The essence of our jobs!

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential
http://actvra.in/8Xl

I've talked about this subject with new agents in the past, with occasional success, when we talk about negotiations, and the fact that it needn't be 'adversarial'.  I have a buyer who wants to buy, you have a seller who wants to sell.  Let's see how we can help them facilitate that sale.

That's really the essence of our jobs, isn't it?
Once we get past the "marketing" aspect.

Many agents feel the need to prove their value to their clients, and like to flex their muscles. And in doing so they sometimes set their clients expectations too high.  "I know you said that you'd be happy to get this house for 96% of the list price..." says the agent to their buyer "but I'm going to cram our offer down their throats, and make them sell it to you for 90%!" he says beaming with pride.

What buyer would say "don't do that!"  How many buyers do you know who would tell that agent "No, I don't want to punish the seller for the downmarket, I just want to get this home for a price that I can afford."?  Yeah, there are very few of those out there.

It's important, as we talk to our buyers and sellers, that we remove our egos from the equation.

A better approach might be to ask our buyer: "What is your goal... how much would you like to get this home for?"  Typically the buyers have some idea.  If they don't, show them your CMA that you've run on the property.  Show them it's market value.  You could offer: "It would be great if we could get the seller to recognize the market value and sell it to you for that, or if we're lucky, maybe even a little lower?"

It's a business transaction.  It needn't be personal.  So many agents take it personally, and like to leave their "Mark" on the deal. We have a buyer and seller, and we want to put them together.  As a seller's agent, I'd like to make sure that my seller gets a reasonable price, with the best and safest terms.  As a buyer's agent, I'd like the same.

I don't need to beat up the buyer, or the seller... or even the other agent.  We both work in the same community, and will likely have additional transactions together.  That doesn't mean I should lie down like a rug, and let the other agent walk all over me and my client, but neither does it mean that I have to make them cry "Uncle!"  Does it?

(250  -34)
I'd like to teach the world to sing,
in per-fect harmony...

Posted by

 ALAN MAY, Realtor®
Specializing in Evanston Real Estate and North Shore Real Estate

Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, 2929 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201
847.425.3779      Cell: 847.924.3313      Email: Almay@aol.com

Evanston Real Estate & North Shore Real Estate
Licensed in Illinois

   

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Show All Comments
Ambassador
987,236
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Rich - oh, we still have plenty of face-to-face up here in the 'burbs.

April 27, 2011 06:50 PM #101
Rainer
8,048
Ed DeShields
Dallas, TX

Best post I've seen on Active Rain. 

April 27, 2011 07:22 PM #102
Rainmaker
90,473
Risa Liebster
Ramsey-Shilling Associates - Los Angeles, CA
Toluca Lake Real Estate

Alan, Perhaps "the gloves" come off with respect to fellow real estate professionals because so many agents out there forget why they got into this business in the first place. They are focusing on numbers, awards and accolades instead of being of service to the community. Great post!

April 27, 2011 07:37 PM #103
Rainmaker
578,764
DeeDee Riley
Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA - El Dorado Hills, CA
Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas

I agree with you Alan!  It's a give and take thing and as long as neither of them feel like they got the short end of the stick, everyone will be happy and the escrow moves along much smoother. 

April 27, 2011 08:14 PM #104
Ambassador
987,236
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Ed - thank you.

Risa - perhaps.

DeeDee - even with someone feeling the short end of the stick... it still calls for professionalism.

April 27, 2011 08:46 PM #105
Rainer
19,016
Tim Woodcock
E Flat Fee Realty SWO - London, ON

Hey Alan ! Great post, very thought provoking. Check your ego at the door and negotiate like a gentleman or gentlewoman ( is there such a word?) ! As you put it so well, you have a buyer, I have a seller , and at the end of the day we both have to work in the same city.

April 27, 2011 10:41 PM #106
Rainmaker
169,017
Dan Derito
Success! Real Estate - Brockton, MA

Good post Alan.  The best deals are when everyone wins.  Sometimes 'terms and conditions' can be worth more than a few extra dollars if it leads to a smoother transaction. 

April 28, 2011 12:23 AM #107
Rainmaker
811,035
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
your real estate writer

This adversarial attitude from agents isn't new. I left real estate about 6 years ago, and that's one of the things I definitely don't miss!

April 28, 2011 02:34 AM #108
Rainer
68,804
Robert Courtney
Lihue, HI
Century 21 All Islands, RA, CDPE, MCRE, CIAS

Alan - I agree with you.  Keep the clients in front of our mind when talking with our colleagues on the other side of a transaction.  It is about them finding a common ground, not us being able to beat someone out of something.

April 28, 2011 03:45 AM #109
Ambassador
987,236
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Tim - there is such a word, and such a thing.

Dan - not question that 'terms and conditions' need to be considered... it ain't all price.

Marte - it's been around for a while.

Robert - a good way to put it... searching for common ground.

April 28, 2011 08:25 AM #110
Rainmaker
162,824
Elisa Uribe Realtor #01427070
Wells and Bennett Realtors - Oakland, CA
California Homes for Sale in the East Bay

Alan, any paticular reason you have men and not women in both photo's? Ha ha. I did see a lot of this before the market shifted. Now it seems agents are just happy to negotiate the deal, egos aside.

April 28, 2011 08:46 AM #111
Ambassador
987,236
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Elisa - clean your glasses... the person in the green sweater in the first photo is a woman.

  you may notice her ponytail, earring and girlish figure.. .but if you're unsure, notice her fingernails!!

April 28, 2011 08:51 AM #112
Rainer
24,636
Robert Clarke
Tenafly, NJ

I agree that we should keep emotion out of the process. That is what our clients hire us for -- to be an objective and well-informed advisor.

At the same time, however, we have a fiduciary obligation to our clients to represent their best interests. Defining what their "best interests" are, however, can be the tricky part.

In today's market, we should use our strong negoitating position to get a buyer the lowest price possible. We should also do everything we can to urge a seller, in some circumstances, to accept an offer that may seem low, because we know the market is still declining, and four months from now, they are going to wish they had accepted that offer.

We should use any and every ethical advantage we can on behalf of our clients ... in fact we are legally required to do so. 

Nothing in the Realtor Code of Ethics nor in my state's license laws says we have to be jerks about it, though.

April 28, 2011 10:18 AM #113
Ambassador
987,236
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Robert - "Nothing in the Realtor Code of Ethics nor in my state's license laws says we have to be jerks about it, though."  well put.  Should be our new tag line.

April 28, 2011 10:35 AM #114
Rainer
157,250
Rhonda Abbott
Howard Hanna - Wadsworth, OH
Wadsworth & Greater Akron, OH

The buyers agent I had to work with on my first listing should read this post.  She called my seller "crazy" and her buyers' competition in the multiple offer situation "nothing but white trash", all in the name of shaving some rent money off a lease-purchase deal.  And this from one of the more experienced, leading agents in that office! I was shocked, to say the least!

April 28, 2011 01:28 PM #115
Ambassador
987,236
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Rhonda - some of the agents who've been doing this the longest have the most edge (of course, some of them are a delightful and professional as they can be).

April 28, 2011 01:47 PM #116
Rainer
83,768
Jamie King
Hoty Enterprises, Inc. - Huron, OH
Sandusky, OH

Alan...you said it well. I hate drama in a transaction. Despise those agents that like to "attack" you or your client. It's a business transaction and we, as professionals, need to separate our emotions and opinions from the transaction. Just "git er done!!!"

April 29, 2011 10:54 AM #117
Rainer
7,795
Madison Carlson
RE/MAX Excellence - Long Beach, WA

This is exactly how I feel. I would describe Real Estate like High School. You got the "cool" kids, the "know-it-alls", the "smarties", and then the rest. We all want one thing: To sell the property to or for our client in a reasonable manner....period. Throughout all my transactions I keep a reminder in my head, "Keep the conversation light and the paper rolling." :)

April 30, 2011 04:51 PM #118
Ambassador
987,236
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Jamie - those attack agents need to be "leashed".

Madison - I like that phrase... keep the conversation light ... very nice.

April 30, 2011 05:56 PM #119
Rainer
34,841
Dan Pinson
International Realty Partners - Phoenix, AZ
Broker,ABR,GRI,RSPS,SFR,TRC

The only reason I've ever gotten at least a little adversarial is when the other agent wasn't doing their job. Then I let them - or their broker - know about it. That said, I've got buyers that think that even after a near 60% price correction in our local market, that they should get a property for another 50% off! A good deal is where everyone walks away feeling like they've won. And an amen to Robert #114.

May 02, 2011 02:23 PM #120
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