Recently, I was contacted by some people who wanted to buy a home in Fayetteville, NC. This couple were renters and had decided to buy a home in Fayetteville instead of continuing to rent.
I asked them how they had found me, and they were very direct. They called me off the sign of a home I have for sale in Fayetteville that they were interested in seeing. Great!
I asked them if they were working with any agent, and they said they were not. In fact, they only wanted to work with me to see THIS home.
I was not sure I understood.
The couple explained to me their plan for buying a home in Fayetteville. They were going to look around the areas they liked, find the homes for sale in Fayetteville that they were interested in, and then call the agent on the sign to show it to them. When they found the home they wanted, they would offer less than the asking price, and tell the agent they would use them as their buyers representative if they took less commission.
Essentially, they expected the agent to absorb the loss, the seller to take less, and they would get a great deal.
They only wanted to sign buyer agency with an agent to represent them for that one home, so that if an offer was not accepted on that home, they could move on to the next and try their plan with that agent.
I asked them why they thought that was a good idea, and they told me an agent friend of theirs had told them most agents would do it because a smaller commission is better than no commission, and as the agent would be getting both the selling and the buying side, they would work for less. Agents are having a hard time because the real estate market is slow.
They also made it clear they didn’t care if the seller absorbed the loss and the agent got full commission, they were just going to put the pressure on the seller and agent to accept the loss.
I’m used to facing this kind of objection as a listing specialist. Some times when I am helping a seller list their home for sale in Fayetteville, sellers ask me to cut my commission, and my standard response is, “No” or, “What services are you willing for me to cut in exchange for the lower commission?”
This is the first time it has happened to me for someone looking to buy a home in Fayetteville. Of course, my first thought was similar–“Which of your interests that I am paid to protect are you willing for me to forego?” But immediately, I had another thought.
This couple were both in the military, stationed here in Fayetteville at Fort Bragg. Not too long ago, when the politicians were arguing about shutting down the government, we were very concerned that military families would go without pay during the shutdown, even though the pay would be made up later.
I wondered to myself how this couple felt when they were expected to work for no pay. Did they feel insulted? Were they a little ticked that they should be treated so?
My husband and I both served in the military. We sacrificed our time, careers and families to serve and know how difficult military life can be. And as such, we also have a lot of empathy for those we serve, their families, lives and careers, and try to treat our clients with the respect they deserve.
Everyone wants to get a great deal when they buy a home in Fayetteville. Everyone wants to make sure the process is made as easy and efficient as possible. But no one I know wants their efforts and work to be treated disrespectfully, nor do the clients I represent want anything less than my best effort.
If you are looking to buy a home in Fayetteville, NC, you will want a buyers representative who will do everything possible to protect your interests. It is not unreasonable to treat that agent as you would want to be treated, not as if they are, literally, “worth less.”