I think one of the least talked about topics in real estate is about agents that become emotionally involved in the deal. In their own zeal to assist the buyer or sellers - the agent starts to act as if the property or equity is their own. It isn't! If an offer is made on a property that is not full price, the listing agents go postal. This is not an isolated event.
On the other hand, buyer’s agents often insult the listing agents and the listed home in a foolish attempt to get the best deal on their client’s terms. My own thoughts are if the home is that bad, why did you write an offer on it? So, that isn’t a good way to negotiate and such action will be perceived as unprofessional and hostile.
An experienced agent can easily share that such behavior is usually counterproductive to a client’s best interest. Agents that lack negotiation skills often resort to raised voices, bullying, and have temper tantrums in a vain attempt to get their way. To other agents such behavior is a stressful turnoff and an uncomfortable situation that should be avoided. However, let's not be naive, these actions are not limited to buyers agents. Listing agents often posture that the offer terms are an insult to their principles, and may even go as far as tell you they will not present it. When an offer is received, the listing agents may even tell you they are negotiating other offers, or have an offer coming in when they do not.
The later of course may be grounds for regulatory discipline for that agent. What agents must not forget is that they are licensed by the state in which they reside to act in a limited capacity on behalf of their principle. They need to more fully understand what their role as an agent of a broker is. Under the law, there are limitations in what we are allowed to do, and how we are to perform.
Anyone that is licensed needs to fully understand what they can and cannot do with a real estate license. We need to acknowledge is that the actions of the agent are limited by that licensure, or specific instructions of the sellers to accomplish the task at hand. A normal real estate license or listing agreement does not confer upon the agent “Absolute power!” Our limited role in a deal is basically one of agency - an agent of the seller /buyer, a marketer, an advisor, and or a consultant.
Yes, I know that we live and work in difficult times, and it is hard to detach from the pain our principles are experiencing, but in order to our job correctly, we must. Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the pain of the moment: job losses, terminal illnesses, divorce, separations, loss of a spouse, and financial hardships are not easy to bear. We must detach from the situation emotionally.
We are not social workers. If we lose sight of reality, we will find ourselves in a position that other agents will not want to work with us.
It is a known fact that many homes go unsold every day because other agents just do not want to work with the listing agent. Some buyers agents and their clients offers are dismissed only because of prior bad past experiences with them. Their reputation precedes them. A bad experience with an agent is not a calling card for more deals. In general, insults, verbal abuse, patronizing, and rejection are not received well by others. Meanwhile, back at the office we have a great 'Grapevine!" Bad news and gossip travels quickly in real estate circles and other agents will talk of your unprofessional behavior. Your own actions may cost a client a sale. It’s ironic, but what an agent inappropriately rejects, the seller may actually have approved. So instead of acting on our own emotions, we must never lose sight of the task at hand, and act in a professional manner.
Unless otherwise stated in writing or instructions from the seller to affirm their wishes - in accordance with our own state real estate license boards we must first:
- Don't be a control freak! Just do your own job!
- Thank the other agent for their offer.
- Remain factual and know what is occurring in your market.
- Always act ethical and professional.
- Comply with all real estate laws within the state(s) we are licensed.
- Always work on behalf of the best interests of our clients.
- Clear up any ambiguity - ask question and terms.
- Ensure all items and terms are in writing, and are properly executed.
- To advise your own client - request further information needed.
- Present all offers.
- Do not posture
- Never take an offer personally - remain objective.
- Never become emotional and lose objectivity.
- When in doubt seek advice from your principle broker - not other agents.
- Do not take an inspection report personally.
- Do not take a bad appraisal personally.
- Do not practice law - or give advice which is legal in nature unless you are an attorney.
- Never insult an agent, buyer or seller.
- Stick to the facts pertinent to the deal at hand.
- Personal gain - should never be at the expense of your client. (Double dipping, dual agents, failure to present offers etc...).