I am a real estate broker in St. Louis, Missouri. Off the top of my head at any given time, I can safely say I know 20 other real estate agents outside of my office. Are there too many real estate agents? We’ll leave that discussion for another day. Even in my own circle, I see real estate agents who do things that really mess up their business. I’m here to help. One of the more bizarre things I see is hyper possessive real estate agents doing themselves no favors. I have two stories below.
The Neighborhood Psycho
A few years ago I was called to list a home for sale in south St. Louis county. The client was a friend of a friend. She was very nice, and always a pleasure to work with. During one of our meetings as we were getting ready to list the house, she confided that her neighbor next door was a real estate agent but my client was afraid of using her to list her house. I asked why, and she said, “The woman is crazy….she harasses all the neighbors constantly, and she acts like she owns the neighborhood.” This statement was so out of character for my client, who never had a bad word to say about anyone. I told my client that when it comes to real estate, agents are professionals, and there wasn’t any need to worry.
We listed the home for sale and within a week we’d gotten a young couple that was interested in making an offer to purchase the home. The buyer’s agent asked me if the couple could take their parents through the house a second time before they made an offer, and I agreed. This is actually pretty common. After the agent and the parents and the buyers went a second time, I got an angry phone call from the buyer’s agent. “You didn’t disclose X, you didn’t tell us about Y, my clients are out and we will never buy this house!” I was dumbfounded. What in the world could have happened between the first showing and the second showing that would cause this? Turns out, our psycho real estate agent neighbor had been working in her yard when she saw this family look closer at the house. Of course, she couldn’t wait to bash the seller because she hadn’t used her as the listing agent.
We had disclosed everything in accordance with the statutes of Missouri. We even disclosed more than what was required as I believe that transparency is a “best practice” in listing homes for sale. The hyper possessive real estate agent made up lies about the house. What really killed the deal was that these young buyers were so proud of the house they’d chosen, and here this woman next door embarrassed them in front of their family. I completely understood the buyer’s agent and the family involved. When I told my seller what had happened, she was furious. “We need to file a complaint immediately!” Filing a complaint against another real estate professional is great and all, but the problem is we needed to get this house sold. The longer it sat on the market, the worse it was going to get for our seller. We ended up getting another offer quickly, and my seller asked that I stand outside and watch for crazy real estate agent lady during the buyer property inspection and the walk through. This is highly unusual, but given the circumstances, I agreed.
Even though we were able to sell the house quickly, that hyper possessive real estate agent certainly did herself no favors. Every neighbor in the subdivision knew what had happened, and my seller was happy to tell everyone she meets what an unprofessional real estate agent experience she had. When you are in real estate, there are always disappointments. This doesn’t mean that you should act unprofessionally. There will always be another deal IF you treat people the right way.
The “Family” Real Estate Agent
Have you ever heard that business and family don’t mix? I don’t have an opinion either way, but I know plenty of people who won’t use a family member as a real estate agent even if they are one of the best ones in St. Louis. There are a couple of reasons for this. For one, what if the deal goes south? Do you really want to have Thanksgiving dinner where you can’t be in the same room with your former real estate agent? Number two, I’ve heard plenty of stories where the real estate agent doesn’t seem to work as hard on the listing or finding a home for a new buyer because, after all, it’s family. What are they going to do if it doesn’t work out?
A close friend shared the following story to me. There was a woman who had a daughter. Her husband’s sister was a real estate agent. The woman’s daughter met a fellow, and he decided he was going to buy a condo to live in. The daughter would eventually move in if things progressed. The daughter’s boyfriend bought a condo and didn’t use the girlfriend’s aunt. When the daughter was having dinner with the family, it came out that her boyfriend had bought a condo. The hyper possessive aunt freaked out! “How could you use someone else to buy your home?” Never mind that it was the boyfriend that made the decision to pay for and buy his own condo. When the other family members saw this behavior, they all said that they were happy for the boyfriend and girlfriend on the purchase. This would have been the correct behavior for the aunt as well. You’ve already lost one deal, and the behavior you’ve displayed is going to lose you more. It’s hard enough to get a real estate deal closed, why shoot yourself in the foot?
How To Take The High Road As A Real Estate Agent
I completely understand where both of these hyper possessive real estate agents were coming from. If you are going to be in real estate sales for a living, there are going to be disappointments. You can’t let those disappointments affect your chances of getting home buyers or home sellers in the future. Here is what each should have done. Accept that they did not get the chance to help a buyer or seller, and move on. Our psycho neighbor real estate agent should have simply minded her own business. The transaction had nothing to do with her. Our crazy aunt real estate agent should have been happy for the family. You never know what your potential clients are thinking. Maybe there’s no good reason why they didn’t use you as a real estate agent. Maybe they did have a good reason. That doesn’t really matter now because you don’t have the opportunity to sell, and therefore you don’t have the opportunity to get any income. The decision has been made, and you need to move on. It hurts; I know. At the end of the day you just have to pick yourself up and move on. Being a hyper possessive real estate agent isn’t doing you any favors.