I have been in the real estate business for a long time off and on, since the early 1970's. I have dealt with all kinds of buyers, sellers and agents. Very seldom over the years have I come across agents that have forgotten what integrity means and perhaps have little genuine skill with words so that no one gets insulted.
I am not a person who gets angry over stupidity and ignorance generally and in the instance I am about to give an example about is one where I did not say what I wanted and held my tongue for the sake of my seller.
I have a beautiful listing in a great neighborhood that is ten years old and was built by a prominent and respected builder in my city. It is presently vacant, so very easy to show. It is priced according to the market and is move in ready unless someone wants to personally make cosmetic changes. The present paint is very neutral and the carpet good quality. I always feel that if a buyer wants to change things in the interior house then that is their want and not a need.
An agent called me asking questions regarding the house and our very first conversation was that she felt the home was over priced, needed a lot of cosmetic changes, had a road on the side (that was very well buffered) which was noisy to her and also backed up to an apartment complex that was quiet and also was buffered. Would the sellers consider repainting the interior and recarpet the whole house. Really? I said no that is not something the sellers would contemplate and if buyers wanted that then they could do it on their own.
They wrote an offer, low balled it (of course) and asked for two thirds of their closing costs to be paid plus a home warranty. The agent wrote in her email to me she hoped the sellers realized that the home is overpriced, sits on the side of a road and backs to apartments, and the condition of home. That they should understand her comments and how the offer was still high given her comps. That they seem to have very unrealistic expectations which surprised her given their market history. Wow, never have I had an agent say this to me especially in an email.
I emailed her saying that one of the sellers was in England and would not be back until the weekend and I had no contact with the him and neither did his wife. They could not respond until then. She gave a one day response time at time of writing, so it expired, (and no extension from her). I did inform her explaining the situation in writing, expecting an extension. I had emailed all papers to the sellers when I received them, so the wife was aware. The sellers took a good look when he returned on the weekend but since it expired decided to not respond, plus they did not like the offer. It had expired with no extension and I heard nothing from the agent, although I was very clear when I replied saying I had received the offer. The agent then called 6 days later and wanted to know if the sellers would respond, knowing the offer had expired. I told her no it expired, and suggested that if her buyers wanted the house to write a new offer. This is all in writing, always in writing.
They did make another offer a week or so later, a little higher with huge closing costs. We went back and forth and the last counter they did was the almost the same as their previous counter with the exception of manipulating some of the numbers, the result was about $400 difference in net costs to the sellers. My sellers said absolutely no.
With each email to me she told me that the property was not worth it and the buyers needed the closing costs because "they wanted to repaint and recarpet". They did have enough money to pay closing costs actually but wanted to have extra money to make cosmetic changes. What a violation in ethics that was to her clients plus a disservice to them by telling me that piece of information. We are so glad to be rid of her because I am sure she would be a thorn in the side of the sellers the whole time especially when she said she and her clients were afraid that if any repairs came up they would have a battle with the sellers to get them done. This property is is great shape and if any repairs, they would be very minor which is no problem.
The property will sell, everything sells in its time. My sellers do not have to sell and do not need the hassel with an agent that does not know how to keep her mouth shut regarding private information of her clients plus insulting the listing agent and the sellers in the process. What would she divulge about the sellers or me for that matter.
Real Estate has changed for sure since I first got into real estate and so have a lot of agents that have forgotten what it is like to have couth and ethics. Please, it is just a small number that are that way but being bullied and essentially called uninformed is not something I take lightly and I did not disclose to the sellers her sentiments regarding the property, that would not have been a good thing during negoiations. I did tell her in a conversation afterward that I thought she should be more careful in what she disclosed to another agent regarding her clients and their personal finances, she did not understand. To me it was a violation of the privacy between agent and client their personal reasons for asking for something. I do not think so, to me it is not ethical. Just my take.