This is a true story of my Boulder real estate preview that left a sour taste in my mouth.
I have been working my tail off this year. New buyers and potential sellers mean lots research, market analysis, out of town and in town Boulder real estate preview and showings..
Not too long ago, I worked with a delightful couple from out of state. They were in and out of town frequently and very responsive via email and phone. When they were out of town, I was their eyes. I did their Boulder real estate preview, took photos and notes and forwarded it all to them for discussion. I previewed a house for them in north Boulder. It had been under contract briefly but was back on the market. After booking the appointment online late on Monday, I rolled up to the house on time, took my shoes off and did my thing. I locked up and left within my designated appointment time frame.
Within a half hour I had sent my email with notes on this Boulder real estate preview to the Buyers.
That same afternoon, I sent the following feedback to the listing agent: “This was a Boulder real estate preview for clients not in town. Showed well. Nicely remodeled. Not sure the location warrants this price but will pass on my notes and photos to the Buyers and let you know if further interest.”
You see, when I got the automated feedback request, I noticed that I had accidentally booked it as a showing (with Buyers), rather than a preview (without Buyers). Honest mistake… it was late and I was tired. Never-the-less, I thought it best to clarify.
But you can imagine my surprise when the listing agent sent me the following email the next morning: “Hi there! Thank you for your feedback. You scheduled this as a Showing not a Boulder real estate preview. You misrepresented this and my Sellers are not too happy about that.”
I immediately emailed him back, apologizing for the mistaking in booking the appointment, but assured him it was for a legitimate Buyer who was simply out of state right now. I also told him they were ready to pull the trigger and had identified this neighborhood as their target.
He replied: “My Sellers are not happy because they thought it was a showing and were disappointed to find out AFTERWARDS it was a preview. Don’t try and change the subject.”
Really???? (Yes, that was the entire email. I deleted his name for his own good!) Ok, so don’t accept my apology… and please keep reminding me how your Sellers were disappointed and unhappy with me virtually showing their home to my Buyers!
In more than 8 years working real estate in the Boulder area, I have NEVER had an agent-to-agent interaction that was so confrontational. I pride myself on being able to get along with 99% of people, I would like to think that all that training (and practice) in negotiation, helps me too. As a listing agent I would never send this sort of email to a potential buyer’s agent. A showing is a showing! I work really hard to get as many people through the door as possible. All feedback is a gift and should be appreciated. I know I’m not the only agent who is busy and both the Seller and I find feedback a valuable tool in pricing and staging.
Besides… We are supposed to work in our clients best interests. A successful negotiation starts with relationship building and information gathering at the get-go… the showing appointment and feedback phase.
This house was most likely not going to work for my Buyers for a couple of reasons but actually I was pretty glad about that. Either these Sellers were difficult to please and not at all motivated to sell, or their agent was conveying a more difficult attitude than the Sellers had. Hardly matters! I would hate to see my lovely Buyers having to deal with this attitude for 4-5 weeks in order to buy the house. I was drained after 5 nasty minutes with this agent over one Boulder real estate preview.
I am reminded of something my mother (I think everyone’s mother) used to say:
“If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
I didn’t reply to the last email. If the guy had said “Thanks for the clarification. Does your Buyer have further interest? Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you need more information on this property” or something similar, then I would have felt more motivated to continue dialogue with him.
My Buyers shortly thereafter, bought the house 3 doors down and are very happy. 🙂