"Sky! Plane! Airplane! Plane crash! Yes, Yes, YES!" screamed the boys in an unbelievable come-from-behind victory in Pictionary last Saturday night, which had all three teams scribbling frantically for the win in a game so loud and wild, that the neighbors surely heard our boisterous antics (and that's not easy to do on my property).
Alas, the boys (who had been so far behind they hadn't even been in contention a few minutes earlier) beat the moms' AND the dads' teams in the final, exciting stretch. A large pile of cast off sketches littered the table while the boys joyfully danced around the dining room in sheer and utter glee (better known as the "victory dance" in my household) while the rest of us laughed and shook our heads with wonder, exclaiming, "Foul!" "Cheaters!" "The game was rigged!" (Mature, I know.) What fun! What silliness and what a surprise in the very last round.
I haven't played Pictionary for a few years now, but like all games, I'm reminded of just how quickly things can change and how a seemingly "done deal" can shift in the last final moments (sounds an awful lot like real estate - yes?).
Ironically, I had been working on a supposedly "done deal" all day long, but the final hurdle lay in the sale of the Buyers' home and ultimately, it had an unanticipated outcome, which resulted in some last minute shifts with respect to the Sellers' end. This is what's known as the "Contingency Sale;" where one successful transaction is based on the successful completion of another. In other words, the two home sales are intimately linked together. It's a roll of the dice to be sure, but for some properties, it may be the best option - in fact, it might be the only option.
As you might imagine, eleventh inning surprises are rarely welcome, but the better news was that the Buyers were were still willing to complete the transaction; they just needed some help to get there . . . It's important to remember that until ALL contingencies are removed, there is always the possibility of further negotiation.
Such are the realities of today's marketplace. Negotiation is part and parcel of every transaction and as such, it requires more flexibility from both buyers and sellers - and in this instance, more creativity as well. With everyone's participation and contribution (and with emotions quietly set aside) we managed to bridge the gap and come to an accord. Happily, the close of escrow is now locked in and the "Sold" sign has been posted. Finally, at long last, and after months of challenges, the deal is "done." Everybody relax and breathe . . .
Situations such as these remind me that things have a way of working out if we stay open to the possibilities and opportunities, if we realistically manage our "expectations," and if we artfully navigate the challenges when presented. That's not only real estate, that's life . . . Moreover, that's the nature of every "deal" in a nutshell - even when we think we're "done."
"House! Lawn! Garden! Real Estate!" (Yes!)
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 12 years and has published more than 500 essays. She is also a frequent contributor to the Sound Off column in the Real Estate section of The San Francisco Chronicle.