OK, I will admit on the front end that I do not require home buying customers to sign a binding Buyer Representation agreement before I show them properties. I like the feeling of building rapport and relationships in a laid-back, friendly manner without wielding the big stick of an employment contract. For the most part my customers like this Andy Griffith-Mayberry method of doing business, and the vast majority of folks I show houses to end up buying with me. I know that is contrary to everything they tell you in real estate classes, but I think that the majority of my colleagues take the same approach.
"Buyers are Liars"
Everybody who has ever worked in real estate has heard that tired cliche. It's not true; but given a real estate professional working for free, finding and showing properties, doing estensive research on individual schools, day care centers, or golf courses, and providing multiple detailed market analyses at the customer's whim, it might be easy for some customers to take that professional for granted, or even fire him without notice or explanation.<!--more-->
Working without a net
A couple of times a year I lose a non-contracted buyer. Maybe they stumble into an open house and fall so madly in love that they have to write an offer right there with the listing agent. Maybe they are calling FSBOs, thinking they will save a few bucks if they try to negotiate on their own. Or they meet someone at a cocktail party who insists, "you must use my agent". Maybe they just don't like me - our styles don't mesh - even though we have spent 25 hours and seen 30 houses together. For that time I have invested I get nothing. And what's almost as painful as losing a 5-figure commission is that these runaway buyers don't usually have the integrity to tell me the truth or pick up the phone and fire me outright. Its always like, "we've decided to put the home search on hold for a while;" "we're not sure we want to buy in any of the areas we have been looking at;" or the last minute "we are going to have to cancel for today; sorry you went to the trouble of setting up those 10 appointments; we'll get back with about re-scheduling". Then, a while later, comes the crowing about their new home on Facebook. I don't care much for Donald Trump, but at least when he fires you, you know you are fired. So I just want to tell all my loyal clients, I LOVE YOU ALL. Thanks for doing business with me, referring your friends and families, and taking the time to write nice reviews about me online; and thanks for acting in good faith, allowing us to have a win-win relationship with everyone in the transaction. Please understand, though, that from now on the home buyers you send and all the buyers who find me online and through other sources will be under a Buyer Agency contract before they cross the first threshold with me.
Photo Credit: David Shankbone via Wikipedia Commons
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