Acting Like the Principal

By
Real Estate Agent with Utah Homes 9334967-SA00

We are agents.

We act on behalf of our clients to promote their interests.

If we were the principal, without agents, we could act for ourselves.

When we are agents for the principal we hope to protect our client as well as broker the best deal.

In the end, the principal decides.

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Sometimes agents act like the principal.

How?

Jane is a buyer's agent.

Jane is advised to offer $20k below list price.

Jane gives an assessment that may include all sorts of advice and strategy.

Jane's client hears Jane's advice and says, "I still feel good about the $20k below offer."

Jane sends in the offer to agent Jill.

Jill calls Jane and says, "This is not realistic. My client will never accept this offer."

Jane says, "Have you submitted the offer?"

Jill says, "No. Is this the best you can do? My client will flipout when he see's this. I don't even want to present it."

Jane asks, "Has your client given you written instructions to not receive offers that are less than full price?"

Jill says, "No. But don't worry. I'll send in the offer. But it's going to be rejected."

---

Sometimes agents act like the principal.

No. We don't like to deliver bad news.

No. We don't like our clients to be unrealistic.

Yes. We wish our clients would fully understand the consequences of some actions to a greater extent than we seem to be able to communicate.

Still. If we do not have written authorization to the contrary, or are not a principal to the transaction, we are not able to act like the principal.

We are agents.

We seek to represent our clients in their wishes. In this venture we protect their information and we work to find them the best solutions.

---

Chuck Willman is a family man who also helps clients, sell and buy properties for their own purposes or as an investment.

He can be reached at chuck@UtahHomes.me

Interested in what's available in Utah: www,UtahHomes.me

 

Comments (13)

Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I don't get much of that locally because in my state any written offer must be presented as a matter of license law.  I have presented offers where the seller got totally flipped out and mad at me for the offer when there wasn't a thing I could do but present it. That however, is just part of the job of being an agent.

May 08, 2015 07:30 AM
Chuck Willman UtahHomes.me
Utah Homes - Alpine, UT
Utah Homes

Tammy Lankford yep... "Present all offers" is the rule. I think I spend more time discussing agency with my clients more than almost any other aspects of real estate. 

May 08, 2015 07:37 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

When I list a house I generally tell people if I get a written offer of two chickens and goat I have to present it.  We're still in a buyers market and get low ball offers frequently that upset sellers. 

May 08, 2015 07:56 AM
Chuck Willman UtahHomes.me
Utah Homes - Alpine, UT
Utah Homes

Tammy Lankford I like that one 

Yes, it's a part of the job. I did have one seller who gave me written instructions to reject all offers that were below a certain value. This I did not ask for but he, a former agent, didn't want to have to bother with certain offers.

May 08, 2015 09:29 AM
Jill Murty, Realtor - Orange County, CA
Sunset Properties, Powered by Movoto - Laguna Niguel, CA

Chuck Willman - When I read the title of your blog post, I couldn't help but think of my elementary school principal who wore light blue polyester leisure suits and shiny white slip-on shoes.  That was a weird tangent...

To me, acting like the principal in a real estate transaction is treating the property transaction as though it's your own.

May 08, 2015 01:34 PM
Jill Murty, Realtor - Orange County, CA
Sunset Properties, Powered by Movoto - Laguna Niguel, CA

When I receive a stupid low offer on a listing, the first things I think of are:

1. If an agent asks if I have offers on the property, I can say yes.

2. If I receive another offer, I can respond with a multiple counter offer.

3. Sometimes buyers make low offers to confirm their fantasy price is unavailable and then get real when they receive a counter offer, though most walk away.

May 08, 2015 01:40 PM
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Chuck - Although we all know what we are supposed to do as agents, I run into this issue all the time with other agents who act as though they are the principal. They want to make all the decisions for their buyer or seller clients, and it frustrates me to no end.

Just because we are supposed to present all offers, I know there are agents out there that do not. I also know of other agents who will only show homes if the commission split is at least a certain percentage. I also know of agents who tell their clients how much to offer, how much to accept, or whether to accept the offer or not. To me, it is not our decision as the agent.

May 08, 2015 02:31 PM
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

I've submitted offers so low the sellers would not even submit a counter.  I've had the sellers also say they would not accept an offer from the buyers regardless even if they offered a price over list.  True story.  Anyway you must submit the offer with no comment to the other agent.   That's my 2 cents worth

May 08, 2015 08:23 PM
Chuck Willman UtahHomes.me
Utah Homes - Alpine, UT
Utah Homes

Jill Murty, Realtor - Serving Orange County, CA confession time. Every time I hear the word "principal" I'm tempted to think back on the many school principals I've had. Some still frighten me while others provide me with some tresured comic relief of respect for how much they cared about the students.

And... yes- every strange offer is a chance for better negotiation- it all begins with an offer after all.

 

May 09, 2015 03:03 AM
Chuck Willman UtahHomes.me
Utah Homes - Alpine, UT
Utah Homes

Troy Erickson you've touched upon the thing that made me want to write this. As agents, we're in the same boat. We don't want our clients to work against themselves but we also need to ALWAYS remember to be the agent and not step over the line. Sure, we sometimes meet those who do, and it can be frustrating. The other thing you mention, agents who are swayed by commission, I wish they'd be able to vanquish every self-interested notion from the process. It creates needless blind spots in the transactions.

May 09, 2015 03:06 AM
Chuck Willman UtahHomes.me
Utah Homes - Alpine, UT
Utah Homes

James Dray That has happened to me before. I've had more than one client say, "this is not a person I'd ever sell my home to." I know this sounds petty but one client put it this way. "I can't let a person like that become my neighbor's new neighbor."

May 09, 2015 03:07 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi Chuck - I remember as as brand new agent, I presented an offer in person to the listing agent(the seller was out-of-the-country) who laughed at my offer and told me it was ridiculous.   It was less than list price but not unrealistic in my opinion given market conditions.   No counter offer.  

And that house sat on the market for a few more weeks until the listing was canceled.  It sold years later.  With a different listing agent.  And at a realistic price.

May 09, 2015 01:02 PM
Chuck Willman UtahHomes.me
Utah Homes - Alpine, UT
Utah Homes

There are those cases, aren't there Michael Jacobs 

I was given very good advice when I first got started, it was: always thank an agent for their offer- even if it looks silly. We tend to work with each other down the road. And... there should never be baggage with an agent ... we're made of better stuff than that.

May 10, 2015 03:05 AM

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