Please, please… Bug your agent. Really.
I get calls a lot from buyers or prospective tenants. Very often they have their own agent… so why are they calling me?
“I didn’t want to bug my agent,”…Oy.
They just have a few questions, and they don’t want to call their agent. Sometimes they are embarrassed about their indecisiveness. Sometimes they can’t reach their agent and they just can’t wait to know the answer to their questions. Sometimes they’re just impulsive. There are a variety of reasons why someone will pick up the phone and call an agent that is not their agent. And it is all great, and all harmless… kinda, well, maybe not.
I have been both the agent that you didn’t want to bother, and the agent that you didn’t mind bothering. As either one, I would like to ask that you please, please BUG your agent.
There are several reasons for this…
First, you need to recognize that your (Buyers/Tenant) agent is supposed to work for you, and to get paid for their efforts in working with you. That is your agreement with her.
Without intending to, you may:
1. Make her job harder.
Earlier this year I had a client call a seller’s agent and spill her guts about their personal situation. The seller’s agent told the seller, because she is required to, and the seller didn’t want to accept my client’s offer. It wasn’t because of me, or anything in the offer, it was because of the things the buyer had told the seller’s agent.
2. Cause your agent not to get paid at all for their efforts.
Your actions could result in your agent not being recognized as the “Procuring Cause” of the sale, which likely will result in the listing agent/seller refusing to pay him or her. This happens a lot with new construction where buyers meander into a model out of curiosity and later decide they want to write a contract.
3. End up having to pay your agent yourself, from your pocket. Cash, Check or Charge?
Do you know how much 3% of $500,000 is? A lot. And if you have an agreement with your buyers agent that says you won’t look at houses without him or her, and you do it anyway, you are in breach of that contract, which is enforceable by law.
And, even if NONE of these things happen, you’re contacting an agent asking them information, perhaps even having them show you a house… and not giving them the opportunity to earn your business or to get paid for their time and efforts. It’s unfair.
Most real estate agents are independent contractors. We do not get paid by the hour or have any salary base pay or work on a “draw” system. We work STRICTLY on commission… payment comes after a sale is complete, never before then. The expenses come first… cars, insurance, gas, computer, pens, paper, contract forms, internet, electricity, phone, mls access, lockbox access, board fees, etc. And we use all of those resources to assist you, as well as our own time. Our time is valuable, too, you know. Not only do we have family, friends, volunteer obligations, our own household projects, etc but we have – get this – actual clients who want us to get paid in exchange for the work we do for them. It is unfair for you to ask an agent who is NOT your agent to work for you, for free, without the opportunity to get paid.
So here’s the bottom line: BUG YOUR AGENT. Hire an agent and let them work for you. Talk to them. Tell them what you’re thinking and what you’ve seen that has peaked your interest, even if you’ve completely changed your criteria. It’s OK, it happens to lots of people.
Let your agent represent you…. that means let them do the talking for you. Negotiations begin very early in the game, perhaps before you’ve seen the property. An experienced agent knows how to lay a foundation and get information from the other side which will allow you to acheive your goals. So, let them gather information and show you homes. Let them do their jobs, and let them get paid for it.