BUYERS: Anything You Say CAN and WILL Be Used Against You!

Real Estate Agent with | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 228209

Recently I had a buyer phone me who had already decided which community he wanted to reside.  He phoned me to show him a listing in that community; it wasn’t my listing but, one that he had found on my website so, he presumed it was my listing.  He refused my offer to view other properties in the area.  He also confirmed that he is not working with a real estate agent and that he had already spoken with Joe Lender and had a pre-approval letter in-hand.  

Sounds like the perfect buyer candidate, right?

So I referred him to one of our agents who specializes in this particular area.  This agent took time out of an already jam-packed day, to show this gorgeous high-end property to the perspective buyer.  I knew this agent would land him because of the wealth of knowledge this agent possesses about that particular area.

I set the showing up for the agent and ‘introduced’ the two (buyer and agent) and felt confident that, based upon the buyer’s preferences, this was the perfect home for he and his family.

Shortly after showing time, I received a call from the agent telling me that the buyer loved the home but, that he was going to be using HIS agent!  When my agent suggested that the buyer had confirmed with both of us the previous day that he was not working with an agent, he stated, “I’m so sorry.  I told a little white lie!  I didn’t want to ‘bother’ my agent to have to show me homes.

Charlotte home buyers--protect YOUR wallet by using YOUR agentReally?  So, your agent is going to make TENS of thousands of dollars on a transaction with you when you do ultimately purchase a home but, you don’t think that he or she should have to actually WORK for it?

Writing an Offer and orchestrating Due Diligence is only HALF of what we do!  You think that YOUR agent shouldn’t be bothered but, it’s okay to bother mine, who will not get a DIME out of your transaction?  

We are NOT professional door-openers!  We represent our buyers to the fullest extent including any and all fiduciary duties.  Because you were basically representing yourself in the viewing of this home, ANYTHING that you said to my agent about this property, can and will be shared with the SELLER as my agent is legally representing the SELLER, not you.  

So, if you suggested in passing that you believe that the list price is fair and you revealed that you qualify for more than the list price to my agent, that information, going straight to the SELLER, does not benefit you at all when you present an Offer on that particular home.  Anything that you disclosed, inadvertently or not, can and will be used against you by not simply phoning YOUR agent who is representing YOUR best interests!

The same goes for every other agent that you ‘used’ to show you homes that wasn’t your own.  Your agent represents YOU.  Why on EARTH would you choose NOT to use YOUR AGENT to represent YOU?

The next time you want to view a property, protect your wallet and call YOUR agent.  Believe me, they’re adequately compensated and they are there to represent your best interests, not the sellers.



Re-Blogged 6 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Bonnie Vaughan 03/12/2012 07:34 AM
  2. Miriam Bernstein, CRS 03/12/2012 09:56 AM
  3. Terri Poehler 03/15/2012 11:03 PM
  4. Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School 03/18/2012 04:38 AM
  5. Gabe Sanders 03/18/2012 08:30 PM
  6. Cheryl Ritchie 04/13/2012 11:18 PM
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Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Hi Everyone!  An appraisal, an inspection and a couple of showings later, I have 58 comments!  YIKES!  

I do agree with LaNita that I definitely have to make it policy to use the 1-and-done BA agreement with these folks. I've done it for many but, this guy just seemed to be incredibly honest and forthcoming.  Because we didn't have him sign one, my agent gets no compensation.  At last contact with the listing agent, this guy hasn't made an Offer just yet but, they are on the lookout for his Offer.

The out-of-state and international buyer phoning for information is one thing but, to actually be on-location (so to speak) and use someone else because they didn't want to bother their agent is just ludicrous!  If it were my listing, that would be one thing but, for it to be a random listing, not my own, is yet another.

Thanks for your comments and believe me, I've learned my lesson to its fullest this time!  The BA will be signed BEFORE heading out to meeting a client at all!

Mar 12, 2012 06:14 AM #60
Suzanne McLaughlin
Sabinske & Associates, Inc. (Albertville, St. Michael) - Saint Michael, MN
Sabinske & Associates, Realtor

But, Debe, I thought this wasn't your listing.  How can you share that information with the seller?  Although I definitely would, if it were my listing.

Mar 12, 2012 06:24 AM #61
Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease


It's a sad state of affairs.  In many cases, they probably do cost themselves a lot of money, as the agent they are working with - who is not showing them homes is possibly not as involved or engaged in helping them as well as they can, but closing a sale.

Very frustrating.

All the best, Michelle


Mar 12, 2012 06:30 AM #62
Kim & Kristine Halverson
Compass - Santa Monica, CA
Sisters, Realtors

Debe:  so sorry!  I hate white lies!  Karma is a bit#$%.  Kristine :)

Mar 12, 2012 07:42 AM #63
Marti Steele Kilby, CRS
Steele Group Realty - La Mesa, CA
Broker/Owner, San Diego, CA

Wow!  This really got my mad. LaNita, comment #21 had it so right!

Mar 12, 2012 09:29 AM #64
Anna Banana Kruchten - Phoenix Homes Sales
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ

Debe so if this guy does end up buying the home your agent showed it would be a case of procuring case here in AZ.  Is that not the case in your state.  I actually won a case such as this several years ago. The buyers came to an open and took up a lot of my time - while many others were looking as well.  Later that evening I got a contract with their name on it from their agent who had been up north and couldn't be bothered to come back to town. The buyer continued calling on us with questions until I your agent!! We waited until just before closing and made the call the her broker.  She wasn't happy but had she done her job and took care of her clients properly she wouldn't have created what she did.

Mar 12, 2012 10:16 AM #65
Kathy Stoltman
Rockwood Realty - Ventura, CA
Ventura County Real Estate Consultant 805-746-1793

Hi Debe, I think we all have been there.  I would love to put buyers on a retainer system, something like attorneys do. Perhaps the retainer would be refunded upon close, just thinking out loud.  And the Buyer Broker form can help as well.

Mar 12, 2012 10:16 AM #66
Joy Daniels
Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd. - Harrisburg, PA

Wait - we're not professional door openers?  Geez. . . I thought that was in our job description.  :)  I laughed and cryed when I read your post.  Thanks!

Mar 12, 2012 11:11 AM #67
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

LOL Joy!  I know sometimes we feel as though we are but, there is SO much more than meets the eye to our jobs, isn't there?!

Anna:  Had we signed a 1-and-done BA with the guy, yes, we would have been procuring cause but, because we trusted this guy not to 'use' us, we lost out completely.  However, if he does bid on the property, the seller knows his details so, I think Karma does come into play here.

Mar 12, 2012 11:28 AM #68
Justin Dibbs
Pearson Smith Realty - Ashburn, VA
REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale

Man, that;s too bad.  Here is VA I'd fight for procurring cause for tens of thousands.  Too bad you need a BAA in NC to secure procurring cause :-(

Mar 12, 2012 12:29 PM #69
Joni Bailey
101 Main St. Realty - Huntsville, TX
Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR®

It happens so often that now I just do not trust any buyer. It's time for buyer's reps no matter what. If I lose a sale or two becuase of it, so be it. I will still come out ahead for the time not wasted. 

Mar 12, 2012 12:31 PM #70
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

I think some buyers just don't get it.  Part of it is the industry's fault for not better educating the public on the benefits of having a buyer agent and the risk they may run when contacting a listing agent/company.  In this case, it sounds like the buyer new what he was doing.....

Mar 12, 2012 12:47 PM #71
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


Well none of us should be surprised, sicne this seems to happen pretty often. But it still grates.

This is certainly not someone I would trust to enter into a transaction with since he so readily lied. And what about the agent?? How well is that person going to be able to represent this sneaky buyer's best interests? I see a red flag waving!


Mar 12, 2012 01:10 PM #72
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Debe - This is so frustrating and just further indicates to me how little many members of the public understand what we do and how we get paid. Or, maybe it's simply that they don't respect what we do.

Mar 12, 2012 03:52 PM #73
Pete Xavier
Investments to Luxury - Pacific Palisades, CA
Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide

As I'm learning in my class "buyers are liars"!

I need to have some kind of proactive game plan to at least avoid some of them.

Mar 12, 2012 04:00 PM #74
Cal Yoder
Keller Williams Elite - Lititz, PA
Homes For Sale in Lancaster PA - 717.413.0744

Debe, excellent post. I have a couple of questions related to understanding your state laws. You mention it is not your listing, but note that whatever was said to your agent will go right to the seller. Is their implied agency in your state? So that when you cross the threshhold without a buyer agency you are a subagent of the seller? Or was that simply a helpful comment to the consumer if you were the listing agent?

It is just a good reminder why I have begun to insist that you meet me at the office before seeing any homes. Do not always follow the rule, but it has begun to help me.


Mar 12, 2012 06:34 PM #75
Bonnie Vaughan
Scranton, PA
CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin

Debe, Referencing comment #70.  In PA we would do the same thing.  Should that property sell to that particular buyer we have a case for procuring cause against the selling agent.

We are required to have a Consumer Notice signed when we first meet with a prospective client.  That serves as proof of the contact and the Supra Key records support our showing on that date.

Mar 12, 2012 08:09 PM #76

LaNita in post #21 is right.  Do the job properly and you won't have to complian about this.  If the agent spends 15 seconds to explain the reason you asked "Are you working with an agents?", then that would take care of this problem.

Mar 12, 2012 10:47 PM #77
Joan Congilose
New Jersey Properties - Manalapan, NJ
Helping Sellers & Buyers

It happens all of the time and to the nicest agents. It really floors me that they have no respect for our time.All you can do is rise above it and move on to the next one

Mar 13, 2012 10:35 AM #78
Larry Brewer - Benchmark Realty llc
Benchmark Realty LLc - Nashville, TN

Hi Debe - I'm sure that it never crossed his mind that your agent might just call the listing agent to tell them everything (I would). If I were the listing agent, I would probably be very hesitant to trust an offer from this client, because he obviously believes that being dishonest is ok, where would he draw the line. I've had a few of those people, and they never get a closing done. Run as fast as you can from these people.

 On the other hand, it's a good case of where a signed buyers agreement would have probably stopped this from happending. 

Apr 14, 2012 12:01 AM #79
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