Vail Daily column: Missed opportunity? |

Vail Daily column: Missed opportunity?

Joan Harned

Dear Joan,

We really like our Realtor, and he has shown us many properties. We like to weigh everything very carefully and if we are interested, then we will look at least twice before making an offer. We finally found a place we both really liked, we felt it fit our budget and it is in a great neighborhood,​​ so we asked to see it again the next day. Our agent was going out of town for the weekend and asked if we could wait until the following Monday to look again. We were worried that someone else might put in an offer, but he assured us it had been on the market for many months. Well, you know the rest of the story — o​ur dream house went under contract that weekend. We are now angry and frankly a little hurt that he put his own pleasures ahead of our wants and needs. What do you suggest we do next?

Dear Disappointed,

I am sorry you missed out on a home you really liked. There will be another one and a great Realtor will help you find it. You have to realize that real estate brokers have lives, too, and that they show property seven days a week, year-round. Realtors need to plan personal and vacation time and stick with their commitments with their loved ones. ​That being said, Realtors also have to realize they have a very important commitment to the clients that they are representing.

The mistakes that were made here were​ threefold.

1. ​To​ assume the property would not get any offers over the weekend. ​Most top brokers in the valley realize that ​timing is critical in a real estate sale on every property. It is an interesting fact that when someone becomes interested in a property, often other interest appears. It may be the law of attraction that brings more activity when the property is shown — I don’t know. Maybe someone is just in the neighborhood, the neighbors start talking at workout class or it is just a coincidence, but it is not uncommon to have no interest and then two or more interested parties at the same time on a property.

2. ​To​ not have someone else from his team and/or office show you the home when you wanted to see it. Realtors traditionally have been loners, since each agent is an independent broker. However, many brokers have formed teams so that they can better service their clients’ needs and have a personal life. At the very least, every broker needs one or more agents in his office (or another office if they are a one-person brokerage) willing to help when ​they are unavailable, and ​they ​can reciprocate with them when they are gone or extremely busy.

3. Not explaining to you the importance of making a written offer as soon as you have decided you would like to buy the property. ​We Realtors sometimes avoid “pushing” to make you put in an offer quickly so that we do not seem like a typical salesperson trying to get you to just buy anything. The truth is, if you feel certain you like the property, then it is usually safest to tie it up as quickly as possible.

I would suggest a serious talk with your broker about how you feel in general and especially about this delayed showing. See if this situation can be planned for or avoided in the future. A change in Realtors should only happen if there is a lack of concern on the Realtor’s part. I always feel that when one opportunity is missed, a better one comes along. Good luck finding a home you will be even more excited about, and consider making an offer as soon as you feel good about it so that the great deal will not get away!

Joan Harned is an owner-broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear, her own real estate team. Harned has been selling real estate in Eagle County for 27 years, is a past chairman of the Vail Board of Realtors, past Realtor of the Year, past director on the Great Outdoors Colorado Board and a member of the Luxury and Land Institutes. Contact Harned with your real estate questions at, 970-337-7777 or

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