thousand less than offer price. We expected it might by a couple of thousand, but I could easily pull comparisons to have it come in at very close to what we offered. After several unanswered emails, texts and phone calls to the other “Realtor,” I simply sent an addendum over changing the price to the appraised value.
Since I could easily pull the comparisons, I assumed that this agent would do her job and fight the appraisal so the value could come in higher.
She didn’t. She simply had her client sign the addendum adjusting price and sent it back.
That was the only communication I was able to get.
We, of course, were fine with that, since it was really in my client’s best interest to pay less for the property than they had originally planned.
It did, however, beg the unspoken question; does her client know that they could have fought the appraisal?
Not to worry, he was “saving” thousands of dollars in Realtor fees (the difference in the appraised value was $6,000). Quantum math.
All was well until we got to the closing table. “Jen, the other title company just called (the “neutral” third party title company that is also owned by the discount brokerage). The seller just disclosed another HOA fee we didn’t know about.” Well, as you can imagine, heads were about to roll. This should have been disclosed in the MLS, the seller disclosures and the title report.
It was not. Heads did, in fact, roll. We got the problem solved and we closed as planned — all with only one text from the other “Realtor” about all of this: “I’ll figure out what happened and get back to you.” Forget it. We figured it out ourselves.
I was relaying this story to another Realtor recently.
He said he just went through the same thing with another “Realtor” from the same discount brokerage. He
was representing the buyers, the appraisal didn’t come in at offer price and when the seasoned, professional, experienced Realtor asked him what he wanted to do, he said he would contact his “value team” to find the original comparisons.
When he didn’t hear back from said “value team,” the professional followed up by letting them know they needed the supporting comps by noon. His response was literally this: “Not going to happen. Have him finish the report.” This begs a number of questions, none of which I am going to give voice to at this juncture. But suffice it to say, this seller, too, lost thousands of dollars by saving.
Shiny isn’t always valuable and 1+1 does not always equal 2.
Jen Fischer is an associate broker and Realtor. She can be reached at 801-645-2134 or email@example.com.
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