Real Estate Agent with The Corcoran Group Real Estate Co.

It was fairly early in my real estate career, probably 2002.  I remember it was late fall or early winter because it was around four thirty in the afternoon, but already dark.  I was sitting in the office getting ready to call it a day when the door opened and in walked a middle aged woman, probably somewhere in her mid fifties.  Well dressed and well spoken with a slight French accent, she told me she was interested in buying a home in Quogue N.Y. (one of my area's most expensive zip codes).  Naturally, I was interested in helping this woman find what she was looking for.

I began to take down her information so I could contact her the next day to begin our search.  "Can we look now?" she asked.  "Well, it's a little late and I've got to make appointments etc." I told her.   "Can we just drive around and you can show me what's for sale?"  The question had a sense of urgency to it.

I really wanted to go home, but this was a very nice woman, and something told me she was a real buyer.  I told her we could scout out the area as best we could in the dark so that we could narrow down our search for the following day.

We stepped outside and I opened the passenger side door but she looked at me and asked if I minded if she rode in the back. That's a little quirky, I thought, but maybe she is used to a chauffeur.  The thought made me smile and I wished I had one of those little chauffeur caps.

Anyway, she gets in the back, and I slide behind the wheel and start down Main St.  It could not have been thirty seconds when I hear this stifled sniffing sound.  I look in the rear view and there's this obviously well to do, worldly woman crying and wiping tears from her face.

Ever have one of those twilight zone moments?  This was one of mine. "Francene, (not her real name) "What's the matter?" I asked.

Her answer confused the hell out of me.  "She made me buy a house." "What?  Who?  What are you talking about?  Who made you buy a house?"  Really, really confused here.

Francene went on to tell me between sobs that the day before she was out with another agent and this agent pushed and pushed and told her if she didn't buy the particular house that she had interest in it would be gone by the next day.  And prices were going up by the minute and so on and so on.  Did I mention this was the listing agent for that particular house?

I know what you're probably thinking.   How can a person be bullied into buying a home?  Believe me it can happen, and this was not the only time I have seen it done.  There were extenuating circumstances here -  Francene's husband was over seas and they were on a time constraint to find a home.

The long and short of it is I asked Francene the address and we took a ride by.  Truth is, she did okay In that market, which was taking off like a rocket, she could have done a lot worse.  I was able to tell her that she really did okay, and she took comfort in that.  As the years have gone by, her purchase turned out to be a good one.

But that's not the point here, and you and I know it.

From that day on, I have sold many a house representing on the seller's side. I have actually forgotten some of the homes and faces (we did have a few good years, didn't we?) but I have always remembered Francene. I wonder if that was the impetus of my becoming a Hamptons Buyer's Broker.

I have a lot of friends in this real estate community, and almost to a person, they tell me Buyer brokerage will never work in the Hamptons.

I disagree.  I am here to tell you it can work, and it will work.  I just have to get the word out.

After all, some one has to look out for the Francene's of the world.  Don't you think?




Posted by

William "Bill" Carroll
Principal Broker
Hamptons Edge Real Estate Co.



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Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

The buyer agreement is always a tough call. But, pushing someone into buying something when they are on the fence s clearly not a good idea!

May 21, 2010 03:12 AM #1
Karen Singbeil
Associate Broker | Personal Real Estate Corporation - Victoria, BC
Living In & Selling Victoria !

I hear these stories over and over...too bad for her when there really are so many good agents out there!

May 21, 2010 03:17 AM #2
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Very intersting post, great compassion in this situation!

May 21, 2010 03:17 AM #3
Mike Carlier
Lakeville, MN
More opinions than you want to hear about.

Buyer brokerage seems to scare a lot of people, both real estate professionals and consumers.  It's vital that the industry improve its delivery this important message:  A buyer broker agreement requires much more from the agent than the buyer.  Sometimes looked on as merely a way to lock in the buyer's agent share of the commission, it is really a written commitment by the agent to advocate exclusively on their client's behalf.  If its benefits were understood by consumers, they would be the ones insisting that we sign the document.

May 21, 2010 03:25 AM #4
Bill Carroll
The Corcoran Group Real Estate Co. - Westhampton, NY

Yes Melissa pushing is not sales in my book. I rather agree with Floyd Wickman's way of "crystallizing ones thinking" as far as the buyer agreement goes, it's just a matter of educating the client

I agree Karen

Thanks Ron and Alexandra I'm glad you liked it

Mike- so well said. One day it will appear odd for a buyer not to engage a buyer's broker. I believe that is inevitable

May 21, 2010 07:21 AM #5
Laurie Mindnich
Centennial, CO

Bill, my guess is that she was doing things the way that they are still done in the Hamptons (a sellers agent pushed her relentlessly, rather than HEARING her) and her regret left her feeling very cold about the experience. How much nicer had she worked with you- while she may have made out fine in the purchase from a dollar perspective, isn't it so much nicer to have a Realtor with fiduciary to the BUYER, so that their very important role is not an afterthought? She deserved an experience that left her comfortable, not in tears.

Until tthis area catches up with the rest of the country, it's a tough go for buyers- good for you for recognizing that it has to start somewhere, and providing the right thing for all parties.

May 27, 2010 11:17 AM #6
Bill Carroll
The Corcoran Group Real Estate Co. - Westhampton, NY

thanks for stopping by Laurie. We will catch up, it's just a matter of time. Just don't be surprised that when we do, all the big brokerages will open buyer broker divisions. For now they are too busy having their cake and eating it too.

May 28, 2010 12:00 AM #7
Bill Travis
Captain Bill Realty, LLC - Gilbert, AZ

Pushing someone to buy a house is irresponsible, and could come back to haunt them if they were sued. I want my buyer clients to be sure they have found the right house before buying.

Jun 08, 2010 01:48 AM #8
Bill Carroll
The Corcoran Group Real Estate Co. - Westhampton, NY

Well said Bill,  How many of us can say and truly mean "I am willing to put my client's needs before all else, including and especially commission"? I know I can.

Jun 08, 2010 02:03 AM #9
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