It’s not discussed in “public” much, but there are telltale signs when a real estate agent should consider firing their sellers or buyers….
Signs of trouble with the seller or buyer
- Their listing is overpriced. You’ve given it the college try, but the market is not responding. You’ve asked your seller to reduce the price, and they refuse.
- The seller has rejected reasonable offers on their house, always waiting for a “better one”.
- Their house isn’t selling, but they want to raise their price.
- Sellers don’t return your phone calls or emails. Seller has disappeared. (Think this doesn’t happen?)
- Sellers tell you they don’t care if their house sells anytime soon.
- They have given you a deadline to sell, even though they won’t cooperate.
- They micromanage your marketing, (like photo order, ad write up, etc.)
- You’ve shown them dozens of properties and they don’t buy.
- You found buyers the perfect house. You write a great offer, it’s accepted. They back out.
- The buyer’s home criteria sends you on a wild goose chase.
- The buyers keep changing their criteria (i.e. they don’t know what they want).
- The buyer has a third party trying to control the sale (father, mother, etc.)
- The seller has a third party controlling the sale that you can never speak with (adult child, invisible partner, etc)
If you are a real estate agent and have experienced a buyer or seller like this, what do you do?
Considerations to Fire sellers or buyers
Normally, real estate agents don’t like to fire their sellers or buyers. Why? In the case of a listing, they’ve probably already spent thousands of dollars in marketing efforts, a significant portion of which is time. That’s time to do research, time to implement advertising, time to follow up with potential buyers, other agents, and the seller. So, to terminate a listing is tough. The real estate agent thinks “Oh, I’ll give it another few weeks. Maybe the seller will come around and become reasonable.” or “I could get lucky and it could sell.”, or “I must recoup my investment.”
In the case of a buyer, the real estate agent may be thinking, “I’ve spent so much time helping this buyer, it would be a shame to have wasted all my efforts.”
Often, ego is involved, especially with a listing. The real estate agent may think it will look bad if they remove a listing from MLS and take down their sign. Like a failure, head hung low. Alas, pulling the plug is hard.
Moving Forward After Firing the Seller or buyer
In conclusion, when the tough decision is made to fire the seller or buyer, the result is usually positive. The energy dedicated to a negative business arrangement is released. That freed-up energy attracts other business. There is room to move on to more fruitful relationships. And that serves everyone.