Don't be an EGO Agent

Real Estate Agent with Broker/Owner, Keller Williams 100000008



How many times have you dealt with an "Ego Agent"?  

I feel like at least twice a week I have an interaction with one of these personalilty types.  Big talking, big mouthed, better than you, etc.  You know the type.  

Why are there so many of these kinds of agents in our business?  It just seems so unprofessional to me that agents would act in this manner.  Certainly there is nothing I can do to change these people.  But the purpose of this article is to see what your experiences are with them and how you deal with them.

Let me give you an example:

I was working with a buyer last month and we ended up writing a full price offer on this great home and got it under contract.  No issues with seller's agent yet.

Went to inspection...most everything was good, but the home desperately needed a coat of exterior paint.  The siding material is Masonite and you probably know that if you don't keep paint on it, it starts to bubble up and get wrecked, and that was exactly what was happening here.  

We got 2 bids for exterior painting....they averaged out to $4000.  So we asked for a $4000 reduction in price to deal with the issue...we didn't ask for ANYTHING else, though there were plenty of other little things that needed to be done.  We showed the seller's agent the bids with our inspection objection notice.

All the sudden I get a phone call from the seller's agent.  He isn't happy, not one bit.  "NO ONE IS GOING TO SC*** OVER MY CLIENT!  WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?  I DON'T HAVE TO DEAL WITH YOU!  I AM GOING TO RECOMMEND TO THEM TO REJECT YOUR OFFER OUT OF HAND!!!"  I told him calmly that my client was not asking for anything cosmetic, that it really was something that needed to happen and soon, and that he wouldn't proceed without the reduction.  His response: "TELL YOUR PIECE OF **** CLIENT THAT HE CAN SHOVE IT UP HIS ***, GOOD LUCK FINDING HIM SOMETHING ELSE BECAUSE THERE IS NO WAY WE ARE BENDING OVER AND TAKING IT FROM YOU, YOU EXTORTIONIST!"

I responded by letting him know that all I was expecting him to do was take it to his client, and we will see what they said.  Him: "OH I WILL TAKE IT TO THEM, BUT YOU BETTER BELIEVE THAT THIS AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN".  I said ok, just let me know.

That evening, after being chewed out by this jackass, I got to thinking.  It really kind of ruined my day to have to deal with this guy.  He is an agent that has been selling real estate in this area for about 20 years.  I was really surprised with how our conversation went down.  So I figured I would call him back and tell him how I felt.  I called him and left him a voicemail, stating that I thought the way he treated me was rude and unprofessional, and that there was no need for him to act that way.  

The next morning, I got a profusely apologetic phone call from him.  He said he lost his temper, he didn't explain why, but he made sure I understood that he really truly was sorry.

That afternoon, I got an email from him.  Guess what was in this email?  The seller had signed our inspection objection.  We got the $4000 off and got to closing.  I just smiled.  

Would love to hear about some of your experiences with "EGO Agents!"



Ben Blonder



Posted by



Ben Blonder

Owner/Managing Broker, Kapital Real Estate Inc

Office: 970-797-2190

Cell: 970-420-6166

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Comments (40)

Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Of all the things in this world I disdain it is egocentric arrogant agent is my biggest challenge!

Sep 07, 2013 10:30 PM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Make this post members only as the public gets the drift, scent and our image nationally could use some jacking up. Not lowering. There is a reason public opinion is what it is, where we are on the ladder around the used car salesmen. And we don't help ourselves pointing out the good, bad, the ugly every industry has. Work with what you have for agents, brokers and keep it professional. Think closing, no matter how you have to get to one for your buyers, sellers. List, market, sell (repeat).

Sep 07, 2013 11:14 PM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

In 24 years of real estate and over 2000 sales I have never encountered anything as severe as you describe. The law of averages say that there will always be one in a crowd, but from ego perpective I believe there is a bit more subtlety to it. The typical ego problem when it occurs is when someone say, "I have been in this business for 20 years and that is not the way it is done". Often, they are incorrect about their assumption and are not willing to listen to not only me but also their broker and the real estate commission. When we shut down negotiations because it has to be our way then our ego is a problem. FYI, in Oklahoma this is not an inspection requirement and would only be required as an appraisal issue. I would try to work with you about this and it would depend on what my sellers could afford and the original price we negotiated. Alway keep the dialogue going.

Sep 07, 2013 11:39 PM
Ed & Tracy Oliva
West USA Realty - Arizona - Fountain Hills, AZ
The Oliva Team Arizona Agents

Good Morning:  EGO Agent!!  some good and some bad,   keep up the good work and good luck with your business,  E

Sep 07, 2013 11:40 PM
Jennifer Monroe
Compass - Charlotte, NC
Real Estate REALTOR®/Broker/Designer

Wow! I love that you called and let him know that his conduct was unprofessional. I do not suffer fools or anyone who behaves badly. I was at an event recently and ran into an ego agent who had recently treated my new neighbors unethically with their purchase. I didn't care that it was in a social setting - I just told her that I was shocked that she would consuct herself so unprofessionally. She nearly dropped her glass of wine. But I held her gaze and didn't move until she responded to me. I hold everyone in our professional accountable. If we don't insist on better standards with one another, we'll all look like shady car salesman.


Sep 08, 2013 12:18 AM
Jean Jannopoulo
Love where you live - Sarasota, FL
Bright Realty

We seem to have a different sort of ego agent around here, more often the quietly arrogant type, who make me wonder how they got buyers and sellers in the first place. I've been told a variety of things by these "better" agents like: "I don't go to inspections I'm too busy; I don't waste money on photography on homes less than..; I can't meet you while the inspector is there because I'm out shopping; I don't return calls from buyers in a price range below..., etc."  I often wonder what cocktail parties these agents go to in order to get these referrals... as they apparently have time for that.

Sep 08, 2013 12:19 AM
Mitch Muller - Charlotte NC Real Estate
ProStead Realty Charlotte, NC CRS SRES - Charlotte, NC
Certified Residential Specialist

Ben, we have a couple of those around here that have been in the business forever. You wonder how!

Sep 08, 2013 12:29 AM
Jeff Stevens
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Mexico Properties - Las Cruces, NM
Jeff Stevens, Associate Broker/REALTOR

Ben - Wow! This Ego Agent just got served! Thanks for sharing. Whether he was having a bad day or not is no excuse for that behavior.  Great post. We have to just rise above people like this. You did the right thing.  

Sep 08, 2013 12:45 AM
Raymond Denton
Homesmart / Evergreen Realty - Laguna Beach, CA
Laguna Beach Realtor

You handled it well, Ben.  I wonder how I would have handled it?  I don't think it would have been as elegantly as you.

That type of Agent is what the general public sees - and the image gets passed to the rest of us.

Sep 08, 2013 12:49 AM
Suzanne Otto
Six Twenty Designs - Lansdale, PA
Your Montgomery County PA home stager

More like a case of dual personalities. He had absolutely no reason to flip out on you like that. Ridiculous.

Sep 08, 2013 01:25 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

My friend, there go I but for the grace of God..Is that what I looked like and sounded are often my thoughts...Whoa

Sep 08, 2013 01:49 AM
Ben Blonder
Broker/Owner, Keller Williams - Fort Collins, CO
Buyers, Sellers, Investors!

Thanks for all the great responses!  I really appreciate all your comments.  

Someone nailed it above....WHY be adversarial?  It just doesn't make any sense at all.  The whole goal is to represent our clients, AS PROFESSIONALS, while always moving towards an amenable closing.  Too often, the ego gets in the way of a rational, civil interaction.  When I start to sense that happening, I take a step back and try to be the bigger man.  Certainly don't stoop to their level, as that would only escalate the situation.  

I also think some of this stems from our current practice of not looking each other in the eye or getting face to face.  In this day and age, with electronic contracts, scanning/PDF, etc, more often than not, we don't even get to shake the other agent's hand til the closing table, and sometimes not even then (there are those agents that don't even go to their own closings which blows my mind)!  I bet if the agents met face to face more often, especially if they have never done a deal together, there would be a much better chance of a friendly transaction.

Cheers, and happy FOOTBALL SUNDAY!  O and GO BEARS!



Sep 08, 2013 01:59 AM
Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease


Love how you handled this and addressed the bad behavior.  It's a shame you had to do it, but folks need to be reasonably called on it.  We all have our less than stellar moments, but we need to avoid this as much as possible.

All the best, Michelle

Sep 08, 2013 02:26 AM
Elizabeth Bouchard
Samson Properties - Arlington, VA
Associate Broker in Northern Virginia, DC and MD

I have always felt that being respectful and understanding can be a WIN-WIN for everyone.  The agents who push too hard thinking they are doing the best thing for their clients only serve to alienate the other side and make them want to be less cooperative.  Seems like basic negotiation 101 to me.

Sep 08, 2013 02:44 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

We probably all have a touch of the Ego agent in us when we get a bit of a curve thrown at us. I get my back up with some of the low ball offers, but after a cool down period, try to respond professionally

Sep 08, 2013 04:33 AM
David Shamansky
US Mortgages - David Shamansky - Highlands Ranch, CO
Creative, Aggressive & 560 FICO - OK, Colorado Mtg

That shows good character for you to reach back out to that A-hole and glad it worked out for you and your client. I would have been hard pressed not to turn him in for not even allowing his seller to see the counter and the way he acted WOW

Sep 08, 2013 05:02 AM
Kelly Cherry
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Keller Williams Preferred Realty

Great that he apologized to you as you definitely didn't need to be treated that way in the first place. Even if he was having a bad day, there is no need to speak to someone like that and in an unprofessional manner.  If he was in any other industry or a corporate world and spoke to a peer that way, he'd get an immediate speaking too from HR.  Glad you atleast handled it professionally and it's a good reminder to everyone that we should always speak to others as we would want to be spoke to! Thanks! 

Sep 08, 2013 05:06 AM
Andrew Payne Realtor® Richmond VA Homes For Sale~804-938-5257~
Piedmont Real Estate - Richmond, VA
Richmond, VA, Real Estate, SRES®, NAR Green
That listing agent may have been venting about something that had nothing to do with you. He could have had an argument with his spouse or boss that morning. However, at least he apologized later when you called him on it. Unfortunately, some agents never apologize for anything.
Sep 08, 2013 05:49 AM
Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940

I had to deal with a big ego and very hard working and successful agent in the Springs years ago.

I had heard stories of how he could be shall we say... vocally suggestive.

At our inspection we found some major issues.  I took clear color 8 1/2 x 11 photographs and attached to the Buyers Inspection Addendum. 

When I met with him, for about 30 seconds his chest puffed out and he was getting ready to be defensive...and then he flipped to the photos...flipped back to the Addendum and said something to the effect of "I will have this signed by this evening."

The photos saved the day!!

Sep 08, 2013 07:16 AM
Jordan Gouger
Keller Williams Realty Inc. - Austin, TX
Helping you to achieve your housing goals!

I think you handled that situation quite well and didn't try fan the flames. I agree with what many other posters have said that acting as a professional is better than acting as a jerk. 

Sep 09, 2013 03:04 AM