Real Estate Agent Memories are LONG

Real Estate Agent with Long and Foster Real Estate VA License # 0225089470

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.  

Comments (19)

Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Chris Ann,

And they (whoever they may be) say that elephants have long memories.  True for humans and elephants.  Happy Saturday.  A

Jan 23, 2021 11:21 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

You never forget someone who does something despicable.

Jan 23, 2021 12:08 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Hi Chris Ann, I have run into this type of agent in the past and Ms Banana remembers how badly things went.  I would also let the sellers know the 'story' and it's up to them if they want to jump on it. Highly doubtful my sellers would, as they trust my judgement.  Now......if the market wasn't so hot and homes were on the market for months and months, that might be a different story. Again, I doubt it, but who knows.

Jan 23, 2021 11:50 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

If it were tough to get an offer, it would be a totally different story Anna Banana Kruchten CRS CRB, Phoenix Broker .  We'd be talking about how to protect my sellers against what might transpire.  In the case of multiple offers, if I were this guy, I would have had someone else in my office write up the offer.

Jan 23, 2021 12:07 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker

Of course we'd have to do the best we could to hole up the dike.  I had an agent who submitted a good offer on a short sale...and then they canceled half way through the deal.  About a year or so later she wanted to offer again on another short sale.  Hmmmmm  I think not! The probability of her actually getting to close was slim to none.

Jan 23, 2021 12:51 PM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Hate to hear these stories. I'm always disappointed how some people conduct themselves. Fortunately, it's not the majority. D

Jan 23, 2021 12:40 PM
Chris Ann Cleland

Unfortunately Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD , the market hasn't chewed them up and spit them out yet.  How they remain in business is beyond me.

Jan 23, 2021 01:41 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Estate Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Chirs Ann,  Let's hope your sellers won't entertain an offer from that person. Like a snail walking across the pavement leaving a snotty trail behind ... so do people with their not so good or professional ways.  There are consequences ... now it's time the real price gets paid ... no deal! 

Jan 23, 2021 01:13 PM
Chris Ann Cleland

Great analogy Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist .

Jan 23, 2021 01:42 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good afternoon Chris Ann Cleland ,

Ah...yes...I can relate. I've had a couple like that and I have a long memory! Its a good thing there are so many wonderful agents out there to work with..I always view agents as my long term clients. I'll be working with them long after my sellers have left.

Jan 23, 2021 02:13 PM
Chris Ann Cleland

I was hoping this one would have the common sense to never darken my door again.  In all honesty, Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR , he should be more self-aware and maybe have another agent be the front person for this operation.  Oh well.  There are plenty of awesome agents bringing great offers so it will likely not be an issue.

Jan 23, 2021 03:10 PM
Brian L. Sirota, Esq.
Bristar Realty (Realtor/Attorney) - Orange, CA
For Solutions: (714) 501-7660

Chris Ann,

The shameless audacity of coming back to the table.... 

Jan 23, 2021 03:37 PM
Chris Ann Cleland

If it were me, I'd send in another agent to front the job Brian L. Sirota, Esq.   There was one agent that had a personal beef with me in the market and whenever one of her listings became a possibility (while she was still upset) I would have another agent on standby to write up the offer.  

Jan 23, 2021 07:55 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Chris Ann Cleland - This is so true!  You never forget.  My area is small and you are dealing with the same agents and brokers over and over.  But knowledge is power. 

Jan 23, 2021 05:06 PM
Chris Ann Cleland

Sheri Sperry - MCNE® --Of course, most times you only need to see how an agent writes an offer, and if they followed the very clear bread crumbs you gave them.

Jan 23, 2021 07:56 PM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I have told sellers of mine such stories about different agents and they have never wanted to proceed with an offer based on what they have heard, haha.

Jan 24, 2021 05:11 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

Brian England --I had a personal disagreement with a local agent and if an offer ever needed to be made on her listing, I would have another agent front it for me.

Feb 01, 2021 03:20 PM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

I've long preached that agent reputation is a critical factor for themselves and their buyers.  Karma sucks... and bites.

Jan 24, 2021 09:55 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

And self-awareness is critical Carol Williams .  He seemed oblivious that I may never recommend an offer he wrote based on past experience.

Feb 01, 2021 03:21 PM
Rocky Dickerson
Realty One Group - Las Vegas, NV
Superior Service!

Good morning Chris Ann Cleland wow. Just wow. May be the worst story I have ever heard of the wrong way to do business. I don't blame you for acting like he is radioactive. Stay away.

Jan 26, 2021 06:36 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

Rocky Dickerson --Ultimately, it would have been my sellers decision, but I would never withhold the whole tale from them.  

Feb 01, 2021 03:22 PM
Adam Feinberg
Elegran - Manhattan, NY
NYC Condo, Co-op, and Townhouse Advisor

I bought my apartment approximately 15 years ago. I was a 1st time homebuyer at the time- but grew up watching This Old House. While I was buying in a new construction apartment building - some of the leasons learned from watching the PBS home improvement shows stuck and I was asking questions that were well thought out. The problem was that the agent didn't even understand the questions I was asking. I would have been ok if the agent had simply said- I don't know the answer, but I will get back to you...but that wasn't what happened. The agent (who had been quoted in the NY Times prior to me meeting her) didn't understand what I was asking. My questions were simple- but shocking that she didn't understand what I was asking- questions such as "does the apartment have multi-zone heating" (it was a duplex and I wanted to know if each level would have it's own zone); What is the R value of the insulation (again it's brand new construction- so not unreasonable to know); and a few other similiar questions. 


I ultimately bought the apartment in spite of the agent that represented me in the deal- but 15 years later I still resent her. I became an agent less than 5 years ago- but was already outselling her in my 3rd year. When I became an agent, I made a promise to myself to be nothing like the agent I bought my apartment from.

Long memory indeed.

Jan 27, 2021 01:07 PM
Chris Ann Cleland

My first agent experience buying my first place was also a lesson in what not to do Adam Feinberg .  I ended up firing her and hiring an agent from an open house.

Feb 01, 2021 03:23 PM
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

And it doesn't even need to be a big thing that the agent does. This week an agent told me "is that really my job" when I asked for certain information that my buyer needed in order to be able to make a decision.  He knew the rules in order to get an accepted offer for his client.  My answer, "its your buyer, you need to get the information for the seller." Just that attitude, as if I should do the work for his buyer, just put me off. 

Jan 27, 2021 01:15 PM
Chris Ann Cleland

Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor® --It's really something to have such high levels of professionalism like we find  here on Active Rain, and then experience that in our local markets.  And sadly, I see that attitude more times than I care to think about.  Usually try to educate them from a kind place, but sometimes that well is dry.

Feb 01, 2021 03:24 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Chris Ann:

We have all likely had an experience or two...hopefully rare...with agents we do not trust and hope to not have our buyers or sellers have to deal with. Reputation IS important...and of course not just in our business but in general.


Jan 27, 2021 08:08 PM
Chris Ann Cleland

Reputation can kill your business or make it the best in town.

Feb 01, 2021 03:25 PM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

It seems the problem may very well have been his previous broker as well. His current broker may not play the same games, but i totally agree, once bitten twice shy and his reputation preceedes him.

Jan 28, 2021 08:07 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 --Rule #1 of getting a seller into any dealing with him at the helm of a buy side would be making sure the EMD was being held my company or the title company.

Feb 01, 2021 03:26 PM
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® 240.593.2860 - Silver Spring, MD
Fluent in Real Estate & German, M.A. ABR ASP CIPS

I have a short list of agents, Chris Ann, who IMHO should not be allowed to represent clients (in this industry) based on my interaction with them and the deals that almost didn't happen. Every time I see one of their names pop up on showing request, I immediately think uh-oh and hope that no offer will be forthcoming. Some of these go back 10+ years! 

On another note, it's upsetting to know that this happened to your clients - as if a short sale situation wasn't already tough enough. I sincerely hope that they found a beautiful new beginning overseas. 

Jan 29, 2021 07:42 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

I often think about them Andrea Bedard and wonder how they are doing.  We did get them a buyer for their home and wrapped it up quickly, but they struggled to let go of the wrong done to them in this deal.

Feb 01, 2021 03:27 PM
Brad Thomsen
Big Bear Realty - Edmonds, WA
Real Estate Services

Hi Chris Ann Cleland 

Deals get ugly.

Resolving the messes are often uglier.

It's business.

Best wishes out there.

Happy Selling!


Jan 30, 2021 05:05 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

And in this case, there was never a resolution suitable for my sellers.

Feb 01, 2021 03:27 PM
Scott Seaton Jr. SLS Home Insp
SLS Home Inspections-Kankakee Will Iroquois Grundy Counties - Bourbonnais, IL
The Home Inspector With a Heart!

That's one dumb agent. That stain will follow him for a loooooong long time. You are not the only one he's done this to, I'm sure.

Jan 31, 2021 05:14 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector --Honestly, I might be the only one that held his feet to the fire and had my sellers call the financing contingency because I could tell where it was headed.  I think too many listing agents in our local market play it loose and their sellers get burned when the stuff hits the fan.

Feb 01, 2021 03:28 PM
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

When I've had a questionnable experience with an agent, it's not to my client's best interest to ignore that previous engagement.

Feb 03, 2021 09:41 AM