A few words about how the business of real estate works -- and why we ask certain things of our customers and clients....
I have an obligation to all of my clients to represent them in the most efficient and ethical way possible. For representation of a seller client, that means that I am bound by their request to have their property shown only to serious buyers who are qualified by a bank and ready to buy. A showing of a property means taking the valuable time of the sellers, the agents involved and the potential buyers. For the seller(s), this generally means that they must vacate their property for a period of time. For the agents, whether representing a buyer or seller, this means that travel time and business time must be blocked out of the day -- and we do not make a paycheck until we actually sell a home.
This is what we do for a living, our job, our means of putting food on the table, paying our bills and keeping a roof over our heads. Just as other people go to work every day, so do we--only we often do it for free, and even more often, sometimes 7 days per week with the exception of Christmas, New Year's Day, Thanksgiving and Easter (if we are lucky!) until our buyer(s), who are hopefully loyal to us, find just the right property to purchase. I've shown properties in blizzards, hurricanes, while ill with pneumonia (yes, this did happen when a time constraint simply couldn't be worked out any other way - but it is most certainly not my normal method of working!)...if the buyer client needs me, is qualified to purchase, will listen to advice given and is reasonable in their expectations, I am there for them. I have impeccable references that I would be happy to provide to any customer or client.
Many, many hours go into this process and without a result at the end; the process actually costs us money and time--time with serious and loyal clients, time with our families and zero pay for our efforts. There are very few people who have the guts or stamina to work for free in this world. This is one reason why we are dedicated wholeheartedly to what we do and if we do not represent our clients to the very best of our ability, we would soon be out of business. If you don't feel that your agent is dedicated to you and watching out for your best interests by doing their due diligence on your behalf, then you are with the wrong agent! We are in the trenches every day and it's pretty easy to figure out which ones of us are knowledgeable and have that all important finger firmly pressed on the pulse of the local market.
The bottom line? Yes, we ARE in a service business. We are also in business to make a living. We try to keep things "light" and "fun" for our clients, but please keep in mind that we also have dinner engagements, school plays and soccer games to attend, educational classes to take, significant others who need us and all those other things that come with daily living. Why? Because, (drum roll, please) we are human too!