To show or not to show?

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Patriots RS311849

A few weeks ago, I had a blood boiling experience and I'd like to get some professional opinions on the situation.

I have a buyer who is qualified for $110,000.  He found a house that he wanted to look at and it was priced at $125,000.  I told him that it was beyond his price range, but if he wanted to still look at it and make it offer, I would be happy to do so, but I wanted to make keep his expectations in check.  He told me that he'd like to see the property anyways.  I did not ask any more questions.  I showed him the house and he loved it.  Running, the numbers for him, they were not going to work for him.

On the feedback form, the question was asked, "Why is your buyer not interested in the property if applicable."  I wrote that my buyer would not be able to afford the house.  The seller (not the listing agent), sent me an email asking me why I was showing their home to people who could not afford it.  I told them that I was sorry for the inconvenience, but my buyer requested to see the property and it is my job to yield to my client's wishes, and he thought he might be able to do something with it.  I also added that it was a lovely home and that I would be glad to show it to another buyer.  The seller then called me later that day and let me have it! She yelled that they take the time to keep their home in great shape and they don't need me wasting their time with buyers who cannot buy the property.  I was told that I was incompetent because I obviously did not qualify my buyer.

I am of the opinion that any showing to a Realtor is time well spent as they can spread the word to a number of their buyers if the house is a nice house.  Its fine if she doesn't want me to show her home to people who are not qualified up to the asking price-- fine.  I would suggest that they make that clear on the MLS.

But my question is-- do I show the property again to another client who is qualified to buy the property?  On the one hand, I have an obligation to my client to show the house if they'd like to see it.  On the other hand, this seller is off of their rocker, and I fear the volatility of the seller and what it might do to the transaction if there is one.  My ego would tell me not to show it just to spite the seller :-P

My idea is that I present this information to my other buyer and let them decide.  What do you think?

Comments (7)

Doug Rogers
Bayou Properties - Alexandria, LA
Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent

Nathan, most folks act this way out of fear. What happens if her home doesn't sell in the next three months? Six months?? One year??? Odds are that the six month plus scenario is pretty bleak.

That being said...she has NO business talking to you directly. Tell her NOT to contact you directly again.

Apr 18, 2010 03:15 PM
Lori Liveston
Virtual Homes, Real Estate - Waltham, MA

Hi Nathan -

I wouldn't present this information to your buyer before showing.  If they love the property and want to make and offer, I would just explain to them that you had spoken with the seller previously for another client and that negotiations may be tough (this way your aren't talking smack about your seller but you are still informing your client that this might be a bumpy ride). Who knows... maybe you just caught the seller on the day they went off their meds :)

On a side note, I can't believe the seller called you personally!  I have showed clients homes that were beyond their budget plenty of times because some homes are overpriced and can be had for less (which you don't know until you see the property for yourself!).

Apr 18, 2010 03:20 PM
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Hey, Nathan I would probably have handled this a little different with my buyer.  For what it's worth, here's my thoughts.

1) Prior to showing this to my buyer, I would have run the sold comps.  If everything in that neighborhood was selling for $120,000, I probably would advise him that it really didn't meet his criteria. 

2) If he still insisted to see it and then loved it, I would have told him to make an offer at his max $110,000--making it clear to the listing agent that this was going to be the one and final offer.  In all likelihood, the seller would still have been angry but for a different reason.  We can't predict what sellers will take for their home.  I always council clients to make an offer, even if it is lower than the recent comps.  Why?  Because I don't have a crystal ball.  I think it's better for my client to at least give it a shot and then move on if it doesn't pan out.

In terms of showing this property to other clients.  If this house fits their criteria, show it.  We're in this business to make money.  At the end of the day, the best way to do that is to show houses that our clients will actually want to buy.

Apr 18, 2010 03:25 PM
Cal Yoder
Keller Williams Elite - Lititz, PA
Homes For Sale in Lancaster PA - 717.413.0744

I would have shown the property. I, too, am surprised the seller called you directly. Obviously the listing agent, if it is not a FSBO sent your feedback verbatim to the seller. Maybe the listing agent is trying to stay out of the crossfires.

I would not allow spite to be your motivating factor for showing the home to others.


Apr 18, 2010 10:20 PM
Dan Edward Phillips
Dan Edward Phillips - Eureka, CA
Realtor and Broker/Owner

I woulkd have shown the property and would not have answered the question with the buyers information the same way.

Apr 18, 2010 11:31 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Nathan my boy....

Let's look at this through the eyes of a it! What is the big deal? Everything in life is negotiable. We will not know what will happen until we get there. The affordability gap is reasonable and the interest expressed is genuine. A simple ...YES or NO..with a thanks for stopping by works every-time. Why all the drama? There is no perfect Real Estate transaction.... Seller is thinking too much outside the box and the agent should reign her back in.....


Apr 19, 2010 02:10 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

I would have shown it ! It could have been overpriced !!! Why didn't you write up a $110,000 offer ??

Apr 21, 2010 08:00 AM