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Listing Agent Mistake Part 1
It has always amazed me why I get the following call
“ring, ring”---“ring, ring”
Jesse Gonzalez: Jesse Gonzalez
Suzy Super Buyer Agent: May I speak to Jesse Gonzalez
Jesse Gonzalez: Speaking
Suzy Super Buyer Agent: Oh…Hi Jesse, my name is Suzy and I am calling about that property you have listed on 19th Ave., are you working any offers?
Jesse Gonzalez: I don’t speak about the details of any of my offers I receive with anyone other than my client however, I can tell you that any offer you submit will be presented to my seller.
Suzy Super Buyer Agent: You can’t tell me if you got an offer?
Jesse Gonzalez: No, I am not at liberty to discuss my clients offers with anyone other than my client. I can assure you that if you provide me with an offer from your buyer it will be presented.
Suzy Super Buyer Agent: Well….(un-comfortable pause) I just want to know if you’re working an offer because I don’t want to waste your time, I know you are really busy.
Jesse Gonzalez: Suzy, it’s my job to present any and all offers to my seller so, if your client writes up an offer, it’s not wasting my time to present that offer to my seller.
Suzy Super Buyer Agent: So, you aren’t going to tell me if you have an offer?
Jesse Gonzalez: I can tell you that if your buyer wants to make an offer I will present it to my seller.
Suzy Super Buyer Agent: I don’t understand, does that mean you don’t have any offers?
Jesse Gonzalez: No, what that means is if your buyer wants to make an offer, I will present it to my seller for consideration.
Suzy Super Buyer Agent: Jesse, if you could just help me out here, I can prevent everyone from wasting a lot of time.
(long uncomfortable pause)
Suzy Super Buyer Agent: Jesse are you there?
Jesse Gonzalez: Yes, I am here
Suzy Super Buyer Agent: Did you hear the last thing I said?
Jesse Gonzalez: The last thing I heard was that you didn’t want to waste anyone’s time.
Suzy Super Buyer Agent: So, are you going to help me out?
Jesse Gonzalez: What was it that you need me to help you with?
Suzy Super Buyer Agent: Never mind…don’t worry about it. (click, hangs up phone)
So, the conversation above wasn’t a hypothetical situation, it actually happened and happens often. In fact, it happens to me so often that I am 100% confident that many listing agents out there are complying with these request without ever once verifying what they can or can’t do from their clients, the sellers.
I don’t know about your State’s laws and regulations on client confidentiality however, I do know what is in my client’s best interest and many times….if not all the time, it’s not in my clients best interest to inform buyer’s agents if I my seller is currently working an offer.
For many of you, that is all I would have to say and you would understand why I believe this is the case but, I am sure I need to break this down for some of you so, let’s do it together.
So, my seller got an offer on his property, he has 2 days to consider the offer and get back to the buyer. To keep the timeline easy to understand, let’s say he got the offer on 1/1/11 and the buyer’s offer time limit is 1/3/11. Obviously, during negotiations, the property is still active in the MLS and the appointment desk is still scheduling showings. Why would I let this happen?
Simply stated, my seller reserves the right to continue to market the property up to Binding Agreement because, hopefully we will continue to get offers and hopefully, one of those other offers will be better than what we got. This is in my client’s best interest and truth be told, it’s my job to make this happen, if possible. This gives my client the potential to receive the maximum possible from the market place and as a broker who has a fiduciary responsibility to my seller……I better be making sure his interest is above my own.
Ok, so…..it’s 1/2/11 and my seller hasn’t made a decision, better yet, I tell my seller not to respond to the buyer’s offer till we absolutely have to in hopes of getting another offer. It’s early afternoon on the 2nd and I check my email….BOOM! Guess what, it’s another offer, from another agent for my seller. Now my seller has two offers to consider instead of one……..this is vagenious! (yes…I said VAGENIOUS, VAGENIOUS, VAGENIOUS) LOL
Now, could you imagine what would have happened if buyer’s agent number 2 would have called me before showing the property to his buyer and I told him….”Yeah, we got an offer, we are negotiating it now”? Do you believe this agent would have told his buyer that the property was under contract and no need to see it? As the guy from the Men’s Warehouse says…..”I guarantee it” That’s right, instead of my seller looking at two offers and being in a better situation than before, he would be looking at a single offer, struggling to decide how far he can push the envelope with this single buyer. At the very least, with two offers he can run the clock on the time limit’s, negotiate each one individually and take the best offer or, notify all agent of multiple offers and let them battle it out.
So, hopefully you see my point, it’s not in my clients interest to tell any buyer’s agent how many offers we are working if I don’t have permission from my seller and or if I don’t have a offer from said agent.
I get why the buyer’s agents are making the phone call….they don’t want to put their buyer’s in a multiple offer situation however, if you are a listing agent and you are disclosing to these buyer’s agents just how many offers you are working before you have talked this strategy over with your client, in my humble opinion, you are in violation of your fiduciary duty and are in breach of your client’s trust. Granted, you may never get caught doing this…..some of you may not even have any hang-ups working with buyer’s agents to cheat your sellers out of money but, make no mistake, if you disclose this information, that is exactly what you are doing.