It's what you heard, not what I said....

I was talking with a good friend tonight on the phone and I told her a humorous story, I would like to share it with you too.  It's funny because it has a happy ending.

A 96 year old woman recently had a hospital stay.  Her daughter went to visit her and upon her arrival was informed that her mom would be getting out the hospital to go back to the nursing home the next day.  She went on down the hall and into her mom's room.  Upon entering the lady's room the daughter found the mom having lunch and she said something about being back in the nursing home to her and the mom said.  "I won't be here tomorrow" and she said it in a very matter of fact way.  The daughter said, I know you'll be back in the nursing home.  The mom said, "No, I'll be gone, dead, not here anymore tomorrow."  The daughter asked where she got that idea.  The mom said the nurse told her.  The daughter burst into laughter.  The nurse had said, "you won't be 'here' tomorrow" meaning the hospital, not this side of the pearly gates.  The mom was relieved to hear this good news.

I find that sometimes buyers and sellers are a little bit like that mom sometimes.  Last week I had a buyer ask if it was worth his time to make an offer of $XX,XXX. on a property that we had an offer in our office for already.  I told him yes, come on to the office and sign the offer.  That buyer told another agent that I told him he had the highest offer.  That is NOT what I said, but it seems to be what he heard.

 The lesson here is two fold.  First as a buyer or seller, don't assume that you know what your agent is saying to you, ask them to clarify and be specific.  And as an agent don't assume your client/customer knows what you mean, make sure they understand by explaining it more than one day. 

As an example I could have said to the person making the offer that a seller looks at more factors than just offer price, that they also consider if someone is purchasing "as is" with no repair request or paying cash rather than seeking financing.  A seller may likely want to make a no contingency cash offer that is several thousand dollars less than another buyer who is seeking financing and wants a closing cost contribution and needs to sell a house.  Sales price is NOT the only factor to be considered in an offer.

So make sure your communication is clear.  Or you just might not be "here" tomorrow.

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Tammy Lankford, Broker/Owner


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Comment balloon 60 commentsTammy Lankford • March 08 2011 12:19AM
It's what you heard, not what I said…
I was talking with a good friend tonight on the phone and I told her a humorous story I would like to share it with you too. It's funny because it has a happy ending. A 96 year old woman recently had a hospital stay. Her daughter went to… more