Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: Do You Put All Your Eggs in One Basket?

Do You Put All Your Eggs in One Basket?

Have you ever had one of those phone calls where you're left totally and completely confused? Yesterday, I was heading to an appointment when my voicemail paged me. I checked the message and it was like someone was speaking another language to me.

The message said something to the effect of, "This is so and so with such and such title company, and I wanted to let you know we have your file and the closer will be blah blah and her assistant is yadda yadda..."

The message went on, but I kinda wasn't listening because I was so confused. Who was this person and why were my files passed on to someone else. Did my closer go on vacation and forget to tell me? Why didn't the assistant call or email me to let me know? Why didn't the marketing rep let me know?

I called the number and asked for So and So.  She starts talking gibberish again, to where she finally said, "Apparently I'm assuming you know things you don't..."  Bingo!

This title company recruited me hard a few months ago wanting my business and wanted to help grow my teaching part as well and even scheduled some classes for me. In return, since they were very conveniently located and customer service seemed great, I started turning in contracts for escrow.


How does an entire office leave one company and go to another? We're not talking one or two people. We're talking about six people all leaving at the same time, and leaving all our files in a lurch!  Plus, when I called the cell phone numbers I had, they were disconnected!! These are some people who don't want to be found!!

I have a closing on two properties in less than two weeks, and I hope the life-savers can get the job done! Good thing I didn't put all my eggs in one basket and have other title company relationships as well, but this is one of the largest title companies in the country!!

**Are You Packed Yet?** 

donna harris Realtor Austin TX blog

Donna Harris, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Austin Skyline

Austin TX Real Estate and the surrounding areas of Lakeway, Bee Cave, West Lake Hills, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Spicewood, Circle-C, Steiner Ranch, and everywhere in between... Hill Country Austin TX Real Estate and beyond. Whether you're buying or selling an Austin home, I'll be with you every step of the way. 

For real time Austin TX listings, click here.

** #1 Agent in my Office for all of 2008 **

Copyright© 2010 By Donna Harris, All Rights Reserved. You may re-blog with links back to this post.
* Do You Put All Your Eggs in One Basket? * was first published on

Comment balloon 30 commentsDonna Harris • July 15 2010 02:34PM


That is a wild story.  Haven't seen that one happen.  It is funny times.  Good luck

Posted by Dawnita Griffith, It does matter who you hire. (Meadow Lake Real Estate, LLC) almost 10 years ago

Wow, Donna!  What a mess!  Didn't they leave anyone behind to handle the closings or is the whole office closed down?

Posted by Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417, Real Service. Real Results. Real Estate (United Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

Donna, that is crazy!!  I have not came across anything like that before and hope never will.  I hope it all goes well for you and they close your deals without delay and problem.

Posted by Rita Fong, Realtor - Marion Arkansas Homes for Sale (RE/MAX REAL ESTATE TODAY, Executive Broker 901-488-9590 ) almost 10 years ago

Donna: I sure hope things work out for you and your clients. There are some mortgage companies down this way that just closed and walked away. It is a different world today. Just one more thing to contend with to close the sale; protect yourself and your client.

Posted by Carl Winters almost 10 years ago

Hi Donna... The whole office left??? What a mess!  I have seen whole closing teams leave, but never the whole office.  Amazing!

Posted by Steve Shatsky almost 10 years ago

Wow! that is scary! I would be furious, hope it all works out smoothly...

Posted by Vanessa Stalets, REALTOR, Brentwood TN Homes, Real Estate (RE/MAX Elite) almost 10 years ago

A few years ago, the title company I was working with got shut down by the State regulators for some problem.  Very weird. Makes the business challenging when this stuff happens.

Posted by Rob Arnold, Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F (Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc.) almost 10 years ago

wow.. that is crazy... I like using people I know and have a relationship with... that way I know where to find them ;)

Posted by James Baxter Encinitas Realtor (Realty Place) almost 10 years ago

We usually use Attorneys around here (GA) instead of title companies.  It *seems* to be a more stable setup unless you're dealing with a 'chain' that handles the bulk short-sale and foreclosure closings.  Most everything's a bit of a struggle these days.

Posted by Jim Pirkle (Harvest Realty LLC) almost 10 years ago

That's very scary...have you asked why? is there something wrong? I would expect that you'll get a call from them to move to whereever they went. Good luck with the closings...I'm sure they will go well.

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) almost 10 years ago

Dawnita, I'm sure we'll laugh about it after these files close!

Lorrie, EVERYONE left. The manager of another office took over and brought some of her staff as they look to restaff.

Rita, I hope so too!

C&C, Yep!

Steve, Yep both closing teams plus the receptionist...

Vanessa, I can't be furious as they took over fairly quickly, but to know the others left without putting in my title request is a little irritating, but it's been expedited.

Rob, Good thing that didn't happen here or escrow money would have been lost too!

James, Being newer to Austin, I'm still building those relationships. Otherwise, I used the same title company in Dallas for about 8 years.

Jim, No attorneys here, thank you!!! :)

Karen, They claim they don't know why, and the cells of the people are disconnected, so I can't ask them...


Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 10 years ago

What a mess. A local company?

Posted by Jim Shepherd (360) 229-2235, Find Shelton Homes (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Shelton) almost 10 years ago
Donna spread that risk around a good strategy!
Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) almost 10 years ago

It's always wise to have multiple relationships with affiliates.  I do have to say that I've got one favorite title company, but they seem to be the only one in the same location, with much the same staff as when I first started working with them.  Everyone else has experienced much more upheaval. Thankfully I haven't gotten burned like you have. Hope it works out....

Posted by Karen Crowson, Your Agent for Change (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) almost 10 years ago

I am getting more and more picky about title companies lately even when working on the buyer side. Many of the real estate offices (certain brands) are opening small (affiliated) title companies that do incredibly poor jobs when it comes to processing and closing files. For example the last one we (buyer client and I) showed up for our 11 AM closing to have a 3 hour delay in starting it because their computer system had crashed that morning. No calls or anything....  Also numerous mistakes during the closing caused more delays as I made them fix them.

Seems to be happening more and more lately so now I am even writing in my preferred title company on the buyer side offers I submit.

Life is too short and deals too complex to be adding additional stress to the mix.

Posted by Bruce Swedal, Denver Real Estate almost 10 years ago

Jim, They're local, but also National.

Gary, I try!

Karen, I agree.

Bruce, I always write in my preferred title company into my offers. If the seller counters, I don't let it get in the way unless there has been a BAD experience there in the past.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 10 years ago

Wow, our attorneys here do all the work & we just close at a title company here in IL.  Seems like the whole group was 'offered a deal' to go elsewhere now!  Sometimes that happens or maybe the pay was just too good to refuse?  You'll find out soon what's going on.  Just seems weird they didn't care about YOUR business.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) almost 10 years ago

Wow... the entire office? That is very strange and is not a good sign.

Posted by John Cannata, Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance (214-728-0449 almost 10 years ago

A very interesting post.

We have a lot of "consolidations" around here, but not the entire office vanishing. I have had to replace two escrow officers because of cutbacks but fortunately I still use the same company, as they have always taken great care of my clients, sometimes way past normal business expectations.

Posted by Jon Quist, Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996 (REALTY EXECUTIVES ARIZONA TERRITORY) almost 10 years ago

Hi Donna,

Before I became a full time REALTOR I worked for 20 years in escrow/title.  I was an Escrow Officer - this story though sounding like something that would "never" happen - happens, more often that we'd like to hear.

Title/Escrow company has a successful team that works together well does lots of business great customer service etc.   Title/Escrow company comes into town and wants to get lots of business quick - they just "steal" the entire office, great signing bonuses, better commission splits, etc.  Whatever it takes to take this top producing team from the other company.    

4 p.m. in the afternoon company A receives call from management at their branch office they are closing the office and won't be back tomorrow - they are going to company B and tomorrow they are at company B.  NOW having said that they usually try to keep their existing customers happy since they are now getting a "better deal" at company B and they NEED the business they left at company A to come with them.

Bad customer service of the staff who moved on - you probably won't be following them to company B.  Great article about really BAD business.   Best of luck.  Please post when you close to let us know the "rest of the story".

Posted by Tamara Stoebe, GRI, QSC, e-PRO (Prudential Troth Realtors / DRE License #01827461) almost 10 years ago

I wonder ...were they all involved in some shady activity and needed to disappear?

If you ever find out what happened - let the rest of us know!

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) almost 10 years ago

One of my favorite movies, widely dissed by movie critics is Armageddon.  The line in there, "We're NASA and we double up on everything."

Posted by Mike Henderson, HUD Home Hub - 303-949-5848 (Your complete source for buying HUD homes) almost 10 years ago

Hi Donna, I have occasionally received information sheets from a closing company that I was not expecting. Usually it involved a short sale or a repo deal. I have never had an entire staff get up and move. The red flag here is the  disappearing act. You have to wonder why they do not want to be reached and are willing to throw your future business away.

Posted by George Burgess (RE/MAX Heritage) almost 10 years ago


I do tend to use the same attorney for all my closings because they have proven to be so reliable. Of course it's the not the attorney a lot a time, But the Paralegals that make the office what it is. I don't know what I would do if they all left at once.

Posted by Jean-Paul Peron, Carova Beach - Living & Working in 4-Wheel Drive (The Outer Banks Real Estate Copmpany) almost 10 years ago

OMG! How does an entire office disappear?? What terrible business and horrible customer service that they didn't even give you a phone call, email, smokesignal, nothing! 

Posted by Liane Thomas -Top Listing Agent, Bringing you Home! (Professional Realty Services® International ) almost 10 years ago

Great thoughts and blog.

Concise well delivered information and slant on the issues.

Posted by Tom Waite, So Cal-Apartment Bldg Investments (Thomas Waite Real Estate Broker) almost 10 years ago

Sounds like a mess. Not sure what I would do.  I am fairly loyal and like to use one particular title company.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

Donna ~ The industry in general is ever changing and these days in ways that we haven't seen, but that's a new one for me.  A whole office vanishing.  It doesn't sound good.  We can all have our favorites...but it's always good to have a few favorites in each field.

Posted by Teresa Albarella, SFR (RE/MAX Advantage Realty) almost 10 years ago

I think it is sad that an entire Title company would move and not notify the realtors that are using their services!

Posted by Sybil Campbell, REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia (Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia) almost 10 years ago

Tamara has it right. Several years ago I worked for a large company in Dallas, and it's pretty common for that to happen. The closing team normally works together and they are recruited as a team (marketing included). BUT... definitely poor service on their side not to keep you in the loop. It may just be their demise too, that's the reason they were recruited, their book of business!

Posted by Leigh Bates, The Trinity Group (Atlantic & Pacific Real Estate) almost 10 years ago