Yes, real estate brokers fire listings. It is a rare occurrence for me, but if a client is particularly uncooperative, self destructive, or a liability to the company’s well-being, the listing has to be cancelled and the client given the opportunity to seek their fortunes with another broker.
Today, after months of acrimony and headaches, I gave a seller client her release. The ironic thing is that she is a retired real estate broker herself, and someone I thought would be collegial to work with. She wasn’t. Just scheduling showings was like performing a miracle, filled with drama and angst. It was a short sale file, no easy task to begin with, and an offer has been on the table for about 2 weeks. My client refused to submit the offer to the lender for approval, and has been obstructing my efforts to affect a short sale.
This afternoon I got a call from an agent who could not schedule a showing; I called my client to get to the source of the issue. It was a tempest in a teapot. I am not showing a lack of empathy, believe me. If Ed McMahon showed up at your door with a check for $1 million, would you refuse the money because his tie and socks didn’t match? An offer on a short sale is important, precious, and not to be trifled with. For a veteran of our business to obfuscate important issues with pedantic obsessions with process is not something I can work with.
My hope is that this will be a wake up call to the lady that she needs to get serious about avoiding a foreclosure. For me to continue things the way they were going would be enabling destructive behavior and subordinate my diginity to earning a commission. Even in this market, that is something I cannot do.
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There continues to be a series of article at Inman News about the compensation of real estate agents. The latest article, entitled “6 Percent is Dead,” the owner of a web-based company chimes in with his view. A version of my response is below:
I have not read every article in this series, but the two I have read were written by an agent whose blog paints a picture of frustration who is muses for a salary; and a web-based firm which doesn’t do traditional brokerage in a market where local listing agents have to accompany every single showing (no easy feat).
Inman may get alot of chatter and mileage from these articles, but in light of the failure of Foxtons and Iggy’s House, Real Estate never had the massive Internet-fueled sea change we saw in travel, insurance and stock brokerage, which revolutionized entire industries almost overnight.
I’m also a little tired of people poo-pooing the role agents play in the home buying process. The “I saw it first on the ‘Net so I don’t need a broker” game is tired, inaccurate and obtuse. You saw it on the net first because you were on a broker’s website and they figured out how to make it play into their model. The rest of the process is so clunky, complicated and drawn out that the best brokers who do the most business drive the traffic while working at companies where they can earn the most for their expertise.
Read the rest here on my ActiveRain Blog .
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I want repeat business from past clients and I also want their referrals. That won’t happen by accident, and I don’t see recipe cards as being useful. So I am available for other things they need after we close on the house. Here are just a few.
- Help them grieve their taxes. The taxes on homes I’ve sold in recent years may be reduced. I just emailed 4 recent sales to someone who bought a house with me in 2006 and it looks like his assessed value should go down by $50,000.
- Market updates. People are curious about how much a new listing as asking or what a nearby home sold for. Better that they ask me than another licensee.
- Make them hip to my blog. Past clients may wonder what my thoughts are about the stimulus bill, where the market is going, or just I am doing in this economy. I tell them right in these pages. Clients are a built in readership, and they select themselves- no emails for them to delete and they visit when convenient.
- Service directory. Most of my clients use the lawyer, lender and home inspector I refer. I also have a filing cabinet filled with plumbers, carpenters, electricians, landscapers, chimney sweeps, heating & cooling firms, oil companies, and other sources that homeowners need. I may not be the good housekeeping seal of approval, but whoever I refer will make me look good for doing so.
- Network them! I count among my past clients physicians, restaurateurs, free lance artists, contractors, insurance brokers, roofers, teachers and dozens of other professionals. If someone needs E & O insurance, a tutor, artwork or a new driveway and they ask me if I know someone, why wouldn’t I give business to the people who gave business to me? If you need something, call or email me.
ALSO- The STAR exemption for your property taxes is key to saving money on your New York property taxes. All of my clients are encouraged to fill out an application to get it ASAP after closing. If you haven’t followed through, contact me and we’ll help you get it done.
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