"You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em"
This bizarre real estate transaction came to me by way of co-worker referral. A never-ending story, the plot becomes more and more complicated as each month passes. Summarizing it in a way that would make sense to you, my casual reader, seems nearly impossible. Suffice to say that my conundrum has been whether or not to proceed in helping the seller.
This situation, which has been ongoing for some time, threatens to last much longer before the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. The reality exists that none of the participants to the deal will be paid at the end of the day.
A tenacious person by nature, I tend to hang on until the bitter end. But recently, I've been deliberating whether walking away might not be the most sensible action at this juncture.
Our Ambassador, Gary Woltal, wrote a really accurate piece the other day entitled Avoid Costly Entanglements By Nipping Them in the Bud. In it, he describes the toll that challenging people and situations can take on your business.
What makes my decision so difficult is that I'm tormented by the obligations I feel to my colleague, the homeowner and, most of all, the real estate attorney, who I involved in this scenario, long before I knew the full history of the purchase and attempted sale.
We had so little information before it became necessary to delve a bit deeper into this seller's financial and social responsibilities. The attorney, who has, no doubt, put in a hundred hours of research of his own, has far exceeded in time any payment he could possibly ever hope to recover. In a candid conversation, I asked him why he was still on the job and this is when he replied, it was "in the spirit of rachmones (compassion)."
I'm a firm believer in volunteering for a cause with no thought to how you can personally profit. I'm quite sure you're instantly disqualified from positive karma when you're wrestling with your own agenda. With this thought in mind, the solution to my problem seems even more out of focus. While rachmones may be the word of the day, I haven't yet adopted it as my own.
I'm sure most real estate professionals have had this dilemma. It isn't always clear whether we should persevere or cut our losses. There are no hard and fast rules. Maybe we can help one another by sharing. What was your tipping point?
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Graduate REALTOR Institute
Jill Sackler, NYS Real Estate Broker Associate based on Long Island's South Shore
Specializing in Lifecycle Real Estate Transitions
©Jill Sackler 2010