You know how folks often tell you to “pick your battles” when it comes to dealing with children, coworkers, or postal workers (just an example—many of them are great)?
You also have to do that when it comes to the many different types of people you work with in the real estate redevelopment biz. Sometimes even when you’re right, it’s best to let things go and hope logical consequences will follow and make your point for you. Today’s examples:
That Darned House
Once again, the sale of our Blue Ridge house didn’t make it to closing. This time it was at the very last minute. The potential buyer had asked for some additional repairs, which we indeed took care of. We even pushed back the closing for the buyer’s convenience. However, today, one day before scheduled closing, the buyer backed out, stating that that more repairs weren’t needed might be needed. Blue Ridge is more than 30 years old. Yeah, at some point additional repairs will be needed. We fixed everything we knew about, but….
Sigh. I’ve bought houses that old before, knowing there were issues, but figuring, hey, it’s 30 years old. Apparently some buyers today think that when you fix up a house to sell, you know every single issue and fix them all…but some hidden things you just don’t know! So, good luck to this buyer in finding a house with zero current or future issues (including a brand new house—builders are human and do make errors). Those homeowner warranties you can buy are a good idea, just for these reasons. In fact, we always include one with every house we sell, just in case.
But, well, we’ll just choose not to battle on this and let that one go. We like the house so much that one of our team plans to buy it and live in it.
As for the buyer, there will most definitely be consequences from treating sellers this way–we certainly won’t work with them professionally again (and there was a chance we would have).
Coloring St. John’s House
St. John’s house is the one we are partnering with our friends with in San Antonio. We showed you what it looked like all scraped off a couple of weeks ago. It came time to paint the house. We sent the contractor a photo, numbers, and color name of the colors we wanted to use. The contractor came back with, “I have a lot of another color and I’d like to use that. Is it okay?” We said we would prefer the color we chose.
A few days later we got the message that our color was too light and showed all the flaws in the wood on the house. Also it was “brown” (actually it’s a brownish gray). That concerned us, since our choice was a pretty dark gray. We said it was fine to go with one of the even darker shades of that color, and to do that.
We got some pictures. They are the ones you see here. The house is indeed dark gray. A dark bluish gray. We’re pretty sure that was the leftover color the contractor wanted to use all along. The one we didn’t want to use because it was close to the color of another house on the street. Sure, it looks all right. It will do. We won’t argue and insist on the color we asked for in the first place. We need to finish the house and sell it.
If you are doing this kind of work, this is the kind of stuff that happens often. You just can’t sweat the small stuff and argue over every detail. But you can reward people who work with you, listen to you, and treat you with respect.