NEVER assume the other real estate agent is doing their job!

Real Estate Agent with Florida Property Experts

real estate agentsAs a real estate agent, you should NEVER assume the agent on the other side of the transaction is doing their job! That is the advice that was given to me by a top producer, when I was new to the business. It is one of the best pieces of advice I have ever been given, during the course of my real estate career.

I was just reading Broker Bryant Tutas' recent post titled "350 DOM (Days on Market), 5 Contracts and Finally... SUCCESS! In his post, he wrote about having to coach the selling agent (Bryant was the listing agent), how to get the transaction closed in a legal manner. You'd need to read Bryant's previous post about an ignorant agent's bad advice that could have caused the buyer to commit a felony. That link is also in the aforementioned post. 

Reading Bryant's post once again reminded me of the wise words that were given to me many years ago, by the agent who told me to "Never assume the other agent is doing their job". Here are a few examples....

If you're the listing agent, don't assume the buyer's agent is...

  • Paying attention to the time constraints of the
    • loan application,
    • inspection periods,
    • loan approval period, etc. You should be calling that agent and questioning/reminding them of every time frame of the contract, every step of the way (In a very pleasant manner!) Except perhaps the home inspection period. That's up to you if you want to remind them or not. After all, if you're representing the seller and the buyer's agent doesn't remind their buyer to get the home inspection completed in time, the buyer is now obligated to buy the house with no inspection and the buyer's agent is responsible for not doing their job! To be honest, I usually DO remind the other agent, unless they've been a condescending jerk.(Sometimes, I even remind them then, too. My conscience is a real pain in the butt!) realtors
      • Side note: Remember, it pays to be pleasant and professional to the other agent! There are many agents whose negative reputations precede them. Don't be one of those agents! Believe me when I say, there are many agents who will discourage their clients from working with you and your clients, just because of your difficult nature. You need to learn to walk that fine line between doing your job and being too pushy. Only push when necessary!
  • Making sure the buyer is getting their home owner's insurance way before the closing date. This is especially important in Florida! The insurance companies draw a box around the state. If a tropical storm or hurricane travels within the constraints of that box, they will not issue any policies until it has moved out of the box. If your closing is scheduled while the storm is in the box, and your buyer needs a mortgage to close, you will not be closing at that time! Also important: The buyer does not have home owner's insurance until they've paid their "binder"!real estate agent

If you're the selling agent, don't assume the listing agent is...

  • Presenting your offer in the best light. In the state of Florida, the selling agent has the right to be there when their offer is presented to the sellers. However, you do not have the right to be there when the sellers are discussing the offer with their agent. You only have the right to be in attendance when your buyers' offer is being presented to the sellers.
  • Coordinating the survey. With each property I sell, I can never be sure who is ordering the survey. It could be the title company or the mortgage broker, or it could be the listing agent who is expected to place the order. If everyone assumes it's someone else, good luck finding a surveyor to do a last minute survey. Without the survey, there is no clear title. AND the surveyor is the party who provides the Elevation Certificate if the property is in a flood zone. If the property is in a flood zone, no elevation certificate = no flood insurance policy and no mortgage and ultimately, no closing!
  • Making the home accessible to the appraiser. This may differ from city-to-city, but in the Daytona Beach area, the listing agent is generally expected to provide access to the home, for the appraiser. The appraiser will call the listing agent for access. (Side note: The mortgage broker calls for the appraiser, from a list of approved appraisers that is provided by the lender.)

If you're new to the business, remember this advice... Never assume the other agent is doing their job! If you want to be the best agent possible, be prepared to do your job and the other agent's job as well. Many times this will not be necessary. But be prepared, just in case.

If you're a real estate buyer or real estate seller in the Daytona Beach area, make a Smart Choice and contact Lisa Hill for all your real estate needs.  

Lisa Hill real estate agent

Adams Cameron Realtors


Comments (13)

Brian Wentz
Keller Williams Greater Des Moines - Des Moines, IA
Realtor - Des Moines Iowa Real Estate

Sad but true. It is always a blessing when you can work with a quality co-op agent! But the opposite is sooooo painful at times.

Merry x-mas!



Dec 22, 2007 08:15 AM
Raj Rajpal
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage - Staten Island, NY

Good comments but at least if you are working with good inspectors and mortgage professionals that part of the process should be eliminated as they should give you regular updates

Dec 22, 2007 08:16 AM
Armando Rodriguez
Orlando Homes 4 Sale, Real Estate Broker-GRI

I agree wholeheartedly. Good points for both Listing and Selling agents!

Good luck to you!

Dec 22, 2007 08:47 AM
Susan Oliver
RE/MAX Capital - Providence Forge, VA
Experienced, Professional Realtor
I am new agent am I may not have the experience but right now I have the determination and the motivation to do everything correct as word of mouth is everything. If we all look out for each other - the deal goes smoothly and everyone wins.  That is what it is all about.! Thank you for your great post!
Dec 22, 2007 09:34 AM
Alexander Harb
Knights Investing - Mesquite, TX
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing

I had to almost break (toss out) a buyer
agents offer after the financing came close
to not coming through.... I waited and waited..
I made phone call after phone call.......

Finally, I gave them until 5pm EST
to get the offer financed...they called at 4:58.....

The financing underwriters were in California 
we were in FL...go figure that out!!

My seller was sweating bullets along
with me on that one!!

I also gave about $2000 of my commission
to help the sellers move....when the buyers
agent was asked to contribute, she said,
"I have a family to feed."

She drove a late model sedan and I had
my 1990 Ford Tempo at the time...

She was embarrassed to say the least....

Dec 22, 2007 09:54 AM
Quakertown, PA
e-PRO, Realtor - Bucks County PA - 610-952-3578

Hey Lisa.  This is an excellent posting.  Happy Holidays to you and your family

Merry Christmas

Dec 22, 2007 10:24 AM
Pat Laracy Baker
Realty Executives Boston West - Holliston, MA
Pat Baker Dream Home Maker
Terrific post Lisa.  I think that those who not well educated in their profession will not be around.  I had to educate the listing broker on one of my transactions this year and honestly I was doing a lot of her job.  It was a bit annoying.  Merry Christmas and a Healthy & Prosperous 2008
Dec 22, 2007 10:35 AM
Darleen McCullen
Raleigh, NC
Broker - Raleigh, NC Real Estate

Lisa ~ This is excellent advice. I recently had a new listing agent say to me, "If no one has ever said this to you before, please let me be the first to say it, 'You are quite thorough.' She said this in response to some items she had overlooked in the transaction and I brought them to her attention.

I didn't do it in a mean way but in a way that said to her that I just wanted to make sure that the transaction closed on time. She appreciated my attention to detail, and I appreciated her appreciating me. :-)

Dec 22, 2007 11:54 AM
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County
Good advice, Lisa. This is something learned early on and something I practice daily.
Dec 22, 2007 11:10 PM
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans

Lisa... I agree, great advice. And it's sad that we can't assume amongst other professionals in our industry. But that is life and if you do assume, it could cause a lot of trouble. Unfortunately, I think so many of us do the jobs of others, just because we are that good and because we care in so many ways.  Happy Holidays...

jeff belonger
Dec 23, 2007 01:51 AM
Brian Corwell
RE/MAX Sauk Valley - Sterling, IL
Sterling, Illinois Real Estate

Great post.. all my deals no matter waht side go into Agent 2000 with the dates that things are due as well as the reminders ahead of time. This helps to assure that something doesn't fall thru the cracks especially of one of the days something is due is a Sunday. It really helps to keep deals from going south if you keep all the parties on the same page.

Brian Corwell

Sterling, Illinois Real Estate

Dec 23, 2007 02:03 AM
Katrina Madewell
Charles Rutenberg Rlty- More than 5,000 agents(813) 777-1196 - Tampa, FL
Tampa FL Homes for sale | Tampa Bay - (813) 777-1196

Lisa, Nice post.  Very well said.  I guess I'll have to get on over to BB post and check em out... its been a while. tis the season.

It's always been my experience that TITLE orders the survey.. after all they have to insure clear title regarding the survey too... So have them order it, JUST IN CASE any last minute snags run along.  They have rapport with regular surveyors they use and can even get a rush if the need it normally.

Again, it could vary area to area but in the Tampa Bay area we leave it up to title.   Funny thought how there is no 'THIS PERSON ALWAYS ORDERS THE SURVEY"... amazing that has never really been carved in stone. (seems like anywhere)

Dec 24, 2007 06:01 PM
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate
Katrina- Some of our title companies don't want to be responsible if the surveyor makes a mistake, so they won't order it. It's something I have to remember to ask about, every time. I've made the mistake of assuming the title company was ordering and didn't find out they weren't going to until it was the last week before closing. We cut it VERY close! But the title company I prefer to use, will always order it. Although, I still have to remember to request that they do it.
Dec 25, 2007 07:46 AM

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