I’m beginning to wonder if the days of being courteous and professional in our industry are gone. The market is tough and it has become tougher to close real estate transactions in our competitive market. So many good agents have given up and gone into other industries. For those that remain, I have to wonder if this never ending down housing market has caused a permanent change in some agent’s attitude?
I had a potential offer on a foreclosed home. I wanted to speak with the listing agent over the weekend to see if they were working any other offers and find out how quickly the bank was responding to offers. Unfortunately, the agent did not list their cell number anywhere on the listing, the MLS roster, or yard sign. That’s a sure sign that they do NOT want to be bothered outside of normal office hours.
So, I waited until this morning and called his office. Naturally, he was not in as early as ten on a Monday morning, so they directed me to his voice mail where I left a message. I stated that I had an offer to submit and needed to know the best way to get the offer to him, via fax, email, or in person. I also stated that I wanted to confirm that he wasn’t working any other offers.
By 1:00 and no response, I decided to go ahead and get the offer submitted. I contacted his office and got the fax number. The offer was faxed and I got a confirmation that the fax was successful. Then I sent a PDF file to his email address on the MLS roster.
After I googled his name, I found his cell number on his website that stated he specialized in working with banks and was an REO listing specialist. Surprisingly enough, he didn’t answer his cell so I left a message that I had already left a message on his office phone and wanted to let him know I had faxed over the offer and sent a PDF file to his email address. I asked for him to confirm that he got the offer and let me know if I needed to submit the offer to a different number or email.
By 8:00 PM I still have not gotten a response. I reluctantly dialed his cell number and amazingly enough he answered! His tone of voice indicated that he was not very receptive to me calling his cell number in the evening. When I asked him to confirm that he had received my offer, he asked me what house I was talking about and gave no recollection of knowing my name or that I had called, faxed, and emailed him multiple times today. When I told him which home, he wanted to know how much the offer was for. I’m assuming that even though this home has been on the market for over three months that he must have received multiple offers today which was why he was confused and needed to know which offer was mine. When I stated the amount, he responded with a flat tone and short answer of, “oh yeah, I got it.” I tried to stay upbeat and asked if he had any idea how long it would take to get a response from the bank. His reply...”I’m sure it will just be rejected tomorrow.” Nothing else was said and no additional information, guidance, thank you for your offer, sorry I didn’t get back with you earlier, nothing. I thanked him for his time and asked him to please let me know even if the bank didn’t counter.
What happened to the courtesy of returning a phone call about one of your listings? What happened to the courtesy of confirming that an offer has been received? What happened to the courtesy of just being polite? Isn’t the goal to get the listing SOLD? At this point I get the feeling that he won’t even send our offer to the bank but has decided on his own that it should be rejected.
Bank owned properties should still be represented by agents adequately. Whether they are bank owned or individually owned, listing agents should be available to answer questions about their listings! That means providing a cell number and answering phone calls on the weekends. In the minimum, it means returning phone calls during the business week! Lastly, agents submitting offers deserve the courtesy of a phone call or email to confirm that their offer has been received.
The market may have changed to support more foreclosures and short sales and agents that specialize in these type of properties. Hopefully, the lack of professionalism and courtesy that I have received from more than one of these type of agents it not the wave of the future. The housing market and the way agents do business with the large number of REOs and short sales will always change. But, I sincerely hope that courtesy and professionalism between agents will always remain as a part of this industry and will never go out of style.