The ultimate insult to a prospective client

I was with a buyer this week – a lady who has had a hard life and simply wants to do the right thing by her family (she was looking in the $250,000 range and had $7,500 to put down).  We went out and looked at homes and came up with two properties that suited her.  An Offer was made.

During our 150 mile drive, looking at properties, she related to me that her listing agent had told her:  “Don’t be so dumb!” and that for this reason, she would not engage that agent to source a home for her.

Wow!  I can’t say that I blame her.  How can any agent be so pompous and condescending?

Hey, I know that the market is tough for most REALTORS(R) and that there are frustrations on both sides, but REALLY‘Dumb’?  Does this agent really want work?  And in this market?  Does he (and yes, it IS a guy!) expect that this seller will refer him to her friends and family? REALLY?

Who is this man kidding?  Has he forgotten that the SELLER pays his commission and that he is working for the BUYER?

Hey,  it’s hard enough to procure a client.  Then you have to build rapport – find commonality, show knowledge of the market, negotiations, etc…  this is not a piece of fish that they are buying, dripping in oil and vinegar and shrouded in today’s newspaper …  it happens to be the biggest purchase most people make in a lifetime.  You think they could be a little more polite, yes?  NOT!

Take this prime doozie:  ‘Whether it’s stocks or real estate it’s best to buy low now and sell high in later years. For those bottom feeders who think that prices might slip a little further, the only way you’re going to know if it’s the bottom of the market is when you look behind you and it’s already happened. Would you rather buy a house in a seller’s market or a buyer’s market?”

How can ANY REALTOR (R) refer to prospective clients as ‘Bottom-feeders’, and would any of you readers WANT to do business with her (and yes, this IS a woman – won’t call her a lady, though!)?

Being called a ‘Bottom-feeder’ doesn’t give the buyer the ‘warm fuzzies’, does it? “Would you rather buy a house in a seller’s market or a buyer’s market?”, she asks.   No,  I’d like to buy in a market where the agent does the job that they’re employed to do and not have to put up with her insults, THANK YOU! (That would be my answer….  how about you?)

And guess what?  Since she wrote that, THE MARKET SLIPPED EVEN FURTHER!  So much for expert advice!

True:  The buyer should have some idea of what they are looking for, within their budget, while maintaining some flexibility

True: The loan market is tough and agents must ask questions that sometimes make the buyer feel a little disquietened

True: It might take 150 miles in a car and 42 properties viewed to find the one that suits

True: It might take a few days to get an answer or to be pre-qualified


Buyers:  You don’t have to do business with a REALTOR (R) who insults you!  Do your research and find one that fits with you, your personality, your lifestyle and standards of ethics – heaven only knows – we are ten-a-penny in this market…..  find one that makes you feel comfortable and excited about finding the RIGHT home for you!


Althea Garner
Executive Real Estate
House Of Homes Online
(714) 264-3458

Search over 50,000 listings at my web site:

Women’s Council of REALTORS(R):
Treasurer – 2008 (Coastal-West)
Webmaster – 2009 (Long Beach)
Editor – 2009 (Long Beach)
Education Committee – 2009 (California State)

Orange County Association of REALTORS(R):
Education Chair – 2009


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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. That’s a sure way to drive business away from you, I’d have to agree. What could this guy have been thinking? And yet, I remember that we went through many agents on the way toward finding the house we eventually did (though it’s a lemon), and we weren’t necessarily impressed with the agent we eventually got our house through (I had to find the house online, of all things).

    Still, I’m not only going to beat up on realtors; seems that, in today’s economic quandary, many people have lost their sense of perspective and decorum. And that’s truly unfortunate. Great post.

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