“Hi! My Realtor is busy, can you show me a home?” (note, this is NOT our listing)
“So you are working with a Realtor?”
“Yeah, but they are too busy, and we really want to see this home. We just need you to show it to us.”
OK folks, here is the deal….
Can’t I use any Realtor to show me houses?
We CAN’T show you a home if you are working with another Realtor. “Why not?”, you may be asking yourself.
Well first, if I may be so blunt, why should we? You want us to get in the car, drive over to a home, open it up, show you around (and assume the legal liability surrounding this process), and answer your questions. Then, if you like the home, you plan to return to your too busy Realtor so they can write up the offer and proceed to collect their commission check.
Meanwhile, what do we gain from this endeavor? We earn our living helping people through real estate transactions. We can’t earn a living driving other Realtor’s clients around acting as a showing service.
I will freely admit that one of the best things about being a Realtor is the “warm fuzzy” you get from helping people through an often daunting process so they can enjoy owning a new home. It’s a great feeling. I do however, have to feed my children and pay my own mortgage. I do this by helping MY CLIENTS through this process. I have plenty of clients. I love my clients. I do not have time to show someone else’s client a property just for the fun of helping a fellow human being. Doing so takes time away from my own clients, and from my own business needs and development (not to mention what little personal life I may have).
The other reason I can’t show a home for another Realtor revolves around our Code of Ethics, the sometimes confusing subject of procuring cause, and my own personal ethical standards. You see, I’m obligated to not “steal” a client from a fellow Realtor, no matter what their competence level might be. Now before another agent jumps in here correcting me, let me make this clear…
Technically, I can’t solicit a client who has signed an agreement to work with another Realtor. Technically, I COULD show a home to another agent’s “client” if they have no signed agreement, and I could make an excellent case that I was the “procuring cause” of the transaction and am therefore entitled to the commission on the sale.
I don’t work that way. If an agent is actively working with someone, in my mind that someone is their client, regardless of whether or not they’ve signed a binding agreement (commonly referred to as a Buyer Broker Agreement). Here’s one place (of several) where my own personal ethical standard is at a higher level than the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Code of Ethics.
Honestly, it makes me ill when I get calls from people who say their Realtor is too busy for them. Or if they say, “My Realtor will only show me five homes, and I have a couple more I really want to see”. (I’m not making this one up folks, I’ve heard it more than once.) Those people made an unfortunate choice in Realtors. But again, I’m ethically bound to not bash my fellow brethren, so I can’t tell the poor souls in this situation what they should do. (namely, RUN AWAY and find a good agent — and there are MANY of those).
I will gently explain the our situation to these folks, as well as discuss options that I’m permitted to discuss. A significant portion of calls like this come from people using friends and/or family members as their agent. Bad idea most of the time, but that’s a whole ‘nuther blog entry.
So to those out there who find themselves in a situation where they are working with a Realtor that’s too busy to help them, or are working with a Realtor who has the ludicrous practice of limiting the number of homes they’ll show, about all I can say is take a step back. Reevaluate your commitment to using this Realtor. You are working on what will most likely be the single largest financial transaction of your life. You need, and deserve, to work with the best. And there are many many great agents out there. Unfortunately, there are several bad apples as well. Be careful.
To the Realtors out there with clients that have to resort to calling another agent to get help, about all I can say is…. shame on you. Perhaps you should consider another profession.
[tags]Procuring Cause, Buyer Broker Agreement, Phoenix Real Estate[/tags]