There’s always a customer, homeowner, or another broker who incites a broker to the brink of a criminal act. Such incendiary acts include:
1. A customer incapable of making a decision.
2. A customer who brings his or her relatives (numerous times) for an opinion on the house he says he means to buy.
3. A customer who looks for years and years and years and years and never buys.
4. A customer who calls to say he just found a house (with another broker) and wants to know if you (who thought you were his only broker) think buying it would be a wise move.
5. A FRIEND who buys a house (or lists it) with another broker.
6. A homeowner who takes his listing away from you, but wants you to have the rental listing.
7. A homeowner who refuses to admit that his house is priced way above market value.
8. A homeowner/landlord who refuses to clean up his house for rental (or sale) but insists on an outrageous price.
9. Customers (couples) who work out their marital differences by making sure that one or the other is handicapped in buying the house of his or her dreams.
10. Homeowners who list a house way over market value “just to see what happens.”
11.Brokers who fail to notify a listing broker of a cancellation or delay for a set appointment.
12. Customers who fail to show up. And don’t call.
There are more, but let’s just take number 4 for starters ….
Customer Mark becomes a friend after looking at between 15 and 20 houses over the course of six months. You invite him and a girlfriend for dinner. Being both a friend and customer, you devote an enormous amount of time tracking down what he wants. You call other agents, preview everything, consider all he has told you he wants: a simple place, nice piece of land, 3/2, no need for a pool, in a quiet area. He is thoughtful and patient and respects your opinion and the time you devote to helping him. You send him comparables on every house you show him. You show up with an architect when he sees something he thinks he might want to renovate. You call him to see how his new business as a gallery owner is going. You send friends and other customers to his new gallery in the city to help his business grow.
Then one cold wintery day he calls. Apparently he came out (“unexpectantly” he says) the week before and saw a house (“with whom?” you wonder since you thought he was working strictly with you) that he’s put an offer in on. He tells you where it is (a completely different area than where he’d said he wanted to be), how much it is ($500,000 more than he said he could spend), that it has two bedrooms and 1 bath, but he feels he can add on) and that what he’s calling about is that he “really, really needs your opinion, as a friend and a broker whom he respects, about whether or not it’s a good buy”!!!!
After you’ve calmed down, you call him back. Like a “friend” and real estate genie, you could destroy this deal of his in a nanosecond: you could tell him it’s a dog (which it’s not — you know the house); you could tell him it’s in a bad area (which it’s not).
But you take the high road. “Buy it,” you say.
This is an example of how real estate brokers become radicalized.
Next time: How customers get driven crazy by crazy inept brokers….