The Award No One “Really” Wants to Win

On Friday, December 2nd, at the annual S.B. Association of Realtors Installation luncheon, Gary Goldberg triumphed with the Howard Gates award. This award is the “acknowledgement of going the extra mile for your client by completing a difficult and complex transaction requiring extraordinary endurance, tenacity, diligence, patience and skill.” This is Gary’s second time winning the Howard Gates award; the first was in 2001.

The seller chose Gary Goldberg to handle this sale because Gary is also an attorney, albeit a non-practicing one. The seller said in the initial meeting that he did not expect the property to sell, but if it had any chance, he wanted someone who could “sift” through all the legalese. For instance, the adjoining property was in a multiyear lawsuit, which the owner won. This property is in the coastal zone and subject to the state Coastal Commission overview, being that it is blufftop, to make things even more complicated.

The property was on the market from September 2021 until July 2022, during a strong market. After at least 50 calls and/or showings, the property finally went into escrow. Gary coached both parties, walked them through every step of the process and made sure they understood the importance of conforming to the agreement. The general understanding of the purchase price, and of the options regarding the sum of various deposits in the down payment was challenging due to onerous demands. The sale involved five renegotiations of the price, closing terms, and closing dates. In Gary’s real estate career of over 27 years, he says he had never experienced such a difficult transaction. What mattered most, nonetheless, was to reach the paramount goal – close the escrow – which it did.

During Gary’s acceptance speech, he explained that “this is the award no one really ever wants to win, and now I’ve done it twice.” He stated, “I prayed the first time I would never win the award again. It was the worst transaction of my career. Yet at the same time, it made me persevere. Through hard work and tenacity, I encouraged both my clients, which is the hardest part being a dual agent, to continue down the process to an end. In this case, the buyer was a lawyer, I’m a lawyer, and the seller had a lawyer, which made it even more complex during each renegotiation.”

Special shoutout and thanks to Martha McNair, Gary’s right hand, who is eternally grateful for all your help with this “dreadful” deal of a lifetime.

REALTORS®: Share your industry info in “REAL ESTATE SCOOP.” Email sarah@independent.com for details.

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