Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Do Bother Me, Please!

I'm listening to one side of a phone conversation going on about 15 feet away from me.
My colleague is talking to a professional contact about a new condo that has just been listed. The contact wants to know what my colleague thinks about the location and the price.

If I understand correctly, the person on the other end of the line has just said she's going to go over and have a look at the place and then maybe she'll call back if she's interested in making an offer.

I can hear my colleague explaining politely, but with rising vehemence, that if the person wants to visit the condo she would be most pleased to visit with her,

She isn't just being nice, you know. The agent really, really, really would like to visit that condo with her.


I've heard the story too many times to count. It is the story of people who don't want to bother a real estate agent until they've seen the place they like. Then and only then will they ask an agent to negotiate the purchase on their behalf.

Too late, folks. Too. Freaking. Late!

Here's a little bit of inside baseball type information for you. If you want me to represent you in the purchase of a property, I have to be the one to make the appointment to visit the place. I have to go with you for the visit and I have to be with you for all subsequent visits.

(The exception to this rule is the open house. You can go to an open house without your agent, but you should tell the agent at the door that you are working with your own agent.)

Those are the rules. The Real Estate Brokerage Act, the regulations that govern the industry, are very clear about this. The agent who is the "effective cause of sale" is the one who gets paid at the end of the day. Being the effective cause of sale can mean showing the property, pointing out the pros and cons of the property, gathering supplementary and pertinent information that helps the buyer make up his or her mind and, finally, negotiating the deal.

Being as I sell real estate to feed my family, I am really, really, really interested in getting paid at the end of the day.

Early in my career I negotiated on behalf of a family who had a really hard time buying their first home. I held their hands through the whole process and, when their bank refused to give them a mortgage, helped them find a mortgage broker who could get them good financing.

I worked very hard on that file. And I never got paid. Why? Because they buyers had visited the property once before they met me and had spoken to the agent after their visit. The listing agent had a prior claim on them,

It was a painful and expensive lesson.

So by all means, call me to talk about properties that interest you but please do take with you to visit. You won't be wasting my time. Au contraire, it's how I earn my living.  I like visiting properties with my clients and will visit as many as they need to see before we find the right one.


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