Firing Unrealistic clients

Real Estate Agent with Remax Realty Centre

Just wanted to share with all of you

 I got a call from an acquaintance that they have a referral for me and ofcourse like any other realtor, I was over joyed. I quickly called them to set a time to meet with them. I met with them that weekend and asked them questions to pre-qualify them. Their answers were great. I than proceeded to ask them if they were working with a lender and if they were pre-approved. They said that they were pre-approved a year ago. I explained to them that they needed to start their process of pre-approval all over again and once they are pre-approved and have a letter in their hand, we will start the home search. I than started the agency disclosure. At that time they said that the agent they were working with last year was giving them 2% back of their commission. I stopped and put m pen down and stared at them. I asked them why than did they not buy their house at that time? They said  a year ago the prices of homes had still not dropped. I also asked them why did they not contact the same agent that had helped them last year, since they were getting the money back from Him /her.. they said the agent was not in business anymore( no wonder)

I explained to them that I would not be giving them my commission and told them at that time that I would not be the right agent for them. I than got up and told them that this interview is over and that if they chnage their mind and want to work with a professional who would not rebate them, than they can call me. They called me back two weeks later and told me that they would like me to represent them. so everything is signed off..( the agecy disclosures) and collected a pre-approval letter for 700K.

We started home searching.. one week..all house had negatives and no positives ( red flag) second week... 8 more homes... negatives again and this time comments that the price is still too high... ( re flag) , third week.. lets sit and write an offer on 3 of the properties they are considering..

1st house.... list price was $ 725K and they asked me to prepare an offer for $ 600K with 3 % closing cost paid b seller. I nearly fell off m chair, in shock... But have a buer broker agreement and so I thought I am supposed to do what is expected of me to represent the buyers. I told them since it is a very low offer, I don't think we should be wasting time in preparing all the 40 pages offer.. so we emailed the agent our terms and asked him if they would even consider this to respond.. Ofcourse it took the agent 15 minutes to respond with laughter in his voice.. Lavina, you are wasting your time ( I know that, I thought to myself). We tried again on the other two properties listed at 700K each and same terms as the first one and the two other agents also laughed and just dismissed us ( ofcourse with something nice to say to me) I asked my clients why are they offering too low? This is their answer:

They felt that Market conditons indicate that trend in Real Estate is rapidly declining, with no reasonable expectation of rebounding soon.  A possible relisting in Spring 2008, would not necessarily guarantee a price greater than 600K given the market conditions and the ever increasing inventory in this area, due to current back log and an additional surplus due to foreclosures.  if the house were to be on the market for an extended time.

I told them than that they should wait next year to buy or when the price of 700K homes drop to under 600K. I stopped total contact with them. I can sleep better at night .I used to hate for Saturdays to come for 3 consecutive weeks and now I look forward to Saturdays again.

It does feel good to be the one to not want to work with a client. Clients should not think that they are the only ones who can mistreat agents..

What do you guys think?



Comments (9)

Aslan Realty Advisors, LLC
Fort Myers, FL
Staying a step ahead with Pride!

Put your clients on a retainer....a successful broker in Cooper City, FL had a post on it this past week. He's pretty right on about other things ck. out his other blogs too.....

Scott's Daniels blog: 

Nov 10, 2007 02:13 PM
Jason Smith
DreamDirt Auction - Mondamin, IA
My gosh I think you and I have been working with the same people because I've been in the same situation with 2 different sets of buyers for the last 4 weeks. 
Nov 10, 2007 02:16 PM
Terry & Bonnie Westbrook
Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner - Grand Rapids, MI
Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re
It is so easy to get in the trap of I'm not so busy I'll work with because I have time. I am of the same opinion if the buyers want to look a lots of home and are being unrealistic put them in someone else's car. The question was the 600,000 offer realistic or just because they came up with a price. Motivation is the key do they need to get into a property with a set schedule or are they just looking. Your gut tell you what you need to hear when the red flag is waving say good by and move on.
Nov 10, 2007 02:19 PM
Deborah Engel
Prudential California Realty - San Diego, CA
San Diego Homes & Property
It is sometimes difficult walking away from a potential client, but there are several reasons for doing so.  It's good that you had the self-worth to stop dealing with them.  I have only fired a few clients, but I've never regretted it. 
Nov 10, 2007 02:21 PM
Krista Fuchs
Prudential Fox & Roach - Exton, PA
Chester County Realtor - (484) 459-8025 - Home Buying and Selling
This is very frustrating.  Especially when the clients are hearing the bubble is bursting in the news but your local area is still increasing which is my case.  It is hard to let clients go, particularily when you have the time but after a few times of keeping them, you realize your time is better spent in other areas.  That's why it's so important to educate, educate, educate the client!  Great post!
Nov 10, 2007 02:26 PM
Stella Barbour
NoVa Brokers LLC - Vienna, VA
Principal Broker, Serving Virginia and Maryland
I think you did the right thing.  I have dealt with unrealistic clients before too and if you found them the offer, they would ask you to give them cash back again.  Don't think that was actually not going to come up again.  I have experienced this type of behavior.  People think we are "hungry" and we will work for almost nothing.  I turn down potential buyers like that all of the time and eventually they find someone that will work for 1%.  But I don't loose any sleep over it.
Nov 10, 2007 02:31 PM
Deborah Burns ~ Seattle Real Estate Agent
Realty Executives -BRIO - Seattle, WA

I am glad to read that you are no longer representing those people.  They obviously hope to make sure all the risks, losses and costs are others and all the benefits are theirs.  Not nice people, sleep well! 

Nov 10, 2007 02:35 PM
Jim Gordon
NorthStar Identity Promotional Products - Phoenix, AZ

Lavina - You are right on.  I can't help you as far as working with a buyer, but in my promotional products business, I had to fire a client a couple of years ago.  They were one of my largest clients with orders 3-4 times per year, including 2 very large events.  The problem was, that they always beat me down on price (like your commission rebate) and constantly changed the details of the order.  When I looked at the amount of time I spent on each of their orders and broke them down to an hourly rate, I was amazed at what I was doing for such little money.  It was than that I decided to part company.

It is very hard to say "NO" to potential business, but it is much harder to not be able to live with yourself or stay awake at night worrying about why you do what you do.

Nov 10, 2007 02:42 PM
Rhonda Burgess
Southern Living Realty Partners - Smyrna, TN
Moving to Nashville TN Real Estate Specialist
Lavina - You definitely did the right thing.  If they turn out to be like some of the "clients" I've had, they never will buy.  I have a guy now in my database that did the same thing last year.  He kept making ridiculous offers and then wanted to get mad when his offer was rejected.  He always wanted me to drop everything to show him the "new listing" but then low-balled the offer.  I politely told him that I would not be working with him anymore, wished him well, and sent him on his merry way.  To this day, he still has not bought a house.  I allowed the computer to send him listings (I forgot to unsubscribe him to be quite honest) and he is still looking at them daily.  He send me occasional emails to say that he is still looking for the "right house" and to call him or email him if I come across it.  Yeah, right!  A total waste of time.  Count your blessings.
Nov 10, 2007 03:42 PM