Listing Agents Should NEVER be the Reason Why the Buyers Cancel the Contract

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cam Realty and Property Management

Listing Agents Should NEVER be the Reason Why the Buyers Cancel the Contract

Home sellers rely on the listing agents they hired to get their homes sold to properly market and coordinate the transaction and take them to the closing table as quickly as possible netting the most money they can.

Some listing agents, however, cross the line with their actions and costing their seller clients to lose the deal. I don’t think they even realize how they conduct themselves can be annoying to the buyers so much so that they want to walk away. Well, it happens..Not often thank goodness, but it happens.


I’m working with buyers who outgrew their home and contacted me to help them their next home with more room than they currently have. They were pre-approved prior to our search for a home, after seeing several homes, they decided to make an offer on a home they really liked. The home looked really good from the outside and the inside. They were excited when their offer was accepted as there were multiple offers.
I just knew this wasn’t going to be a smooth transaction on day one when I called to schedule our showing, same goes with getting all the papers signed. There were many red flags but I just kept my mouth shut and bit my tongue several times.

I scheduled the inspections and was there with my buyers, listing agent showed up about fifteen minutes after our arrival. This agent didn’t hold back from conversing with the inspectors, the buyers, and the appraiser. The appraiser was also told to come during the time the inspectors were scheduled to be there by the listing agent..BIG MISTAKE!
I walked outside when the appraiser arrived, one of the buyers and the listing agent were inside the home. I won’t share all the details but the appraiser was less than pleased.

I can not tell other agents how to do their job, that’s really not my place but here are some things I personally do not do;


-Contact the buyer’s lender to find out information
-Show up and stay through the inspections and ask too many questions
-Talk about myself and how great I am
-Talk about what a great deal they’re getting
-Talk about the sellers
-Ask for unnecessary documents from the listing agents

When representing the sellers as their listing agent, I work as a team with the buyers’ agents to ensure we get to the closing table. You might think, what’s the big deal, just ignore the agent who doesn’t know when to stop but see, this time, the buyers witnessed the behavior and were not very happy. Not all buyers care but some do. As a seller, can you afford to take that chance?

Listing Agents Should NEVER be the Reason Why the Buyers Cancel the Contract


Comments (36)

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

It's absolutely ridiculous. Controlling behavior often unravels deals and friendships.  The only thing I would do, with permission from both buyers and their agent, is contact a lender to check out well they were vetted...and that would be in the very early stages. After that, we each do our jobs and stay out of each other's way.  Cooperating all the way, of course. 

Apr 12, 2019 09:51 AM
Beth Atalay

Hi Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, you do things the right way. The key is "with permission", I would never even think about calling the buyer's lender to see if they qualify more. That's a big NO. 

Apr 12, 2019 12:22 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Beth:

Wow that is quite  story. Too bad for the sellers to have their agent acting in ways that jeopardized the transaction, and behaving inappropriately.


Apr 12, 2019 12:18 PM
Beth Atalay

Jeff Dowler, CRS, I agree with you, unfortunately, this type of agents exist.  

Apr 12, 2019 12:23 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, CRB, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

OH Beth Atalay this is such a good post and it needs to be shouted from the roof tops! I've had a couple of cross sales with other the top LA's and I will do my best never to work with them again, if at all possible. If I need to - I will and know what to expext. The latest one was so controlling is was beyond nuts....all for what?  I don't get it. It's so unprofessional.

Apr 12, 2019 12:21 PM
Beth Atalay

Hi Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, it is very unprofessional indeed. You can not change the way they act. I'm like you, do my best to avoid these type of agents but it's not about me so when a buyer wants to see one of their listings,I cross my fingers and go for it.

Apr 12, 2019 12:34 PM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
A moving experience!

Consumers don't understand how important it is to have an agent who has a good working relationship with the real estate community.

Apr 12, 2019 01:03 PM
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Even with 6000+ agents in my market, it's really a small world.  The reality is a small group of agents do MOST of the work, and we'll cross paths again.  And it's easier to cross paths again IF the other agent doesn't overstep their boundaries the first encounter. 

Apr 12, 2019 04:20 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Wheres the love?

Apr 13, 2019 05:31 AM
Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

So true, Beth. I just had a listing agent call my buyer's lender seeking information. My buyer was livid. I called to see if she needed something. She said, "No, I was just making sure your buyer was qualified." What? The lender didn't give information, and he shouldn't have.

Apr 13, 2019 05:32 AM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

A listing agent has a responsibility to make sure the seller has a successful closing. Sometimes it seems that some agents are either hardly involved or overly involved. 

It is frustrating for other agents as well as the consumer.

Thanks for bringing to light so we can all be reminded that we can mess up a deal by OUR actions.

Apr 13, 2019 05:40 AM
Graziella Bruner
NCS Premier Real Estate - Detroit, MI
Associate Broker - Serving Wayne & Oakland County

wow and wow again, I just don't understand the behavior part.  Like you stated, we're suppose to be on the same team, getting our clients to the closing table.  They will get theirs.  Your behavior and character will always catch up to you.

Apr 13, 2019 08:18 AM
Anne Corbin
Long and Foster - Lake Anna - Spotsylvania, VA
Serving Lake Anna & Central Virginia

I've been in your shoes before. You know as soon as the ink is dry on the contract that the deal is going to be a challenge because of the listing agent. I cringe when I look at listings and see a name I don't wanna work with. Silent prayer that the buyer doesn't want that one!! LOL

Apr 13, 2019 09:15 AM
Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

I like the way you think!

Home sellers rely on the listing agents they hired to get their homes sold toproperly market and coordinate the transaction and take them to the closing table as quickly as possible netting the most money they can.

Apr 13, 2019 09:49 AM
Clay R. Seay
Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage - Saint Augustine, FL

I guess I am a rule breaker. I did have to call one the buyers lender one time, turns out the buyer had requested the lender to stop processing their loan. No one knew. The seller collected the full escrow for default of the buyer. Then of course, I have never missed an inspection. Regardless of which side,I earn my commission by attending all inspections. As the listing agent, I meet Appraisers with CMA, copies of contact and property information that supports contact price. Each agent is different, but my job is to get to the closing table, regardless of the work ethic, manners, professionalism of the other agent or their clients, or the lack thereof.

Apr 13, 2019 01:06 PM
James (Jim) Lawson, DBA LLC - Bonita Springs, FL
Broker Associate, RSPS, BPOR, HI & PE

Unfortunately, in this business horror stories do happen and I've had my fair share too like you've had Beth. Makes me sometimes appreciate the rare situations when no buyer agents are involved. But that's another challenge too like walking a tightrope between the customers.

Apr 13, 2019 11:00 PM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Oh boy, we can all relate to this situation!  There are some listing agents that I don't ever want to work with again...but probably will have to.  The way the listing agent acts, treats you as a buyer agent, provides information on the home, responds to inquiries--says everything about how professional they are

Apr 14, 2019 02:23 PM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

It is surprising how often a deal falls apart because of the agents, quite a high number, as you say, we all know when there are going to be problems from the start.

Apr 15, 2019 10:05 AM
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty - Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

Beth, I can see many of us relate to your situation. It makes for a long haul to closing and can be downright miserable. Unfortunately, it happens more often than not in our industry. It's always such a pleasure when there's a true pro on the other side. I hope you get to closing and can be done with this agent very soon. 

Apr 16, 2019 05:07 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

That is a really interesting thought and insight Beth Atalay 

Apr 16, 2019 10:11 PM
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Beth.

I would have missed this one if Will Hamm had not re-blogged it.  Great read, thanks

May 08, 2019 01:59 AM
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Beth. This is so telling and so unnecessary. It is, in my view, just an ego trip. Too bad.

May 08, 2019 04:20 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Beth Atalay - OMG what a nightmare! Worst experience in 2019, no doubt! In TX agents can file an anonymous complaint. That Agent crossed the line and was not a cooperating Broker. What a sad chain of events and it was all so unnecessary. The other Agent needs to be booted off Real Estate Island and pay a penalty too. 

May 08, 2019 07:42 AM

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