Did I REALLY Turn Away a HOT Buyer???

Real Estate Agent with Liberty Homes RS-#62825

A young woman came into the office and she said she was looking for a one bedroom townhouse.  She knew exactly what she wanted and wanted to put in an offer right away!

I asked how she found the property and she said online. She was very hesitant to let me know the details so I went on our MLS and found the property she was talking about. She said she had to jump on it right away because she KNOWS that it will go quick and she goes on to say, “I know, because I’ve lost out on 3 properties already”.

EXCUSE ME?  I ask her why she came to another company if she already is working with another agent. She said, because I’ve lost out on 3 properties and it must be my agent that is messing it up.

I explained that the inventory for condos are low in Central Oahu area and even lower for those properties that are NOT short sales, foreclosures and in excellent condition.  She said that her agent told her the same thing about our Hawaii Housing Market. I asked her if she was not happy with her agent and she said, “NO!  I really like her but this is business”. 

Do you have a signed Buyer Representation Contract?

Something told me to keep inquiring about the agent she was working with. She also said her agent is going to Vegas the next day. I told her to talk to her agent and if she felt the same way later on to give me a call. Better yet, ask her agent what she has signed with her so far.

She called a couple of hours later (I didn’t expect her to call me) and thanked me for telling her to talk to her agent. She DID have a Buyer Representation Contract and thanked me so much for my time. She went on to say that she REALLY liked her agent!


When in doubt.

Ask your OWN agent.

Posted by



Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman  is a Realtor-Associate® and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs  she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocations, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents, Home Buyers and Sellers.


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Hawaii Real Estate and Relocation Blog.

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Lenn Harley 05/29/2013 08:20 PM
  2. Winston Heverly 07/02/2013 05:25 AM
Home Buying
Hawaii Honolulu County
1st Time Buyers
POSITIVE ATTITUDE for the Weary Soul
Diary of a Realtor
hawaii home buyer
hawaii housing market
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Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate - Concord, NC

People never cease to amaze me. We always ask if they are working with another Agent. Often the answer is No and turns out not to be true.  I think some of them just on't want to wait for their Realtor.


May 31, 2013 07:25 AM #61
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

The agent messed up three times... yeah, that is a believable one!  It is always good to ask questions...lots of them. Excellent job.

May 31, 2013 09:33 PM #62
Janis Borgueta
Key Properties of the Hudson Valley - Newburgh, NY
LIC RE Salesperson

You are a good person to ask so many questions. It could have become quite messy. I find that people are not aware of what they are signing most of the time. No matter what laws or required forms are made, people for the most part are still unaware of what it all means.

May 31, 2013 10:05 PM #63
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

Goes to show you that the buyer didn't trust what her agent was really telling her. I think you are actually lucky that you didn't get this buyer as she would be doing similar to you possibly.

May 31, 2013 11:33 PM #65
Terkel Sørensen
Real Estate Places - Temecula, CA
Realtor, 951.805.0773 , Bank owned and Short Sales

That's a great way to handle that Sally. Good job. There are some people where your better served just moving on to the next person in your pipeline.

May 31, 2013 11:50 PM #66
Linda De Fusco
The De Fusco TEAM Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
The Arizona Rainmaker

the agent is always the closest to the fire, and will get burned. Your reaction was perfect and lends to integrity in our profession. Relationships are paramount and you "reminded" this buyer of hers KUDOS!

Jun 01, 2013 12:22 AM #67
Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Associate Broker
iXL Real Estate-Wiregrasss\ - Enterprise, AL
email: Travis@theSOLDman.me / cell: 334-494-7846

Good for you on sending her back to her other Agent. We aren't low on inventory here, but hope to be in about a year if the year keeps going like it's started!

Jun 01, 2013 01:05 AM #68
Michael J. O'Connor
Diamond Ridge Realty - Corona, CA
Eastvale - 951-847-4883

It's always important to properly vet our buyers.  Seems fishy that she really didn't know that she signed a buyer's agreement with another agent.  Seems like you actually saved yourself a ton of time on this one!

Jun 01, 2013 01:09 AM #69
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Professionals get all the pertinent facts, issue, concerns, goals, objectives and time horizon before taking any action. I believe you got her respect, since she took the time to call you and perhaps she'll refer you to a family member of friend or even hire you someday in the future.

Now, as a professional, go celebrate your victory. I'd drive to Leonard's for some malasadas, which I will do in mid July when I go home for vacation. 

Jun 01, 2013 02:40 AM #70
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

You did the right thing!  Good for you.  And you prevented a potential hot mess at the closing table. Buyers do not seem to understand what goes into our work and I'm often shocked at their behavior.  Sometimes its plain old selfishness, other times it's simply a lack of understanding.  In this case, the buyer was probably sincere, she just didn't understand the ramifications of going to someone else or the reason why she was not successful previously. 

Jun 01, 2013 02:43 AM #71
Ric Mills
Keller Williams Southern Az - Tucson, AZ
Integrity, Honesty, and Vast Real Estate Knowledge

That is just one reason to have a BBA.  Buyers can be very fickle and try to do funny things.  Good for you in guiding this client to do the proper thing and top save a lot of hassle.

Jun 01, 2013 03:40 AM #72
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

@kimo...what part of the island?  Meet for coffee?

Jun 01, 2013 03:49 AM #73
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Good for you Sally!  Digging a little deeper really does help everyone and you did a great job at discerning the facts and getting to the bottom of what her rush was all about!

Jun 02, 2013 03:54 AM #74
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


You did all the right things. I think many buyers are simply not aware of how our business works, and of course their focus is on getting a home, not necessarily on the process. This coul dhave gotten rather ugly if things had proceeded and you did not do the right thing.


Jun 02, 2013 02:37 PM #75
Carolyn Shipp
Source 1 Real Estate - Mineral Wells, TX
Mineral Wells Texas Real Estate

This happens a lot out here because agents do not ask...whenever someone comes in or calls and wants to see a property, I always ask for the name of their agent.  I don't ask if they are working with anyone, I ask the agent's name.  The reason is because they will usually blurt it out without thinking about it.  That way, I can cut right to the response of "it will be best to contact your agent."  If at that point they are adamant that they don't want to work with that agent anymore, then I tell them that I can't work with them until they have told their agent they will no longer be working with him/her.  Typically it works out one way or the other.  They either make the decision to stay with their agent or they break ties and come over to my office.

Jun 03, 2013 01:09 AM #76
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

That would have been a bad one to step into.  No need getting everyone upset down the line.

Jun 03, 2013 03:58 AM #77
Andrea HoffDomin
Florida Dream Homes Realty - Fort Lauderdale, FL
- in Real Estate always on your side!

Sally, congratulations that you safe yourself lots of time. Some customers are not very honest and even when you inquire them you will not get the truth. It is so easy to go to several agents and use one for the knowledge and the other for the contract.

Jun 03, 2013 11:26 AM #78
Sean Thorson, Corpus Christi, TX Realtor
myCorpusHome.com/Keller Williams Coastal Bend - Corpus Christi, TX
Sean Thorson, Realtor Corpus Christi, TX

Great work Sally. I recently ran into the same thing and it could have cost me the deal. Asking buyers to go back to the realtor if they have been working with one, and ask what they have signed so far is a good approach.  Thank you!

Jun 04, 2013 12:00 PM #79
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Sally, sounds like you saved yourself from much wasted time.

Jun 05, 2013 03:48 AM #80
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

Good move, Sally! People always want to blame the agent when they don't get the property.....low ball offers and hesitation are usually the problem!

Jun 08, 2013 07:07 PM #81
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