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May 26, 2019 11:34:13

First come, first served?

by @brandonwilson PATRON | 385 words | 439🔥 | 439💌

Brandon Wilson

Current day streak: 439🔥
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I do not know the origin of the seemingly fair concept of first come, first served. I know we learn it at a very young age. Whoever is first in line gets to go first. Wait your turn. It seems inherently fair. But in the real world, it doesn't always happen.

Take @nicksimard 's observation about grocery check-out lines. When a new register opens, who usually gets that next spot? It should be the next person in line, but often it's someone at the end of the line who quickly cuts over.

What about getting served drinks at a bar? One of the key factors is the gender of the bartender and the gender of the patron. It's sexist but reality.

What about big purchases? Suppose you go to a car dealership, test drive a car, and give a verbal commitment to buy but you need time to get a down payment or get affairs in order. Suppose someone comes along in the meantime and wants to buy that same car. What should the salesman do? Are there rules around this or is it more about ethical behavior? In my opinion, the salesman should reach out to the first person before selling the car to the second person. I'm sure many times this does not happen.

A final example comes from real estate. A friend of mine and his wife found a house that was just put on the market. They did a tour of the house, and that day they submitted an offer for the full purchase price. The buyer agreed to the price and countered with two items as part of the agreement. My friend gave a verbal agreement and had until the next day to sign the papers. Within three hours after receiving the agreement the buyer signed, he was informed by his realtor that someone else submitted an offer above the asking price and the seller accepted that offer instead. So the house was under contract within 24 hours of being listed. Apparently "first come, first served" does not apply in a hot real estate market. 

You either win or you learn. Life isn't always fair. I believe that as long as you operate with principles and behave ethically, the coin tosses will turn up in your favor more times than not.

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    @brandonwilson - Interesting Brandon. As I am just about to put my house in the market - I think each situation is different.

    When everything else is the same - like a line for a service and the like, it should be first come, first serve. But in real estate, it is about the money. I think given that the first people should likely get an honest response like - not make a decision until all offers are accepted.... I would accept the higher offer if everything else is equal.

    Keni avatar Keni | May 26, 2019 23:46:06
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      @keni Yes and the fact it's a seller's market right now so they have the upper hand. It's a good time for you to sell!

      Brandon Wilson avatar Brandon Wilson | May 27, 2019 08:59:32
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    @brandonwilson sorry to quibble, but one could say that "first" might also be interpreted as "first one to offer the highest price". That's the way it works in an auction. The question is when the bidding is declared over. And whether you want to fight over it.

    Thanks for sharing.

    - Mike

    Mike Byrnes avatar Mike Byrnes | May 26, 2019 14:46:52
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      @mikebyrnes Absolutely correct I'm glad you pointed out auctions. I like auctions because there are rules, and I would expect those to be followed in a real estate auction. But for "standard" transactions I do not know the rules. I have a lack of experience in this area because I've only purchased one home (a new build) and have never sold a home. I know it's the market in action, and right now it's a seller's market so they have the upper hand.

      Brandon Wilson avatar Brandon Wilson | May 27, 2019 08:58:50
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      @brandonwilson I totally agree.

      Mike Byrnes avatar Mike Byrnes | May 27, 2019 11:00:36
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    @brandonwilson queue in communist times... queuing was an art then... night lists, relay of family members, chairs and crosswords... these were the times :-)))

    Lucjah avatar Lucjah | May 26, 2019 21:19:45
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