For a transaction to go over smoothly, agents have to maintain professionalism while keeping the process as pleasant as possible for everyone involved. If you’re a listing agent, now’s the time to stop these irksome behaviors.

In an aggressive seller’s market, the public puts Realtors under even more scrutiny. Back in September, I wrote an article on Inman about the seven buyer’s agent behaviors that need to stop. 

I felt it was time to examine the other side of the transaction and point out what listing agents do that needs to stop as well. No. 1 may seem hauntingly familiar. This is because — with a few tweaks — it also topped the list in my other article. 

1. Stop being rude

Nobody wants to deal with a rude person. If you are pushy, aggressive and present yourself like Mother (or Father) Superior — because, well, after all, you have the listing — you could be hurting your client’s negotiation.

Building rapport at a personal level and then showing the other agent you’re a skilled professional can make or break your deal. People want to deal with someone they like. Are you likable? 

They also want to deal with individuals who make things easy because they’re skilled at their job. Two heads are better than one. Work together because there’s value in this little thing called cooperation. If you present yourself with a holier-than-thou approach, stop it!

2. Stop trying to use the seller to build your business

We all know listings are leverage, and a part of that is getting buyers from signs, internet calls and open houses. Before you string me up, I’m not saying to not do everything you can to gain potential clients and drive business.

What I’m saying is: it really sucks when a home goes on the market, and you can’t get your buyers in because the agent is stringing things along because it’s good for them (meaning, the agent). You know it happens.

As a buyer’s agent, maybe you write an offer sight unseen because you can’t get in to see the home. You hear back from the listing agent that they can’t present it for four days. Come on. Remember, we owe honesty.

I know some of you will say that you don’t understand; the seller is driving it. That “they don’t want me to present anything until it has been on the market for a week.” Great — then say that in the listing, so buyer’s agents can communicate a proper message to their clients. Stop using your sellers.

3. Stop wasting the buyers’ and their agents’ time

Look, you put a sign in the yard. You put it in the MLS. You hired a photographer. It’s on Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, and every Realtor IDX out there. Let us see the house, for crying out loud!

Answer your phone. Answer questions about the property. Guys, the public doesn’t understand, and it makes us all look bad. So, stop it!  Stop wasting the buyer’s agent’s time. I see my buyer’s agents wanting to educate their clients, and they just can’t get the information from the listing agent.

4. Stop presenting love letters to the seller

Your job is to reduce liability. How does this do that? Here’s a clue — it doesn’t. Instead, it creates liability. If you don’t get it or don’t understand it, you need to pull out your notes from that fair housing class you went to.

Or better yet, go here and read what the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has to say about it. If your sellers are seeing these love letters, stop it, and stop it now!

5. Stop saying things you shouldn’t

Remember that fiduciary thingy you learned? Yeah, that thing. The one with confidentiality in it? Um, can you just learn it? Don’t tell me your client is a dentist who is moving to Florida and is losing his practice due to COVID-19. This is a breach of fiduciary duty. Stop it. 

6. Stop getting your clients all riled up about every little thing

I call this peeing in your own pool. We all have our fiduciary duty, of course. We also have a job of managing high-stress situations, and your sellers want to sell, remember? It doesn’t help if you are stirring up already-high emotions. 

Don’t get in there and mess things up by slandering the buyers or their agent. When your clients start to go down that road, offer reassurance, and be strong in pointing them in the right direction. If you are gossiping about the other parties in the transaction, stop it!

7. Stop using automated voicemail

OK, so maybe this one is just a pet peeve, but when I call, I would like to know it’s Cindy and XYZ Realty — not some random phone number. Are you running a business or not? This is your opportunity to shout it to the world. So, stop using automated voicemail. Just stop it. 

All of this leads me to you making more money. When you help raise the level of awareness and create a greater experience for the consumer, we — as a whole — will make more money. I would encourage you to put on your global view glasses and educate from that place. After all, we all want to make more money, right?

Michelle Shelton is the broker-owner of Life Real Estate and the chair of ARMLS, with 39,000 members, in Phoenix, Arizona. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter

Show Comments Hide Comments
Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription