Don’t Be A Scaredy Agent

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Rulnick Realty, Inc.


You’ve seen it before. The telltale sign of a scared agent. Scared of what? Their own customer.  Classic clues are:

Their contract is full of every contingency and additional term – to the point of extreme.

They won’t provide proof of funds for their customer and have an excuse.

They need the information for their buyer “ASAP!”

They ask for documentation and information for their buyer not pertinent to the sale.

Every demand is relayed without obvious reasoning.

What is going on? These agents are afraid of their clients (normally a buyer).  They don’t question. They “pass along”.  Why? They are hanging on to make the sale.  They fear the customer.

Scared agents are afraid to ask their customer “Why?”

Scared agents are afraid to make suggestions.

Scared agents are afraid to explain how their customer’s actions, contract, or requests will be perceived.

Scared agents are afraid to lose.

Scared agents are just… scared.

This is a disservice. It doesn’t help the customer win the sale. It doesn’t help further negotiations down the line. It makes it harder for the other agent to do their job.

This is normally a symptom of a newer agent (not always), an agent who “needs” business, an agent going into a different type of sales from what they are used to (commercial, residential), or an agent who is outside of his normal price range (usually higher).

What can a scared agent do?

Take a pause. You are in control of the transaction. You are a professional. You’re there to help your customer. That’s why they involved you in the sale. No matter how much reading your customer does about real estate, no matter how wealthy they are, no matter what profession they are in, no matter how pushy they may act, you are the boss. They have chosen to work with you.  You are worthy of respect, and they want your advice.  They don’t have to agree with it, but they will respect you back if you tell them:

“This is how adding so many contingencies may affect your chances of success.”

“Maybe it’s not a problem.”

“I think the seller may react xyz if we present it like this.”

“Proof of funds is required for me to present an offer.”

“Not in my experience.”

“That may not work.”

No one wants to work with a scaredy agent. Confidence stems from knowing your stuff. Confidence also comes from curiosity. Ask questions. Give advice. Take yourself out of your own mind. Laugh. Take a breath. And don't be frightened.



It's Wendy… It’s Sold!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call 850-259-0422
Email Wendy:

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, lists and sells real estate in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, 30A, Miramar Beach, Crestview, Sandestin, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Okaloosa Island, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Freeport, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Florida.

Parlo italiano.

Posted by

"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"

Wendy Rulnick, Broker/Owner Rulnick Realty, Inc.

Call Wendy Rulnick 1-850-259-0422

email property searches and community info

Wendy Rulnick helps real estate buyers and sellers on the Emerald Coast of Florida.

Rulnick Realty


Comments (34)

James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR

Morning Wendy,

 I also have been there, when I first started I had no clue on what was needed.  I did learn fast and the rest is history

Sep 09, 2021 12:25 AM
Wendy Rulnick

James Dray It's history - and you are Great at History!

Sep 09, 2021 06:14 AM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

As experience is gained in real estate, agents learn how to deal with these types of buyers, hopefully, haha.

Sep 09, 2021 05:24 AM
Wendy Rulnick

Brian England Hopefully - a lot of it is mind games!

Sep 09, 2021 06:14 AM
Don Baker
Lane Realty - Eatonton, GA
Lake Sinclair Specialist

I don't know that they are scared as much as I think they are unmentored and untrained.

Sep 09, 2021 08:53 AM
Wendy Rulnick

Don Baker That could surely be a contributing factor.

Sep 09, 2021 10:15 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

I've seen buyers with "analysis paralysis" and, yes, even agents. Scared is probably a good description.  Wendy Rulnick Good to see this post featured!

Sep 09, 2021 11:46 AM
Wendy Rulnick

Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400 It was one of those off-the-cuff things that wells up inside, as we discussed.  It had to come out!  Thank you😍

Sep 09, 2021 12:12 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

So many things in my career I have come my way from taking a few chances here andhere

Sep 09, 2021 09:32 PM
Wendy Rulnick

Laura Cerrano Now that would make a great blog post!

Sep 10, 2021 06:44 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Good Friday morning, Wendy.

Take care, be safe and have a great day.

Sep 10, 2021 03:55 AM
Wendy Rulnick

Roy Kelley Roy, Happy Friday!!

Sep 10, 2021 06:43 AM
Dan Hopper
Dan Hopper - Gold Way RE - Westminster, CO
Denver Broker / Real Estate Advocate

... great topic and lots of truth about the actions of a "scared" agent.  Great comments from the other AR members, too!  

Sep 10, 2021 06:33 AM
Wendy Rulnick

Dan Hopper Thank you! 

Sep 10, 2021 06:40 AM
Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Well said, Wendy. Buyers need honest compassionate and straight-forward agents. It helps them understand, and in this market, it helps them win. 

Sep 10, 2021 06:44 AM
Wendy Rulnick

Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD I really like your description of the type of agents buyers need!  All well said by you!

Sep 10, 2021 06:45 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Wendy Rulnick - I was very happy to see this post of your featured. You deserved it!

Sep 10, 2021 01:16 PM
Wendy Rulnick

Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP my heart. Thank you

Sep 10, 2021 01:56 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

As I was saying, in so many words, tenacity wasn't built in a day. Some great points

Sep 10, 2021 11:54 PM
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Wendy,

It might be helpful for such an agent to get more education. Once you are more secure about what is truly important and what is not, you can relax and pick your battles. For example, after an inspection there is no need to get into a fit about paint smudges, but the broken water heater should be addressed.

Sep 11, 2021 07:45 AM
Wendy Rulnick

Dorte Engel that is good, straightforward advice

Sep 11, 2021 08:08 AM
Joan Valverde
HomeSmart - Colorado Springs, CO
GRI,CDPE,CNE,MRP,SRES Colo Sprgs, Blk Forest, Monu

Hello Wendy,

You are spot on!  I try to tell my clients, both sellers and buyers, what to expect during the transaction BEFORE we begin.... to help set up the expectations.  Especially in our current market where things happen so quickly, they have to know the whys of what and why I need them to do, what to expect and why we have to act quickly in many situations.  I believe in setting them with reasonable expectations, it helps the transaction to go smoothly.  Scaredy cat agents react after the fact, instead of being prepared.  

Sep 11, 2021 12:27 PM
Wendy Rulnick

Joan Valverde You have all brilliant points, and well-said.  

Sep 11, 2021 12:56 PM
Lynn B. Friedman CRS Atlanta, GA 404-939-2727
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty - Love our Great City - Love our Clients! Buckhead - Midtown - Westside - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Wendy Rulnick 
Wonderfully presented ideas about professionalism.
Humor always makes lessons more palatable.
All the best - Lynn

Sep 11, 2021 07:19 PM
Wendy Rulnick

Lynn B. Friedman CRS Atlanta, GA 404-939-2727 I hadn't thought about your point concerning humor making lessons more palatable!  That's a great thought. Thank you.

Sep 12, 2021 06:48 AM
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage~ Ginger Harper Real Estate Team - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

I love it.  Good one to reblog


Sep 14, 2021 08:39 AM
Wendy Rulnick

Ginger Harper thank you!!

Sep 14, 2021 09:00 AM
Erik Hiss
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Worthington, OH
You can trust me for all your real estate needs!

So very true! And 9 times out of 10 even if you go into contract with these scared agents their buyers terminate over small issues and waste everyone's time.

Sep 15, 2021 05:51 AM
Wendy Rulnick

Erik Hiss That's another way to look at it! 

Sep 15, 2021 06:36 AM
Sharon Miller
RE/MAX Platinum - Crane Hill, AL


What a terrific post for these times! The level of evasive behavior which exists within our real estate industry unprecedented. Let me put my two cents worth in here.......large segments of our populace today, work very hard at maintaining their "comfort zone" bubble. These people will avoid facing our changing society whenever and wherever possible. How many sales contracts never reach finality because a "hiccup" is not put to rest. Timid realtors who view their personal social-economic environment as sacred and must not be altered, will utilize any number of evasive strategies to protect their turf. For these folks, it's easier to "go hide" than "step up to the plate" and put some "skin in the game". 

The socio-economic conditions in America today, if one thinks about it for a moment, has experienced numerous changes over the past eighteen months. Guess what, "we ain't finished yet." Many of the "norms" which have been around for years, are subject to change and in many cases, there won't be much in the way of an advance warning.

Living "in a cocoon" isn't going to cut it. I've had the opportunity to recently work with several buyers, whose actions and mindset resemble a ping-pong ball being shaken inside a shoe box. These people have been living inside a protective bubble which has shielded them from the subtle changes, which when added together, have changed the landscape exponentially.

If one is not ready to face the changing realities of today's real estate profession, it's time to assess your future level of participation. Lead or get out of the way!

Sep 16, 2021 07:15 AM
Wendy Rulnick
Rulnick Realty, Inc. - Destin, FL
"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"

Sharon Miller Do you think these parties will re-assess? They may not recognize themselves.  You're right, we don't know what could come next, and we have to be ready for anything. (Also, the ping-pong ball analogy will stick with me!) 

Sep 16, 2021 07:21 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

You are correct.  It is tough to do business if an agent is scared.  You have lots of great recommendations for those cats that need it. 

Sep 17, 2021 07:32 PM
Wendy Rulnick

Ha ha!! Good one, Raymond Henson, eXp Realty !! Thank you

Sep 17, 2021 08:07 PM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Some buyers--and sellers--can be so demanding and have the 'know it all ' attitude that can instill some fear in an agent.  You just have to stand your ground , be diplomatic and try to move forward, explaining that you are working in their best interest.  So many times I have wanted to say  "I have been doing this job almost twenty years, and based on my experience...etc" --I just find a different way to express myself without belittling the client.


Sep 21, 2021 12:46 PM
Wendy Rulnick

Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR I also would like to use your quoted expression - but to another agent:)!

Sep 21, 2021 03:01 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Wendy, when you are in this business, you need to have confidence and experience.   No time to be afraid!  

Oct 26, 2021 06:36 AM