Feedback lawsuit

By
Managing Real Estate Broker with Broker (The Watz Team) Exit Strategy Realty

A local agent here (Another office, not mine Thank God) is being sued over a feedback issue;

The Listing Agent calls for feedback and is told by the Buyer's Agent that the buyers thought "the colors were tacky".  The Listing Agent  agent passes this onto their client.

A week goes by and the buyers can't find another home to fit their needs, so they decide they can redecorate the tacky colored house.  So they make an offer.  The sellers ask if these are the same people that made the comment and the listing agent confirms it is.  The sellers counter at full asking price because they are upset.

The buyers are OK with the full price until they get to the closing table and they find out from apparently the Selliers attorney that the Sellers requested full price because they were really upset about the Tacky Color comment.  The buyers are now suing their agent for disclosing information because they feel they could have gotten a better price if this information wasn't passed on.

This puts a whole new spin on my thoughts about feedback!  What's your opinion?

 

Posted by; Vicki Watzlawick, Broker Owner, Exit Platinum Realty, Lake In The Hills,IL www.vickisdreamhomes.com

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Rainmaker
141,502
Vicki Watzlawick
Broker (The Watz Team) Exit Strategy Realty - Algonquin, IL
Illinois Foreclosure Expert, The Watz Team

Very simply stated!  Thanks Debbie.  Hung by the tongue is a lesson that a lot of agents need to learn.

Jun 23, 2008 02:07 PM #277
Anonymous
Anonymous

Neither one of those agents used good judgement.  Even if my buyer told me the colours were tacky, that is not how I would deliver it to the seller or the seller's agent.

IF I were the listing agent and a buyer's agent told me her client thought the colours were tacky, I still would not deliver that to the seller exactly in those words.  In fact, if the comments were about the colour only, I would immediately think the buyers liked the house, and would probably wait...

You know what they say about 'wrong colour, ugly curtains, etc'.  Those comments come from someone who is already picturing themselves moving in, otherwise the colour wouldn't bother them and they probably would not have made the comment at all.  (It's been proven time and time again, at least with my clients, that the more they start talking (negatively) about a home, the better the chances we'll be back there again and possibly put together an offer.)

I hope everyone comes to their senses before the home(s) are re-sold to pay legal fees.

Jul 05, 2008 01:36 PM #278
Rainmaker
141,502
Vicki Watzlawick
Broker (The Watz Team) Exit Strategy Realty - Algonquin, IL
Illinois Foreclosure Expert, The Watz Team

I would immediately think the buyers liked the house, and would probably wait...You know what they say about 'wrong colour, ugly curtains, etc'.  Those comments come from someone who is already picturing themselves moving in, otherwise the colour wouldn't bother them and they probably would not have made the comment at all. Wow I'm impressed with the agent that wrote the last post!  He or she really knows how to see the buyers signals!  A good lesson for everyone!

Jul 06, 2008 01:40 PM #279
Rainmaker
33,630
Bob Wilson
Access San Diego - San Diego, CA

"Interesting.  I've always been puzzled by the process of "feedback".  I don't ask for it. I figure I should know what I need to know to list and sell.  I also figure that if a buyer was interested, they'd make an offer."

I share that position. When a listing agent calls and asks for feedback, my canned response is, "If they're interested, I'm sure you see an offer. The client saw a lot of property and we didn't discuss the properties they have ruled out."

Sep 03, 2008 04:02 PM #280
Rainmaker
141,502
Vicki Watzlawick
Broker (The Watz Team) Exit Strategy Realty - Algonquin, IL
Illinois Foreclosure Expert, The Watz Team

Thanks San Diego!  We should all adopt that canned answer.  I am soooo tired of agents calling my cell phone for feedback.  I so want to leave a message that says if you are an agent and requesting feedback, you will NOT get it by filling up my voice mail here!

Sep 04, 2008 02:22 PM #281
Rainmaker
186,568
Susan Milner
Florida Future Realty, Inc. - Cape Coral, FL
Cape Coral Real Estate Broker, FloridaFutureAgents

OH my, time to keep our lips sealed....sounds like it was disclosed 'casually' or perhaps to 'help' with any negotiations. Time we watch what we say....and remember who we represent.

Sep 04, 2008 02:58 PM #282
Rainmaker
195,174
Antonio & Alexia Cardenas
Alameda County - San Leandro, CA. - San Leandro, CA
"The Realtors In Motion"

I agree with the last few posts, I learned long time ago, (23 years) while in real estate school 101 that buyers signals negative or possitive indicate they are interested, it is the work of the Professional Realtor to deliver the message to his/her clients in a professional manner. Clearly you should know that we are all defensive when it comes to our nest. Why use the term "tacky" when all the agent had to say was something like "the buyers prefer different colors in the house" Here you still deliver the message that the buyers objections are in the colors and perhaps at that time offer to present an incentive to promote an offer. Real Estate 101

 

Antonio & Alexia Cardenas, "The Realtors In Motion"   www.ListedbyAntonio.com

Sep 04, 2008 03:08 PM #283
Rainmaker
141,502
Vicki Watzlawick
Broker (The Watz Team) Exit Strategy Realty - Algonquin, IL
Illinois Foreclosure Expert, The Watz Team

Right Susan!  It wasn't said to help negotiations, it was said because the agent thought the clients really had no interest in the house.  What's that famous line?  BUYERS ARE _________?

Sep 04, 2008 03:32 PM #284
Anonymous
Anonymous

Well, this is my take on the situation.  The old saying "Loose lips..sink ships" comes in to play here.  Whether or not the house was "tacky", should remain between the buyer's agent and their client.  Feelings really come in to play when a homeowner hears derogatory comments about their "home sweet home", and the defenses can kick in.  2 things happened here....First, the buyer's agent should NOT given feedback of that nature, and secondly, the listing agent should NOT have relayed that information verbatim to their client.  The listing agent could possibly make comments to their client about painting the rooms neutral, as some buyer's are more likely to like that aesthetic aspect of the home.  Some people just can't see past certain things....PAINT IS PAINT!

Getting to the whole lawsuit thing, I really think that is taking IT a bit too far!!!!

Sep 07, 2008 06:10 AM #285
Anonymous
Laura Levenson - Exit Platinum Realty

The last comment was from me :)

Sep 07, 2008 10:15 AM #286
Rainmaker
141,502
Vicki Watzlawick
Broker (The Watz Team) Exit Strategy Realty - Algonquin, IL
Illinois Foreclosure Expert, The Watz Team

It's nice to hear from an educated agent Antonio & Alexia!  Those of us that went thru RE 101 should remember this.  Those that did not..a lesson well learned here.  Thanks for the reminder.

Sep 07, 2008 11:12 AM #287
Rainmaker
141,502
Vicki Watzlawick
Broker (The Watz Team) Exit Strategy Realty - Algonquin, IL
Illinois Foreclosure Expert, The Watz Team

Thanks Laura!  For a minute I thought I had a ghost visitor.  LOL.  A sue happy world we live in, but I think the buyer had grounds.  We need to remember WHO we represent. 

Sep 07, 2008 11:14 AM #288
Ambassador
627,712
Roland Woodworth
Q Realty - Clarksville, TN
Q Realty - Power In Real Estate

WoW.. this is totally amazing.. So who is really at fault here ? The Attorney who mad the comment at the closing table, the listing agent for sharing this with the attorney or who ?

The buyers could have made a counter offer too, but again.. they were happy with the sales price... or were they ?

I still think feedback is a vital part of showing homes and is just part of the job

Nov 23, 2008 12:13 PM #289
Rainmaker
141,502
Vicki Watzlawick
Broker (The Watz Team) Exit Strategy Realty - Algonquin, IL
Illinois Foreclosure Expert, The Watz Team

Yes Roland, I think this could have all been avoided if the presentation had been delivered a little more professionally.  Thanks for the comment!

Nov 23, 2008 12:22 PM #290
Rainmaker
2,429,866
Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School
REcampus Fully Accredited Florida ONLINE & Classroom Training in Destin, Pensacola Florida - Panama City Beach, FL
Rowlett Real Estate School / Owner and Instructor

It sure pays to be tactful. 

Aug 14, 2009 12:51 AM #291
Rainer
30,852
Sharon Moore
Off Key Real Estate - Buda, TX

WOW!...It's a shame that we have such a lawsuit happy society that people are worried about being honest...

I agree that maybe a little tact or editing of the wording may have been better in this case, saying somply the colors were wrong for my clients or my clients have different taste in colors and not sure they want to repaint....something. However, really? Do we have to throw out the baby with the bath water?

I have and always will provide feedback. I do try to use care in how I pass things on but I feel like it's my professional obligation after showing a homw, to provide feedback to the agent.

Thank you for sharing this, it's very good food for thought!

Sharon

Feb 05, 2011 04:58 AM #292
Rainmaker
75,339
Barbara Charlton
inactive - license is on ice with State of MN - Lakeville, MN

Vicki, I am very grateful to Karen Anne Stone for posting a link to this blog post! Yikes! Makes you want to say, "I decline to give feedback on the grounds it may be use against me."

Feb 05, 2011 11:33 AM #293
Rainer
42,105
John Woodward
Sarasota Real Estate Group - Sarasota, FL
Broker - Sarasota Real Estate

I usually find I am buried when showing houses in 2-3 day stints.  By the time I get to where I could give any feedback, I can't remember the houses other that the ones that the buyers liked....

Mar 03, 2011 05:20 PM #294
Rainmaker
141,502
Vicki Watzlawick
Broker (The Watz Team) Exit Strategy Realty - Algonquin, IL
Illinois Foreclosure Expert, The Watz Team

I hear you John, the busier I get the more they don't seem to stick in this busy head of mine!  So I just tell them I'm sorry I can't remember the house, that way I don't have to worry about commenting on tacky colors or giant hair balls!  :)

Mar 18, 2011 05:29 AM #295
Rainer
3,125
Andra Brewer
Nashville, TN

I would never have relayed that to sellers, at least not in the same manner. Use better judgement people. Sellers get seriously offensive about their home. Use your words wisely!

Jun 09, 2015 07:15 AM #296
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Vicki Watzlawick

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