Quitting, Burfict Style

The Quitter, Vontaze BurfictBy all accounts, Vontaze Burfict quit Friday night. Quit on his teammates, quit on his coaches, quit on the fans who have made excuses for his hot-headed, bone-headed behavior on the field even as they cringed as the next penalty flag flew.

Less than five minutes into the second half of Arizona State’s loss to California on Friday, Burfict started jawing with a Cal player. On the next play, to the surprise of no one, he was called for unsportsmanlike conduct.

As he walked off the field, according to the Sun Devils sports network, he took off his gloves, his tape, grabbed a towel to place over his head and called it a night and most likely a career, since he’s almost certain to take his chances in the NFL next year.

(Memo to anyone thinking about drafting Burfict – move him down a round on your draft board, and God be with you in keeping him in check.)

What does this have to do with real estate? It’s actually quite simple …

As your real estate agent, I don’t have the option of quitting when we have an executed contract in place. For better or worse, through sickness and in health, I’m working on behalf of my clients.

Sometimes they don’t hear what they want, much like Burfict didn’t like hearing his number called for the umpteenth time by the referees. But that’s not what I’m paid to do. I am not a yes man. If you want one of those, take your chances with one of the many agents in the Valley who will tell you what you want to hear even if the advice is poor.

Last week, I received a cancellation notice from an escrow company on a file even though the listing agent still hasn’t provided any written (or electronically written, for that matter) notice of cancellation. At this moment, this home is listed as Active in the MLS.

But there’s a problem. Until the seller physically signs a cancellation, my client’s contract stands. So even though the odds of my client doing what needs to be done to purchase are slim, we remain under contract and I continue to work this file. And in the unlikely event my buyer does to what he needs to do, I only can hope for the seller and listing agent’s sake that they haven’t accepted another contract because you can’t sell a house twice.

This week, a data-entry clerk bank owned listing agent informed me that Fannie Mae would be cancelling another purchase. As with the above scenario, I don’t really have an issue with the cancellation – not only are we expecting it, but it likely will work out better for my buyer.

As of yesterday, the property in question is back in the MLS and listed as Active.

But there’s a problem. The listing agent hasn’t sent me a cancellation and hasn’t responded to my requests for a signed cancellation. Which means – you guessed it – that my buyer’s still under contract.

The waters are a little muddier if only because we’ve submitted a new offer on the property but the general issue remains – the listing agent is acting as if the contract was cancelled without ever getting it cancelled.

Believe it or not, “Fannie Mae said so” is not a defense that’s going to matter to either the Department of Real Estate or a judge. There are contracts and amendments and, call me crazy, but maybe they ought to be followed. There are protocols in place for cancellations, protocols written by Fannie Mae in the latter case, protocols being ignored because, hell, it’s only paperwork.

And so, I continue on with this file as well because it’s still an executed, uncancelled contract.

I don’t have the option of quitting. Woe be to the buyer who finds an agent who lacks the same tenacity because, like the Sun Devils discovered last night, you may find yourself without the expected support at the moment you needed it most.

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at allphoenixrealestate.com.