Telling Your Realtor When It’s Time To Go To Work

Real Estate Agent with Diamond Partners Inc 00244377

Hello?  Mr. Listing Agent?  I'm here at your listing and I have a few questions.  I know it's a foreclosure, but do you have any history at all about the property?  Oh, and can you at least tell me if there are any offers?   Oh, you DO have offers?   Mutiple offers?  Nothing accepted?  Okay.  I will let the buyer know.  Thanks.

That was the conversation I had today while I was showing a property.  So, I informed the buyer of what I had been told, and then I locked the place up as we headed to the driveway.  In preparing to part ways, we stood outside of our cars and talked a little more until another car pulled up.  Another showing?

The car stopped in the street, the driver got out of his car and approached us.  I thought he was another agent until he explained that the listing agent had actually just phoned him and notified him that there was an agent at the property who could possibly let him in to preview the house.  Huh?

Yes, apparently this man called the listing agent earlier this morning.  Hours earlier.  And, the listing agent just happened to conveniently return the call when he knew I would be there.  What was in it for me?  If this was intended to be a referral, there was no request or agreement between agents.  In fact, I knew nothing about it.  The listing agent works for another firm, why would he be so kind as to just send a buyer my way without asking for a referral fee?  

And, was I suppose to pit one buyer against the other?  If this buyer liked the property, then what?  Who would write the offer?  

But, more importantly - what about my allegiance to the buyer I was standing there talking to, who just so happened to be very interested in the property?  Do I throw him under the bus and move on to another buyer?  This could have turned into a tug-of-war.  How awkward.

So, I explained to this man how we were just getting ready to leave and that I really didn't have the time to stick around.  I suggested that he call the listing agent back and request that he get in his car and drive to the property to let him in, as I would not be able to.  Right or wrong?     

Posted by



Carol Culkin - Licensed Real Estate Salesperson for ReeceNichols Real Estate, is your source for real estate in Overland Park and the bordering cities of Leawood, Olathe, Mission, Miriam, Lenexa and Shawnee, Stillwell and Spring Hill. Carol has been ranked as an award winning agent and offers her clients over 10 years of real estate experience.


Member of National Associations of Realtors®, Member of Kansas Associations of Realtors®, Member of Kansas City Regional Associations of Realtors®, Member of Heartland Multiple Listing Services, Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR), Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES), Red Cross Volunteer - Greater Kansas City Chapter, Supportor of Cross-Lines Community Outreach.


ReeceNichols Real Estate

8001 College Blvd Suiite 100

Overland Park, KS 66210

Office: (913) 451-4415
Cell: (913) 333-8310  



Comments (24)

Terry Chenier
Homelife Glenayre Realty - Mission, BC

This is agent laziness taken to the extreme. You did right.

May 11, 2009 03:44 PM
Maria Morton
Platinum Realty - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758

Right on, Carol! The listing agent needs to do his job. The buyer needs to find his own agent. You have your own business and clients to take care of.

May 11, 2009 03:46 PM
Alyce Martin
The Realty Group, LLC - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque - THE Place To Be!

Carol - You absolutely did the right thing.  This happened to me also a while back and I did exactly as you did.  My buyers felt I was truly representing THEM.  That other agent should be slapped with an al dente noodle.  Boo, Hiss.  

May 11, 2009 04:02 PM
Angela Penkin
RE/MAX Plus - Rochester, NY

Carol - you did the right thing. I tell them that I cannot show them the property because I have my own client that I am representing.

It's for this reason that I always lock the door behind me when I enter the property too - so that they cannot just walk in while you are there. Keeps nosy neighbors out too.

May 11, 2009 04:22 PM
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Lazy, inconsiderate, umprofessional, mediocrity, bottom feeder.... one of a kind - unforunately not! You did the right thing.

May 11, 2009 04:45 PM
AJ Heidmann ~ CRS
McEnearney Associates, Inc. - Alexandria, VA
YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert

100% correct!  I have run into quite a few people that want to get into a property when I am with a client; their agent is out of town, they're just looking, their brother-in-law will write the contract for them when they find a property...

If I am showing a property to a client, I am obligated to protect their interest in obtaining the house and not in facilitating additional competition.

just my $.02

May 11, 2009 04:58 PM
Lynn Michaels
RE/MAX Central- Marlboro & Manalapan, NJ - Marlboro, NJ
Marlboro-Manalapan Real Estate

You absolutely did the right thing, Carol. If you had shown the house, you would have been procuring cause if that second buyer wanted to write a contract. I bet the listing agent would have had all the time in the world then to fight you for it!

Above all, you are right about the client you brought to the house in the first place. Imagine his feelings if you started to "sell" the house he was interested in to another buyer . . .  right in front of him!

That listing agent isn't worth the title Realtor.

Of course, I would definitely be polite and explain kindly to the second buyer, as none of this was his fault, and it always pays to be kind to the public. You never know where your next referral will come from!

May 11, 2009 05:06 PM
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

Wow...amazing! I can't imagine that the listing agent was organizing this..time to pull out the buyer-broker agreement.

May 11, 2009 05:14 PM
Bobby LehmKuhl
4 Malibu Real Estate - Malibu, CA
Exceeding Every Clients Expectations. Every Time.

Carol, you did the right thing. I have been in that situation before,  another client walked up when we were leaving. They wanted me to let them in look for 5-10 minutes they said, it was ok with their agent. LOL

I said have your agent come down and show you, we went to the next home. I am with you 100%.   

May 11, 2009 05:32 PM
Monika Depalo
REAL ESTATE Agent/Stager

Wonder how that second buyer fet...not too nice I suppose.  That was definitely a sticky situation.

May 11, 2009 05:32 PM
Steve Shatsky
Dallas, TX

Hi Carol... You DEFINITELY did the right thing.  The nerve of some of our colleagues never ceases to amaze me.

May 11, 2009 05:52 PM
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Carol:  I must agree with your response to this buyer.  How absolutely foolish, and unprofessional of this other agent to sent that buyer over there when he knew you would still be there.  I would absolutely NOT have shown this other buyer the property.  Not a good plan.  Thanks so much for sharing... take care...

May 11, 2009 06:03 PM
Renee Marrs Caperton
Marrs & Associates - Corsicana, TX
Realtor - Corsicana Texas Real Estate

Great job Carol.

May 11, 2009 10:37 PM
Sasha Miletic - Windsor Real Estate
RE/MAX Preferred Realty Ltd. - Windsor, ON

Hi Carol, Good post. Thanks for sharing.

Best - Sash

May 11, 2009 11:00 PM
Caren Wallace
Premier Property Group LLC - Tualatin, OR
Portland Caren Real Estate

Carol, you acted in your buyers best interest and the other agent took liberties with your time and generosity that were unethical!

May 11, 2009 11:53 PM
Marilyn Harrell
Better Homes and Acres - Beaverton, MI
Wixom Lake - Beaverton MI

All in a days work! Yes, you handled the situation well! - I never thought about locking the door , good idea - I have had "neighbors" walk in to a house when I was showing it to buyers .....

How about this one :

I was showing a waterfront cottage, and across the canal, the FSBO came out and called out to my clients to come over and look at his house ! Which they did! (There just happened to be a foot bridge across the canal) Fortunately, his was above their price range and I sold the one we were at to the client!!! (I was a little steamed for a minute I must admit....)

May 12, 2009 12:24 AM
Ed Schneider
Evers & Co. Real Estate Inc. - Washington, DC
Washington DC Real Estate Specialist

Carol -  You're absolutely right. How many times have we been approach by non-clients asking to see the property we were currently showing to a client? I always turn them away nicely citing insurance concerns since I don't know them and have responsibility to protect the seller as well as my buyer.

It wouldn't have been so bad if the lazy agent had asked if you would mind doing it. Even in that case, if I were with a client, I'd decline. And if I weren't, I'd clarify the relationship with the LA as to a referral situation or not. Not? Have her do it herself.

May 12, 2009 03:18 AM
Allison Stewart
St.Cloud Homes - Saint Cloud, FL
St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904

Talk about opportunistic- yes you show..he gets paid.  You did the right thing-I am sure it didn't score you any Brownie Points with Underserved Buyer #2  but his lazy agent certainly would have been the one who got the most for doing the least.

I hope YOUR buyers appreciated your loyalty.

May 12, 2009 08:00 AM
Holly Weatherwax
Associate Broker, Momentum Realty - Reston, VA
A Great Real Estate Experience

There is no question that you did the right thing.  I seen some listing agents on short sales and foreclosures  (not all) who seem to  believe that you enter it in the MLS and your work is done until it is time to pick up the check. Sorry, that is not the way (your client believes) it is supposed to work! If everyone would do their job, we would all be a lot better off!

May 12, 2009 09:42 AM
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector


Sometimes it feels like walking across a swamp, by walking one by one on the backs of submerged crocodiles.

May 13, 2009 04:00 AM