When is a Real Estate Client Not a Client Anymore?
Among the many homes I sell, this particular home in East Sacramento, I sold many years ago to a charming couple as a second home where they someday hope to retire. Every so often these real estate clients will call me for help because they appeared to be very happy with my services, and they respect the fact I’ve got a ton of experience on which they can rely. It’s not unusual for clients to call and ask for my expert advice. They know I’m not going anywhere and I’ll be in real estate until the day I croak. They can always find me, and I answer my phone.
The call I received a few days ago was a bit odd. It wasn’t the first time this type of situation has happened with this person. What I’m talking about is a client who, for whatever peculiar reason, decides to buy a home through whichever agent seems handy at the moment, and then turns to their trusted agent for advice. This couple bought a home in Land Park a few years ago on the courthouse steps. By the time they thought to call me, they were already in escrow with the bank and overpaying for the property. They did not know that the location of this particular home demanded much less than homes on the other side of the street, so they got suckered.
Sometimes buyers are confused and think they have to hire a listing agent to get an offer accepted, but that is way off base and a myth. Sure, there are greedy and unethical agents who will kick their seller under the bus to double-end a deal, but most Sacramento Realtors are not like that. I’m not like that. I don’t care who represents the buyer as long as my seller’s needs are met. My fiduciary responsibility is to the seller when I’m the listing agent.
This time the couple called to say they had bought yet another home, and they wanted a referral to a specific type of contractor. When I explained that the type of person they need is difficult to find, and I wasn’t sure off the top of my head if I had such a person in my contact list, they asked if I could call my office, check around with some of my associates. Didn’t they have an agent who represented them on the purchase of this home? Why, yes, they did. So, why didn’t they call me to represent them? You bet I asked that question.
The reason? The purchase was a spur of the moment decision.
What? Really? The decision was made so quickly they had no time to consider calling their reliable and dedicated Realtor?
When I suggested they call the agent who represented them and get advice from that person, they balked. They insisted I would know the answer or I could find the answer. Well, yes, I could and I would if they were my real estate client but it doesn’t seem like they are my clients. Because my real estate clients call me before they buy a home on the spur of the moment through another agent.