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Why Some Real Estate Transactions Just Fall Through

attitude coaching failure Aug 24, 2023

...and how you can prevent fallthroughs from happening to you

It seems the whole world now requires two-step authentication. If you visit a website or open an app, this ensures it’s really you and not a robot or an imposter. Layers of security have been added to our every step. Why? Because technology transformed communication from something we could trust face-to-face, into something potentially life-threatening, costly, annoying, or intrusive.  Technology is supposed to make life easier, quicker, and better, but in many cases, it can be the opposite.

So, what does that have to do with transactions falling apart? In a word, everything. Today, offers are almost never presented face-to-face so we rely on email, text, or voice mail to communicate. The end result? A breakdown in communication.  We are relying upon an overworked, overwhelmed, scatterbrained salesperson to actually read their email or text, to listen to their voice messages, or to have room left in their mailbox to receive one, and then to respond with clarity.  Does that make any sense?

When you are working with someone you know, someone you have done transactions with before and whom you trust to be johnny-on-the-spot, communication lines are established and reliable. But if you are dealing with one of the one-and-a half-million real estate agents you don’t know and have never worked with before, it is imperative that you add layers of security to your communications.

So, let’s do some learning about communication, Wickman-style. We’ll call it “Communication 101”. 

There are three ingredients for communication to succeed. Sender. Receiver. Message. And who is always responsible for the success or failure of communication? The Sender, and that means you.

Scenario. You have an offer on a co-broke agent’s listing. You do not know this agent personally, have never met or had a transaction with them. You have a time-sensitive amendment requiring signatures. Driving directly to your buyer’s house or office to get signatures, and then to the seller’s agent’s office to get them to get signatures is out of the question. That’s not how we do things in the modern age of real estate. We use technology.


An email is sent to the listing agent. And right there, the problem begins. For whatever reason you get no response. Maybe they’re busy. Maybe their internet is down. Maybe they’re on vacation. Maybe this, that, or the other thing. Deadlines pass. The transaction falls through. Happens every day. 

I recommend you send a text after the email, requesting verification of receipt of the email. And then a voicemail requesting verification of the text and email. Leave nothing to chance. Let me repeat, the success or failure of communication is totally up to the Sender. 

While these redundant layers of security might not save every single transaction from falling apart, if it keeps just one deal together that might have fallen through – if it adds just one more commission to your bank account – if it gets just one more family moved into their dream home safely and successfully – if it adds just one more transaction to the economy – then I say the redundancy is worth the effort. 

Communication starts with the Sender of the message.  So, be the Sender whose message gets received.


The Floyd Wickman Team Blog by Mike Pallin

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