An Agent that Pushed my Hot Button

28 Replies

Today, I got a call from an agent who "had a client interested in buying my property that was FSBO." I know realtors are trained to pick up listings, and I told him I would be open to a non-exclusive agreement with him if he could bring a buyer.

I asked a lot of questions to get a very clear picture of where he was coming from, and I realized that his "clients" were simply people who had called his phone number instead of mine from my listing on Zillow. -____- This guy now calls them "clients" and wants me to fork over $3,000 if his "clients" buy my house. That's ridiculous.

I told him I'd take my chances on them being serious enough to find the right number and get in touch with me themselves.

It wasn't a big deal, but he really poked me in the wrong place. Something about the way he operated was very disgraceful. Sure, I turned away a potential client, but I would rather not work with someone who comes in being so greedy like that.

Do a google search of your address...

I was wholesaling a tax deed house I owned and got a similar call.

It got me thinking so I did a search by address and found my house listed by three others (even using my pictures).

They had put the house on their site and marked it up and were hoping to "bring me a buyer" and do a deal where they got paid the "finders fee".

BTW, there are several franchises out there that teach this to new agents.

My guess in that the agent subscribes to the Zillow Premier Agent program.  When the listing comes up it does appear that the agent is the listing agent as it requires some searching to see the real contact info

You indicated in another thread that you needed to get this property sold.  Does the 3k ruin the deal ?  If not and the agent brings you the buyer, do the deal and move on to the next one

this reminds me of my first flip.

The house was 30 years old and had shrnkage cracks in the slab.  Those are no big deal.  However a home inspector wrote yhat he observed cracks.  That lead the buyer to call a foundation repair company.  They of course said the slab needed to be repaired.  I wanted blood.

I contacted a lawyer who is a buddy of mine.  He ironically used to rep the foundation company but dropped them as a client.

The point of this is he gave me some sage advice.

He asked me whst did I ultimately want to do. I wanted to sell the house.  It cost me a couple grand but I got it sold and still made a profit.

As long ss you come out OK, get that house sold.

Originally posted by @Greg H. :

My guess in that the agent subscribes to the Zillow Premier Agent program.  When the listing comes up it does appear that the agent is the listing agent as it requires some searching to see the real contact info

You indicated in another thread that you needed to get this property sold.  Does the 3k ruin the deal ?  If not and the agent brings you the buyer, do the deal and move on to the next one

No, it definitely doesn't ruin the deal, but it just completely turned me off how he approached me!

Originally posted by @Hugh Ayles :

this reminds me of my first flip.

The house was 30 years old and had shrnkage cracks in the slab.  Those are no big deal.  However a home inspector wrote yhat he observed cracks.  That lead the buyer to call a foundation repair company.  They of course said the slab needed to be repaired.  I wanted blood.

I contacted a lawyer who is a buddy of mine.  He ironically used to rep the foundation company but dropped them as a client.

The point of this is he gave me some sage advice.

He asked me whst did I ultimately want to do. I wanted to sell the house.  It cost me a couple grand but I got it sold and still made a profit.

As long ss you come out OK, get that house sold.

That's a good piece of advice.

@Austin Hughes if you are going to list your property for sale on Zillow....then you should be aware that people who email through Zillow are having those emails sent to brokerages that have paid for the leads.  So if you do want to sell via Zillow, just be aware that that is how the system works.  I dont think it is ridiculous, as that is the business model of Zillow.  

Originally posted by @Russell Brazil :

@Austin Hughes if you are going to list your property for sale on Zillow....then you should be aware that people who email through Zillow are having those emails sent to brokerages that have paid for the leads.  So if you do want to sell via Zillow, just be aware that that is how the system works.  I dont think it is ridiculous, as that is the business model of Zillow.  

 Yeah, what I've learned is that I need to put my phone number in the direct posting body so there's no confusion. 

Zillow is great. It's just the agent who tries to get commission from me on people who he doesn't even know because they called the wrong number. 

Hey Austin, I know you're mainly upset with the way he handled himself and that blows. Something to consider is that most buyers want a real estate agent to represent them and it's less likely for the buyer to purposefully call you instead of reaching out to a realtor. Realtors can be shady, though FSBO's can also be shady, and because realtors are governed, most buyers feel safer having a licensed professional on their side instead of a seller who they are completely certain they can trust. It's a tough situation to be in.

Also, regardless of his attitude, he wasn't asking for $3000 referral fee for doing nothing and simple receiving a phone number from Zillow, he was going to charge $3000 for successfully navigating a buyer through the purchase of your home

At the end of the day you shouldn't be surprised if 90% of people go through an agent on Zillow instead of you.

@Austin Hughes   now you understand the controversy over wholesaling.

when those with limited resources  and no ability to close basically tell whopper stories to sellers to get them in contract... IE long due diligence (only reason is to find a buyer) the subject to the phantom partner  etc etc... so when realtors go dialing for fsbo's don't get to upset

Originally posted by @Jesse Davies :

Hey Austin, I know you're mainly upset with the way he handled himself and that blows. Something to consider is that most buyers want a real estate agent to represent them and it's less likely for the buyer to purposefully call you instead of reaching out to a realtor. Realtors can be shady, though FSBO's can also be shady, and because realtors are governed, most buyers feel safer having a licensed professional on their side instead of a seller who they are completely certain they can trust. It's a tough situation to be in.

Also, regardless of his attitude, he wasn't asking for $3000 referral fee for doing nothing and simple receiving a phone number from Zillow, he was going to charge $3000 for successfully navigating a buyer through the purchase of your home

At the end of the day you shouldn't be surprised if 90% of people go through an agent on Zillow instead of you.

 I posted this so that it could be seen by agents like yourself, because I knew someone would give me a fresh perspective. You make some great points! Appreciate it Jesse. 

Originally posted by @Jay Hinrichs :

@Austin Hughes  now you understand the controversy over wholesaling.

when those with limited resources  and no ability to close basically tell whopper stories to sellers to get them in contract... IE long due diligence (only reason is to find a buyer) the subject to the phantom partner  etc etc... so when realtors go dialing for fsbo's don't get to upset

 Yeah I feel like some wholesaling tactics have become similar to outdated sales tactics...they worked until everyone figured out the same tricks. That's why I'm up front with everyone. I tell them exactly what I'm doing (double close with owner financing to sell), and if they're not comfortable with it, we don't get into contract. 

Originally posted by @Austin Hughes :
Originally posted by @Jesse Davies:

Hey Austin, I know you're mainly upset with the way he handled himself and that blows. Something to consider is that most buyers want a real estate agent to represent them and it's less likely for the buyer to purposefully call you instead of reaching out to a realtor. Realtors can be shady, though FSBO's can also be shady, and because realtors are governed, most buyers feel safer having a licensed professional on their side instead of a seller who they are completely certain they can trust. It's a tough situation to be in.

Also, regardless of his attitude, he wasn't asking for $3000 referral fee for doing nothing and simple receiving a phone number from Zillow, he was going to charge $3000 for successfully navigating a buyer through the purchase of your home

At the end of the day you shouldn't be surprised if 90% of people go through an agent on Zillow instead of you.

 I posted this so that it could be seen by agents like yourself, because I knew someone would give me a fresh perspective. You make some great points! Appreciate it Jesse. 

You're welcome, Austin! And trust me on this, my blood boils over Zillow controlling the lead flow in my area. For example, there is a smaller brokerage in my area that uses one Zillow account for all 15-20 agents, so they have 5-10x the number of "recent sales" and "reviews" that the average agent in our area has and it's infuriating that they are allowed to dominate a web presence like that. At the end of the day I have to remember that true leverage in RE sales is in having an emphasis on acquiring listings and not merely in attracting buyer leads. This is why I only pay a small amount to access Zillow for minimal features and instead the majority of my efforts on prospecting. 

Austin,

I understand your frustration however you have to look at it from the realtors prospective. He is probably paying Zillow to receive those leads.  I know it seems wrong that he is getting leads from your listing but he could be paying a pretty penny so that commission he is trying to receive, while it might not seem deserved is something that he has paid for.  

Now if he was unprofessional and spoke to you without respect then you have the freedom to do business with whomever you please.  I hope the carry cost of the home doesn't equal more than that 3k.

and to piggy back on @Andre Key 's point - if Zillow didn't sell these leads to agents, Zillow wouldn't make any money, and the platform would not exists for you to FSBO your home.

If it makes you feel better, Zillow is even worse to the agents.  They capture leads from agents' listings and then sell them back to the agent.  

Originally posted by @Austin Hughes :
Originally posted by @Greg H.:

My guess in that the agent subscribes to the Zillow Premier Agent program.  When the listing comes up it does appear that the agent is the listing agent as it requires some searching to see the real contact info

You indicated in another thread that you needed to get this property sold.  Does the 3k ruin the deal ?  If not and the agent brings you the buyer, do the deal and move on to the next one

No, it definitely doesn't ruin the deal, but it just completely turned me off how he approached me!

 you are over reacting.  what was he supposed to do?  stalk you to the local coffee shop or email u or send a letter? who cares of they are truly his clients or not?  if u have buyers at the table that he brought, he deserves the commission.  you get what u want,  which is to sell the house,  he gets what he wants. and u never know,  u can pick up a lead. for another one from him.  

at the end,  everyone is trying to make a buck 

Austin, the "I have a buyer for you" is such an old realtor trick; you think they would realize most of the marketplace is wise to it by now and quit using it.

That being said, still take the high road.  Why make enemies when you can make friends? 

First of all, if you raise their bile, they could complain to your state division of real estate and make life miserable for you.

Second of all, nurture the agent and make an ally, if you can. I get calls like that all the time, too. I always tell them I respect what they do and appreciate their calls. I then explain that nothing would delight me more than paying them a commission, but they have to earn it. If they bring me a buyer that leads to a contract, I'll gladly pay them a commission (and we discuss what they should be), but I'm not going to pay them a fee just to what amounts to listing it for me in the MLS.

I go on to tell them that I can't afford to settle on any one agent because 1) I want to give all a level playing field because I want a good relationship with everybody; 2) if they bring me a deal that is one of their listings and not someone else's, they'll get paid more from me because I have no rep which means they can double end. As a result, I tell them it is in their best interest to call me first when they get a listing.  I want to remain on good terms with every agent, not just one.

The worst that happens is they have no feelings one way or the other about me, but usually, they like my approach and think well of me.  Either way, it's all good.

I am so glad I have you guys to give me a new perspective on BiggerPockets.

I called the agent back today and apologized for how I treated him and how I responded to his call. We had a really good conversation. 

Yes, I'm 22 and don't have the insight that many of you have, but I am coachable. I thank you all for your input and advice!

Originally posted by @Austin Hughes :

I am so glad I have you guys to give me a new perspective on BiggerPockets.

I called the agent back today and apologized for how I treated him and how I responded to his call. We had a really good conversation. 

Yes, I'm 22 and don't have the insight that many of you have, but I am coachable. I thank you all for your input and advice!

 I am very very impressed with this post.  I can't tell you how many times people on these forums just dig in and want to argue. They ask questions, and even when experts offer them their advice for free, they want to argue and say how that expert is wrong.  You have a great attitude...and I think many here will tell you that the ability to be coachable and to learn will help take you far in this business and in life. Kudos @Austin Hughes.

Originally posted by @Russell Brazil :
Originally posted by @Austin Hughes:

I am so glad I have you guys to give me a new perspective on BiggerPockets.

I called the agent back today and apologized for how I treated him and how I responded to his call. We had a really good conversation. 

Yes, I'm 22 and don't have the insight that many of you have, but I am coachable. I thank you all for your input and advice!

 I am very very impressed with this post.  I can't tell you how many times people on these forums just dig in and want to argue. They ask questions, and even when experts offer them their advice for free, they want to argue and say how that expert is wrong.  You have a great attitude...and I think many here will tell you that the ability to be coachable and to learn will help take you far in this business and in life. Kudos @Austin Hughes.

 I swear Russell Brazil is in my head, and just has faster fingers than I do. Nice job, Austin.