How texting can make you THE BIGGEST LOSER

By
Real Estate Agent with House Sale Advisors

How texting can make you THE BIGGEST LOSER

 An agent of ours (she is relatively new) went to the listing agent's office to present her offer to the sellers.  When she got there she was escorted to a conference room.  At the table were the sellers, the listing agent and the listing agent's manager.  The offer was not a full price offer because she (our buyer's agent) found out that there are plans to install sidewalks in front of the property.  This was not disclosed on the seller's disclosure and the comps would not support this additional five to seven thousand dollars that would be assessed to the current owner at the time that the sidewalks will be installed. 

 During her entire presentation, the seller's agent seemed more interested in his laptop than listening to the offer.  As she presented her offer the agent would be typing seemingly, the details of her offer.  This puzzled her but she kept going.

 When she was done, she asked when she could expect an answer.  They then told her that she would hear within an hour because there was another offer being written by another agent of that firm in another room at that very minute.  Later she found out that the other buyers had seen the house an hour and a half before she arrived, and that they got to the office shortly after she started her presentation.

 Within 15 minutes of her leaving she got a call telling her that the other offer was better than hers, and that her offer was rejected. 

 Now I know how this office does things, because I used to work from there.  I know the type of things that went on in there as a matter of practice.  Many times I saw an agent being told what other offers were (if the other offers were made by competing offices).  When I was an agent there I had been told that if my buyers would make an offer of XXX amount that MY buyers would get the house.  

 Of course our agent was mad and disappointed. But let's examine just who the biggest loser was here.

 Our agent's buyers?

Our agent?

The sellers?

 Of course they all were losers, but potentially there is an obvious one.  Let's hear your thoughts.

In our office we do not allow an agent to represent both sides of any deal.  If there is ANY chance of competing offers, we only accept offers in sealed envelopes and they are only opened when the seller is present.  We do not allow any showings of an in-house listing until the listing is on the MLS and is available to all agents from all companies. (We had two exceptions to this in the past; however both were at the request of the sellers)

Incidentally, the other offer was exactly $500 more than ours.

Comments (64)

Stephanie McCarty
McCarty Homes - Canton, GA
REALTOR

just when you think you've heard it all in this business. . .

Feb 20, 2010 08:39 PM
Lissa Uder
RE/MAX Next Generation, LLC - Lebanon, MO
Your Lebanon MO Real Estate Agent

In my area, our listing contracts stipulate whether or not we can disclose 1. whether there are other offers and 2. the details of the offers. The norm is allowing disclosure that there are other offers, but not the details. That makes it an illegal act as well as unethical. But then who is going to ask to see a copy of the listing contract to see if that is the case?

I've seen this behavior many times here and usually, the seller is encouraged to take the in-house offer instead of countering to both. It's a shame really. In this situation, the seller's agent is working for themselves. Not the seller.

In my office, we don't get paid a higher percentage to sell in-house listings. We do our best to do so, but since we don't make more the agent's don't care who has the buyer for our listings, as long as they sell.

I feel everybody lost here. Including the buyer if the sidewalk assessment was not disclosed to them.

Feb 21, 2010 12:23 AM
Celesta Funk
KELLER WILLIAMS Realty - Millersville, PA

Gerry, sorry this happened to one of your newer agents !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Feb 21, 2010 01:20 AM
Gail Sterback
Coldwell Banker Select Professionals, Lancaster PA - Mountville, PA
LancasterRelocation Specialist

Gerry - unfortunately it is stories like this that hurt all of us.  Reputation is everything and in a small town word will get around for both the bad and the good.  Keep the faith, I believe the "good Guys" do ultimately win!

Feb 21, 2010 01:21 AM
Rusty Wright
KELER WILLIAMS Elite - Lancaster, PA

Those dirty dogs !!!!!!!It amazing what you can encounter out there isn't it ?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Feb 21, 2010 01:26 AM
Jack Sterback
Coldwell Banker Select professionals, Lancaster , PA. - West Lancaster, PA
Relocation Specialist

Reputation is everything!  Your's is tops - keep up the good work!

Feb 21, 2010 01:28 AM
Kevin Franklin
Keller Williams of Central PA East - Lancaster, PA

AS a teacher this scares me as I know like produces like ! Sad to see a newer agent get infected by their so called mentor!!!

Feb 21, 2010 01:31 AM
Amy Reed
Allison James Estates and Homes - Durham, NC

I've never experienced something like this but have heard stories.  What a shame that honesty and fairness are so easy to ignore.  Seller should really wonder whether the same games will be played as they look to buy their next dream home.

Feb 21, 2010 05:41 AM
Tony Anderson
Century 21 Community Realty - Habersham, GA
Realtor - Serving Habersham Banks, White & Hall Co

I don't think anyone lost.  Your agent hopefully "Sold" them another house.

Feb 25, 2010 12:07 PM
House Sale Advisors Lancaster and Lebanon Counties PA
House Sale Advisors - Quarryville, PA

Tony,

Maybe you didn't read all the posts. Just some to reveiw, #42, #43, #44, #46, #47 #17. In my opinion the seller potentially was the biggest loser.  If the other buyers didn't know what our offer was who's to say that they wouldn't have come in with a full price offer. I not only think it was possible but likely.

Feb 26, 2010 03:20 AM
Matt Robinson
Professional Investors Guild - Pensacola, FL
www.professionalinvestorsguild.com

There's a lot of comments on here about fiduciary duties to the seller to get highest and best, but once it becomes an in-house offer it would be a transactional broker situation and so there would be no fiduciary obligation to either, simply disclosure and fair dealing.  There's no dual agency in my state, and I assumed that it was the case in other states as well.

Feb 27, 2010 04:10 AM
Cal Yoder
Keller Williams Elite - Lititz, PA
Homes For Sale in Lancaster PA - 717.413.0744

Matt,

Interesting to learn of the different state laws. But in PA where dual agency is allowed, we also have designated agency. In this deal, the broker is acting as a dual agent, but each client has a designated agent from within the brokerage. So the selling agent did have a fiduciary responsiblity to his client.

Cal

Feb 27, 2010 07:39 AM
Cal Yoder
Keller Williams Elite - Lititz, PA
Homes For Sale in Lancaster PA - 717.413.0744

Gerry,

This was improper behavior, but always hard to prove. Monday morning quarterbacking is way to easy. But a couple of questions. Should have the agent stated, "Please wait. Since I was just informed that there is another offer on the table, I will contact my client. I want to inform them of this other offer." It was clearly not in the sellers best interest to not give your agents buyer time to respond.

thanks for a great learning post.

Cal

Feb 27, 2010 07:49 AM
Jennifer Fetrow
Triple Crown Corporation - Harrisburg, PA

Disappointing that those types of situations occur, huring all involved, plus adds to the false beliefs of outsiders that ALL realtors are unethical! 

Feb 09, 2011 03:21 PM
Ralph Miller
Jack Gaughen Realtor ERA - Dillsburg, PA

Sure sounds like some shady business there for sure. But like I say, what comes around goes around. Your agent can rest assured she did her best. At least she can sleep at night!

Feb 09, 2011 03:30 PM
Joy Daniels
Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd. - Harrisburg, PA

I think the biggest loser was the seller.  They weren't properly represented. . . what could have happened was to go back to both parties for a "higest & best". . . things like that give the professionals a bad name!

Feb 10, 2011 01:19 PM
Don Hess
KW Elite Keller Williams 1280 Plaza Blvd. Lancaster, PA 17601 - Quarryville, PA

I agree with Joy and many others. In truth everyone loses in some manner, but the seller is the big loser here. His / her agent wasn't looking out for the seller's interests. Sometimes you have to stand up to the Broker that wants both sides of the deal in the office. Its great to be a team player, but not at the cost of your personal ethics.

Feb 11, 2011 05:13 AM
Mark Lipka
House Sale Advisors - Lancaster, PA

Thank you, Don. Well said.

We can split hairs all day long about what a particular code of ethics says or doesn't say; but, -in the end- it's the CONSUMERS who look to US for guidance and advice that is in THEIR BEST interest. Sometimes I think of the Carpenters song "Bless The Beasts and the Children" when I think of comsumers. They need an ADVOCATE that will protect them because they cannot know everything about the machinations of this business. We at least have a fighting chance.

Feb 11, 2011 06:38 AM
Randeen Orner
Murry Management Company - Mount Joy, PA

I thought that you should notify any interested parities, that an offer had been submittedand that you need to bring your best offer. Especially in this case the buyer agent should have been notified that a competing offer was coming in to adjusttheir buyers offer accordingly. Then no offer should have been presented to the seller untill both were fully written out. the Offers should have been presented at the same time and then negotiated.

Mar 16, 2011 01:47 AM
House Sale Advisors Lancaster and Lebanon Counties PA
House Sale Advisors - Quarryville, PA

Thank you, Don. Well said.

We can split hairs all day long about what a particular code of ethics says or doesn't say; but, -in the end- it's the CONSUMERS who look to US for guidance and advice that is in THEIR BEST interest. Sometimes I think of the Carpenters song "Bless The Beasts and the Children" when I think of comsumers. They need an ADVOCATE that will protect them because they cannot know everything about the machinations of this business. We at least have a fighting chance.

Oct 17, 2011 03:54 PM