There are some agents who feel they must create drama in order to prove to their clients that they are working hard on the client’s behalf. These are the worst transactions to be involved in as just about everyone leaves it feeling battered and bruised.
I’ve been involved in more than a few of these.
In the first one that comes to mind, the listing agent worked the seller into such a frenzy that she became convinced that my client was trying to cheat her. She then refused to cooperate with us on anything, even refused to comply with repairs that she had agreed to in the contract. I would have chalked this up to the seller just being unreasonable until I heard through the grapevine that this is typical of this listing agent’s transactions. Virtually every agent I’ve spoken to has had a similar story about selling this agent’s listings. My client is very happy with his new home, but he certainly has a bad taste in his mouth from the way he was treated by the other agent. Believe it or not, the seller refused to sit in the same room with us at settlement.
In another sale, the buyers’ agent took every problem and made each one into a federal case, threatening that her clients were going to cancel the contract if my client didn’t cooperate. The truth is, as is often the case, that neither side got everything it wanted. The buyers didn’t get all the repairs they wanted, nor did they get all new carpeting and other cosmetic items that they requested after the home inspection. The seller ended up spending considerably more money on repairs – many of them cosmetic – than she expected in order to get to settlement. I am ashamed to say I completely lost my cool on this one, but never with my client. Thinking back, I was successful in getting both of us to laugh over how unreasonable the repairs were. By keeping the end result in mind (selling the house and getting out from under the mortgage payment), I was able to help my client move past the problems.
I think that there is enough drama inherent in purchasing or selling a home without creating more. I can think of nothing better than a trouble-free transaction. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t problems — they come with the territory. But when the agent on the other side is calm and professional, we can work through the issues with a minimum of fuss. It’s such a relief when I call an agent with a request or problem and the other agent simply says “thanks for the call, I’ll discuss it with my client”.
No drama. No fuss. Just professional behavior that serves both sides well. Sometimes buyers and sellers can be unreasonable. But that doesn’t mean that we agents have to buy into it. I think we serve our clients best when we stay objective and don’t get personal in our reaction to whatever the problem is. Buyers and sellers can find family and friends to fuel outrage. They don’t need us to pile on. Take it seriously, yes. Work towards resolving whatever it is in our client’s best interests, absolutely. But not take it on as a personal affront. That doesn’t serve anyone well.
© 2011 Susan Pruden.