"Buyers are liars." My assumption is that this phrase isn't foreign to you. It certainly wasn't me as I learned it in my first office about a month after breaking into real estate. I have always found it cheesy, defeatist, and a pretty good indicator that agents that say it aren't spectacular at their job. Now I know that's the same rash generalization that they are making- but whatever.
A couple months back I received a referral from a family friend (technically our wives are really good friends and we're friendly acquaintances). After speaking with this gentleman for an hour or so and explaining the finer points and process of buying a home I met the young buyer and his fiancee at a house and showed them another couple. He still wasn't pre-approved, but I didn't fret, he was a nice, honest, young man working two jobs....
Some time goes by and he wants to go out again. STILLdoesn't have a pre-approval and hasn't signed an Exclusive Buyer Representation agreement with me. I hem, I haw and take them out again without either. "Heck, he's a referral from a mutual friend and he has a limited schedule- he'll get approved as soon as he can and I know he's not going to screw me over."
They don't see anything they fall in immediate love with and some more time goes by. I continue to email them properties and with my schedule in case they want to check into anything we have yet to see. Then, FINALLY, I get an e-mail that he's pre-approved although he wants to work on his credit and get a "better pre-approval".
Would you like to table your search for the time being while you do that?
"Nah. I'm still interested in looking." So I continue sending properties his way until a few days later:
"Hey, I am going to table my search for a little while." Not a problem- would you like me to disable the properties being e-mailed to you or would you like to see what's hitting and falling off the market while you work on the credit? "Oh, I'd love to be kept up to date on the market, thanks!"
Cool. What a well out together guy. Then I get this email about 3 days ago:
I just wanted to get your home address so i can send somthing to you. Dont worrie nothing crazy or dangerous. Just a Thank you gift. Im sorry if i wasted your time at all. Thanks for all your help.
Wow. How sweet! VERY few actually appreciate their REALTOR so much that they'll send him a thank you gift...So I reply, "Hey man- your thank you gift to me is allowing me to mail YOUR home address with a bunch of cards to pass out to your friends and loved ones. Tell them I'll work diligently and honestly for them, like you."
Two days later, I get this:
Hey Jim I just wanted to do right by you by letting you know i have found a house through a friend whom is also a Realtor. I'm sorry for wasting your time.
Well Hell's Bells! If there is a way to "do right by me" it's anything other than "wasting my time" and using some scumbag, cherry picking agent on the side. You didn't know your friend was an agent before needing a referral and working with me for 6 weeks or so? Under my general premise I would say that this is my fault and I didn't serve the client like I SHOULD. However, he wants to send me thank you gifts and never one had reason to take exception to the job I was doing for him. Ultimately it IS on me, however, for not having him sign the buyer's representation agreement, so I give him the reply he was looking for:
I sure appreciate the gesture of doing right by me but it's not necessary. You didn't waste my time, sir- it's my job. Now granted it's a job I'm not going to be compensated for. Normally I would have never shown you and your bride-to-be a single house without a pre-approval and wouldn't have taken you on another showing without your signing an exclusive buyer relationship agreement....giving me the same respect and confidence back that I was putting out. I went against better judgment and did neither because you were a referral from [mutual friend]. You don't owe me a thing but honesty and no matter how late it comes out- I sure do appreciate that, sir. I hope you understand that I'm going to disable that automatic search immediately. Not because I'm a jerk or anything like that- but out of respect to your agent- whom I assume is not a REALTOR because a REALTOR doesn't pirate people's clients like that. I won't step on the toes of another...
...and in response I get this from his fiancee (on his email address):
Well now I guess you know better than to go against your better judgement.
ZING! Burn City...and sad but true. While I sent her back a simple email of well wishes "[fiancee], Good luck with everything!" I realized she was absolutely right.
I DOknow better than to go against my better judgment now! A buyer's representation agreement is a long-winded form commitment we give to each other. Will you be loyal to me as I work my butt off for you? I work for free until the day you get the keys to your new home- at which time I'm reimbursed for my hours of service.
So mom, dad, bro, friends, past clients and future ones- when we discuss viewing homes and I reference the agreement that you'll have to sign in order to work with me- I'll also pass you this blog post or regale the story upon you so you know exactly why. No matter how honest I think you are....it's the best way you can do right by me!