Friends and Family

‘Twas an Hour Before Closing

Headshot of Carolyn Harris, longtime Realtor and broker in Shawnee, OklahomaThis is a funny poem about a real estate closing just before Christmas. It was handed down to me by Carolyn Harris, a friend, mentor, and my first broker when I began my real estate career in 1994. It was given to her by a colleague many years before—I think it might have been Mary Crooks from Southwest Title & Trust (now First American Title).

It’s something I’ve shared with several audiences, usually at REALTOR® association installation banquets. Real estate agents, affiliated professionals, and all who are busy this time of year can all relate to the sentiments of last-minute hitches. Real estate transactions always seem hurried toward the very end, usually at the end of a month. But just before Christmas, the business details get wrapped up as quickly as possible so we can concentrate on the most important business at hand—enjoying family and close friends for the holidays.

‘Twas an hour before closing, and the office was tense
The first closing in months was about to commence.
With interest rates high and discounts out of sight,
Who would have believed there would be a closing tonight?

Overhead was up and business was dead,
But visions of commission checks now danced in their heads.
The loan was approved by FHA’s good grace.
Everyone knew it was a borderline case!

The purchasers divorced, remarried again.
Divorced once more and now were just friends.
The loan package complete, to the attorney was carried
With instructions to close before they remarried

The title policy was ordered and when it came in
An improper legal, 3 judgments and a lien.
Other than that, it looked pretty clean!
The title was cleared and the closing was set.
All requirements of the lender had finally been met.
The attorney was called, final figures to get.
Lo and behold the buyers were short by 74 cents!
The lawyer gave a quarter, the closer a dime,
And the sellers held a mortgage for the other 39.

With all this settled and closing at hand,
Everyone wondered what else they would demand.
In the twink of an eye, the closing was soon to take place.
All the little agents, happily sitting in place

When all of a sudden, the phone rang with a clatter,
The broker sprang from his chair to see what was the matter.
He answered the phone, and you could tell by his groan.
‘Twas the mortgage company on the other end of the phone.
Everyone listened as he sputtered and coughed.
They knew in a flash that the closing was off.
The attorney and broker were scurrying around,
And the buyers and sellers both broke down.
The agent sat still, silent and dazed.
His hands began to tremble and his eyes were quite glazed.
Then more rapid than eagles, his curses they came.
He screamed and shouted and called them by name,
“Now buyers, now sellers, both women and men,
Now broker, now lawyer, now lender and friends,
The closing is off, what more can I say
Than Merry Christmas to all and to all a good day!”

—Author unknown

Merry Christmas, friends and neighbors!