You Don't Want To Bother Your Agent, So You're Bothering Me?

Real Estate Agent with United Real Estate TX #0552717

You Don't Want To Bother Your Agent, So You're Bothering Me?

The last time I answered the phones at the office, I had two similar calls the same morning.

The first caller was looking for a place to rent and called about a specific property listed by an agent in the office, but which was no longer available. After talking to the caller and getting the criteria he wanted in a rental home, I suggested a few places for him to check out which were listed by other brokers.  When he asked if I could show them to him that afternoon, I asked him if he was represented by another agent. "Well, yes, but I don't want to bother her" was the response.  I told him that he should "bother" his agent to see the properties.

The second caller inquired about a $650,000 home for sale in a suburban town about 45 minutes away.  Did I mention that it was raining dogs and cats that day?  This caller had a signed a buyer representation agreement with an agent, as I found out before jumping in the car, driving through a downpour and spending 45 minutes in the car (probably closer to an hour, given the weather conditions). He wanted to see the house and he wanted to see it immediately. When I asked why his agent wasn't showing him the house, I got the same response as from the first caller: "I don't want to bother my agent."  He became indignant when I told him I would not show him the property.

Buyers and renters, listen up!  If you have a signed representation agreement with an agent, contact your agent to see homes. You are not "bothering" them. Give them a chance to do their job.  If you are unhappy with your agent, when you get out of your representation agreement, I will be glad to talk to you about working with you as a client.

If you are not represented, I will be more than happy to explain buyer and/or tenant representation, make you my client, and help you find your next home. And you won't be "bothering" me when you want to see homes if I have correctly qualified you as May 2011 Calendarclients.

I always ask callers if they are represented by another agent or if they have a REALTOR friend or relative that will be helping them with the process. If so, I'm not going to help you. Let's please be respectful of each other's time.

This blog post is part of the 31 Days in May Challenge on Active Rain.

Posted by

Lorrie Semler, e-PRO, GRI, SRES, CPRES, CRS
Addison Resident/Addison Specialist                                                      Subscribe Button
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Award for Best Residential Real Estate Agent.     

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Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Charita Cadenhead 05/20/2011 02:49 AM
  2. Karen Winters, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff 05/20/2011 12:56 PM
  3. Tracie Cope 05/21/2011 01:29 AM
  4. Cheryl Ritchie 05/21/2011 01:44 AM
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Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


They are asking you to do their agents job because they don't want to bother their agent?  But they don't mind bothering you?  No way.  That is just crazy.  You did a good job asking both people if they were working with a agent.  Sometimes in our haste to help a prospect we forget to question them about whether they are already represented.

May 20, 2011 05:51 PM #32
Raine Carraway
Lenoir, NC

I've gotten a few of those. It used to be worse when there were more people doing rea esate part time or as a darn hobby. A lot of times "I don't want to bother my agent" meant "I want to see properties while my agent is at their other job", or because the agent has said or implied they were too busy to do showings and asked them to call the listing agent or another agent". I can understand a buyer not realizing how and why we get paid, but not an agent who expects someone else to do all the work and just get a commission for writing the offer.

I have shown listings a few times this way, making sure to note the buyer's information and the date, to show that I was the procuring cause of sale in case they did make an offer, but I also know that those sort of things that really have much "teeth" and usually you end up losing out in such a situation rather than creating a big rift between yourself and another agent.

May 20, 2011 07:14 PM #33
eRealty Houston Real Estate
Buy, or Sell Homes in Corpus Christi - Corpus Christi, TX
Silly buyers
May 20, 2011 09:21 PM #34
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

Hi Lorrie, It still amazes me how many people still don't get it. They just don't understand how we work and how we get paid. That is the only thing I can come up with to explain these people's behavior.

May 20, 2011 11:05 PM #35
Jeremy Joslin
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - South Windsor, CT
Professional Real Estate Marketing and Sales
It is so important to ask lots of questions before we jump in the car.  Save yourself some time.  I am always trying to get them to come into my office so we can sit down and tallk about their needs wants and timeframe.  If they are not willing they probably aren't going to be my clients anyway.
May 20, 2011 11:28 PM #36
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Don't you just love these types of calls.  How about the ones where, 'my agent hasn't answered her phone' or 'I can't get in touch with my agent' - can you help me calls!

May 21, 2011 12:16 AM #37
Tracie Cope
Granville, Newark, Heath, Buckeye Lake & all of Central Ohio - Granville, OH
ReMax 360 -

Awesome post, so glad it's featured so many will see it.  I'm just starting to blog regularly with this May Challenge.  I've done a few "filler" blogs, but I'm also trying to use it as an educational opportunity. 

May 21, 2011 01:15 AM #38
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566

Lorrie, good for you to hit this topic right on the mark. I have thought the same thing myself and do ask the questions to make sure I get the correct answers before showing property. Plus, I want a pre approval which really mops up some of these answers quickly.

May 21, 2011 01:29 AM #39
Charles Edwards Bentonville
Coldwell Banker Harris McHaney & Faucette 479-253-3796 - Bentonville, AR
AR REALTOR, Bentonville Real Estate Agent and Broker

I love this post! I had a similar situation back around Christmas. I told the couple to wait on their 'she's out of town til 12/28' agent. They could not believe I was not going to fill in for her! TOO RIDICULOUS!

May 21, 2011 01:50 AM #40
Mike Mayer
Mike Mayer, Broker/Owner - i List For Less Realty, LLC - Lafayette, LA

NO BRA (Buyer Rep Agreement) - NO TTT (Time To Tour). Pro-bono days are a thing of the past.

May 21, 2011 02:23 AM #41
Brian Park
This post reminds me of a first of the year sales meeting we had one year. The meetings were voluntary but about 90% of the sales staff would show up. First on the agenda were problems we wanted to solve in the new year. Well, this very subject came up and most of the staff had experienced this problem.

So Item #1 was a showing agreement if they didn't have a BBA with an agent. The agreement was simple, it said if they purchased the property shown within the next 12 months they agreed to pay our agency a fee of 3% no matter who eventually wrote up the offer and any undisclosed relationships with any other agency would not affect or alter this agreement (so if they wanted to lie, this quickly brought out the truth).  If it was our listing, we used form #1 because of certain legal matters, If an unlisted property or someone else's listing, we used form #2. Basically limited BBA's. But our basic policy was no BBA, don't call us, we'll call you, and let's do lunch.

So first question was are you working with any other agents now or in the last 12 months? If no or yes , OK let me tell you how we work... plus our listings do go back to the old threshold standard, if you were not the first to show the property with the buyer our co-op is 1% not 3% and that is explained to the I don't want to disturb my agent buyer, a lot of the time I'm going to get a kickback on the commission from cousin Larry buyer. We reserve our time and money for our clients, not someone else's.

Yes, we would get the why can't you just,,, and our answer was I don't how things work where you work, but do you think your boss would appreciate letting someone from another company use the time and expenses he is paying for, so you can work for another company for free, and then that other company is the one that is going to be paid for your services. 

May 21, 2011 07:35 AM #42
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Lorrie,  Well written and presented post.  We all get them and when asked why they arn't calling their agent we get some of the most lame excuses !

May 22, 2011 06:06 AM #43
Sarasota & Manatee Counties FL
SaraMana Properties - - Bradenton, FL - Listings In Paradise

I think that your title says it all! Made me laugh out loud!

May 22, 2011 07:04 PM #44
Bridget "Mortgage Mama" McGee
SWBC Mortgage 410-960-2061 - Baltimore, MD
Maryland Mortgage Mama NMLS#196068

My brother Tony often says that for the first few years he was in business he ran it as a non-profit, unintentionally.  We are all in Real Estate to help people, but the only way we can stay in business is to make sure that the way we spend our time is worthwhile for us and for our clients.  Thanks for writing about this!

Mortgage Mama

May 23, 2011 01:58 AM #45
Brenda Harmon
Century 21 Beal, Inc College Station, Texas - College Station, TX

All well and good IF they tell you the truth.  That another reason to have them come into the office and not meet at the property. 

May 23, 2011 03:02 AM #46
Marie Graham
Owner, The Refreshed Home White Plains NY - White Plains, NY
Westchester County Interior Decorator, Home Stager

Read two issues here-buyers not getting it, or  fibbing (Jeff's observation @23) and agents not doing their job, or communicating clearly. Channeling Russel Ray here, but my grandmother used to say there were THREE sides to every story-yours, mine and the truth (usually a mix of the two).  Thanks Lorrie-good topic, which BTW I 'found', courtesy of Donne.

May 23, 2011 03:25 AM #47
Cynthia Larsen
Cotati, CA
Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA

Lorrie - the last time that happened to me I called their agent and asked why her "clients" were calling listing agents for showings. She was REALLY embarrassed about it. Some of these buyers agents don't know their clients are doing this, which leads me to believe the agents aren't explaining the rules of engagement.

May 23, 2011 06:51 AM #48
Jackie Hawley
Coldwell Banker Professionals - Oxford, MI
Southeast Michigan Real Estate

Maybe they thought you were the listing agent? Other agents buyers can call me on my own listings all they want. Doesn't mean I'll run out and show it, but I get a chance to pitch my listing. Find out who their agent is and call him/her and pitch my listing some more...

May 23, 2011 07:44 AM #49
Dawn Nuzzi
'Til Dawn Real Estate - Raleigh, NC

I received a call like this on Thanksgiving Day once...and it wasn't even one of my listings!! I was actually all set to meet the person and show homes and remembered to ask the all important questions first...she finally fessed up that she didn't want to "bother" her agent on a holiday. Interesting....I couldn't figure out why she thought I wouldn't be celebrating the holiday, as well.

May 23, 2011 11:34 AM #50
Karen Otto
Home Star Staging - Plano, TX
Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging,

Unbelievable that some people don't realize this or just don't care!

May 25, 2011 03:55 AM #51
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