The Platinum Rule

Real Estate Agent

Have you ever heard of The Platinum Rule? We all know the Golden Rule talks about treating others the way we would want to be treated but the Platinum Rule discusses treating others the way they would want to be treated. I have a hard time with this one and I will explain.

A classic example I can think of are folks who say they are "private" people. I know those who would prefer not to know their neighbors in their subdivision. They figure, "you stay out of my business and I will stay out of yours." Fair enough. I hope they don't mean anybody harm, they just either have something to hide or had a bad experience with someone who was "nosy" or something else that doesn't come to mind...

On the other hand, I am the type that likes to get to know my neighbors. I don't necessarily want to know what they're eating for dinner or anything, I just want to know their names and a few of their habits and if they are out of town and I see a strange car in their driveway moving electronics out of their house, they can trust I will call the police. That way I know they will do the same for me.

This is a good example- neither way is right or wrong and if one of my neighbors didn't want to be friendly, I should treat them the way they want to be treated.

However, I am having a real hard time with Realtors who insist on undermining, sniping, and strutting as a means of communicating with the Realtor on the other side of the transaction. A little honey goes a long when when you're trying to create a smooth operation.

Case in point. I recently made an offer on behalf of my buyer-clients. The listing agent was more than willing to share all kinds of information, beforehand, about the property and how the seller recently repaired the septic system and the well etc... But when I actually presented the offer, he started nit-picking. For example, I wrote the offer to read "123 Elm Ct." instead of spelling out "Court."

Then he proceeded to give me advice about what lender to use and which closing attorney to procure etc... I gently said I was very familiar with my territory and the professionals available to me and my clients. He then said "well, I have been in this business 20 years and I have never heard of you before." I laughed inside because he's been in real estate for 20 years and I had never heard of him before. But I kept my cool and didn't insult him back. 

This is still a buyers market and I am shocked the listing agents are so darned uppity! I don't expect them to lie down and turn over, but for goodness sake, don't turn off the buyers agent who can then conveniently convince their buyer that this is not the property for them. Wink wink... (would I do that, no, but you get the point).

Another listing agent I've dealt with recently on different transaction must not think her poop stinks. Nearly everything I say to her she questions. The main one that sticks out to me is that my client made an offer on her listing and when we went back and forth a few times and finally came to a meeting of the minds, she told me "as-is."

Well that didn't stop me from getting an inspector out there and asking the sellers to help. But the agent kept emailing me "What happened to as-is?" I don't know. Why didn't you ask your sellers that when they agreed to helping with the plumbing problems.

It's within my clients' rights to ask, isn't it? What harm is there in asking? In my state, the sellers don't even have to respond to a Repair Request . Not to mention it's not a foreclosure. If it were a bank, we'd really be throwing something crazy against the wall to see if it would stick but these are human beings. Does this agent really espouse the Platinum Rule and want me to treat her like dirt  too? Would that just make her day?

Anywho, my point is, can't we just all get along? I know this is territorial stuff and it's the agents' jobs to be the middle-men and try to keep things on an even keel- talking sense into the sellers when they've gotten a perfectly good offer and they are freaking out because the buyers want some closing costs or talking sense into our buyers when they want to ask for the moon.

I guess instead of treating things like business, some agents get emotionally invested too and empathize a little too much with their clients. Can't we do most of this with a smile? Need we puff out our chests or have ¶!$$!#6 contests to prove who is the better agent? Let's network more, get to know each other. The more we've shaken hands at our monthly association meetings or charitable events, the less likely we are to want to bite each others' heads off when we get into these transactions.


Comments (4)

John Michailidis
Real Property Management of Sarasota & Manatee - Sarasota, FL
Real Property Management of Sarasota & M

An interesting and informative blog post that I enjoyed reading!

Aug 09, 2011 07:46 AM
Lisa Duke
High Point, NC

Christina, fair enough. Even if it was a sellers market, a little kindness goes a long way. Thanks for posting!

Aug 09, 2011 09:00 AM
Adrienne L. Jones
Coldwell Banker Triad, REALTORS - High Point, NC

Hi Lisa,

Ha, ha. I thought that only happened to me.  I think some agents throw in the big "as-is" clause at the end because they feel like the loser in the negotiation process.  Then they proceed to disrespect you and your client all the way to the closing table.   I don’t get upset by it anymore.  I wear it as a badge of honor.


Nov 18, 2011 06:09 PM