Question Details

Carrie Crowe…, Real Estate Pro in Southaven, MS

Do you find buyers are loyal or wishy washy with an agent?

Asked by Carrie Crowell, Southaven, MS Tue Aug 21, 2007

Often times you will invest hours with a buyer just to have them call or email saying they have found a great FSBO they made an offer on without giving you the opportunity to represent them. I once had a client that actually bought a FSBO, moved in before closing, decided that there must be something wrong with the place, the seller let them out of the contract, they came back to me, we spent more hours looking, and they finally bought from friend of the family without my help! How do you get buyers to be loyal?

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Carrie, in this case they had no loyalty to give. I think that sometimes we go against our own intuition and "hope" for the best. Ironically, situations such as these seem to turn into self'-fulfilling prophecies. I think at sometime or another many agents, myself included, have either been very pollyanna or very desperate. If we listen very carefully people will reveal their character, thinking of the end point can disallow us the opportuntiy from what is going on in the present.

Trust yourself, listen and keep moving on.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 22, 2007
As a consumer and FSBO with open houses, I like Patrick's comment about "cancel at anytime." You have a legally binding agreement with them. If they go to a FSBO Open House and decide they want to make an offer, they have to call you first to cancel the contract. This gives you the opportunity to gather information and/or sell them on your services as their agent in a FSBO transaction. You can then contact the seller and ask if they are cooperating. Sell yourself to the seller as well. It's better for you to do the work of both the buyer's and seller's agents for the commission of a buyer's agent than to get nothing at all. The seller is still saving the listing agent's commission. By having a professional handling the paperwork, inspections and complicated details, the transaction is far less likely to fall through. "Mr Seller, isn't x% worth more than having three months pass and have no buyer?" Sales training lesson over.

As to loyalty, I was shocked how many people signed into my open houses and filled out "yes" they were working with an agent. When I asked who, they told me. People who left it blank would say, sort of. I would say about 20% said no. Hmm, if some lookers were nosy neighbors, 20% would be too high. But maybe the neighbors didn't sign in. So loyalty does exist.

Good luck,
Ruth
Web Reference: http://www.oak-park-il.com
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 22, 2007
Ruthless, Other/Just Looking in 60558
MVP'08
That bad buyer gave you two clear signals. First, when they got into the FSBO contract, them when they weaseled out. they demonstrated they were weasly twice, before you spent more hours looking.
Good buyers and clients will be loyal. Weasels will be weasels; you can't change them.

Best to dis-entangle from weasels as soon as you can. Before you invest dozens or hundreds of hours in building a transaction for them.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 21, 2007
Jim Walker, Real Estate Pro in Carmichael, CA
MVP'08
Contact
Carrie,
I find most instances of buyer disloyalty happen because the consumer is uneducated, and doesn't understand real estate business practices--it is our responsibility to educate them. But, in this particular case, I'm gonna' go with Jim and Yolanda and say these people were just "weasels" (to use Jim's colorful term)--blow it off!

Pam,
I think JR's question was meant for you. I'd also like to know how you generate such loyalty without a buyers agency agreement... Please comment...
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 22, 2007
Carrie.....
I am very fortunate that most of my business comes from referrals and most of it is representing sellers. When I take on a buyer I find they are very committed to buy and use me as their Realtor. I tell them how I work and then ask if they want to do business that way and ask them for their committment. We are in escrow within a short period of time. Also, I do not use a buyer broker agreement. Hope this helps.
Web Reference: http://pamwinterbauer.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 21, 2007
Pam Winterba…, Real Estate Pro in Danville, VA
MVP'08
Contact
Thank you all for your responses. It has been great to hear your horror stories. I did not think I was the only one with a bad deal! Sorry to hear some of your stories. I guess as far as the weasels go it is every weasel for himself! And that about sums it up! I too would like to hear from Pam! Pam are you out there?
Web Reference: http://carriecrowell.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 22, 2007
I have had a National Sales Manager who manages dozens of commission agents, call and buy a property from a listing agent. We had been out 6x and he fully understands how I get paid. He said he felt badly. He just happened to be in the neighborhood, drove by and was anxious, called, she ran out and wrote the offer. He knew much about the market as a result of the time we spent together and the education I had provided on market trends. I had discussed the property with him, but he previously declined to make an appt. After the fact, he said, "Oh, I forgot we talked about that property."

Dual agency is allowed in NJ. I had no BA agreement. It isn't that common in our area to use them and clients immediately question why no one else wanted one. That, in itself, is a big tip off that they are cruising with more than one agent.

I, too, am most curious to hear Pam bestow her words of wisdom of why and how her loyalty factors are so high.

Yes, I have had the pleasure of working with some wonderful buyers who were loyal. I see lack of loyalty frequently here. Is there a difference geographically?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 22, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
MVP'08
Contact
I will write some profile info as soon as I have a chance. When I first signed up I just wanted to comment on a post and hadn't intended to stick around a long time, but you know how addicting it is. I'm really here not to blow my own horn (not that you all are), but to give totally honest answers, which I'm sure some of the public may not like including some of "my" public. :)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 22, 2007
Bridgette wrote:
I find most instances of buyer disloyalty happen because the consumer is uneducated, and doesn't understand real estate business practices--it is our responsibility to educate them. But, in this particular case, I'm gonna' go with Jim and Yolanda and say these people were just "weasels" (to use Jim's colorful term)--blow it off!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I had an educated buyer, in fact he was a commissioned sales person in a field I was in previously and we discussed that many times and he and his wife both understood how I was paid. I mentioned them previously: she wanted to see it NOW, he wanted to see it on the way home from work then they both wanted to see it together, then don't make an offer. And as another agent said, they'd call me on things they seen months ago. But they also seemed to remember every house we'd been in, and how long it was on the market, and even REVISITED some of them when they came down. They made 5 lowballs thru me. After a year and a half of looking at houses in 5 towns they walked into a new construction I had told them about in a town they didn't want, a location they had driven by that they didn't like, that "wasn't near anything", that I could not talk them into going into 3 times.....and bought it from the person the builder had there. They never even told me until I called them. Then they called back and "thanked me for my time." Talk about weasels. I will never take a buyer out more than once without an EBA again. And buyers complain about agents not calling them back. Sometimes you have to cut bait.

And regarding the hourly work thread, near the end I think if I had gotten paid finally I wuold have made abuot $3 an hour.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 22, 2007
Carrie, this happens to everyone and we simply can't take it personally. As much as we try to educate clients, some still don't understand quite how they're getting a buyer's agent at no cost to them, so they find other ways around it. And then some people simply are not considerate of our time and money.

I bring new buyers into my office to meet and discuss our plan of action, review their pre-approval, and discuss the terms of our relationship. This way, they view me as the professional that I am rather than a tour guide with an MLS key. Communication is top on my list. They understand that we're entering into a professional relationship to which we are all committed. If they don't wish to do this, then I know right up front how serious they are likely to be.

Loyalty is what I get when I do a fantastic job. I think it tends to come later in the relationship.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 22, 2007
Isn't loyalty in general a thing of the past? Unless the buyers understand that selling them a house is how you earn your living AND they really care, they will sign with whoever happens to be in the room at the time. Once in a while I come across caring people who appreciate my time, expense and effort and make an effort to sign only with me. God bless them.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 22, 2007
Screen them well, ask the right questions before even taking them out let them show you how serious they are about buying, if they dont want to be reasonable, if they run circles with your questions, and dont give you solid answers and just waver every minute, its wise of you to just let it go ....., I personally have to work with people who respect my time and appreciate what I do for them .... Because we do work hard and respect should be mutual.... just keep being a good agent but not letting people walk all over you ....... it will pay off.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 21, 2007
I am eternally grateful to two of the agents I have used and brag about them all the time. The one agent, Cathy Bier of Smothers Realty, I must have referred 3 people to her in 4 months. I was very frustrated at trying to sell and buy my home (few years ago) and was very hard on her at times. But we both just kept trying to find solutions. She is now top agent in La Grange, IL. Unfortunately, she's not in Oak Park. I used her to make an offer on a place in Western Springs that was declined but used Buy Side Realty (Redfin type company) to make the offer in Oak Park. Every time I give someone a tour of our personal home, Cathy gets credit for finding it for us.

The other agent was Michael Webber who was with ReMax. I don't know where he is now, Downers Grove or Naperville? He might just be doing appraisals now. He went above and beyond to notify us about a new listing. There must have been 5 other sneek preview people before us. We ended up having a fully signed contract before the sign even went up in the yard.

So it goes back to the agent not knowing whether they are going to get paid but reputation and referrals will reward you. If I know of anyone in your area, I will refer them to you. You have proven yourself online here.
Ruth
Web Reference: http://www.oak-park-il.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 21, 2007
Ruthless, Other/Just Looking in 60558
MVP'08
Well, Patrick we are trying, we are trying! Buyer's agency JUST ARRIVED on Long Island and lower NYS, so we are having to educate consumers because right now they think, why should they sign a contract with us to get something they've always gotten for free.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 22, 2007
JR,
I said "most instances"--your guys were weasels too! Double weasels! ...'cause the guy was a commissioned sale person. BTW, put up some profile info already Mr. Anonymous! And where's Pam to answer our question about loyalty without an EBA? I'd really like to know the answer to that one...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 22, 2007
It depends. If they are under contract with you, then there is no issue. However, there is no way to guarantee loyalty without a contract. You can tell them that you want to be the person that helps them find their home and show them by being the best agent that you can be, but ultimately, they may stumble into an open house on their own and decide to make an offer, or get contacted by another agent and make an offer even though they said that they were working with you. Some will be as loyal as if they were under contract. Others won't. Unfortunately, it's part of the business.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 22, 2007
Carol, you said When I take on a buyer I find they are very committed to buy and use me as their Realtor. I tell them how I work and then ask if they want to do business that way and ask them for their committment. We are in escrow within a short period of time.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

WOndering what you tell them when you explain how you work. Most of my problems come from buyers and buyer loyalty. Any advice will be appreciated.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 22, 2007
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