Hawaii Randy's Real Estate Opinions: Keeping Your Cool When Others Are Freaking Out

Keeping Your Cool When Others Are Freaking Out

                                                               Stressed Out

One thing that stands out about a real estate professional is their ability to keep their cool under pressure.  The process of buying or selling real estate can be a very stressful process.  Buyers are sellers in many cases are dealing with the most expensive thing in their life.  Rarely does a real estate transaction happen with a curve ball or two.   When this happens we separate the professionals from the amateurs.

The professionals are those who see these are challenges or just part of the process.  The amateurs are stressed out, acting badly or just shutting down.  As the real estate markets cooled down the chances of a transaction having complications has increased tremendously.

The lenders have tightened their requirements.  Buyers are looking for bigger and better deals and everyone is scrutinizing every document more carefully than ever before.  In many areas new lending and consumer protection laws have been added to further complicate the process.  To throw added stress into the mix there are real estate agents and loan officers who have seen a drop in business, many have taken on other jobs and are doing this part time; many are pushing much too hard to try and get that next commission.

In the last year I have seen:

  1. Real estate agents selling their own properties and breaking rule after rule.
  2. Sellers hiding defects in their properties.
  3. Buyer's agents pushing clients into bad situations, just to close the deal.
  4. Buyers trying to renegotiate the contract after already in escrow.
  5. Lenders changing the requirements in the middle of the transaction.
  6. Tempers flying from all sides when a transaction hits a speed bump.
  7. Loan officers giving bogus loan approval letters to get it in escrow, and then trying to move the buyer to another type of loan or try to get the seller to give additional concessions.

While others are freaking out, you will be able to spot the true professionals.  They will be keeping their cool, playing by the rules and getting the job done.



Randy L. Prothero, REALTOR®

Broker-in-Charge, ABR, AHWD, CRB, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, MRP, SFR

eXp Realty

Team Leader - "The Prothero Group"

Randy Prothero is well established as an expert in working with military / VA clients and first time home buyers.  His home seller's (listing) campaign is one of the most aggressive marketing programs in the area.  His luxury home listings sell faster and for more money.

Based out of Mililani, Hawaii. Randy services the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) Performs mediations and ombudsman services for the Board of Realtors.  To improve overall professionalism in his area Randy also offers classes for real estate agents. 

www.HawaiiRandy.comOahu (Honolulu County) Property Search  Hawaii Military Relocations

Comment balloon 74 commentsRandy Prothero • December 02 2008 03:15PM


I so appreciate this as I did find my cool slipping yesterday in negotiations on a sale. Back to the yoga mat!

Posted by Janice Roosevelt, OICP ABR, ePRO,Ecobroker ( Keller Williams Brandywine Valley ) over 10 years ago

Janice - I had mine tested real hard this last week.  Fortunately I kept my cool and we will be closing a real difficult transaction.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Right on Brother Randy!! Remaining cool calm and collected is what gets transactions closed. I'm an expert at it.

I hope all is well with you.

Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) over 10 years ago

B.B. - All is well.  It was great meeting you and TLW in person.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Shucks.  Might as well keep your cool.  Your # 1 through # 7 are not new.

I've witnessed all of them for many, many years. 

The more things change, the more they stay the same.


Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 10 years ago

All of these things have been going on for the last few years. Keeping a cool head that solves problems is much better than blowing it!

Posted by Chip Jefferson (Gibbs Realty and Auction Company) over 10 years ago

Randy -

You hit the nail on the head, man!

Every point you make rings true, and I have seen many desparation agents in the past year attempt to do anything to hold things together - or agents, in resignation, that give up too easily.

Let's help for a less stressful 2009.  Cooler heads will ALWAYS prevail.

BTW . . . it's just like HI here in Chicago today, except about 60 degrees cooler.  And lightly snowing!  You?


Posted by Dean Moss, Dean's Team Chicago IL Real Estate Team (Dean's Team - Keller Williams Realty Partners Chicago IL) over 10 years ago

Always great advice to try to remain calm, regardless of the situation.  I find keeping my mouth shut until I can get alone then letting go if needed in my own space, cures my need for any outbursts, many a client thinks Im one cool headed person, I just smile.  Every deal has its drama and you can prevail, just sit there with a smile until the first wave of emotion passes. Or at least that works for me.

Posted by South Austin Real Estate Blog (Sky Realty South Austin) over 10 years ago

Randy, geeze!  People did that kind of stuff in these parts when the market was white hot and every buyer thought (correctly) they were paying way too much!  Love your graphic!  That guy looks really, really pissed!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Hey Randy,

I've seen the same thing here...probably worse in FL...more people who think they are no it alls when they capitalize on that stuff...now they are crying and flipping hamburgers for a living...nothing wrong with flipping hamburgers but that wasn't their intentions.

Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Randy yes this year has brought out the good bad an ugly.  As professional Realtors we recognize the stress each player is facing yet remain cool thus helping others to do the same.

Posted by Jennifer Fivelsdal, Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection ( JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571) over 10 years ago

Randy, Currently experiencing 4, 5, and 6--I love the timeliness of your article. My saving Grace is going back to childhood training regarding "Guarding" the tongue. (from the inside out)

Posted by M. Suzi Woods (Gravenstuk), Suzi Woods, Prior Independent REBroker in MS (NOW Sharing the life and spice of the GC one day at a time) over 10 years ago

Lenn - True, not knew for those of us who have been around.  For many, you would think they never faced a challenge before.

Laura - It has always gone on.  I think since the market cooled some, the less than professional folks have gotten worse.

Dean - I grew up in Chicago (Lane Tech High School).  I am so glad I traded in the snow for the sun and surf years ago.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Great post, Randy.  I have seen so many half-baked schemes it's not even funny.  The hurdles buyers and sellers face today are not roadblocks, but simply obstacles to navigate around.  This IS what we're paid to do although sadly many still just don't get it.

Posted by Jesse & Kathy Clifton, Retired (Jesse Clifton & Associates, REALTORS®) over 10 years ago

Gail - Good point, it is good to hear them out before saying anything.

Patricia - In this market they have a lot less forgiveness in their hearts.

Neal - Here we have both types of flippers (hotel beds and burgers) getting into real estate and now jumping out.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Jennifer - Cooler heads almost always prevail.

Suzi - I have had to bite my tongue so many times that I draw blood.  LOL

Jesse - You are right, that is where we earn our money.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Palying by the rules makes it easier to stay cool...no need to backtract!

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) over 10 years ago

Randy - #7 happened to me personally while buying a home (before I was licensed).  I was so frustrated as I had moved here (San Antonio, TX) from Philadelphia, PA to buy a house and relocate, when the loan turned into something I didn't expect.  Needless to say we closed 2 months after our closing date and my agent never batted an eyelash.  He was cool and calm the entire time.  I credit him for re-sparking my interest in real estate and that whole time is part of the reason why I decided to make the decision.  Seeing that it can be done without being a wreck or even worse, a commission chaser, made me know that there are good honest agents out there and gave me a path to follow.

Posted by Matt Stigliano (Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME) over 10 years ago

I had 2 transaction wobbling and falling apart since August...I felt like I was on the edge most of the time, but tried to just HOLD it in the fragile balance...miraculously, they both closed last week on the same day!

Posted by Mara Hawks, Inactive-2012 REALTOR - Homes for Sale Auburn Real Estate, AL (First Realty Auburn ) over 10 years ago

Hi Randy!

you are soooo right, people seem to be eager to drop ethical standards just to make the deal. Not good at all!

Posted by Mihaela Stoops, REALTOR - Broker, Your Maui Real Estate Professional (Aloha Realty Group) over 10 years ago

Keeping your cool just makes you look and feel more professional.  Cool heads ALWAYS prevail.

Posted by Jason Day (First Class Property Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago


Great post.  The market is different and you need to educate everyone along the way.  I subscribe to mortgage fraud blog and their are many industry professionals going to jail because they are trying to get around the system in a fraudulent way.  It is definitely weeding out a lot of people.

Thank you again!

Posted by Goodbye Active Rain, Out of Real Estate over 10 years ago

Hi Randy,  Excellent observations on the mental effects heightened by the current market.

Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) over 10 years ago

What a great post Randy! This is so true, a real professional DOES NOT lose their cool but rather that is the situation when one must exercise customer service, it is the time when one knows how successful they will be with the sale on a good note when they exercise good ethics.

Posted by Diana Perez (Majestic Properties) over 10 years ago

This market is definitely going to separate the boys from the men.  The professionals will be here after the first of the year, plugging along, doing all the right things to earn more business.  The others, the "amatures" as you call them, will be working other jobs.  A cleansing will take place.  I plan to be one of the MEN left standing when this all shakes out.

Posted by Marjorie Taylor, New Homes in St. Augustine Florida (Riverside Homes) over 10 years ago

Each and every transaction lately has had its share of issues to be ironed out and addressed.  I consider each onea learning experience and know that I am become a more competent professional with each success and failure.

Posted by Lori Gilmore, Realtor - Will County Illinois (Baird & Warner Real Estate) over 10 years ago


My most recent one is #2 Sellers hiding defects in their properties.

Some how they accidentally forget to disclose the A/C stopped working on the PCR. The Buyer wanted to stop by and measure a room two days before the Home Inspection. We noticed the electricity was turned off. I called the listing agent to have it turned back on and got the darn we forgot to tell you about the A/C.


Posted by Denise Gray, Realtor SRES, Wichita Kansas Homes (Realty World Alliance) over 10 years ago

good reminders. I have also seen at least 4 things on that list this year. The more I accept that the transactions are challenging, and part of the job, the better I can sleep at night

Posted by Sean Carroll, Real Estate Speaker and "Expert" Coach (The Get Off Your A$$ Academy) over 10 years ago

Randy - Great suggestions.  But I think keeping your cool, would be a little easier for you there in Hawaii, than it would some of us in other parts of the country :-)

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 10 years ago

While I agree with everything you said, there are times when even the most professional among us sometimes lose it.

Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) over 10 years ago

Randy this is not the business for the weak of heart.  We have to always stay focused on getting the deal closed first, plenty of time to yell and scream later.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) over 10 years ago

Randy - if it were easy, buyers and sellers wouldn't need us! We're here to orchestrate everything, and keep the participants calm (by being calm ourselves). I tell my clients, don't worry until I tell you to worry.

Posted by Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS (Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International) over 10 years ago

Hi Randy,

The thing is; YES we as Realtors always pray that everything goes smoothly and that the closing is sooner rather than later without any glitches. What I've come to find is that once I take a step back and set the tone of all involved in the transaction it normally works out. The key is not to procrastinate so that everything is done in a timely manner. Then if there are any discrepencies there is still time to work them out or move on to the next property if there is a lack of co-operation and willingness to move forward for the good of everyone involved.

Posted by Anonymous over 10 years ago

super poast gee think of the fact if the banks were in real estate sales.

Posted by Donald Urschalitz, P.A. Realtor ABR RSPS North Palm Beach County (One World Realty Inc.) over 10 years ago

Randy - Succinct and well put.  For the most part, I've kept my cool in the most dismal of situations.  This year has proved to be not only challenging, but telling in many aspects.  Keeping cool, while sometimes difficult, is absolutely necessary... especially right now.

Posted by Jason Sardi, Your Agent for Life (Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina) over 10 years ago

Randy, as time goes on the true professionals will rise to the top and slowly but surely others will be gone.

Posted by Charles Stallions, 800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl. (Charles Stallions Real Estate Services ) over 10 years ago

Randy - so true. Bad behavior and flaring tempers has definitely been on the rise this last year or two. Lots of frustrations for both buyers and sellers around mortgage problems, low appraisals, hidden defects, difficulty showing property and more. There are times when it is tough for the most level-headed, calm professional to keep calm.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) over 10 years ago

I know what you mean Randy. We are seeing all kinds in this market and the worst are the LO's giving approval letters or promising the world and what they can tell us to write in a contract....when it's simply not the case.

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) over 10 years ago

Randy- #7 just happened to us again today. Our seller is facing foreclosure and the lender for the buyers is playing games with us and I am biting my tongue so I don't lose it!

Posted by Katerina Gasset, Get It Done For Me Virtual Services (Get It Done For Me Virtual Services ) over 10 years ago

Randy.. You are so correct here... If the Realtor can't stay calm, cool and collective... How can we expect our client to do the same.. It is our job to keep them calm to work thew the hickups.

Posted by Roland Woodworth, Q Realty - Power In Real Estate (Q Realty) over 10 years ago

Randy - Wonderful post! Yes, I have seen people becomming ruthless this year. You've given many good examples.  

Posted by Carol Culkin, Overland Park (Reece & Nichols) over 10 years ago

Sounds like fun and I am anxious to jump in - cool is  my game (comes easy in MN winters)

Breathe deeply, relax and go for it.

Posted by Kathleen Lordbock, Keller Williams Realty Professionals (Keller Williams Realty Professionals) over 10 years ago

I have seen so many outrageous acts of all varieties in the past year from agents.  Strange times bring out strange behaviors, for sure!

Posted by Janna Scharf, Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert (Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene) over 10 years ago

Randy - reading this made me laugh. So many crazy things have happened this year that haven't seen before from fellow agents. Freaking out for sure! ~Rita

Posted by Brian Burke, Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate (Kenna Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Congratulations on the star Randy! It is almost embarrassing to be a realtor at times... but the good ones definitely stand out and hopefully, survive.

Posted by Susie Blackmon, Ocala, Horses, Western Wear, Horse Farms, Marketing over 10 years ago

Yes, Randy!  Grace under pressure... it's all about our character!  Great post.

Posted by JB Brookman, High School Senior Portrait Photographer (JB Brookman Photography) over 10 years ago

I could add to this that market conditions do not mean that ethics go out the window. I just had a realtor lie to me and it hurt my clients which mean I have to do sonthing about it. I just hate that.

Posted by Teresa Boardman (Boardman Realty) over 10 years ago

You covered the subject very well.  Professionalism gets the job done.

Posted by Cynthia Tilghman, Realtor® Onslow County NC Home Specialist (Kingsbridge Realty, Inc) over 10 years ago

Randy,Excellent reminder.  After 22 years in the business, I think everything you mentioned has happened to me. But keeping your cool is the only way to handle these situations.

Posted by Barb Szabo, CRS, E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes (RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio) over 10 years ago

William F. - Playing by the rules does help keep us focused.

Matt S. - We had a similar experience when my wife and I bought our home.  It made me decide to get back in the industry.  I knew that I could do it better and my clients would never be treated the way we were.

Mara H. - If you keep moving forward in a positive way, you will usually work out the roguh edges.  Congratulations!

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Keeping your cool is defintiely important and wise. Cooler heads prevail, right?

Regarding rules-It's funny, around here rules went out the window several years back in the irrational market. It's amazing how many times I saw incomplete offers, lazy work, or just old fashioned ignorance at hand. We all make mistakes or miss a blank once in a while, but some of it is inexcusible and broker's should be more responsible about looking at offers before they go out the door. These days we see it with short sale properites especially. Thanks for the good blog.

Posted by Meyer Leibovitch, REALTOR Boyds, MD (RE/MAX Elite Services, Nurit Coombe Team) over 10 years ago

It is a lot easier to find a solution to a problem that arises if you do remain calm and are able to think rationally instead of freaking out.  I remember representing a buyer on a transaction that had quite a few bumps.  The listing agent would call me screaming and I remember thinking "How is this going to solve anything?".  I was really disappointed in the reactions of the other agent.  It all worked out and we closed on time.  I wonder if she had to 'put on a show' for her clients?

Posted by Pam Simpson, GRI, Broker-Assoc. (Bob Leigh & Assoc., LLC) over 10 years ago

I think staying calm is an art that you have to get good at with years of experience.  Great post, I enjoyed the read!

Posted by Jason Fleming (Jason Fleming Agency INC) over 10 years ago

Yes, sometimes it would be easy to LOSE your COOL but in the end it all works out better when you keep it.  That is when it is nice to have someone OUTSIDE the transaction that you can vent on and get those uncool things off your chest

You are so COOL!


Posted by Debbie Hutchins over 10 years ago

We laugh at stress their is nothing worse than letting it get the best of you.

Posted by SacramentoCommercialLoans Bank Turn downs welcomed, Quick closings 916-847-7212 (Sacramento commercial loans) over 10 years ago

Mihaela - You are right, not good at all.

Jason D. - I agree.

Tony T. - I am glad they are finally cracking down on some of the mortgage fraud.  That was a contributor to many of the market problems.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Bill G. - Thank you

Diana P. - Thank you

Marjorie - I have already renewed my license and expect a good 2009.  Good luck to you, I hope you have a prosperous 2009.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Lori G.  - Good point, we learn something from every transaction.

Denise G. - Amazing how they forgot to mention that.

Team Carroll - Unfortunately I have seen everything on that list this year.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Myrl j.  - I do not known that it is easier in Hawaii, but when a hard day is over it is easier to unwind.

Margaret W. - Even the best of us can have their buttons pushed.

George S. - Staying focused is the key.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Sharon S. - I tell my clients to expect a couple of last minute surprises, it is not unusual.  If something pops up they are prepared.

Anonymous -That is so true.  Problems are not fine wine, they do not get better by letting them age.

Donald U. - The banks are in real estate sales with all the short sales, pre-foreclosures and REOs.  They are unable to handle them.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Jason S. - I have saved a few really difficult sales just by keeping my cool and working through the emotions that were flying around.

Charles S. - I agree.

Jeff D. - Like they say, that is why we get the big bucks.  :)

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Sally C. - I do have the hardest time keeping calm when a vendor is lying or cheating.

Katerina - I rarely have that happen, when I represent the buyers.  Most of my clients choose to work with one of my recommended loan officers. 

Carol C. - Thank you

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Kathleen L. - It is easier to move forward when you keep your cool.

Janna R. - The bad ones get worse in tougher times.

Kenna & Co, - I am seeing more bad behavior.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Randy, I also think that these are moments when we need to put our ethical professionalism into practice, a time to 'experience' the realities of real estate and what comes with it. It can be very frustrating to deal with today's real estate market woes but if we are not people oriented, we might as well work somewhere else. Real estate is serious business and patience is a virtue!

Posted by Diana Perez (Majestic Properties) over 10 years ago

Susie B. - I am never embarrassed to be a REALTOR®, but I get annoyed with those who are unprofessional.

JB - Thank you

Teresa B. - I have had a few of those.  Agents who do that, need to find another line of work.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Cynthia T. - Thank you

Barb S. - I am sure those 22 years in the business has helped you to cope under fire.

Meyer L. - Many of the badly written contracts I see are also missing broker signatures.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Pam S. - I am sure that screaming did not impress her clients either.

Jason F. - I know that age and maturity has helped me.  When I was younger I would have lost my temper in many of the situations I deal with calmly today.

Debbie H. - It is good to have someone to bounce it off at times.

Thank you.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Unusual - They say laughter is the best medicine.

Diana - You are right it is a required skill in this business.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Randy- We don't work with buyers. So the buyers' agents are the ones that are either going along with the buyers' choice or the buyer is using that agent's preferred lenders. You should see some of those shady charectors south of our county. We just cringe when we see their area code calling us.

Posted by Katerina Gasset, Get It Done For Me Virtual Services (Get It Done For Me Virtual Services ) over 10 years ago

Nester & Katrina - There are a few agents and vendors in my area that make me cringe when I see their name involved with a transaction.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

That can apply to home inspectors, too, especially when an unhappy amateur or Seller decides to give us a call and disparage not only us, but our brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents, and great grandparents, not to mention calling us every name in the book, some of which our virgin ears had never heard before -- LOL.

Posted by Not a real person over 10 years ago

Russel - It can apply to home inspectors.  Fortunately none of my clients have ever gotten mad at the home inspector.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago


Unfortunately, this is all too true.  There is a lot of stress and potential pitfalls in a real estate transaction.  It's part of our job to try and keep everybody calm and proceeding through transaction as easily as possible.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) over 10 years ago

Christine - I agree

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments