By D'Andrea Pelletier, Broker and Co-Founder of Follow Me Realty
We all know the feeling, the satisfaction of a buyer deciding they want to use your services to help them find a home, or a seller that chooses you to list their home.
Sales agents new to the industry are especially thrilled to give their maximum effort and bend over backwards for that first lead decides to work with them. When it seems like Realtors® are a dime a dozen, we strive to acquire and keep the business consistently amongst the crowd of other professional doing the same. Very few agents are told how necessary it is to determine what type of market they want to service, let alone the type of clients to keep, and which to avoid when entering the world of residential real estate.
If you were to Google “How to Find the Right Realtor”, one of the first websites display an article titled 9 Red Flags to Watch for When Picking a Real Estate Agent. This is one of many articles found about which agents to avoid. But! What are the red flags that your working with a problem client? With this information in short supply, here are 3 tall-tell signs that it’s time to cut ties.
1. Your client does not respect the process. From the investor who knows more than you about negotiations, or a buyer calling to see a home right now that they found online, and has already called the another agent to show it if you cannot. Many agents know the frustration of these scenarios, but clients such as these have happened to every buyer’s agent at one point in their career. As the real estate expert, it is up to you to express what you expect of your buyers, and what they can expect of you and your services during the buyer presentation. If you don’t require the initial consultation, that’s your first problem. Clients who express little concern or a disregard for your time, channels of communication, and your opinion as the expert during the home search do not respect the real estate process, and will only worsen once that buyer is under contract.
2. Your seller asks you to cut your commission. Naturally, home owners want to most money for their home at the closing table, and for some, they’re starting with your 3%. Do not feel inclined to cut your commission to keep a listing. Your duty is to give your clients 100% of your effort and creativity, and as the professional it is your duty and obligation to clearly set these standards during the listing presentation. What about the seller who tells you they have a mother, cousin, husband who is a real estate agent and asks you to give a 25% referral fee to them? This is a deal breaker. Everyone knows someone who is Realtor®; that does not entitle them to a portion of your commission UNLESS they have actually referred said client to you.
3. They refuse to be pre-approved with a lender. BIG red flag! There are a plethora of reasons to have the financing discussion before showing homes. Everyone’s timeline to find a home is different, and a key factor in that timeline is having financials in order. Additionally, sellers are not required to accept all forms of financing, As the professional, knowing what purchasing power your client has is key to the negotiation process with the listing agent, and all loans are NOT created equal. If your client either refuses to provide proof of funds for a cash offer or acquire a pre-approval, you are wasting not only your time, but the seller side as well. If your client won’t submit to a pre-approval, they aren’t serious enough to buy.
Trust your intuition when embarking on a new client-agent relationship. Some people connect, some don’t. The beauty of this business is having the option to work with who you choose to, and the power to set your personal preferences for business.
Brought to you by Follow Me Realty, a real estate brokerage for entrepreneurs.