Working in the Westchester County real estate market I’ve had the pleasure of running into many great people and a handful of “special” people. I’d like to think that I’m unique in this matter, but the truth is that I’m probably not alone when it comes to “special” customers. It comes with the territory, right! After all, along with home repairs and setting up your own internet wireless router, real estate is probably the only other industry that most people believe is a DIY (do it yourself) job.
Case and point, I had a client recently go on and on about what my job should be. If you worked with me in the past, you know that I’m not a big talker nor do I speak unless a question is being asked–so I just stood there nodding my head with an occasional “I see”. She insisted that my job was to do whatever she asked, submit ridiculous offers, show her houses not in her price range, coordinate inspectors and other pre-contract contractors. Best of all she insisted that since she owned multiple homes before (one house) and worked with another real estate agent that she “knew” how the industry works. Apparently she missed her calling. After digging deeper, I found out she’s worked with about 5 other agents (writing in the sky) in the last year on deals that fell apart for one reason or another; asbestos, financing, changed her mind, something better came on the market. Again, if you know me I’m a hopeless idiot thinking I can cure or fix any problem. So this buyer in my mind could be “save”. In addition, conversations with her appeared to be about the same topic for hours at a time. It was then I realized that there is such a thing as career home shoppers. They never actually buy any homes, but they’ve made a full time job out of shopping for them. Is there a clinical term for that? If there isn’t, there should be one! Needless to say she had to search for agent number 7 because I don’t have a Phd in real estate clinical psychology.
Oddly enough, this attitude is not limited just to real estate buyers. I found an agent, that to an extent, shared similar views on an agent’s role. I must admit, sometime I’m naive because I believe that every agent out there has their client’s best interest in mind and is operating under the same code of ethics as I am. Stupid me, I know.
I took excerpts from her email after I told her that I could not and would not advice my clients to overpay for her listing based on the recent sales and size of the home in the neighborhood.
And I quote “It really isn’t up to us as agents to decide what a property is worth…as always the buyer’s set the price. If your clients want this house, I am telling you what they need to bid…I don’t feel your comments about running fast are fair or very productive. (I had made a comment that if here sellers had another offer higher than my client’s that they should take it and run, run fast with it). This is a great house in a great location. I’m sorry you don’t feel it’s valued correctly, but if your clients feel it is, then you should help them get it and not stand in the way..let’s face it in the long run over 30 years will $30,000 really make a difference? 6 Months later, the home expired because she was not able to sell it.
I’m probably over analyzing her response. Perhaps it is true I should move out of their way, but how could I sleep at night knowing fully well that my clients over-payed for a home that they looked to me for professional guidance? What’s my job anyway, to setup appointments, open front doors and like an idiot point out where the kitchen is while highlighting the home’s crown-molding. Really? Perhaps I’m in the wrong business. Bottom line is, I don’t care, no commission check is worth that type of Karma by consciously not providing my clients with professional advice. However, if they wanted the house and proceeded against my advice then that would be a whole different story. The decision ultimately lies on the client. Some home buyers want to be in a certain neighborhood no matter what–there’s not much any one can say or do at that point. In this instance, gladly it was not the case. Needless to say, I found another home for my clients, and that other agent never sold the home.
I guess there has to be balance in this world; for every obnoxious buyer there must an obnoxious agent. Just had a thought; I wonder if I should introduce the know-it-all buyer in my first example and the agent above to each other!