- Chapter 21 -
This may sound like such an obvious remark that it is not worth making, but it is amazing how frequently people come to conclusions or adopt courses of action before having the information necessary to make proper decisions. In important matters, the desire to move forward is understandable, and it takes restraint to avoid acting prematurely.
It is frequently helpful to suggest to a group of people with opposing viewpoints, "When we know all the facts, we will all agree." This tends to quiet contention.
People often argue over situations when they do not know what the facts are, but should realize that when the facts are known, there will be no argument. It is, or it isn't, and there is no value in exchanging opinions about the matter. Stop the argument. Determine the facts.
This does not mean that you should not plan for the future, or should not develop different scenarios as to what might happen and what course of action might be wise in each case. Such foresight could prevent your being taken by surprise. But don't jump the gun. It is important to remember that you can't force answers out of the future.
In this regard, remember: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO MAKE UP YOUR MIND RIGHT AWAY. DON'T LET OTHER PEOPLE'S IMPORTANT TIME SCHEDULES -IMPORTANT TO THEM BUT NOT TO YOU - PRESSURE YOU INTO A PREMATURE AND BAD DECISION. We have all had the experience in which the passage of time has brought new insights and new answers to a problem.
A man who owned a small apartment house was thinking about the possibility of selling it, but he did not decide to do so until a potential buyer, who was the logical one to own it because of its location, approached him. They decided they would determine a fair price, but the first appraisal which came from a licensed appraiser was too low, as they both agreed. In the meantime, the buyer had a loan commitment at a low interest rate and unless he closed by a certain date, the rate was scheduled to go up substantially, so he scheduled a closing. The figure his accountant said would be appropriate for him to pay was lower than the seller would accept. Pressure was building, and it looked like the deal might fall through.
The seller did not succumb to insistence or the impetuous feeling which frequently develops under such circumstances, so he worked up an alternate plan. He got a well-known realtor to look at the property to determine the market value, that is what a willing buyer would pay a willing seller in an arm's length transaction which is frequently a different figure from an appraisal, and this turned out to be an appreciably higher amount but based on convincing evidence. The buyer, an eminently fair man, agreed to the merit of this new figure, did some recalculations, and the sale went through very amicably. However, if the seller had not developed new facts which caused a reasonable answer to emerge, the turn of events could have been very different.
It is a simple statement, but you might find a number of occasions to use it in the future, "When the facts are in, answers emerge."