Buyers and Sellers Need to Interview Several Real Estate Agents in Stockton and Real Estate Agents Need to Earn the Listing
Please don’t assume that if you know me you have earned the right to be my Real Estate Agent? The truth be told, I don’t pick attorneys, certified public accountants, financial planners, Doctors or insurance agents that way. I believe that Real Estate Agents Need to Earn each and every Listing based on their willingness to accommodate the Sellers Needs.
With that said… I love aggressive Real Estate Agents. There is something about the intensity and the focus that I admire and respect. In my experience, they are the ones that I want in my corner. In this article I want to discuss a specific transaction so that others can learn from my experience.
2 Real Estate Agents one property
It happens, I am a cash buyer, real estate investor so I get a lot of people that will call me to see if I have any interest in purchasing houses throughout the Lodi, Stockton, Modesto and Sacramento real estate markets. So receiving calls from multiple agents about one property is not that uncommon, especially if that house is in need of a lot of repairs.
Most people only have the buying and selling of real estate experience once or twice in their life. For me, its what I do for a living so I talk to a lot of real estate agents. I don’t mind admitting that I have a certain amount of animus towards the profession, especially for those that are real estate agents in name only. So every once in a while I meet and appreciate the real professional that I want to work with. Unfortunately that is not the case most of the time.
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As a buyer and or seller I am not so much concerned as I represent myself in most transactions. But when I am paying a commission, I expect the listing and the commission to be earned with hard work and better than average representation. I also expect that real estate agents become team players regardless of what side of the transaction they represent, they need to get the job done. It really is that simple.
A Tale of 2 Real Estate Agents
It was a typical morning, the phone was ringing steadily, I was scheduling my day and I received a call from a real estate agent that I met about nine years ago (I’ll call him Jim) at a FREE real estate investors seminar in Stockton.
He was a real nice man and he wanted to get a jump start in real estate investing and the timing was right. I was new to the business myself, but had already completed buying and selling about 10 properties in Stockton by then. he sat with me for 2 days, bonding and picking my brain, looking for common ground and validation as he decided whether or not to make the plunge. Some people jump in with both feet and others dip a toe. He wanted to transition to real estate investing in Stockton, but just could not get past becoming a cash buyer.
His call was perfect, I am always looking for a property to purchase and he had a great lead. The property right next door to his house and it was going to be listed soon… within days, and he was hopeful to get the listing. He wanted to know if I was still a cash home buyer in Stockton and whether I had any interest. He then asked if I would be willing to pay him a finders fee if I was able to buy the property. I assured him I would gladly do that. He gave me the address so I could do a little research on the property while the family was cleaning out the house.
Enter Real Estate Agent Two:
She called, ironically enough, to see if I had any interest in the same property that Jim had mentioned a few days earlier. She informed me that she had just signed the listing with the family that lived in Washington State, and prior to it hitting the market, she was calling a few investors in Stockton to test the waters. I explained that I had spoke with the neighbor who was also a real estate agent, Jim, and that I had heard about the house and I was very much interested in the property.
I called Jim and let him know that Anna had called me and that she had gotten the listing. He was clearly upset and reminded me that I had agreed to pay him a finders fee, (specifically not a commission) if I bought the house. I assured him that I had not forgotten and we settled on a fee of between $2500 and $3000 depending on the purchase price that I thought would be in the $155,000 to $165,000 price range. Either way I was happy and Jim was happy, so I thought.
I called Anna and set up a time to do a walk through.
When I drove up to the house I noticed that there were two other houses (one on each side) all in a similar condition suffering from severe deferred maintenance. I had no idea that the house to the right, with tall weeds growing from the rain gutters was Jim’s until he walked down his driveway to greet me. I could tell that he was not concerned as he strutted across the driveway in his nylon sweat pants and tee shirt.
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Jim was obviously a little upset that he did not get the listing, but I was not shocked considering his house was also going to be a hindrance in the sale based on its condition. Jim had told me that he thought he lost the listing because he got bashed by the agent that was eventually hired. At that time I really didn’t know the reason but I suspected, there was more to the story and that Jim had basically bashed himself… after all Anna is a powerhouse, all business and driven and she did not live next door with a mess in her yard.
Anna came out to greet me and was a little shocked that Jim was there. She had already met him. I thought nothing of his presence and Anna just took it in stride as she proceeded to show me the house, Jim trailing.
Anna and I talked regarding an all cash offer and a 10 day closing and negotiated a Sale of $162,000.00. I told Anna that I needed to pay Jim a $2,700.00 finders fee. We signed the purchase and sale agreement and I placed the funds in escrow. The house closed in 9 days and we started our rehab project.
Thereafter, Jim was at the house on a daily basis eyeing the progress of demolition and rehab. Talking. Constantly talking. He wanted things. Pieces of sheet-rock, plywood and left over 2×4’s. It was frustrating and annoying. He asked me about materials, he asked me about paint and he asked me about how much things cost. On about day five Jim asked me if when I was finished he could List the house for me and become my real estate agent.
I looked directly at Jim and I said… “I would be willing to consider it, but first you need to do something for me. You need to clean up the front of your house. Clean out the growing weeds in your rain gutters, weed the front yard and remove the cardboard boxes, large trash bags and other debris from the front of your house. We need to get the house ready for sale and I would prefer yours NOT looking the way it does. I said …. my trailer is right there just trow it all in or put it in your garage… please. Can you do that? He was clearly offended and just as pointedly said to me, “Peter, I got you this lead, you owe it to me”.
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All I could think was this is unbelievable…. I would not consider hiring you at this point for any reason, but I bit my tongue.
We finished the rehab in 35 days. That was 90 days ago and Jim’s rain gutters now have tall dead weeds, the boxes in the driveway are still there, the front yard is not weeded and I removed the trash bags. Others quickly replaced them.
It’s Real Simple… Real Estate Agents Need to Earn the Listing.