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A Referral . . . With Specifics

Industry Observer with RETIRED / State License is Inactive Inactive License Oregon

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The other day I had a lead but, unfortunately, I could not accommodate that particular buyer.  They wanted to look in Washington state.  Although a hop, skip and a jump from my Portland Metro real estate market base, I'm not licensed in Washington.

There's an agent that I've referred to before and I reached out to inquire if they were interested.  They were, so I prepared the referral agreement with SPECIFICS on the potential buyer.  They were relocating and going to be in town March, 7-11 and would be available to go on a few tours March 8, 9 and 10.

The dates were clearly indicated on the referral agreement, which was signed by the agent accepting the referral.

Referral as Marketing

Yesterday, the referred agent cc's me on an email to the buyer and lets them know that she's going to be out of town on those dates.  

I was mortified!

Referral as marketing -- absoultely!   This was more than "just" a referral.  Think of it this way, when you can provide customer service to someone on any number of real estate services, that's marketing your services to someone . . . who, might turn around and recommend one of their friends or family members your way!  The customer care should be flawless, IMHO.

Immediately upon reading how the agent was going to be "unavailable" during the time the buyer would be in town, I found another agent (also with whom I've referred).  They ARE going to be in town!!

The buyer was pleased, and thanked me for providing another resource.  They contacted the second agent right away.  

It would have been one thing had I not been specific to the dates of arrival.  But, dates were clear in the referral agreement under "Relevant Information/Notes".  I can't imagine a buyer preparing to come in to town, with a $650K (up to) budget, and then being blown off.

Oh, well . . . I guess the old saying is:  


Here today . . . gone to Maui!

Posted by



Carla Muss-Jacobs has RETIRED effective May 1, 2018

Representing Buyers in the Portland Metro Real Estate Market | Clackamas Multnomah and Washington Counties | Since 1999

Carla Muss-Jacobs, REALTOR®, ABR, CEBA, ePro
Principal Broker/Owner ~~ INACTIVE

Carla Muss-Jacobs' retirement became effective May 1, 2018

Direct: 503-810-7192 


All Rights Reserved © 

Liz and Bill Spear
Transaction Alliance 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
Transaction Alliance Cincinnati & Dayton suburbs

D'oh!! If an emergency came up that put me in breach of my original commitment, I'd at least be looking for another agent that could cover (assuming the referring agent was receptive).  Bill

Feb 22, 2017 04:13 PM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED

Agents have no control on whom the buyers select to work with.  I tossed out a referral, but it didn't sound as if it were going to stick.  I wouldn't say it was a breach, just not very customer service for my taste.  

Feb 23, 2017 09:43 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Carla

Uh, oh! BIG oops on the part of the who never should have accepted that referral knowing those dates would not work.

Glad it worked out after all but what a nuisance!


Feb 22, 2017 04:19 PM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED

My thinking is that buyers are making plans to come out.  Thought they had an agent at the ready.  Oops is right.

Feb 23, 2017 09:44 AM
Lynnea Miller
Bend Premier Real Estate - Bend, OR
Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon

That was one very unprofessional act on the part of your first referred to agent. Contratulations on finding a replacement that quickly.

Feb 22, 2017 04:21 PM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED

Lynnea Miller -- imagining that I was the buyers who made plans, thought they had an agent lined up, and then . . . didn't.  That made me feel for them,

Feb 23, 2017 09:46 AM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

That was an acceptance for greed thinking they could do what they wished.  You were lucky to find a responsible agent to attend to that client

Feb 22, 2017 06:26 PM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED

I believe you are correct Ed Silva 

Feb 23, 2017 09:47 AM
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Carla. What a close call this was. I can't believe the agent accepted the referral knowing the dates and then blew them off.

Feb 23, 2017 07:00 AM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED

I just put myself in the shoes of the buyers, they are making plans and need the least possible upsets.   Sheila Anderson 

Feb 23, 2017 09:49 AM
Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Tampa, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Tampa Home Buyers

You never know the quality of those you refer business to...and then there are the greedy ones who try not to pay the referral fee.


Feb 28, 2017 10:20 AM
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

YIKES...The world does not revolve around an agent...but some of them think it does...bye bye referral source !

Mar 06, 2017 03:16 AM