Real Estate Agent Memories are LONG
The topic I covered on my personal blog today was agent network and reputation. It was inspired by a buyer looking online for buyer agent recommendations because the one she had been working with wasn't getting the job done. How do you explain to a consumer what is important when choosing an agent? Competence is key. Negotiation skills are important. Probably most critical in a market with more buyers than homes is going to be agent network and reputation.
Great agents know the power of their network and their reputation. Their personal businesses may make them feel like islands, but no deal gets done without cooperation. And naturally agents will have preferences on who they work with, all else being equal. They will know which agents are likely to get a deal done without creating drama. They will know which agents know the contract and aren't going to make up rules as they go along. Likewise, they know the agents that have wronged them in the past.
Today, the agent with the most egregious wrong that I have ever had happen to seller clients reached out to schmooze me about my latest listing. They have a buyer who is interested and would love to work together again. Let me tell you what happened last time we worked together. He represented himself in a purchase of my short sale listing. When approval from the banks had been delivered and all of his contingencies had been removed and three extensions to settlement date been given totaling sixty to ninety days worth of extra time, he defaulted on the contract when he couldn't get financing approval. When the earnest money was to be liquidated to my sellers, per the contract, he refused to sign the release. And his brokerage, who employed him, refused to release the EMD that they were holding and did not even send it to the courts when there was a lawsuit filed as state regulation says they should have. This agent delayed the court proceedings until my clients were out of the country and unable to attend the hearing. Eventually, his broker released the EMD to him. It was maddening when he was so blatantly in default and it was clear my clients were entitled to the money.
Yeah, this guy wants to get into a deal with my latest sellers. The only good news there is that he is not representing himself, but I've seen how he does business. That and he works for a different brokerage now, but I doubt he has personally changed his stripes. He makes up the rules as he goes along. When I tell my sellers that story, do you think they will even consider any offer he has on the table?
Agent reputation can help you or it can bury you.