When you were in High School, did deadlines matter?
Did your teachers forgive late work without consequence?
Not likely . . . Most teachers would “discount the grade” and some would assign a ZERO – BIG FAT GOOSE EGG with no possibility of make-up.
So . . . Why would anyone think that tardiness is acceptable as an adult?
Much of what we do in business is time sensitive.
In the Military we called it a “Suspense Date/Time” and the first thing any soldier did upon receiving ANY written instructions was to check for the suspense date.
Woe be unto the poor soul who would DARE pass that date/time without mission accomplishment.
Of course, there were times when “Extenuating Circumstances” might create a scenario in which meeting the Suspense date/time would be untenable.
These extenuating circumstances might be:
The task assigned was larger than the time allotted
Mid-task discovery that the task was more complicated than anticipated
SURPRISE by emergent issues (Obstacles, Human Error, Sickness, Natural Disaster)
Some level of accidental “Ball Dropping”
Some members of the team failed to perform due to ineptness or personal disarray
Whatever the reason . . . At the moment at which ANYONE on the team realized that meeting the Suspense date/time had no possibility of happening, the Leader would IMMEDIATELY make contact with the person who had imposed said timeline and ask (beg) for forgiveness and an extension of the deadline.
Seldom, if ever, did a deadline pass without mission accomplishment or a request for more time.
In the ARMY, these deadlines could very well be of Life/Death importance . . . They MATTER!
So . . . What’s different in our world of business?
Don’t most things we do include timelines for completion?
Most every document I handle in a real estate transaction includes a “Time Limit”
Given all of the above . . . Why, then, do some folks in business nonchalantly and unapologetically allow these Time Limits to pass without so much as a nod?
In my view, (at best) this is sloppy, unprofessional, and even offensive . . . and (at worst) putting the parties to the contract in harm’s way or at risk of foregoing contractual rights.
Of course, these offenders might apologize when called out, but does that fix things?
Amazingly, many will continue with the transaction as if the passing of that deadline had no bearing on anyone whatsoever.
Some will even (after the fact) create new and different paperwork to reflect that everything was done in a compliant way.
I would label that “Fraudulent!”
Wouldn’t it be easier and less fraudulent to S L O W D O W N and create the appropriate paperwork as the transaction moves forward?
Upon receiving an offer, FIRST look for the time limit for response and pay special attention to ALL of the time deadlines and check them against your “reasonableness” factor before crafting your response.
If things happen (and they will) that might cause your response to be delayed, why not deal with that IMMEDIATELY by communicating IN WRITING with the offeror to request an extension of that deadline?
If it’s a deadline within a binding contract, go ahead and create a written AMENDMENT to document mutual agreement to the change by all parties to the contract of the change in terms . . . send that with the request.
I’ve witnessed (and participated in) a discussion about time limits on a forum recently and was shocked by some of the perspectives and “practices” of some of the folks.
I ain’t an attorney, but I know enough about this legal process of negotiating and executing legally binding contracts to know that it is NOT OK to be sloppy with deadlines and then “Clean up the paperwork later.”
That didn’t work in 7th grade and it certainly doesn’t work in the adult business world.
We professionals are better than this.
Timeline Compliances DOES MATTER!
(hops off soap box)
PS – As a Principal Broker, these are the kinds of things that keep me awake at night. I always encourage my agents to connect with me , Their Broker, at FIRST sign of “trouble” in any transaction. DIRECT Agent to Broker communication is essential.