After 35 years of real estate, you’d think I would know how to avoid the pitfalls of the business, right?
Recently I was giving an out-of-town buyer a courtesy tour to educate them about the Boise area, in anticipation of their possible move to our area.
They had told me to they were going to relocate and that Boise was high on their list of relocation alternatives, but needed to visit and learn more about the area.
So, I agreed to give them one of my comprehensive local tours ~ a good faith gesture for someone who might become a future client.
I had been in contact with them for several months, had answered many questions by e-mail, and had arranged to show them around, plus show them a few homes.
They said they wanted a newer home, so I searched MLS and found some good examples.
As I pulled up in front of the first new home, they proclaimed “We don’t want to be in a subdivision!”.
Well, gee, folks, all of our new homes just happen to be in subdivisions!
In fact, when you stop and think about it, everything has been subdivided since the day our planet was originated.
So, I left them at a local restaurant for lunch while I went back to the office to search MLS so I could start over and show them old homes in old neighborhoods.
I retrieved them from the restaurant, resumed showing them homes, and while we were in the first home the wife answered a cell phone call.
I thought it odd that she moved to a corner of the kitchen and turned her back, and then I overheard her furtively say “Yes, we are looking for 1,500 to 2,000 square feet priced between $250,000 and $300,000”.
Stunned, I realized that she was actually talking to another agent while I was showing her and her husband homes!
Kinda tacky, right?
I should’ve just taken them back to their hotel, but instead, I continued showing them the remaining homes.
When I finally took them back to their hotel, I asked them if they had talked with any other agents.
They admitted that they were going to be working with two other agents while they were in town.
They didn’t appreciate it when I explained that all agents work from the same MLS listing inventory and that no experienced, competent agent would give them the time of day if they learned that they were working with multiple agents.
In retrospect, I realized that this sorry episode was the equivalent of taking a woman out to dinner and having her take a call from another guy while I’m paying for dinner.
Loyalty matters when you’re in a business where you only get paid for a closed transaction.
I try to give everyone a chance, but every now and then, someone gets to me.
Guess I need to qualify harder, eh?
Or, require a signed Buyer Representation Agreement before showing property?