Are You A Bigger Basket Case Than Your Client?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with KGC Properties LLC, Tucson Property Management & Real Estate

Finished a real estate transaction this week that has been incredibly emotional.  And it wasn't the Buyer or the Seller that fell apart at every hurdle or obstacle along the way - it was the listing agent.

It's common to experience frustrations and varied emotions with short sale transactions, multiple offer situations, problems with loan at the last minute or with inspections or appraisals .... and the list could go on it seems!  Even with regular transactions, buying and selling is a huge experience and leads to lots of emotions (letting go of the home you loved for 30 years or the nerves of buying a home for the first time.)

It's understandable.

But this agent was way too emotionally involved in the transaction - as though it was her property. As professionals, we are the sounding board, the middle ground, who mediates and provides a buffer between buyers and sellers - which includes helping them manage their emotions.  Getting too emotionally involved is counterproductive to the client's best interest and will definitely be stressful for other agents.

This agent lost all ability to effectively negotiate, became irrational, raised her voice (and that's politely saying she was yelling), bullied to get her way (and this is something we should never even consider as an option); when bullying wasn't successful she threw temper tantrums, and as a last resort, she made all sorts of threats - including calling my Broker

Very unprofessional. We, as agents, have a limited role in transactions defined by the real estate license we hold. It does not include a license for "absolute power".

A few tips to handle yourself when emotions run high:

  • Detach yourself - take a few minutes to collect yourself and think things through before talking or returning calls
  • Stay focused on the facts and resolve each issue separately instead of "everything at once".
  • Clear up ambiguity right away - don't let it fester and build to the point of being irrational
  • Act professional and ethical, do not posture or insult, and stick to the contract.
  • Always say "thank you" or "I appreciate your effort"
  • And if you have any doubts about what you want to say - ask someone else before you say it!

(Photo from Mircosoft Free Clipart.)


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This blog is written with my opinions and my opinions are  presented with accuracy but not guarantees. Please talk to a professional before making any real estate, financial or agency decisions.    Gabrielle Kamahele Rhind - 2014. If you want to reprint parts of this - just email me for my permission: .



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Tanya Nouwens
RE/MAX ROYAL (JORDAN) INC. / Tanya Nouwens Inc. - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Real Estate Broker & Stager

EXCELLENT post, Gabrielle. I think 50% of real estate is managing emotions, usually others' but often our own as well. And if we're the type of person whose emotions get flamed easily, this will be a very tough business to succeed in with any part of our sanity intact. -- Tanya in Montreal

Apr 15, 2010 12:36 AM #1
Alan Brown
Coldwell Banker Montrose Colorado - Montrose, CO
26 Years of Real Estate Experience .

I agree, as the agent you cannot be emotional, there are enough ego's in this business, good post.sweetsop

Apr 15, 2010 12:36 AM #2
Tanya Nouwens
RE/MAX ROYAL (JORDAN) INC. / Tanya Nouwens Inc. - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Real Estate Broker & Stager

P.S. Flagged for a feature.

Apr 15, 2010 12:37 AM #3
Harry F. D'Elia
Real Estate and Beyond, LLC - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

Dragnet-just stick to the facts mam. I agree with the post 100%. I had an agent mad at me the other day because I did not counter back highest and best on my listing. The seller made a decision to take the best offer and close the deal. I did what I was instructed to do.

Apr 15, 2010 12:44 AM #4
Melissa Juarez
Massachusetts Buyers Broker Agency, LLC - Quincy, MA

Thanks Gabrielle for the honest and interesting post. Have a great Spring!

Apr 15, 2010 12:45 AM #5
Richard Iarossi
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Crofton, MD
Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate


Wow. I think she practices in Maryland too. Go figure.


Apr 15, 2010 12:48 AM #6
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Hi Gabrielle, I've worked with a couple of agents like this in the past. It does not make for a smooth transaction when emotions run high. Glad to hear you got through it and it is behind you.

Apr 15, 2010 01:09 AM #7
Doug Rogers
Bayou Properties - Alexandria, LA
Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent

I have found that fear is the source of much anger with agents.

Apr 15, 2010 02:13 AM #8
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


Sad, a real estate professionals role is to facilitate the sale not to be emotionally involved.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Apr 15, 2010 02:28 AM #9
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®,CRS,
RE/MAX Professionals. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

I always tell my clients don't worry until you see me start to worry...
Your friend in Washington State,

Apr 15, 2010 02:55 AM #10
Michele Reneau
Certified Staging Professional (CSP) Elite Instructor - Summerville, SC
Realtor, GRI ~ Charleston, SC Relocation Experts Team

I always dread babysitting these type of agents.  It makes for a long transaction. I always wonder if they demonstrate this behavior to me, what do the sellers see?

Apr 15, 2010 02:57 AM #11
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

Good points Gabrielle. Far too many folks get emotionally involved. It took me some time not to be that way...

Apr 15, 2010 08:39 PM #12
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Gabrielle, we've been there and had to deal with these types.  It just makes the transaction so much more difficult and occasionally dooms it.  Don't know what these folks are thinking about.

Apr 15, 2010 11:35 PM #13
Elizabeth Bolton
RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA
Cambridge MA Realtor

Hi Gabrielle ~ Bummer! That sounds like an ordeal. I've had one recently where the first phone call is always a lot of ranting, followed by an apologetic call the next day.  We've managed to get through it and get along thank goodness. I'm always so impressed by pleasant and professional agents - this is a demanding role and some do it a lot better than others.


Apr 16, 2010 02:41 PM #14
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