You might not like my answer, but I never charge my client service fees, and I always make it a policy to tell my clients upfront that they can cancel the listing agreement if either they change their minds, or if I am not living up to my promise - however, I do ask them that I would like to know if that should ever happen so I can correct them before we have to cancel the agreement. So far, I do have a couple of clients changed their minds about selling due to the market condition and I donâ€™t blame them for not wanting to sell
We always say that buying and selling houses are one of the most important financial decisions a person has to make and that is the truth. Sometimes people get cold feet once they get into the actions and the reality is upon them.
I work for my clients on a long term basis and I donâ€™t have to have them sell or buy â€˜NOWâ€™. If you are doing a great job for them now, and they just change their mind for whatever reason; I'd let them take the house off the market and let the listing expire as the contract term calls for.
Do it graciously, make sure you keep in touch with them and keep a pulse on their real estate needs. If they don't buy/sell today, they might do it next year or a few years down the road. They will remember you and will use you again, I am sure.
The expense and time spent is really part of business investment. We win some and we lose some; temporary, but we will win in the long run.
It's a shock, and it's a disappointment; and yes, it really hurts, especially when you work so hard for them and know you are doing excellent job for them; but sometimes that's actually the best, both for you and for them.
That's what I practice and they do come back when they are ready. .
This type of thing is very, very common in our business; another example: Just today a buyer said to me, "Is it okay if we look at 3 of the same houses again? I'm sorry to waste your time". And I spent several minutes explaining to him: "Please don't feel that way, this is a huge decision and you take all the time you need. My job is like fishing: I might sit on a lake all day and have nothing but several hours of sunshine to show for it. However, tomorrow I might catch Moby Dick!"
This is truly my philosophy with Buyers and Sellers. I do think I would draw the line somewhere..... but I have yet to find it. Ultimately maybe you spent $500 and now they wanna pull the rug out. However, imagine if you refuse....and alienate them, how many people they will tell...and what it could potentially cost you???
Example: I had a Seller last year who had FSBO'd at first. He asked for 3 exceptions to the listing. For the first time in my history, one actually showed up and bought the place!! So I didn't make a dime. I also previously spent 4 months with this gentleman showing him houses to buy, and ultimately he BOUGHT fsbo too lol. So I've spent all this time with this guy and it's only cost me from a financial standpoint. When I listed his house, I bet I spent 8 hours alone building a website dedicated to his house alone, virtual tours that I do myself, etc.
But when he told me he had to pull it due to the purchaser exception, I smiled and was as professional both out my mouth and in my heart about it. Now he called me recently, and may list that FSBO house he bought with me. Maybe I'll make some monetary gain, maybe not. But ultimately our business is RELATIONSHIPS NOT TRANSACTIONS, right? So remember that, suck it up and be a friend no matter what. Ultimately THIS deal may cost you X, but in the long run, doing the right thing could make you X^2.
Just remember it's about relationships, and our job is to make them happy, ask yourself these questions and if you ARE focused on the almighty dollar, that's fine--just realize that sincerity makes the most money and frankly, when you don't care about the money, but instead care about the people, THAT'S how you become great and of course the bank account will follow.
Just my 2 cents on a good question, or perhaps a long winded version of Sylvia's answer lol.
Last piece of advice: If you're not having fun with this real estate business, it ain't worth it anyway!
Broker, CRS, GRI, ePro
Raving Real Estate
Laramie, WY 82070