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I know a lot of agents who are afraid to lose the sale. It's tough out there right now for many real estate agents. Some are struggling, doing lower-priced deals, getting paid half as much and some aren't doing any transactions at all. For these agents, I suspect it's even harder to tell a potential home buyer that perhaps buying a home is not the best direction for them to move.
Yesterday, a buyer was ready to go into contract. He had a viable counter offer in front of him at a price that was agreeable. The counter offer contained two points, however, that he fixated on. One was the seller wanted him to split a selling fee. It wasn't the amount of the fee that he objected to, I came to discover, it was the fact that the seller had asked for it. The other stickler was the seller stated in the counter offer that the appliances carried no guarantees.
"All homes in Sacramento are sold 'as is,'" I explained. "It's already in the contract." He wanted to see where it was written in the contract, and I showed it to him: Seller makes no warranties regarding the above items.
The buyer decided the seller might be hiding a defect. He argued that the words "guarantee" and "warranties" were not synonymous, although they are. We discussed his home warranty plan -- we talked about the home inspection and his right to cancel -- we pondered places to buy a used appliance. We even discussed the possibility that if an appliance was defective, how the seller might be willing to repair it.
During our 90-minute discussion, it became apparent that the buyer had a laundry list of objections to the contract, which he had already signed. It was clear that those concerns had been discussed among his family members. He wanted to see the seller's confidential documents that do not pertain to the buyer. He asked for standard verbiage in the contract to be altered which, for a variety of reasons, was not feasible.
The buyer proposed that the seller was being unreasonable by requesting that the buyer split a small fee. He said it made him uncomfortable. Even if I offered to pay that fee for him, he was unhappy. Furthermore, he was certain the stove, which most likely had a value of $200, was broken. I seized that opportunity to point out in the most sincere manner I could muster that if the seller could see him right now, the seller most likely would feel that HE was being unreasonable.
I pride myself on my communication skills, and integrity is my cornerstone in this business. I tried to explain technicalities in several different ways, using layman terms, but I was beginning to feel like I had somehow failed in my mission. Then the light bulb went off. I laid it on the line: "I'm hearing from you that you do not trust real estate agents; you don't feel that I am being honest with you. You do not trust the verbiage in the contract that protects your rights. We can't maintain a business relationship if you question my ethics, integrity and honesty. You might want to consider either working with another real estate agent or hiring a lawyer to represent you." Then I went a few steps further and suggested that perhaps this buyer was simply not ready to buy a home. He appeared to be uneasy with the entire process. Maybe he should withdraw his offer and forget about buying this home.
It's not my job to strong arm a buyer to make a decision he could later regret. My job is to represent the buyer to the best of my abilities, maintain our fiduciary relationship and protect his interests. Always, my belief is the best thing to do is to tell the buyer the truth.
Elizabeth Weintraub is an author, home buying columnist for About.com, a Land Park resident, and a Land Park real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown and East Sacramento. Weintraub is also a Sacramento Short Sale agent who lists and successfully sells short sales throughout the four-county Sacramento area. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put 35 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate. DRE License # 00697006.
Lyon Real Estate is not associated with the government, and our service is not approved by the government or your lender. Even if you accept this offer and use our service, your lender may not agree to change your loan. Photo: Unless otherwise noted in this blog, the photo is copyrighted by Big Stock Photo and used with permission.The views expressed herein are Weintraub's personal views and do not reflect the views of Lyon Real Estate. Disclaimer: If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market, and the price could change without notice. It could blow up, explode or vanish. To find out the present status of any listing, please go to elizabethweintraub.com.
Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate, midtown Sacramento. Selling since 1974. Home Buying Guide at About.com. Sacramento short sale agent.
Author Bio: Elizabeth Weintraub is a Sacramento real estate broker, author, home buying guide for About.com, a Land Park resident, and a Land Park agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown and East Sacramento. Weintraub is also a Sacramento Short Sale agent who lists and successfully closes short sales throughout Sacramento four-county area. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put 35 years of real estate experience to work for you.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.