Right Decision

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Nachman Realty

In this lean market, when is the right time to stop jumping through the hoops? Recently, I had discovered someone that I thought to be a promising lead, and I believed they would become a buyer. This person was out of my state and I had never met them face to face. They called me after receiving a "Just Listed" letter that I had sent out. The potential client informed me that they had been speaking with other agents in the area, but had no agency agreement with anyone. In the brief time that we had communicated, they informed me that they liked my approach and style better than all of the others that they had spoken with. This potential also informed me that they wanted no contracts or to have to sign anything. As you probably realize, this sent up a huge red flag. I tried to work with this potential, with intentions to ease into a buyer's agreement. They wanted to look at fixer uppers and foreclosures priced with quick earned equity in mind. Good Luck.....Right? I tried to avoid the foreclosures as they were interested in pre-bank owned with no listing - therefore no-one to pay a commission. Red Flag #2!! I emailed listings as described including one in particular that they said to send. After several days of emails and communicating on the phone, they mentioned wanting to make an offer on the listing that they specified in particular. I said great and asked if they would be interested in seeing the inside since they had not seen it. Being out of state, it was not possible for the direct contact without making a big trip. Luckily the son was local and I suggested showing him and letting him relay back. I also emailed "Working with Real Estate Agents" brochure which by law needs to be provided at first sustantial contact. I would say proposing to make an offer was substantial enough for me. This created a problem for this potential client. They didn't want to sign anything. I thought about this in depth for a couple of days. As a result I handed the lead to someone who is working closely with foreclosures. I wondered if I made a mistake at first, but after more thinking I don't see how I could have handled it any differently and still be operating ethically and within the law. Looking back, This potential client could have kicked me to the curb at anytime after rendering my services. It was a one-sided relationship. I didn't gain any wealth in this episode, but I gained knowledge - and I'll take it!

Comments (5)

LaNita Cates
REMAX - Aurora, IL
WOW. I've learned already not to jump through hoops. It's strange that realtors will do this for strangers but not usually for friends or family! I'm learning to say "this is how I run my business" and stay firm.
Jan 17, 2008 07:17 AM
Bethany Little
Whitworth Builders Realty, Inc. - Navarre, FL

You did the smart thing.  You'll possibly get a referral fee from the other agent (I hope that's how you worked it out), and you won't have to worry about this buyer using you.  That is the danger when working with some investors.  There are some "Get Rich in Real Estate" programs that teach their clients to hook up with a Realtor in order to get CMA's and listings sent to them on preforeclosure and foreclosure properties.  But to contact the owner directly regarding an offer. 

It sounds to me like that investor was buttering you up.  They had probably been through several Realtors who told them "No Thanks". 

Jan 17, 2008 07:27 AM
Rich Pearson
Century 21 Nachman Realty - Kitty Hawk, NC
Thanks for the input. I agree with you LaNita and Bethany. I tasted butter almost the whole time.
Jan 17, 2008 07:32 AM
This reminds me of the Jerry McGuire scene where Cushman's dad says my word is "stronger than oak" and you know what happened in the movie.  I hope for your sake this is not the case and you can get a referral.
Jan 17, 2008 07:35 AM
Rich Pearson
Century 21 Nachman Realty - Kitty Hawk, NC

As they say: "If it sounds too good to be true.....it probably is." And a big yes on the referral. Thanks

Jan 17, 2008 07:38 AM