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Professional Courtesy: Where Did It Go?

Wade Corbett

By Wade Corbett

It never ceases to amaze me how REALTORS® can treat each other sometimes. I recently had an experience with a buyer’s agent who could not have been more rude or bullheaded. I never like to talk poorly about anyone as it’s not my nature and I don’t think it’s very professional, but in this case, it may be necessary for today’s lesson. There are loathsome people throughout all walks of life and it’s impossible to avoid all of them. Why though, do some real estate professionals think that being difficult to work with helps anyone? Our primary duty is to provide our client with quality service in a lawful manor. After all, we wouldn’t make it too far without our clients, would we?

Recently, I sold a property that had a cracked septic system. Knowing that replacing this system would be financially impossible for my clients, I opened my bag of saved favors to ensure they would be able to sell their vacant home. I was able to convince one of my best contractors to replace the septic tank for less than cost, (yes, she actually lost money replacing it), as a massive favor for me. With breakneck speed, we obtained the appropriate permits, and the job was done in just a few days. Even so, the buyer’s agent was not impressed, and without going into any detail, was very unprofessional during the entire ordeal. The other agent actually called my favorite contractor to fuss about the pace of the work being done. Meanwhile, this agent called me horrible names and insulted my real estate abilities to my contractor!

The property did end up closing after continued scrutiny from the buying party. My sellers, a married couple who live several hours away, knew nothing of the troubles mentioned or the ugliness of the buying side. All they knew was that I was going to do everything in my power to ensure that the property sold. I ended up calling in a lot of favors and I took a significant loss on my commission. However, my hard work paid off. Since the deal closed, the sellers have referred me additional business, given me marketing space on their website—at no cost—and called me many times to thank me for all my help!

All in all, the buyer’s agent was very difficult to work with and at some point impossible to communicate with. It was clear from early on that this agent was only interested in making a commission and not on her client’s well-being. So what’s the lesson here? We should all try to be friendly and courteous to one another. There’s no reason to ever be hurtful to a fellow REALTOR®!

Have you ever had a negative experience with the other party in a real estate transaction? If so, how did you handle it?

Wade Corbett is a REALTOR® with RE/MAX Southland Realty in Garner, North Carolina. Connect with him at WadeCorbett.com or facebook.com/WadeCorbettInc.

Comments
  1. I don’t have a problem with professional “Realtors” in my location. I do have a problem with local real estate agents in my lake community who won’t pay to join a board and “learn”. She doesn’t know what she doesn’t know is what all my Realtor friends comment. This woman sends photos of my open house signs to the local association office complaining that it is unfair (when it is not). She calls my sellers asking to list their property when my listing expires. My clients relay this information to me. Why don’t all people selling real estate have to abide by a professional Code of Ethics? I’m torn about what to do. My local board tells me to file a complaint with the real estate commission.

  2. jim

    The sellers should know EXACTLY how hard you worked for them. You earned their future referrals and the right to ask for them. If a buyers agents is talking behind your back to the contractor, what makes you think he is NOT doing the same thing to your sellers? You can’t be ‘partially’ unethical.

  3. I’ve had the opposite happen. Some listing agents can be so rude and so uncooperative that it can be difficult for us to do our job to our best abilities.
    My take on it is that it’s totally un-necessary, it is not conducive to good business and all it does is give us a bad name in the public eye.

  4. Wade, you did the right thing. You were professional and did not involve your clients in all the other agents drama.

    When agents insist on being difficult for no other reason that to stroke their ego, it only puts a bad light on them in the end. It is very hard not to want to club them over the head, but composure and professionalism will always prevail.

    Good Job!

  5. MARILOU

    …just be professional at all times and as hard as you can… sooner or later same thing will happened to those kind of agents/aka realtors…real estate arena is a zoo then and now. the beast group realty?… you can’t ignore them as we need their buyers. your case is just another proof,” you can’t change people but you can change yourself’, in a more possitive way. dont worry, your crown as a good realty agent is shining all the time and that edge you up above the crowd. count my thumbs up on your professionalism!

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