‘There’s no crying in real estate’

In the movie, “A League of their Own,” Tom Hanks chewed out one of his players for making a bonehead error in the game, and when she started crying his famous line was, “There’s no crying in baseball.” I had an office meeting earlier this month and loan officer Alix Branson shared a poignant story about something that happened earlier that morning. She and her Dream Team partner, Loli Lonso, had beautiful flowers delivered to them from an extremely happy and grateful young couple. Our team had funded their mortgage loan the night before and their American Dream was coming true after four weeks of seller-related delays. The seller had accepted our client’s offer 90 days earlier contingent upon the successful close of escrow on their new home. In other words, the seller was only willing to sell their house to our clients as long as they could move into the house they had in contract to buy from their seller on a short sale. Ten minutes after getting the flowers, Alix was informed by the escrow officer that our sellers were refusing to close. Their seller’s bankruptcy lawyer informed the title company the night before that although the short sale had been approved a month earlier and the sellers on this third leg of the transaction had finally moved out of the house, the escrow could not close till the bankruptcy court approved the sale. Tears were shed that morning because Alix and Loli had bonded with this young pregnant couple over the 90 days. These kids had paid for an appraisal and a home inspection and my team did a fabulous job processing the loan and now we all had to start over and hope to find another house. After hearing this story, Jim Modar, a 12-year veteran top producing loan officer who played linebacker for Dixon High and later graduated from Humboldt State with a degree in molecular biology and chemistry, a tough guy with an analytical brain, jokingly said, “There is no crying in real estate.” All 22 of us laughed because of his timing and the need for levity after Alix’s sad story and we laughed because Modar and my team deal with happy and sad crying all the time. “Home is where the heart is” is a great phrase that explains why so much emotion is part of the real estate business. Real estate brokers help people buy homes with chimneys that Santa Claus will drop down through for the next 20 or 30 years. Babies will be born and raised at these homes. Families will gather and have Thanksgiving dinners and Easter egg hunts. Grandparents will pass on and their homes will need to be sold after being part of the family for 50 years. Helping folks buy and finance homes is extremely rewarding but when dealing with a client’s largest asset and liability there can be a lot of tears of sadness, stress and joy.