We all have days that make us want to drive into the country and shriek for as long as we feel like it in the privacy of our own cars.
Difficult clients can set off this reaction, but more often, unprofessional industry colleagues can drive us super crazy because they ought to know better!
We’re not talking about agents who pull stuff that will get them reported (or sued) but the ones who behave in ways that earn them bad reps among other agents.
You know who I mean — agents who:
1. Won’t educate — much less to stand up to — their clients.
- Ignore the confidential remarks — especially that boring part about financing requirements.
- Displace sellers to show properties to clients who cannot buy them because they cannot get financing (see above.)
- Submit an offer 20 percent under asking four days after the (correctly priced) listing has gone on the market. The offer is accompanied by a heartfelt letter conveying how much the prospective buyer (an investor) “loves” the place. (Whatever happened to the conviction that “Money talks?”)
- Send an inspection contingency release that is subject to a Request for Repairs for $1000 to address two loose outlet covers, a garbage disposal with a reset button that needs to be pushed, and a guest bath sink that “drains slow.”
And, yeah, we know: some clients simply won’t listen and never learn. But, you don’t have to act like they’re being reasonable.
2. Believe showing a house entitles them to:
- Set fixed appointments but arrive an hour late — or, even worse, be total no-shows. Try explaining to a harried young mother who has had to vacate her home with a screaming toddler and her dog in tow that the buyer’s agent isn’t just running late but is, apparently, not coming at all.
- Make themselves at home. What better way to experience living in a property than just hanging out after a showing in an occupied house discussing the neighborhood, the real estate market, financing possibilities, and their philosophy of life while the owner remains parked on the street for an hour — and will need to vent about that later?
- Leave properties — especially, bathrooms — seriously messed up after a showing.
3. Are casual with other folks’ security
They’re agents who:
- Take the keys after a showing (okay, we’ve all done that) but refuse to bring them back because it’s inconvenient.
- Forget to lock the doors (or turn off the lights) after a showing.
- Hand over the house keys two days before closing. You discover their buyer has started moving their stuff into the property and begun construction on a deck when you stop by to remove the now — empty lockbox.
4. Treat contractual deadlines as suggestions
The most problem common our agents face is with earnest money deposits (EMDs). Issues with the EMD are often an immediate “tell” that an agent/their buyer is going to be trouble. For example:
- The EMD, which should be deposited within three days of contract acceptance, is still not in escrow five days into the deal. The buyer’s agent has promised to take care of this. Every. Single. Day.
- The EMD check bounces, and the agent is unconcerned.
- The buyer’s agent has to be prodded repeatedly (and/or threatened with a Notice to Perform) to get the buyer’s release of inspection, appraisal and loan contingencies the same week as the deadline.
- The buyer balks at making more than a token EMD, releases contingencies, then backs out of the deal. And the buyer’s agent laughs about it. Or they have their broker complain about your “inflexibility” to YOUR broker.
5. View open houses as an opportunity to:
- Cat nap. Ever walked into an open house and discovered an agent asleep on the couch? We have. Good times!
- Attempt to poach your sellers. (Don’t even ask.)
- Express displeasure about your taking over their expired listing by driving over your “For Sale” sign with its open house rider. Homeowners often have front-of-the-house cameras now. And, wow, has their clarity ever improved!
6. Take advantage of other agents by:
- Using other agents’ photos/copy without permission (or attribution.)
- Stiffing a referring agent on their commission share because “the commission was so small.”
- Assuring a buyer’s agent that an occupied property is vacant so they can just “go and show,” setting them and their clients up to walk in on a homeowner just stepping out of the shower.
With all these terrible agent behaviors, we thoroughly appreciate the agents out there who go above and beyond!
In addition, I’d like to offer you this alternative to shrieking in your car — post your personal pet peeves in the comments section below!
Nicole Solari is owner and managing broker of The Solari Group in Solano and Napa Counties in Northern California. Nicole runs one of the highest producing brokerages in all of Northern California.
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