Know When to Hold and When to Fold

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899

Last January I took a call from buyers looking for a home in Canyon Creek. They knew I listed and sold many properties in Canyon Creek therefore wanted to reach out to me. They saw on-line a new listing and wanted to see it.

I quickly made an appointment and showed it to them. It was an outstanding property, updated, with a pool and located in a quiet cul-de-sac. I knew it would receive lots of interest and offers. They wanted to make an offer but in their mind they felt certain property values were not going up but down (??). They wished to offer $30,000 less and reduce my commission. I explained the market, showed them comparable sold properties and pointed out the market was on the incline not decline. I explained I’m a full service agent and don’t discount my commission. They finally agreed to writing an offer for $7,000 less than asking which I told them would not be accepted but I would write it and submit.

I emailed the offer to the listing agent and just as I thought they had 3 other offers. I let the buyers know and they said they wanted me to rescind their offer because they felt I talked them into making an offer too high (??).

I followed their instructions and made a business decision I could not represent these buyers. When the house sold for $7,000 over asking price. I emailed, let them know and wished them good luck in their search for a home in Canyon Creek.

They found an agent who agreed to represent them for 1% and made offers on my listings during the spring and summer. Each time coming in as one of the lowest and not securing a home. Finally upon making a great over list offer on one of my listings they found themselves the winners of a home in Canyon Creek! After inspections they tried to recoup their over list offer by asking for an unreasonable number of repairs. My seller would not agree to their demands. It came down to the wire, but they accepted what my sellers were willing to repair, which was reasonable.

I was so thankful I cut these buyers loose last January. The buyer’s agent was run ragged for 7 months and all for 1%! The frustration and migraines the agent underwent was real.

Why am I thankful for making a business decision not to represent them?

  •         Time is not well spent working with clients that do not value my expertise
  •         I always make my clients a priority and expect the same in return.
  •         I work hard for my clients and do not discount my commission. I feel my value added experience is worth the commission I charge and am thankful many clients agree.
  •         It is not fair to my other clients to dilute my time with clients who are not respectful of my commitments.
  •         My belief in “what goes around, comes around” was strengthen by letting these clients go.


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Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager


Not all people are people worth working for. Maybe the 1% guy learned a lesson. Probably not, but hopefully.

Nov 17, 2020 07:25 AM #31
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hi Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, I love this post as all agents, especially the new ones can learn a lot from your experience. Never be afraid to let these type of buyers/sellers go.

Nov 17, 2020 01:35 PM #32
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Dorie, that is a great story! People like that are not worth the trouble. I don't trust that type client 

Nov 18, 2020 05:03 PM #33
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Amen and Amen!

Nov 18, 2020 07:42 PM #34
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Isn't that so liberating, Dorie?! I have done that before but, never had them come back to a listing that I had and won. I suppose 7 months to find a home, to them, felt 'normal' but, I'm confident they got a nice, repeating lesson on making an Offer in a hot, Austin market! 

Now, I'm curious how they are as neighbors?!! 😆 

Nov 18, 2020 08:00 PM #35
Susan McCall - - Compass Realty Solutions
Compass Realty Solutions - Portland, OR
Listing and Buyer's Agent

I just went down the proverbial rabbit hole on this one.  Spent some time researching his topic. In Oregon this is border line illegal and may come back to haunt the agent participating in this.  I would walk on this one also.  Not worth getting in legal trouble.

Nov 18, 2020 08:19 PM #36
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Especially in these times, we need to measure our options and enduring through it all

Nov 18, 2020 09:00 PM #37
Beth Paterson
Reverse Mortgages SIDAC, LLC, NMLS #1790592 - Saint Paul, MN
CRMP, NMLS #342859

Sounds like you made a wise decision. Sometimes it's best to "fire" a client or let them go so you can spend your valuable time with those who appreciate it and you.

Nov 18, 2020 09:20 PM #38
Kris Collis, Associate Broker
Smart Way America Realty - East Stroudsburg, PA
Professional Results you Expect 570-801-5525

Dorie, a great example of the wisdom and experience of a seasoned list agent who has continued to learn year after year.  You knew immediately what to do, fire them, and let the 1% buyers agent hopefully learn that lesson from their decision to work for thm.

Nov 18, 2020 11:18 PM #39
Chad Felter
Virginia Beach, VA
Providing service through out Hampton Roads

Bless your Heart.

Nov 19, 2020 04:46 AM #40
Peter Mohylsky. Beach Expert
PrimeSouth Properties - Santa Rosa Beach, FL

You got to know when to hold them.  Sometimes it hurts initially but the long term benefits will be obvious later on. 

Nov 19, 2020 08:35 AM #41
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

That's one of the hardest things to learn in real estate. But the sooner you make these types of decisions, the more time you will have with clients that appreciate you!

Nov 19, 2020 08:52 AM #42
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Wow you were able to follow them although not your clients--they got what they deserved!!  There are some people that are just in constant denial of the facts and don't trust agents who know what they are doing.

Nov 19, 2020 10:13 AM #43
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Dorie,

Our business model is a little schizophrenic for sure. We can work a 1,000 hours without getting paid for them. Minimum wage is $15 per hour now, so good to aim for that on average at least, so we can eat once in a while.

Nov 19, 2020 08:27 PM #44
Anne Corbin
Long and Foster - Lake Anna - Spotsylvania, VA
Serving Lake Anna & Central Virginia

I had to cut a seller loose recently. She changed her phone number and didn't let me know. She only had 2 showing requests (priced too high) from July to November and I couldn't reach her to set up the showing for either request. If I can't communicate with my client, I'm wasting my time.

Nov 20, 2020 07:05 AM #45
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR - I just emailed a buyer who I have been working with for 2 years from California.  He has watched one property after another slip from his grasp while the prices keep going up. The area he is looking at is 1 hour away from my main market of Sedona. After showing him 20 properties, I am done jumping through any more hoops. So I get it.  

Interesting about the commission... In my MLS the seller pays the commission for the buyer's agent so there is no negotiating on the commission. The only time it might be an issue would be on a FSBO.

Nov 20, 2020 08:38 AM #46
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

It doesn't happen often, but there have been a few times when I have had to do the same with mortgage clients too, Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR.   It remains one of the toughest decisions any professional must face, I think ...


Nov 20, 2020 09:58 AM #47
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

It is really nice when you reach the level of only working with referrals and not having to play the games agents play LOL.

Nov 20, 2020 10:22 AM #48
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Dorie:

I didn't realize I had read this post already when I saw your comment with your 3 challenge post here I am again. I enjoyed this made the right professional and personal decision for sure!


Nov 22, 2020 03:53 PM #49
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Bravo for defending your business standards Dorie and cutting loose those who do not respect that! 

Nov 25, 2020 07:35 AM #50
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Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR

Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate
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