As I mentioned last week, we are in the process of selling our home. As is usually the case when buying or selling a home, we have had a lot of interactions with real estate agents. Most of them seem like great people who are very good at their jobs, but a few of them seem to only exist to make the home buying/selling process as difficult as possible.
A few days ago, we found out that our pending sale had fallen through. The buyers agent, who had caused countless problems throughout the entire process by missing deadline after deadline, informed us that the buyers were no longer able to get a loan. This is likely because the agent promised them that when the appraisal came through it would not appraise for the asking price and they would be able to get us to come down in price. When the appraisal came through fine, the strategy was shot. As a result, we lost three weeks of time on the market and the buyers lost over $1,000 for all the various inspections they bought.
One Bad Agent Ruins the Experience for Everyone
Had we been communicating with the buyers directly, instead of dealing with their agent, we likely would have either sold them the house or avoided the time and money wasted by putting it under contract with them. Instead, this agent, who’s business is supposed to be solving the problems involved with buying real estate, created new problems for every person involved.
When we bought our house a few years ago, we had a similar experience where one of the agents involved nearly lost the entire deal over a $750 negotiating point. I’m not one to dismiss the value of $750, but in a $210,000 purchase, it should not be a deal breaker. As the agent, his job was to solve the problem of the $750 hangup, instead he created new problems and almost lost the entire deal.
This isn’t a knock on real estate agents. As I said above, most of the ones I’ve dealt with have been competent and helpful. A good one solves a lot of problems and difficulties involved with buying and selling real estate. But a bad one makes the entire process much more difficult and creates way more problems than he solves. And unfortunately bad agents ruin the experience for every person involved.
Are You Solving or Creating Problems?
The same is true in every industry. A good lawyer, CPA, mechanic, car salesmen or any other professional will solve all kinds of problems for their clients. A bad one will create even more problems than the client walked into their office with.
No matter what your business is, your ultimate goal should be solving problems for clients. If you can find a way to do that, you will make as much money as you want to make. If you can’t find a way to do that, you will struggle to stay in business. If you create more problems than your clients walked into your office with, you will and should be out of business very quickly.
The experience dealing with this real estate agent has been an eye opener for me. I am well aware that a CPA is capable of creating problems for people. After seeing what this agent has done to both us and the buyers, I am going to be even more mindful that I am solving problems for my clients, not creating more of them.