I had a real estate agent call me yesterday evening after showing one of my listings wanting to know why such as nice looking piece of property hadn’t sold yet. This was my first clue as to the type of experience this agent really had. As a seller’s agent I have a contractual, ethical, as well as legal responsibility, to work for my client only. There is nothing for me to say here since I only have a responsibility to inform my client my opinion if I have one. There are so many factors involved to this really bad question and will prove how dumb of a question this agent really asked. Ponder this – how would I know what the other agents showing the property is telling their client. For example, maybe the property is too BIG, too small, not painted the right color, carpet color is wrong, yard is too big or to small, maybe the agent even showed the buyers a property to a client that could not afford it, maybe their client wasn’t pre-approved, could be a bunch of bad weather like snow or ice or maybe the agent couldn’t explain all the ends and outs to owning a home, and so on – the list is never ending.
They then asked me why the seller had a pre-inspection. This was the second clue regarding the agents experience level. Think about it, why would you have a profession home inspector inspect your property before you put it on the market for sale? Could it be you want to make sure your property is in tip-top shape before you put it on the market? Maybe you just want to understand what a buyer might see when looking at your property. This was a super ignorant question.
The third and final clue I was speaking to an agent with little as well as immoral experience. The next morning they told me their client wanted to make an offer on the property because they really liked it. I said great, after I receive the offer I will get it to the seller so they can make a decision. Then the agent said they (the agent) didn’t like the commission amount being paid so unless I would raise the commission to what this agent felt was good for them, the agent would tell his client to purchase something else. There are so many unethical as well and unlawful issues with this it isn’t funny. Here are just a few:
- First things first – who is the agent working for? It’s supposed to be their client but in this case the agent is only working for the money they could earn, the agent was working for themselves.
- The agent typically has a legally binding contractual agreement signed with the customer, which legally converts this customer to a client. This agreement is called a “buyer agency agreement” and without it the agent CANNOT legally work for the buyer on their behalf because of state laws. If the real estate agent works for a company that uses the local board of Realtors® forms, and this agents company does, in this agreement it states the agent will accept whatever commission is being paid by the selling company. If the agent wants to make sure they get a minimum commission, then there is a place in the buyer agency agreement to say the buyer will make up the difference. Why the buyer and not the seller– see number 3.
- The seller and the selling company have an agreement as well. This legally binding contractual agreement is called a “listing agreement” and once signed can only be altered with a written agreement (called an amendment) between the seller (client) and the listing broker (not the agent representing the seller on the brokers behalf). The buyer’s agent cannot, by law, interfere with a contract of another. In other words, this agent was trying to interfere with the contract my company has with my companies client. IT”S ILLEGAL!
- Real estate brokers cannot conspire to have the same commission, IT IS ILLEGAL IN BOTH STATES OF KANSAS AND MISSOURI (and nearly every other state as well). In short, brokerages (real estate companies) cannot all get together in collusion and say “let’s all charge the same commission so we don’t have to worry about the amount of money we are getting paid, leaving the seller in a position to PAY or not be helped.
I keep harping on the term “Experience Matters” to show you why experience matters. The agent who showed my listing either had little or no experience OR was morally corrupt. Those are the only two possible choices.