On being a pain in the ass


When you get into a real estate deal, either as a buyer or as a broker, there’s tremendous inertia pushing towards closing. Escrow requests the EMD, inspections get scheduled, disclosures get signed, the contingency period ticks away.

Everyone in the business likes it to be this way, because almost everyone, from the brokers to the escrow officer to the title officer to the loan broker, gets paid only upon successful closing.

So it’s extremely hard to put your hand up and say “Stop!”

But that’s what you have to do when you find something wrong. When the estoppels come in and they don’t match the advertised rent roll, someone needs to say “stop”. When the sewer inspection happens and it turns out there are roots growing through the sewer line, someone needs to say “stop”. When it turns out that fifth unit in what looks very much like a standard, 1920s, two-up-two-down fourplex turns out to be un-permitted, someone needs to say “stop”.

When someone says “stop”, the other people woking on the deal generally get frustrated. They understandably want to get paid. And there’s no downside to them because, of course, when the deal is over, they get to walk away with their money, leaving the buyer to deal with the problems.

At Adaptive, we are the people who say “stop”.

This doesn’t necessarily make us popular with sellers or other brokers. In fact, they almost uniformly consider us to be pains in the ass. But it helps ensure our clients and investors make good deals.