Is that my commission in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

I’ve wanted to post this blog for some time now. After reading a blog posted by a young, new agent the other day I figured now is as good a time as any. She was basically saying how much she hated the business and was looking for opinions on whether or not she should continue in this line of work. The distaste was not in fact from the “real estate” part of the business but from the disgusting lack of dignity, loyalty and respect from the general public.

Don’t get me wrong. I have made plenty of friends within the field and have built many lasting relationships with my clients. I love the business! However, when I was a rookie a few short years ago reality does hit you pretty hard. There are plenty of people that just don’t care that this is what we do to earn a living. This is hard to believe considering we are the experts that will control negotiations on the biggest investment of their lives!

As with every other agent out there, I’ve had my share of buyers and sellers trying to reach into my pockets. Not that I have never given back to any of them, but there are appropriate circumstances for that. I can’t fault people for asking for discounts. In fact, I respect the fact that they have the guts to ask. The problem I have is with the way in which some people ask and their demeanor after my response. I think it’s only a matter of time before I say something like, “Mr. seller, if your boss came up to you tomorrow morning and said, ‘excuse me, we are going through some tough economic times right now. If you don’t mind, we would like to cut your salary this year by 20%’ what would you say?” They would probably flip out.

Here’s my latest encounter. I met with this nice young couple. They wanted to list their half million-dollar home and purchase a home in the million-dollar range. I should throw in that they are referrals as well. So there’s 30% right off the top. Not that I’m complaining by any means, but it is relevant. I met with them at their home, took the tour and introduced the company and myself. Everything went very well. I was there for a couple hours and I can tell they were comfortable with me. I educated them on the process and let them know I’m here to help and I’m the least pressure type of guy there is. I didn’t even bring listing papers with me! Later that evening they decided they wanted to view a few homes for sale. We went out the following weekend and everything was still smooth. Until….. the proposition. I received a phone call a week later and the wife tells me she has a proposition for me. She says they are ready to put their house on the market and continue the search for a new home. But, here’s how this is going to work. She said they would choose to work with me if I worked for only 1% commission. Meaning that if the commission is, let’s say 2.5% on the buyer’s side, I will take 1% and rebate the remaining 1.5% to them at closing. In turn, she would find the homes and schedule the appointments herself. You know, do all the “work”. When they found the house they wanted they would contact me to negotiate the deal and handle the transaction from there. She also told me that her friends purchased homes this way and other agents went for it. Let’s just say I said no. I explained that this is probably illegal and CERTAINLY unethical. Any agent that would go for this should lose their license. Why would you want an agent that is that desperate for business to represent you anyway!

Don’t these people realize they should be looking for the best realtor, not the cheapest! I have yet to hear back from this couple. By the way, you have to love how some people view showing houses as our most valuable service. So much for negotiating the sale, marketing their home and making sure they are protected throughout two transactions!