Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bother your Realtor. Please.

Recently a consumer visited our website to search the MLS and submitted an online question about a home she found there. I sent her our standard "thanks for visiting our site, let us know if we can help" email. This is the rest of the email exchange between she and I.
Thank you for getting back to me.

We do have a realtor but, he is a friend of ours so I like to look into things first before I get him involved. I would like to know the terms of the lease purchase. Money down, length of option, payments, etc. Could you please forward the information.

Thank you,
Looking in Desert Ridge

Hello Looking,

I'm sorry, I'd like to help but I can't.  I am a Realtor. But I am not the seller’s Realtor.  Our website is like most, it shows ALL properties for sale/lease and not just the ones where we represent the seller/landlord.

The Realtor's Ethics Code is pretty cut-and-dried: Realtors should not knowingly work with another Realtor's client.

Your questions are totally legitimate. Most important, the answers to your questions will be part of the negotiation process. Help with negotiations is usually the number 1 reason consumers hire a Realtor. And talking to the seller/landlord's Realtor on your own will probably weaken your bargaining position.

Presumably your Realtor friend will eventually earn a commission, so you shouldn't feel badly asking him to help.

Thing is, this isn't an isolated incident. We hear "I don't want to bother my Realtor" a lot.

  • "Yes, but my Realtor's out of town and I can't get in touch with him."

  • "I already have a Realtor but I don't want to waste his time so I thought you could just show me this house."

  • "My Realtor lives on the other side of town and I don't want to keep asking him to drive all over the place."

I LOVE helping clients. My clients. I do not love helping other Realtor's clients because I don't ever get paid for that sort of thing. I'm a very helpful, compassionate sort of person, but I can't pay my mortgage with compassion. And the IRS gets really cranky when I can't pay my taxes because I was helping other Realtor's clients and didn't actually earn any commissions for my efforts.

Consumers, please - bother your Realtor.  Gathering information, answering questions, offering good counsel and negotiating on your behalf are the job description. If your Realtor is too busy to be bothered with your questions, you need a new Realtor.