Good and bad things seem to come in waves – when it rains, it pours right?
Today, I share with you not one but two stories of this occurring.
The first is mild. After six showings, one consultation, she tells me that they'll have to get dad involved in order to finance and it'll take a week or so. The following 6 weeks, I call and call, I text and message on Facebook and they tell me that financing is just taking so long… Lastly, she posts a picture of him signing for the new home… Congrats.
I know what you are thinking (or might be thinking) – “Why did you do any showings before a full pre approval? There's your mistake right there little man! And, by the way, there's a little something called an 'Exclusive Buyers Agency Agreement,' it's a contract that forces people to only work with you for a period of time. Hopefully that helps out you little whipper snapper you!!”
My response is that all the clients I've had (except one couple) have been under 50 years old.
The DIY trend and the Information Age have now come and gone and we are in a place of confused specialization where you need to give product, information, service and even sweet sweet time away for FREE in order to prove that you are worth money (or anything for that matter). As much as record labels don't provide advances to bands unless they're already famous, a house hunter won't sign a contract that marries them to someone they might just hate after a couple of showings. Specially when they're receiving crap in the mail 3 times a week from another agent or investor reminding them about the world of competition they might get even more for free from.
The common response to this smears back into the world of blind faith because it hints at a real estate industry in which every agent uses the Exclusive Agency - “This is why we should all use the Exclusive Agency! We can't be treated this way any longer and we diminish the worth of our time by just giving it away for nothing in return!” Communism doesn't work either. When Redfin will list a house for 1.5% and we're asking for at least 5% you really start to wonder how much longer this argument will last and how far fetched it actually is…
My second story is just slightly different from the first because after a few showings and advice the buyer realized that the institution she worked for has a program that will cover some of the closing costs as long as she works with one of their realtors. I looked into it and she was right – there was no chance I could even join the program. My reply to her was something like, “Oh, that breaks my heart but I'd like to still be a part of the process, no strings attached. Just let me know if you have any questions, feel free to show me the inspection report, if something is looking or feeling funny maybe I can help. I'll be here.”
She says “Honey, there's no heart break in real estate...”
She's absolutely right but- after walking away from the person who just spent time, energy and resources with the hope to win her business and offered to still be there after after she left- could she have had a softer reply? Dare I say a more respectful reply?
My partner and I look at each other before we go out to drink and one of us will say “OK. So, tonight. Let's remember to...” Then together we'll say