Real Estate Referrals Gone Wrong

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with CELLing Realty CalBRE #01445865

Many Business People like referrals, including Real Estate Agents.  We typically make referrals to Agents that we know, or that have a good reputation.  I made one the other day to an Agent I have worked with several times-but it went completely wrong.

 

REALTORS showing homes to someone else's client isn't going to happen

I have written before about Agents that try to sell in areas they aren't familiar with, and how the prudent thing would be to refer the client out.  I have also written about Buyers that call Agents to show them properties but never mention that they are working with another Agent (usually a friend or family member).We all know this story-someone calls us, wants to see property and never tells us at the time that they have an agent.

Recently I got a call to show to someone I thought wasn't ready to buy yet.  After some questions I found out that they were indeed ready, willing and able to buy now. A couple of the homes they wanted to see were in an area I wasn't familiar with so I told them I had someone that I trusted for that area and would that be OK.   They agreed and I called with the referral.

The bottom line to this Referral gone wrong is this prospective client had seriously bad mouthed agents in the other office before for not wanting to show them properties when they learned he/she already had an agent.  By their own admission they said "we have an agent but they don't want to show us properties today so we want you to do it."  Then they got verbally abusive when the Agents said no, they were not tour guides and to call their agent.

 

 

 

That was all hearsay- so I called and asked them who was their agent and asked about this reported incident.  They hung up on me!  Yep, I think that is one sale that won't be going through.

 

Note: If you have an Agent know it is normal for other agents not to want to show you properties, and they probably won't. And if you are the Agent....read above!

 

 

 

By: Kathy McGraw  CELLing Realty in Riverside County, CA

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Rainmaker
453,651
Allison Stewart
St.Cloud Homes - Saint Cloud, FL
St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904

UGH- sometimes consumers need a clear cut explaination of the Code fo Ethics. Refusing to show a property because they are represented by another agent only has consequences to the Agent not the buyer.  Explaining those consequences, clearly and concisely, IS a form of educating them and helpuing them to understand why we can and cannot do certain things at certain times.

Sep 28, 2010 12:35 AM #1
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Lee & Pamela St. Peter
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522 - Raleigh, NC
Making Connections to Success in Real Estate

Ouch Kathy!  But I too believe it really is a matter of educating the public.  I can't help but believe that if they knew how Realtors® are compensated they would have a different view.  Sorry to hear though that it affected you and your clients...  

Sep 28, 2010 12:44 AM #2
Rainmaker
299,092
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Yes, educating buyers as to how we earn our living is something that helps everyone.  Furthermore, I think we all need to re-evaluate the notion we are available 24/7.  Often this gives the false impression that all of us are at a buyers beck and call.  They aren't the ones that pay the commission yet often they are the ones that can be very demanding.  Respect....from all parties and Agents involved, that is the key in my opinion.

Sep 28, 2010 12:54 AM #3
Rainer
372,583
Tish Lloyd
BlueCoast Realty Corporation - Wilmington, NC
Broker - Wilmington NC and Surrounding Beaches

Kathy ~ No question education, or the lack of education is the key to the majority of the problems we run into when dealing with a non-client/customer.  It is, however, a bit tough to expect Agents to accept all of the responsibility, considering how much information is now available to John Q. Public via the net.

Anyone already working with an agent has obviously been required to sign the Agency Agreement which fully explains duties, responsibilities and compensation options.  (Hopefully, that is . . .)

Sep 28, 2010 01:21 AM #4
Rainmaker
299,092
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Tish- Out of curiosity do people in NC sign the Agency before an offer to purchase has been made?  We have Buyers Agreements here but most buyers won't/don't sign them and the Agency is signed at time of writing a contract.

And BTW I would never assume a client/customer has the knowelge I want them to have.  What about people that don't use the internet?  I have a large percentage of clients that only use email if that, and don't surf for anything.  But I DO expect all Agents to inform their clients/customers of proper etiquette in our field.

This is just my opinion....and one that I expect Agents that work under my license to adhere to :)

Sep 28, 2010 01:31 AM #5
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Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Kathy, I hear you on this one. I am amazed at the things we are told, or not told. Even after explaining that we could be putting our license at risk. I know that some believe that as a result of the current real estate market we will do anything.

Not true...

Sep 28, 2010 02:49 AM #6
Rainer
372,583
Tish Lloyd
BlueCoast Realty Corporation - Wilmington, NC
Broker - Wilmington NC and Surrounding Beaches

Kathy:  NC, VA, (DE and I believe MD) an Agent must provide the "Working With Real Estate Agents" Brochure  and provide the Agency Disclosure at the first substantive meeting.  Normally, this is done before showing property and not always possible, but I have certainly done this in the process of showing a listing.  We are also asked to declare our Agency Relationship to the Purchaser when scheduling an appointment to show through our centralized showing system.  This is intended to avoid the sharing of information which could be detrimental to the Seller, etc.

I do agree with you that we cannot, nor should we ever assume a client/customer has the knowledge we want them to have, I was simply pointing out that we do, at least in my area, have the opportunity to educate them and it would serve each of us well, if we were to take that a bit more seriously.  You are so right about proper etiquette in our field -- that would certainly go a long way in avoiding confusion on so many levels.

I had the same standards with agents working under my licenses as well.  Great post, thank you so much.

 

Sep 28, 2010 03:00 AM #7
Rainmaker
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Sidney Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula
Realty Works Temecula - Temecula, CA
Realty Works Temecula

When this happens I ask the client to sign a buyer broker agreement with me and they usually decline, enough said!

Sep 28, 2010 05:03 AM #8
Rainmaker
299,092
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Andrea- Oh so true...if I had a dollar for every time people think we should compromise our standards to make "this sale" I could pay all the bills very nicely :)  And in CA the papers are full of the names of the Agents that did compromise themselves....CA lists all agents that lose their license or are reprimanded and tell why.  But you know what's missing....the Buyer that wants us to commit fraud, or do any number of things that are against a REALTORS ethics or state law. 

Tish- Thank you so much for posting that. I think it's extremely important for everyone to know that Real Estate laws and the way we work varies depending on State and Company.  And as all of us know....part of our job as you said is education-free education. 

We all need to realize that we get paid for the successful closing of a transaction....but before we ever get a pay check we have to work.  Education is part of our work! We, as Brokers know this...maybe some need to make sure it is reinforced until it is second nature to all agents,

Jane- :)  Enough said :)

 

Sep 28, 2010 05:05 AM #9
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

I would like to believe that the agent explains that they are working for the buyer and to give them a call when they would like to see something. In a lot of cases the buyer believes that they'll 'get a better deal' if they deal with the selling agent. uh huh...right. In other cases they just float around from agent to agent ....just because. (and then they think we get paid hourly anyway).

It would be a wonderful real estate world if all in the industry educated the client and there were a closed transaction with everyone being open and honest.

Bottom line....our laws differ from state to state and I get buyers who think we all get to go to signing and get keys right then and there. 

And....I think the coffee worked this morning lol

 

Sep 28, 2010 05:16 AM #10
Rainmaker
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marti garaughty
garaughty.com - Montreal, QC
a highly caffeinated creative type...

marti garaughty, The Art of Marketing YOU

Sep 28, 2010 05:19 AM #11
Rainmaker
551,512
Lynda Eisenmann
Preferred Home Brokers - Brea, CA
Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co

Hi Kathy,

Just saw the mention of your post on one by Sally so I thought I'd just cruise on over. Interesting comments so far.

I'm also in agreement with your comment about education consumers that we are not all 24/7. Some may be if they choose to be, yet not all of us.

Sep 28, 2010 08:57 AM #12
Rainmaker
1,036,603
Kathy Clulow
RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage - Uxbridge, ON
Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results

Kathy - there are a growing number of agents who send their customers out on their own and then step in to do the deal.

Sep 28, 2010 04:42 PM #13
Rainmaker
192,203
Janice Sutton
1st Stage Property Transformations - Murrieta, CA
Home Stager - Temecula Murrieta

Wow that's too bad the referral didn't work out!

I, as a consumer, had no idea that if I had an agent I shouldn't contact another agent to show me their listing or another listing! Silly me!  But yes that makes perfect sense! DUH! :) Thanks for educating me!

Oct 01, 2010 09:58 AM #15
Rainmaker
299,092
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Janice...glad we could help educate LOL :)  Seriously...your comment was a wake up call since you are around REALTORs all the time and didn't realize this.  Thanks for educating me :)

Oct 05, 2010 01:52 PM #16
Rainer
2,924
Maggie Hood
Prudential California Realty - Ventura, CA

well tonight I found out that a client I have worked with since around June wrote two offers last week and both were accepted.  One offer was written by me for a Single family home in Ventura, and the other offer was written by an agent in Santa Barbara for a duplex there.  Tonight, the buyer called me to withdraw our offer.  Not only making me look pretty bad to the listing agent I'm sure, but having wasted probably 30+ hours with all the showings, writing four offers, etc.  I am pretty miffed to put it mildly.  The biggest thing tho, is that I did the referral to the SB agent because even tho it's just 30 miles away, I don't know the market there and am not a member of the board.  The biggest problem is - he and I forgot to let each other know we were actually writing an offer for this guy.  He knew I was working with him in this area, but the client just didn't bother telling us what he was doing.  LESSON LEARNED!  What a way to end the day - I am exhausted.

Oct 05, 2010 07:43 PM #17
Rainmaker
574,417
Brin Realty Associates Team At Bean Group
Bean Group | Brin Realty Associates - Amherst, NH
Amherst NH homes and Southern NH real estate

Since we value our time it is imperative that we ask a buyer on first contact if they are working with another agent.  I don't know anyone who likes to work for nothing.

Oct 09, 2010 05:43 AM #18
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Can we start making buyers operate by a Code of Ethics?!  I wonder what could possibly be going through some of their minds!  I just watched a cute little video (cartoon) with the buyer asking the agent to take them house shopping before pre-qualifiying, buy them lunch and probably look at 100 homes before finally realizing that they aren't qualified!  "I just like to look at houses!"  

Do it on your own time if you're not going to qualify FIRST, you're not sitting in MY car!!

Oct 12, 2010 04:56 PM #19
Rainmaker
579,727
Chris Smith
Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage - New Tecumseth, ON
South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta

Kathy, I wonder how much of this is our fault for not explaining how we work and how we are remunerated to customers...

Oct 21, 2010 11:03 AM #20
Rainmaker
553,708
Barb Szabo, CRS
RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio - Cleveland, OH
E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes

This reminds me of the buyer that hung up on me because I would not show her a home before she got a pre-approval from a lender. Her loss not mine...

Oct 21, 2010 11:38 AM #21
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Kathy McGraw

Riverside County CA Real Estate
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