Control is indeed an illusion that is all too often an obstacle to consummating the real estate transaction. I have written before on TrueGotham about the multiple parties involved, often as many as 13 different people, in a single real estate transaction, Each party frequently believes that they have control over certain if not all aspects of a transaction. There are a plethora of Zen and Buddhist quotes on the subject of control and psychologist Ellen Langer even named and defined the illusion of control tendency as that which occurs when someone feels a sense of control over outcomes that they demonstrably do not influence. Many other psychologists have studied this phenomenon over the years and the greatest obstacle appears to be that the more a person believes that they are knowledgeable or even an expert on a subject, the greater the presence of the illusion of control.
‘The Master allows things to happen.
She shapes events as they come.
She steps out of the way
and lets the Tao speak for itself.’
Think about all of the ways we go through our lives with the very false sense that we are somehow in control of outcomes. Just ask any parent of a teenager. I’m not suggesting for one minute that we should all throw our hands up and surrender to chaos or anarchy. Not at all. What I am suggesting is that mindfulness is a very powerful asset when attempting to navigate what is often a complex real estate transaction. In my own personal experience, I have been much more of an asset to my customers and all parties to a transaction when I am mindful of just taking the next right action on behalf of my customers. I control the action but not the outcome. That said, if the seller, buyer, real estate agent, attorney, mortgage broker, or whomever else may be involved could remember to do the same, it is my belief that each transaction would have a greater probability of proceeding in a much more smooth and efficient fashion.