Ozaukee & Washington County Real Estate: Cutting Corners to Get the Deal Done -- I'm Not Impressed

Find out more about Ozaukee and Washington County real estate, including the cities of Grafton, Belgium, Cedarburg, West Bend, Jackson and Germantown.

Cutting Corners to Get the Deal Done -- I'm Not Impressed

real estate contract

I think one of our greatest responsibilities as a real estate agent is to provide service based on honesty and integrity. Sometimes it's tempting to cut corners to get the deal done quicker. Doesn't mean it's the right thing to do, but the temptation is there.

I think back to when I bought my first home and know that the agent could have so easily not completed the forms completely or accurately. And because of my lack of real estate knowledge at the time, I would have been none the wiser. I wish I still had those forms to take a look -- just for curiosity sake.

Hurrying through the pages of documents, ignoring deadlines and suggesting to the client and/or co-broke not to worry about it, and not filling in all the necessary blanks is simply a disservice. Part of our job is to ensure that our client understands the terms of the contract and what the deadlines really mean. While we might have to explain things a few times throughout the transaction, it's okay. That's what we're here for.

Running any type of business with anything less than the utmost of care and honesty is your choice. Encouraging others to do the same is less than admirable. So if taking the time to ensure all the T's are crossed and the I's are dotted means ending the year with a few less closings, I'll take a few less closings.


Peggy Wester
Phone: 262-370-1757
Email: pwester@realtyexecutives.com
Website: peggywester.com
Blog: peggysblog.com

Peggy Wester - Realty Executives Integrity

Comment balloon 25 commentsPeggy Wester • June 23 2012 05:57PM


Peggy, you know?  The devil is in the details, and that's really what this post is about.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Patricia -- Very true. Have seen a lot of sloppy work lately. Pretty scary.

Posted by Peggy Wester, Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County (Realty Executives Integrity) over 6 years ago

Peggy....you nailed it....i have been getting quite a few new listings and the agents writing contracts....well lets say it is not up to par!   So many simple silly errors!!

Posted by Deborah Byron Leffler BzyBee Real Estate Lady! (Keller Williams Realty Boise) over 6 years ago

yeah I have had agents represent me that I trusted to take care of these types of things and lost out as a result.  I know look at every contract even if an agent works with us as a Buyer or Seller.  Two sets of eyes is better than one.  Cutting corners doesn't usually work out!

Posted by Frank Iglesias, Atlanta, GA Real Estate Investor (Working With Houses, LLC - Atlanta Real Estate Investments) over 6 years ago

Interesting, one of the reasons I got into real estate was because the agents who sold me property in the past cut those corners. Looking back on my paperwork on some of the buys I made, incredible. I'm sure they didn't even KNOW they were cutting corners. They just didn't KNOW.

Posted by Hella Mitschke Rothwell, Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker ((831) 626-4000) over 6 years ago


We have to review each contract and fully and completely prepare the documents are clients will be signing.  No cutting corners.

Posted by Evelyn Kennedy, Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA (Alain Pinel Realtors) over 6 years ago

Peggy, very well said -- "Running any type of business with anything less than the utmost of care and honesty is your choice. " and still many agent do the business the way do it...we all know what it means...

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) over 6 years ago

Hi Peggy,

Something must have inspired this post.

Was it in your own office, or a transaction you were involved in?


Posted by Phil Leng, Phil Leng - Retired (Retired) over 6 years ago

Peggy - I can relate.  I have seen some contracts which left me wondering "what were they thinking?"  I am so detailed oriented it is second nature to me.  I am amazed at some of things that have passed my way.

Posted by Pat Mistretta, Atlanta Lofts and City Living (PalmerHouse Properties & Associates) over 6 years ago

Deborah -- Agreed. Maybe I'm too much of a "by the book" girl, but I just think it's worth the extra time to make sure everything is done accurately and completely.

Frank -- And it's so important to make sure our clients understand the terms of the contract. Takes some time and effort but it's a must.

Hella -- I think you hit something there. I do wonder if some of the agents themselves understand the contract. Recently had one comment that she really doesn't understand what that appraisal contingency is all about. Just puts the deadline as five days prior to loan commitment. What?!?

Evelyn -- Exactly!

Praful - They do. And eventually it will catch up with them.

Phil -- Just have seen sloppy contracts, verbal agreements rather than written agreements, and complete disregard for deadlines. A disaster waiting to happen, in my opinion.

Pat -- I'm very detail-oriented, too. I'm not saying I haven't made my mistakes over the years, but I would never intentionally skip over something just to get the signatures on the dotted lines and assume no one will notice.

Posted by Peggy Wester, Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County (Realty Executives Integrity) over 6 years ago

Ah yes, the details.  As unimportant as a few things may seem, they need to be done.  Every single time.  Good post and congrats on the feature.  

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) over 6 years ago

Hey, Peggy!  I included this post in Last Week's Favorites.  Have a great week.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 6 years ago


There are several agents that I just cringe when I get and offer from them.  I know I am going to have to clean up the contract.

Posted by Pamela Smith, Sun City West, Corte Bella, Sun City Grand (Award Realty) over 6 years ago

This post caused me to recall when I bought a home and knew nothing at the time....I just never had any problems....because I had a good agent......a must for piece of mind

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 6 years ago

Hi Peggy,

It's easy to rush and forget about details. We're all human. This is a nice reminder to slow down and understand how your own clients are likely to percieve your behavior. Good post!

Posted by Greg Nino, Houston, Texas (RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP) over 6 years ago

Peggy, This is a wonderful post, thank you for writing it. I personally have to not cut corners because I have to look in the mirror every morning when I shave.

Posted by Tom Bailey (Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc.) over 6 years ago

What you have stated is so important and in this fast paced real estate environment it requires even more vigilance on our part not to cut corners just to get an offer in.

Posted by Kathy Stoltman, Ventura County Real Estate Consultant 805-746-1793 (Rockwood Realty) over 6 years ago

Peggy, Pat's Favs sent me here.  Corner-cutting has been a perpetual problem in real estate and I blame brokers who allow their sales associates to take short cuts.  Good for you that you've chosen to be thorough and professional.  Your clients are fortunate to have you.

Posted by Lloyd Binen, Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411 (Certified Realty Services) over 6 years ago

No room for cutting corners or back dating. I have recently worked with an agent (I represent the Seller), and her forms were not filled in well or incorectly. To boot she is a top selling agent. I kind of looped me that someone this succesfull did not worry about all the blanks or what needed filled in. On top of that it is a short sale. With a flurry of emails all has been hammered out. Cutting corners can also hurt if you don't read what you receive to make sure it is done right.

Posted by John Fauth, Turning your dreams into an address! (Coldwell Banker King Thompson) over 6 years ago

At our board of Realtors there are approx. 2300 members. Over 1700 did not sell a property last year. As such, learned a long time ago thatyou have to check every contract/offer for all the necessities. This is reality.

Posted by Bill Reddington, Destin Florida Real Estate (Re/max Southern Realty) over 6 years ago

I actually had a client accuse me of being too honest once. I always tell clients that trust is an important part of any real estate transaction. I do my best to foster that relationship of trust.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) over 6 years ago
I think that there may be a shift happening in this industry. I believe that in the past clients selected agents based on personal relationships. However today with technology transforming the industry I believe competancy will begin to play a bigger part.
Posted by Laura Murray, Search Montgomery Co., MD for homes www.MDRealEstateOnline.com (Weichert) over 6 years ago

Christiansen Team -- Thank you!!

Patricia -- Wow!! Thank you!! A great week to you, too. :)

Pam -- I hear ya! Makes me shudder sometimes!

Richie -- And there has to be trust between the client and agent and a commitment from the agent not to betray that trust.

Greg -- Well put. I agree errors are made, but when details are intentionally overlooked -- just not a good thing. Thank you for stopping by!

Tom -- Exactly!! Thanks for stopping by.

Kathy -- Everything just seems so fast-paced these days. So easy to skip over the details in so many different ways.

Lloyd -- Thank you for your kind words. I agree with what you say, too. Unfortunately I think some brokers are willing to turn the other way for some "top producers."

John -- I agree; amazing how sloppy it gets sometimes.

Bill -- Wow! Your stats make me want to call our local board and see what the numbers are for us.

Tammie -- I do, as well. Takes some extra effort, I think, but it's worth it.

Laura -- That shift would be a welcome change.


Posted by Peggy Wester, Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County (Realty Executives Integrity) over 6 years ago

Hi Peggy - I just had an incident where a client and the agent didn't read part of the contract and signed it! They were a bit surprised to have to give a little more than they thought they should at closing, but we wrote it in the contract! Yes, they should have been more careful.

Posted by Peggy Chirico, REALTORĀ® 860-748-8900, Hartford & Tolland County Real Estate (Prudential CT Realty) over 6 years ago

Great article!  I agree.  I see a lot of agents who cut corners and offer their clients less than optimal service.  There is not a whole lot of room for sloppy work, especially in this type of market.  I'm a real estate photographer, and I see it from another perspective other than just the paperwork...

While everyone has likely gotten a good chuckle at some point from Googling "bad real estate photos," I was recently shocked to see how prevalent extremely poor listing photos were.  Within seconds of loggin onto my local MLS, I found dozens of appauling photos.  

My post below gives some examples and then some quick stats about the impact solid photos can have on a listing. 

Fantastically Awful MLS Photos

I hope some of you guys at least get a good laugh out of what I found, and cheers for being diligent agents!

Posted by Frederick Glasser, Real Estate & Headshot Photographer (S18 Photography) over 6 years ago