In a blog last week, I detailed working with a very green agent who was trying to submit an offer on one of my listings. It took five days to get a worthy contract in our hands. That ended up being six versions of what ultimately became a sign-able contract. There was a little negotiation back and forth, but it was finally ratified.
Four days into the contract, the buyer's agent scheduled a home inspection. Three days later, she sent me a book of repairs. When she called to ask if I received it, I reminded her that the property was listed "as-is" and the seller was unlikely to do any repairs. She didn't know that. She hadn't read the listing thoroughly and had missed the "as-is" clause in the legal section of the listing. Therefore, her clients went into the deal thinking they could get anything and everything repaired with a simple request. They were wrong and it was their agent's fault.
The home inspection removal contingency addendum started another round of negotiations. My client has already given them a nice discount on price and closing costs assistance. Now, they were asking for another kidney to get the deal across the finish line. He made an offer that they rejected and the deal died.
My advice for new, green agents is this:
1. Read all documents thoroughly before submitting them to your clients or the other side of a deal. When you don't, it makes you look foolish. Make sure you understand them. If you don't, ask your broker. This isn't rocket science, but it is a legally binding situation which can ultimately come back to bite you or your clients.
2. Make sure you have all the right documents when you submit an offer or when you create a listing agreement. Again, the last thing you want is for your clients to wonder if they picked the right agent.
3. Find a mentor who will walk with you through your early deals. That may be, and probably should be, your broker, but at least find someone with a lot of experience who can help you know what docs you need for each circumstance. Learn the process of submitting offers before submitting offers. What you learned in your salesperson class does not prepare you for the activities of the business. That comes after you have your license. Find a mentor.
4. Always be gracious. If you want others to be patient with you, be gracious to others. One day, you'll be the experienced agent who is confronted with a green agent. Be kind, be patient and be helpful.
I feel badly for my sellers. Most of the hiccups in this transaction can laid at the green agent's feet. She made a lot of mistakes that cost her clients time, heartburn, and money and my client's time off the market.
Brokers, please make sure your newbies are ready for the game before you turn them loose on the world. No one in my office is allowed to submit an offer, sign a lease, or listing agreement, addendum or contract release without an office review. We've never had this happen, and hopefully it never will. A little oversight on a new agent's actions would have prevented this. And, as Paul Harvey would say, "Now you know the rest of the story . . ."