Murphy's Law of Real Estate

Dated: June 21 2018

Views: 1817

Mr. and Mrs. Seller, please go on vacation.

No, really.  The Murphy’s Law of real estate tells us that your home will sell (we’ll get an offer) when either you or your agent go out of town.  Happens all the time.

So please, go on vacation.  Or know that your agent taking a vacation in the middle of your for-sale process can be a good thing.

The good news, your agent has a cell phone and can crank out a contract and communication via just about anywhere.  Or your agent has a bench and there is an agent or two or three covering for them.  So please, go out of town.  If your agent cannot function long distance (cell and a little tech savvy) or does not have a bench (they left town without any backup or access?), then you have not hired a pro.

More of the good news is that when you are out of town there is no rush to tidy up the house for showings.  The assumption, of course, is that you did the dishes before you left for the airport.

We do have a few guidelines for your vacation so everything goes smoothly:

·        Do the dishes.  Clean, clean, clean, do the dishes, make the beds, turn on a couple lights and then leave town.

·        Neighbor on-call.  Have a neighbor on call for little things like collecting the mail, watching the house to see if some inattentive Realtor left too many lights on or turned them all off.  Said neighbor could probably also water the plants, lawn, pick up the paper, drip the faucets during a freeze etc.

·        Let your agent know your plans.  If there is a full day of air travel, this is helpful information when texts are going back and forth.

·        Have some flexibility such that you could be available for some phone calls, texts or email if necessary.  Or let your agent know that you’ll check your phone a few times a day.

·        Check out available technology before you leave town.  Check with the hotel or resort or your relatives to find out if you may have access to a computer or a printer or a fax if needed. 

·        Have some availability.  If you’re hiking the Appalachian Trail for 7 days, you pretty much will lose any offer that comes in that week if you are completely sans communication.  Note:  hiking the Appalachian Trail for 7 days while your home is on the market is not recommended; driving it with a cell phone works just fine.

·        International travel can be tricky.  Make sure you have some communication options.

·        Power of Attorney?  Sometimes it can make sense to have a local friend or family member have a signed PoA to sign a document related specifically to the sale of your property.  Your agent cannot sign on your behalf.  This rule may vary from state to state.

·        Offer vs Closing:  being out of town for an offer or repair negotiation is one thing, being out of town for your closing is another.  Make sure you discuss with your Realtor.

Murphy Law squared would be when offers come in and both you and your Realtor are out of town.  Enjoy that vacation.


© Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at eXp Realty,2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at eXp Realty with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  Julie Nelson is a licensed Realtor with Keller Williams Realty in Austin, TX.  This article and other blog postings should not be construed as legal or professional advice.  Contact your favorite Austin real estate professionals in person for actual advice. Search for Austin homes or connect with Julie at


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Julie Nelson

Licensed since 1999, Julie is a real estate veteran in Austin, TX, brokered by eXp Realty. Realtor, trainer, coach, industry author, career strategist, Julie serves buyers and sellers throughout the ....

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