My mission in the business has always been to help others to make their dream come true. So much of what we do as Realtor's is a public service. We give information, do showings, consult with buyers and sellers, and much much more that will never be financially beneficial to us and we all understand and accept that.
I honestly believe most realtor's think like I do, and the main goal is helping people. That being said, when we do the work, we like to think that we are going to get paid when results do finally happen and a contract is written and accepted.
Today, I had an unfortunate incident to happen. It happened simply because I was trying to accomodate the needs of a buyer and help them to get the job done. I wonder if the public realizes there is not a paycheck in this business unless we make the sale. I believe some folks have the opinion that Realtor's are on a salary, and also get commission when the sale is completed.
I was in the middle of doing an open house. I got a call from a customer that I had not yet met, but had been working with by phone several days. I had done a property search in both North Carolina MLS and South Carolina MLS finding the home of their dreams. I put many hours into getting all the information together, but since we had not met face to face, we had not yet discussed or signed the "Buyer Representation" agreement,
I got the call when I was wrapping up the open house on Saturday afternoon, The couple had looked at the listings I sent by email, and had one in particular they wanted to see. As you can guess, they could not wait until tomorrow. Their schedule meant they had to see it "right now."
I left the open house and hurridly got my information together and called the listing agent to do a showing. I met the folks at their designated place of meeting, and went to show the property. From the beginning of the showing until the end of the showing- I had invested a total of three hours. They covered every inch of the property, going into the attic- all the crawl spaces- outside buildings, walking the grounds etc, all the while with me making calls to the listing agent to find more information than I had available.
By now you have guessed that while I had to make a last minute decison to meet them, rushing from the open house and getting the directions to the property, etc. I did not have a buyer's agreement with me, and even if I had, they were not interested in signing one,
Today I got a call from the listing agent. The listing agent recieved a written contract on this property today from the buyer's I had shown it to . Only thing is, the agent that wrote the contract was not me. That's right--the buyer decided to allow me to do a property search, which took a significient amount of time, and also to allow me to do the showing, which took another big chunk of time. They used my professional help and advice, and then after having all they needed to make the offer, submitted that offer with a friend of the family which was an agent with another company.
If you are a Realtor, let this be a lesson to you. DO not take the time to show a property unless you have a signed Buyer Representation agreement from the buyer,
If you are a customer, and have a need for service by a Realtor, please keep in mind that we work very hard to help the buyer and the seller, Commit to one realtor . Do not jump from one to another. It is unfair to us all in the business to do the work and let someone else get paid for the results. As a buyer, you get the service for free. The agent that helped you is getting paid from the other side of the sale, and that agent does not get a dime of pay unless that work results into a contract,
I appreciate my client's and customers. I realize and accept the fact that much of what we do is public service. While it was and is my responsibility to get that piece of paper signed, and I am fully aware of that. Still, the public needs to be aware and more educated of the service we offer and where the loyalty should be in working with a Realtor.
Let the Realtor that did all the work, get the pay for that hard work. If you have a friend or family that you want to get the commission on the sale, then begin the search with them from the beginning. It is the only way to play the game fair. It is decent common courteousy.