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IN THE PRESS
#BeTheSherpa: Agent Lisa Finks on knowing when to calls the buyers’ bluff
Reading time: about 3 mins
Real estate agents know it’s all about negotiation. Until it isn’t.
Last fall, a lovely family approached Wilmette, Illinois agent Lisa Finks to list their North Shore home. It had been on the market the previous year without success. They were understandably eager to sell and move on with their lives.
After about a month and dozens of showings, they received their first offer. “It was good on paper,” said Lisa. “There was no home sale or close contingency. They had solid preapproval, and it was a good price. So my sellers quickly accepted it.”
Lisa reminded them they still had several potential buyers circling and another likely offer was waiting in the wings. But her clients were still a bit nervous from their prior listing experience. They wanted to take the bird in the hand.
And now for the bait and switch.
The inspection and attorney review proceeded without incident. Then out of the blue about 3 weeks later, Lisa learned that buyers had switched lenders to a “family member” in the business.
“Wait… what?” thought Lisa.
She promptly called the new lender and spoke with him about the buyers’ situation. He assured her all was well and that the loan was a “slam dunk.” But that wasn’t quite the case.
“When we finally received a loan notice from this new lender,” Lisa remembered, “we learned that a condition of closing on their existing home — which wasn’t scheduled until the day before our own closing — was now added to the condition of their loan!”
The buyers had managed to sneak in a home close contingency by tying their mortgage, after the fact, to the closing of their existing home. Lisa’s hackles went up. “I was livid and my buyers were completely stressed.”
Did we mention Lisa is a lawyer, too?
Whatever you do, you don’t roll over
Lisa called buyer’s agent. He tried to argue there had always been a home close contingency as part of the offer. “I pointed out that first, he never verbally told me about such a contingency. Second, it was not in the written contract that he prepared and which his buyers signed. And third, it was not in the original preapproval letter they submitted.”
The agent played dumb. So Lisa spoke with her sellers’ attorney, who said there wasn’t much to do but acquiesce.
“I disagreed. Strongly,” said Lisa. “And I told my sellers to call the buyers’ bluff.”
After all, the original lender had preapproved them for a loan with no home close contingency. “So they had to be qualified,” Lisa reasoned, “and were just looking to insulate themselves from all risk in the transaction which their so-called ‘family’ lender generously offered to provide — at my sellers’ expense.”
A few days later, the clear to close was due. The buyers requested an extension, since they had not yet closed on their existing home. Lisa was ready.
“I insisted we deny the extension unless they met our conditions. They needed to assume some of the risk in the transaction by either waiving the mortgage contingency or making part of the earnest money hard in order to keep the condition.”
Lisa’s sellers listened. They pushed back on the buyers.
“And voilà!” Lisa announced. “Magically, the condition dropped off the loan and a clear to close appeared within hours!” Her sellers were thrilled with the outcome, and they peacefully awaited closing, which proceeded without issue.
Was Lisa’s law background what helped her defend her sellers so vigilantly?
No, she says.
“It helps, of course, but the very nature of being a real estate agent means that I have to go to bat for my client’s best interest at all times.”
August 1, 2016 Originally appearing at: https://www.adwerx.com/blog/bethesherpa-agent-lisa-finks-knowing-calls-buyers-bluff/
The Client Experience With Lisa & Lourdes
Lisa Finks is a consummate professional that helped us manage the sale of our home wonderfully. She has a strong network of agents which yielded many potential buyers and helped us smoothly navigate a few challenges that popped up during the process. It was a pleasure working with Lisa. - Tom H.
Lourdes was exceptional in all of what I call the three important areas of a real estate transaction: preparation (she provided a great list of comps and price histories for my neighborhood), negotiation (read both the buyers and the current sales environment to get me more than I anticipated) and follow-through (she stayed on top of the deposits and closing process to ensure a smooth finish). I've bought and sold homes in 4 different states, so my expectations were high. She exceeded them in every aspect of the transaction.” - Tom B.
Lisa was great to work with. She is very knowledgeable of all the North Shore communities and neighborhoods. Most importantly, she was extremely responsive to all our requests and worked tirelessly to help us find our new home! - Rich M.
We were on a very tight timeline and Lourdes got right to work. She took the time to get to know us, helped us refine our search, and only presented properties that she had pre-screened. She wasted no time finding new properties each night, contacting agents, and fielding our numerous questions. She communicated with both of us continuously and we never had to wonder what was going on. Never once did she complain, lose her patience, or seem frustrated with guiding us through what could have been a very stressful process. She is so kind, honest, and professional and we are so grateful for her guidance, patience, and warmth. We highly recommend Lourdes Arencibia for all of your real estate needs.” - Pamela M.
Lisa was terrific! From the beginning until the close, she was on my side, advocating for me the whole way. Her dedication is unmatched. I couldn't have asked for a more seamless experience with my home purchase. - Noelle R.
Lourdes was amazing! From the first contact we had over email we could tell that she was a first-class professional. She listened very carefully to our needs and wants and we were able to find a place we are very happy with. She was patient, kind, warm, knowledgeable, thorough, and very generous with her time. Not a single question we had went unanswered, either immediately or in a follow up email within a few minutes. She also provided us with great tips for living in the area, from restaurants to car buying. Thank you, Lourdes! - Jose F.
Lisa was very supportive, helped us nearly 24/7 to finish the transaction very quickly. - Johann H.
Lourdes was nothing short of great. She is professional, knowledgeable, attentive, punctual and dedicated. We feel very blessed that she worked with us and had the patience to help us decide exactly what we need. - Abe R.
Lisa Finks is the most knowledgeable, hardworking , patient real estate agent I've ever worked with. She is a gem. I actually cried at our house closing because it was so hard to say goodbye to her.I can't say enough good things about her. She is simply the best! You are very lucky to have her working for you and so were we : ) - Wendy M.
Lourdes is the best Real state agent I have work with. She was patient , kind, and understanding with all of my situation. She was the best most reassuring agent I ever have work with. I would work with her again in a heartbeat!
Thank you Lourdes for all you did for me and my family! - Blanca G.
Lisa is an absolute pro. We were rather picky buyers and didn't even know exactly what we wanted when we first started, but she guided us through the process to completion. She honed in on what we liked and disliked and found us a great property in a great location. She is the ONLY broker we will refer to on the north shore. - Scott S.
Professional broker supporting purchase of my home process from market research till close, who is the member of HomeAdvantage program. It was pleasure to work with Lourdes! - Marek P.
Lisa was just great. Very professional, thorough and personable. We loved her! - Garrett L.
Lourdes has been patient and flexible with us since we began looking for places nearly two years ago. Even though it turned out I didn't qualify for anything on the market when we first started looking, she kept in touch with me and was immediately available after my financial situation changed. I never felt pressured to settle for a property we weren't comfortable with, and she made it clear that she would help us out for as long as it would take to find a place we loved in a good location. - Jennifer B.
Lisa is very helpful, friendly and professional. She is excellent. - Lucy Y.
Lourdes is all you could want in a realtor- knowledgeable, energetic, always positive, warm and friendly. - Marlene S.
Lisa is that exceptional broker that you hear about but rarely meet ... the one that goes way above and beyond the norm, that truly cares about her client's happiness, who works tirelessly to ensure all the i's are dotted and the t's crossed, and will ensure you are partners every step of the way. Patient, humorous (which is necessary!), intelligent and kind. . . she truly made my sell and buy a terrific experience. - Joy S.
Lourdes is amazing! She is patient, kind, thorough, a fabulous listener, and incredibly gracious at the same time. She truly knows how to do her job with confidence. Finding a new home can become a stressful situation, and Lourdes really makes it very pleasant. - Jennifer T.
Great experience! - Barbara W.
Lourdes is very professional and knowledgeable at what she does. I came from a different country and had no idea about Chicago before I came. Through Lourdes' guidance, we nailed down our requirements and found the place what we wanted in a fairly quick timeframe. She is also very patient and considerate dealing with her client. I had a very busy working and traveling schedule, she always accommodated my schedule to the best she can and keep me informed in various ways. So even when I was traveling, I felt she is working on my case and making progress. She is also very resourceful. We encountered some difficulty in loan application. Lourdes has provided contact, who helped us get the loan and close the house.
I just enjoyed working with Lourdes. I would highly recommend her for anybody. - Bill G.
We had an amazing experience with Lisa!! We had a very short dated schedule, as this was part of a relocation process and through open houses found a home we loved prior to being able to connect with Lisa. She helped us work out a strategy to make sure we still gave other cities and homes a fair shot to ensure we wouldn't have buyers remorse. She only showed us the homes we mutually agreed. (We've had other realtors waste our time and show us their listings that were no where near our asks.) And she also provided valuable insight on recent sales transactions to help prepare us for an offer. She is also familiar with the relocation process. Besides the home selection process, her recommendations on lawyers and contractors were top notch. Highly recommend Lisa!!! - Sara L.
Lisa is very thorough. Easy to communicate with with many options, text, email, phone and face to face. Also incredibly responsive. She took the uncertainty and the anxiety away. - Elizabeth H.
Having owned multiple properties over time, we know to work with a broker who has the right balance of professionalism and social integrity to make the process work the way it should and leave us entirely confident in our purchase. We made the right choice when we decided to work with Lisa. She has been everything one could ask for in a broker -- timely, informed, thorough, honest, and respectful. I would add "respectful" of the entire process and mindful of the true goal, which is helping our family find a home. We have appreciated Lisa's honesty and gentle guidance, as we are now reflecting on our home buying process with no regrets. We have said many times since moving in, "This really does feel like home." We cannot thank Lisa enough.
We had a wonderful experience working with Lisa Finks. I have known Lisa for a long time, which is why we worked with her, but she exceeded our already high expectations. She was always on time, returned every call and email promptly, and provided value-add analysis, particularly with respect to comparables. We looked at one house which didn't have a living room, and as a result, we were wondering if we could put a piano in the family room. An hour later, Lisa sent us two pictures of similar houses with pianos situated in a manner that would work for us. With respect to the house we ultimately bought, Lisa established a good working relationship with the seller (who wasn't using a broker) that helped allow us to win the bidding even though our offer was not the highest. We consider Lisa a friend and trusted advisor, and we'd be pleased to provide a reference if ever helpful. - Arif A.
Lisa is a joy to work with. As a savvy agent, she helped us navigate the difficulties of having a home on the market and sell for a great price! Her professionalism and thoughtfulness are highly valued and much appreciated! - Andrea H.
Lisa is an amazing broker. She was incredibly knowledgeable about the area, the houses on the market, and extremely patient with us. She made our home buying experience easy and fun. She continues to share her knowledge of the area with us and provides us with great information and tips since we are new to the area. I would recommend her to everyone looking in the Wilmette area and the North Shore. - Kathryn G.
Lisa is a great realtor and has been very helpful to us. She is professional, knowledgeable and also very friendly and thoughtful. She has a clear mind and listed all the pros and cons for every house we looked at or she recommended, she also has a lot of house pricing experience and negotiation skills. Lisa successfully helped us avoid a bad house deal(the reason why now we know it was a bad deal is that the offer price my wife and I was thinking at that time is close to the current house listing price after it dropped again and again and nobody is offering) with deep analysis and helped us find our dream house. Both my wife and I love working with Lisa! - Lin J.
We have been working with Lisa for several years and super satisfied with her service. She is very considerate and professional. I recommend her to several of my friends and they all like her! - Carol Z.
Lisa Finks is the best Realtor you can think of, very professional, perfectly tailored service and always completely trustworthy !!! We recommend her to every client, LISA FINKS IS ABSOLUTELY THE BEST REALTOR - M.H.
Lisa Finks is undoubtedly the best overall real estate agent I have ever worked with. She takes to heart my needs and budget and assists even if the resulting sale will not benefit her directly. She is very knowledgeable about many kinds of sales, including a foreclosure I am currently involved in. Lisa has access to many tools which assist a buyer or seller in comparison shopping as well as those renovations which do and do NOT pay back when selling. Lisa is a joy to work with, a great listener, and I would recommend her highly to anyone in the market to buy or sell in Wilmette or beyond. - Beth L.
Lisa is a true professional and knows the north suburb's villages and cities better than any other agent. She has knowledge of the local schools and a great understanding of what makes each community unique. When you combine the fact that she is seasoned attorney with extensive knowledge of real-estate law, you are getting tremendous service not found with your average agent. Hiring Lisa will be the best decision you can make when looking to buy or sell your property. - E. M.
Lisa was extremely on top of the sale of our home from start to finish, even at the closing. We had a few snafus with the first few offers but we resolved them and moved it forward. She is attentive, amazing with follow through and energetic. - Laura S.
You've heard the saying "Don't work hard, work smart." Lisa was my broker and she worked very very hard and smart. I had no email or computer. Lisa worked through all that. I signed with the group on Feb 13, it was under contract March 3. Now when I look back, Lisa made the whole experience from lawyers to movers to looking at condos to the day of moving. Lisa was very reassuring. I felt very safe with Lisa Finks. - Maureen D.
I had the pleasure of working with Lisa Finks as my realtor. When I decided to buy my first place, I was filled with a variety of emotions--nerves, excitement, and most of all uncertainty. I wasn't sure where to start or what to think, or if it was even the step I was ready to take. Lisa was not only knowledgable, but she knew just the right questions to ask to help me figure out what I was looking for, and what was most important to me. She was able to be objective and professional, yet caring and encouraging. My house is absolutely perfect for me! I never would have found it without Lisa! I know that she was probably helping other people find their dream homes, but I felt like she was completely devoted to me. She was available and dedicated, and people tell me they've never heard of someone finding a place so quickly. Lisa went above and beyond to help me find the best place for me, within my price range. One of the best things about Lisa is that she provided insight and ideas and was willing to discuss pros and cons, but ultimately, she gave me the liberty to make my own decisions about what was best for me. She was able to suggest incredible, qualified people when I needed a mortgage broker, attorney, inspector, etc, and everyone I've worked with has been amazing. I can't say enough about Lisa Finks' as a realtor and also as a person. Even after I moved in, she continued to check to see how things were going. I started my process with a mix of emotions. Now, I would say, my emotions are THRILLED to be in my house, COMFORTABLE with the price I paid, SURPRISED how quickly I was able to find my house, GRATEFUL that Lisa was able to not only help me find my house but also help me feel at home! - Allison E.
I very much enjoyed your company and your help in this difficult process. - D. A.
You did a great job, best realtor experience for us so far! We will highly recommend you to all our friends. - Monica H.
We connected with our broker, Lisa Finks, through the internet. She arranged three opportunities for us to see on our first meeting after discussing our needs. Lisa clearly listened as these properties all had potential for us.Lisa is sincere, helpful, compassionate, prompt, honest, and worked hard until we found the perfect apartment for my daughter and me.I would highly recommend her! - Samantha T.