I received the phone call during the evening late in the week, the day I had listed a home for sale. A local Realtor making an inquiry on a new listing. After a few non-important questions, more designed to let me know who he was and how knowledgeable he was we got to the meat and reason for the call.
"Why are you offering a reduced commission?"
"I am not offering a reduced commission, I am representing my client and offering what they want and have instructed me to offer buyers agents and as there is no set commission what I am offering is not reduced."
"Well I think you are doing a dis-service to the industry and you should re-consider and explain to your clients they should offer more."
"Why should they offer more? There is a lack of inventory in our market and this home shows beautifully, it should sell very quickly."
"Well, you may find agents won't show it."
"Just who are you representing? Your client or yourself?"
After some other more distasteful comments the agent hung up. Agents can make appointments through our MLS on line, the process automatically contacts the homeowner who can accept or reject the appointment. Saturday, two days after the home was listed, about 1.00 pm , my phone rings, the same agent.
"I want an appointment for your listing."
"Appointments are made online through our MLS."
"I am out on the road and don't have access to the MLS."
"OK, what time do you want to go?"
"2.00 - 3.00."
"Let me reach my clients and get back to you."
I call my clients, and we discuss the situation, we already have three offers in hand and they are in the process of making a decision, they agree to the appointment and instruct me to notify the agent that we have these offers in hand. I call back.
"Hi, this is Nick, I have secured the appointment for you, but my sellers have asked me to notify you that we currently have three offers in hand and two are over the asking price. So please bear this in mind when you go through the home."
"It will never appraise. Just because you have an offer over asking, everybody does that today and then works on the appraisal to renegotiate. You are not representing your clients best interests in accepting an over asking offer."
Refusing to enter into more discussion with this agent before he has even seen the home, I confirm the details for entry and ask that he let me know when he was finished and his clients feedback on the house.
Did I hear from him?
You guessed it - no call, no follow up, no courtesy, just dead silence. Do I care, not really, just wonder why anyone would want to use him as a buyers agent because he is really only interested in himself and hearing his own opinion and maintaining a status quo that makes sure he gets paid what he thinks he is worth without proving his value to the client.
As a buyers agent my belief is that you should be paid by your buyer, not the seller. You can then set your own terms with your client regardless of any terms being offered by a seller that might influence your opinion about a house. Any bonus or commission offered by the seller can be credited towards the buyer's negotiated terms with his agent. Homes are sold world wide in different ways, we should not get so set in one way that we don't consider the options that we can offer to our clients and offer better value and service than others.
We should always remember who we represent, and it is not ourselves - but our client.
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