Why Do Buyers "Cheat" on their Agents?

Real Estate Agent with Edge Realty SA00078793


I'll just dive right in...  What's with the cheating?   I call it cheating because ..well..that's kind of what it is.   I read an article that talked about how the trending way to break off a friendship these days is to just abandon the friendship..slowly distance yourself and then stop returning phone calls and texts.  This sounded pretty familiar.  It reminded me of those ghostly buyers.  Even with an exclusive agreement, we know how things can play out.   Why is it so hard for us to be direct with each other when it comes to business relationships?   What a tough spot to be in....but it's our business! 

I don't know an agent alive that this hasn't happened to.  You've shown them 20+ homes, you've met their kids, their Grandma..heck, maybe you even watched their dog for them while they went out of town and then... "poof"..gone without a trace! (Except the pet hair) 

If you're anything like me, you start asking yourself questions like "did I do something wrong?" or "did they just not like me?" or the worst "was my work not good enough?" 

There are parts to this whole cheating thing that we must consider and accept.  

First, remember that you can't please everyone.  Maybe you didn't mesh with them.   I remember when I first accepted this...I would like to say it was when I was much younger but I would be lying!  It was about a year ago.  I had a listing appointment that I surely thought I had nailed.  The next day they inform me they decided on another agent.  Now, to the guys and gals that wear suits..don't take offense because I love you in your suits and you are rockstars.  Most of the time I wear Birkies, cotton and linen and I, too, think of myself as a rockstar..a nice, clean, hippie chic one.  They chose the rockstar suit.  I totally got it.  It's about meshing with the client...you're going to be working with them hand in hand and they've got to feel comfortable with you or it just won't work.   I accept this.  If I put on a suit and heels, I would wobble into the appointment like a baby giraffe and put off some sort of uncomfortable vibe...I'm sure it would be super awful.  You've got to look professional, of course, but be yourself at the same time.  I have friends that are more themselves in their suits and I have friends that are more themselves in their slacks and a nice clean shirt.  I'll get back on track now...

Second, take the dematerialized buyer as an opportunity to reflect on the quality of your work.  Everyone has room to improve and we learn valuable lessons from our mistakes.  Even take it a step further and see if you can get the buyer to at least give you some feedback.  Say something like "I know you wanted a round tub and I showed you a square tub ...could this be what ended our "Frealtorship" aka Friendship Realtor Relationship?"  Just kidding...don't ask that.  But seriously, if you can somehow get back in the buyer's graces and you feel comfortable talking about the awkward past, go for it.   I've done it and I was glad I did.  When you do this, you may even find out that they changed their mind entirely over nothing to do with you.   Maybe a career shift could've had a role...so many factors could happen and they just didn't know how to tell you after you worked so hard for them and they've just been avoiding the elephant!  See!  It wasn't you afterall.  

Third and lastly, no matter what..DO NOT BECOME DISCOURAGED!  My experience has taught me this... Remind your buyers throughout the process of looking that you are there for them..remind them of your worth and your abundance of knowledge!  (We do way more than trolling the lastest hot real estate website and looking at photos, getting that bunk estimate and clicking save cause you might want to buy it three months from now but you don't realize it's already been sold because the site is not syndicated with the MLS...ok, I'll get off my soap box..anyhoo....) We spend our hard earned income keeping up to date on the latest technology and education.  We have the tools and connections to take the absolute best care of our clients.  We are the Alpha and the Omega of Real Estate.  Show them!  Deliver! Stay with them and show them your loyalty and let them know that you expect the same! Buyers want to know they can count on you and more times than not, they need to hear it directly from you.  So tell them directly!  I say, up front, "If you are not satisfied with me, please don't cheat on me with another agent.  Be honest with me and tell me what I can do to help you more in this process and I will do it.  Finding you a home is important to me because it's important to you"  Let them know this as soon as you begin working together.  They will appreciate your honesty and concerns too!   

If anyone would like to add their advice, thoughts or share an experience it would be awesome! 








Comments (7)

Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Jennifer, true words! And no, I don't really know any real estate professional who trolls hot real estate sites... usually we find out about them from our buyers. I just think that in general there is very little loyalty from buyers and sometimes sellers, maybe we just make it look to easy?

Jan 10, 2018 06:29 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Jennifer, it is sometimes a huge mystery, especially when they rave about you and what you present.   Not a great feeling!  

Jan 10, 2018 06:34 PM
Jennifer Nickerson
Edge Realty - Jacksonville, AR
The Real Estate Mama

A absolute conundrum!   I've decided that I will not pull my hair out over this! LOL 

Jan 10, 2018 06:42 PM
Dinah Stallworth-Lewis
Priority Real Estate LLC - 318.332.8281 - Natchitoches, LA


A majority of us have been cheated on by our clients at one time or another.  It's not a good feeling when this happens, but I always think it was probably for the best.  I do not try to get them back.     We can't win over and keep all our clients, no matter how much we would like too or how hard we try.    I just feel like God is going to give me what's mine.   The clients he wants me to have, I get those and they are faithful.  I don't worry about the rest!  They were destined to find a new  soul mate...

You have a unique style of writing.  I enjoyed your post.

Keep blogging!

Jan 10, 2018 06:50 PM
Jennifer Nickerson
Edge Realty - Jacksonville, AR
The Real Estate Mama

I love that you mentioned God giving because I have always felt like I was connected to my clients for a reason.  I feel like I get the best!  Thank you so much and I'm glad you enjoyed! 

Jan 10, 2018 06:53 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

It's the rarest of times I've had that happen.  I think sometimes people just don't connect.  

Jan 10, 2018 08:15 PM
Edward Gilmartin
CRE - Boston, MA

Its a good idea to ask your customer why they cheated on you. Most are afraid to ask but it can be useful to know.

Jan 11, 2018 10:34 AM