An Observation About Agents Representing Themselves or Family

By
Real Estate Broker with Long & Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA VA License # 0225089470

An Observation About Agents Representing Themselves or Family

In the past twelve months, I have had the opportunity to work with four agents representing themselves or family.  Three of these transactions have one common theme.  Complacency.  Complacency for deadlines.  Complacency for contractual obligations.  It's really disturbing.

In all these cases, I was the Listing Agent.  And since only one of the agents seemed to have a clue about how a contract worked and actually CARED, I am left to think that agents that represent themselves or family, have fools for clients.  The one exception to the careless rule was a MEGA top producer in our market.  This guy didn't get where he is by not knowing contracts.  The other agents are average agents, producing multiple transactions per year, but not setting the world on fire.  Here's some of the misrepresentation I've seen:

Agent (representing himself) removes financing contingency, signing a notice stating the earnest money was now at risk.  He makes a declarative statement that just because he's signing off on that, doesn't mean his earnest money is really at risk.  Really?  Yeah.  That whole thing about things being in writing in a contract is just baloney.  What really matters is what you THINK.

Agent (representing himself) doesn't have his loan funded on settlement day and thinks he is not in default.  Thinks he can just reinstate the contract (a short sale no less) and get back to gettingg his loan approved....one that had been denied twice.  And this guy has a license to advise other people?

Agent (representing herself) doesn't return addendums or finally, a contract release, requiring her signature, in anything less than two week's time.  Sometimes it took three to four weeks!  Would that be acceptable to one of her clients?

Agent (representing her son) allows a home inspection contingency period to EXPIRE without realizing it.  No inspection was ever scheduled to allow her son the opportunity to inspect the home and actually get out of the contract if he found out something that was a deal breaker for him.  Thanks, Mom!  Is this how you treat your other clients too?

I did have another transaction that settled just weeks before this post where a real estate agent, licensed in our state, had another agent represent him on the purchase of my listing.  There was never a deadline missed, misunderstanding about the contract, or delay in getting paperwork.  It was great!

I'm not saying that all agents that represent themselves, or family, are this careless, but my experience is that 75% of the time I can expect things to go haywire.  Why? I think these agents are prioritizing their non-relative clients or clients in general, over themselves.  They take their family for granted.  They let their own transactions take a back burner.  All I know is that when it comes time for me to sell my house, I'm likely to call Cindy Jones to represent me.  I don't want to be my own worst enemy.  Everyone can use someone to look out for them.

Posted by

Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker- Licensed in Virginia, GRI, SFR, Northern Virginia Short Sale Specialist. Affiliated with Long & Foster, 7526 Limestone Drive, Gainesville, VA 20155.  To contact Chris Ann, call 703-402-0037 or email chrisann@LNF.com.  Or you can visit her website:  www.nvarealestate.net.

Header photos taken by Chris Ann Cleland.

The opinions expressed in this post are those of Chris Ann Cleland, not those of Long & Foster REALTORS®.

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Rainer
115,726
Sylvia Jonathan
Broker Associate, SFR
Coldwell Banker Platinum Properties

I had a listing a couple of years ago where an agent desired to buy the property but did not know how to write the contract. This I found out after he had me show him the home because he does not have a SUPRA (of course not, the cheapskate). Except he forgot to mention that he is a licensed agent when he called me to make the appointment. Snake!

June 21, 2012 07:26 PM
Rainer
115,726
Sylvia Jonathan
Broker Associate, SFR
Coldwell Banker Platinum Properties

Oh yes. Then there was the mom who represented her daughter in a hot market. Inspection done by her husband. When there was a problem with the dishwasher installation, guess who the buyer called? Me, the listing agent, not the mom, her agent! I did not know about the dishwasher. The seller never lived in it so could not disclose any faults. That's what inspections are for, mom. Spend the $ 375!

June 21, 2012 07:30 PM
Rainmaker
612,958
Bob Miller
The Ruiz/Miller Team - Ocala's Dream Team
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty

Hi Chris Ann, the very first deal I did was a pro-bono for a relative.  Hopefully, never again!

June 22, 2012 11:44 AM
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Chris Ann Cleland
Associate Broker, Northern VA
Long & Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA

Dorte:  Great points.

Sylvia:  So annoying.  There seem to be so many more examples of agents representing themselves or family that screw up than those that do it and don't screw up somehow.

June 22, 2012 11:46 AM
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Chris Ann Cleland
Associate Broker, Northern VA
Long & Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA

Bob:  It's tough when there is a family relationship.  

June 22, 2012 11:47 AM
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Chris Ann Cleland

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