With great reluctance, for the first time I fired my client

Real Estate Agent with Cupertino, CA

I had a buyer ready for their first home. Unfortunately, the wife's brother was "helping" the couple, because he's expertise came from the fact that he had already purchased a home, therefore it made him an "expert"  (note my sarcasm).

We found an REO they loved for $399k. (comps were at $500k). Her brother insisted we offer $375k. I told him they will not get it, because it had just been listed. Her brother insisted, so the wife and husband offered $375k. They lost the house because there were two other offers at full price. The wife and husband asked me how come they didn't get it because they heard in the news that banks are willing to sell REO's for $0.50 on the Dollar. I told them that's true in other parts of California, not in the SF Bay Area.

15 more homes and several weeks later we found another one, asking $365k. Guess what? Her brother insisted on offering $355k. The bank countered with $360k (on the market for 4mo.), and they agreed to it because they didn't want to loose this house. Her brother was mad, but I explained to the couple that for a difference of 1.4%, are they willing to loose this house again and they agreed so we made the offer.

We received the banks own addendum to sign. As with most REO's, it has a 7 day inspection contingency. I told them that the bank had agreed to the price verbally, they can hire a home inspector to start the process. By the time the bank returns the countersigned addendum, we have a 7 day head start.

Her brother told the couple not to spend money on inspections (home & termite) until they received the signed addendum from the bank. He was worried that if they spend the money on inspections, and the bank sells it to someone else meanwhile, they are out the money. He was also concerned that the $10k deposit check they had given me will not be returned from escrow if they decide to cancel. I tried to explain that it's standard practice for REO banks to agree to a verbal price and then they will sign the addendum. To allow us to get ahead, we have to start now.

She decided to cancel this house again because she had to listen to her brother. I asked her at what point will she listen to me rather than her brother. She said she has to abide by his decision.

I told her that I'm sorry, I cannot work with you any longer, until you decide to listen to me rather than your brother. I pointed out to her that she already lost two homes she loved, and this will continue on and on. I told her to call me when she's ready to look again and that she can still have her brother help her, but I will not have him interfere with the transaction.

This was over 3 weeks ago, and I have not heard from the couple.

Comments (12)

Larry Story ALC
Total Care Realty - Greensboro, NC
Beneath it all is the Land, Covering all of NC


You did the right thing.  I parted ways with a client a couple of weeks ago and it was the best thing.   They drain our time and we give them exactly what they ask for over and over and they just throw it away like it is nothing or decide like in your case to listen to that little voice that does not have a clue.

Jun 29, 2008 05:38 AM
Ray Henderson
Weichert Realtors' Northeast Group - Saratoga Springs, NY

Good for you! I have worked transactions where a family member was involved and it does not make for a good relationship.  The last one I had, the buyers father was directing from the background and we ran into major problems. I told the buyer that her father had to back off and let us handle the transaction. He did, and it went smoothly and closed from there.

Jun 29, 2008 05:42 AM
Linda Coen-Cushman
Coen-Cushman Real Estate, LLC. - Fort Bragg, NC

Good for you!  Sometimes you just have to "let go"!  You will sleep better at night not having to please the couple and the "expert".  I doubt you would have made it anywhere anyway.

Jun 29, 2008 05:43 AM
Bryan King
Ascent Home Loans - Simpsonville, SC

Unfortunately, your clients do not seem to be ready to actually settle down.  The best thing to do was what what you did.  Let them go, and find clients who are serious .

Jun 29, 2008 05:44 AM
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

Anyone who has ever bought a house, or read the newspaper, considers themselves an expert. You did the right thing. Welcome to AR.

Jun 29, 2008 05:48 AM
Jean Simmons
Dominion Real Estate Referral Company - Blacksburg, VA

You did the right thing.  You were providing good advice to your clients.  They wanted to listen to her brother, though. They missed out on a lot.

Jun 29, 2008 06:01 AM
Joe Virnig
RE/MAX Gold Coast REALTORS, Ventura County, California - Ventura, CA
No Ordinary Joe

Some people are not worth the brain damage they cause.  It feels good to have the guts to fire someoneo once in a while.

Jun 29, 2008 06:02 AM
Keith Webb
Guardant Investments, Inc. - Fullerton, CA

It is obvious from all the above comments that you did the right thing.  It may even serve as a wake up call to them.  Unfortunately they may also find another agent and repeat the process.  Either way their loss is now your gain.

Jun 29, 2008 06:03 AM
Jim & Maria Hart
Brand Name Real Estate - Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC Real Estate

I can totally understand your frustration with this situation.  By firing this couple, you've put yourself first, and that's a great step!

Jun 29, 2008 08:00 AM
Rick Sergison
EXP Realty of Canada Inc., Brokerage - Pickering, ON
Durham Region Real Estate Blog

I just stopped by to welcome you to Active Rain. I hope that you find it a great benefit to your business and that you see the value that I have also found here. I am from Charlottesville Virginia and using Active Rain has really increased my business!

My main blog on Active Rain is here: Charlottesville Real Estate Blog, not the link at the bottom of this post. 

I hope you will look into the many groups as there are some great group both local and broad based,.... 


Jun 30, 2008 01:14 AM
Peg Gilliland
Charlottesville Solutions - Charlottesville, VA
Broker, GRI, CDPE

I see that you are new to Active Rain and I just wanted to welcome you. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do and that you find it a great resource.

Jul 04, 2008 02:22 AM
Christine McInerney
Great Life RE - Knoxville, TN
The McInerney Team, Knoxville TN Homes For Sale

I had this happen to me about a year, sometimes the stress is just not worth it.

Oct 13, 2009 02:17 PM