The phone rings, and you pick it up. It's another agent from somewhere not immediately local, but still within driving range (in rural Minnesota, I'd say within 60 miles or so.). You do what every agent would do. (At least in Minnesota!) You greet them cheerfully, and ask them how they are, how business is, and finally, what you can do for them.
The line is quiet for a few long seconds, and then you hear...
"I was wondering if you could offer a bigger payout on your listing."
Okay, I can work with this. This is negotiable. No big deal.
"If you don't increase the payout, I will not show the home."
Now, let me stop for a second and just fill you in here. This is a BIG sore spot of mine. I am sorry if I offend anyone, and hope that you will at least entertain my mindset for a few minutes while you read this blog. It isn't wrong to ask, but a threat? That's just too much...
I stopped by the blog of Maya Thomas last night to read Half Of 1 Percent Commission!? and was immediately set off. Not by Maya, but some of the replies that I saw, and the memory of some of the calls I get on a regular basis.
I can be reasonable, and I am usually willing to work things out. However, my experience has been that when a buyer's agent calls me to increase my commissions, it is usually from a (honestly) low comssion to a pretty high commission (for our area) on a $70,000 property that I have had listed and advertised for six months, and the agent WILL NOT show it unless I agree to their payout.
Don't get me wrong. I understand that you may have to drive ALL THE WAY to Mora to show my listing. I understand that gas is expensive. What I don't understand is why you need $2,800 to call me, complain, drive up to Mora ONCE (that's all that usually happens, is the one time.), write an offer, and fax it to me. Meanwhile, by upping your commission, I've just nearly eliminated mine, and am making less than you, despite my newspaper and internet advertising, lock box, sign, maintaining the listing, and doing all your "local work" for you after you do write an offer.
You know, one time I drove 300 miles round trip to show a commercial building to a client, for a VERY low payout. When I called to schedule the showing, one of the first things the agent said to me was "Just so you know, I won't up the commission."
I said "No problem".
Silence. Then, "really?"
The listing was priced at $60,000. My clients were debating writing for $45,000.
They didn't like it, didn't write, and I drove home again, not really worried about it.
Nor should I have been. They have changed directions, and instead of looking for a "tough" foreclosure to flip, are now looking for a commercial building for their business.
I have clients who I have made a total of $600 on, before gas, advertising, etc. However, they tell EVERYONE they know that Joslyn ROCKS!, and they are worth more than money to me.
Have we as Realtors forgotten why we are here? I'm not here for a commission check. I'm here to help people find the home of their dreams. To help people make memories. I love walking through houses with buyers and hearing them say "Oh, this room will be perfect for the baby!" or "I can really see us getting old here." I love walking through homes with sellers, who are leaving a home that they have loved for so long, and although sad, are anxious and excited to begin a new chapter somewhere else.
Heck, I would probably do this even if I never got paid.
I know that there are readers out there who are going to say "Joslyn, you're selling yourself short. I'm not going to do that. I'm worth __%. My services are VALUABLE Joslyn. I'm a highly trained professional."
Yes, you are. So am I. In fact, I'm a professional who has a code of ethics to abide by.
Duties to Clients and Customers
When representing a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant, or other client as an agent, Realtors® pledge themselves to protect and promote the interests of their client.
Promote the interests of their client? Wouldn't that mean showing them a house, even if the commission wasn't good enough for YOU?
I know that someone will come back and say "but Joslyn, what about promoting the interests of your seller?"
That's a very valid point. I never flat out give up. I negotiate things out, try to reach an agreement. However, my seller signed an agreement to pay a cooperating agent ___%, and that is all they are interested in paying. They chose that amount of commission when they chose that listing price. More commission = higher price. Get it?
I guess, if you insist on having a certain amount or you won't show the property, you can do three things.
•· Don't show my listings
•· Ask your buyer to pay for it
•· Go jump in a lake
Hearts and smiles -