We’ve all been there- after weeks or maybe even months of searching, your client has found “the one” and it’s time to write up an offer. You painstakingly craft a clean, well-researched, well-intended offer. Then you respectfully submit to the listing agent and wait for a response.
While you wait, all sorts of scenarios play out in your head… Maybe the Seller will accept it as written. Or maybe there will be a simple counter-offer, an easy one for your Buyer to accept. Maybe… wait, you were supposed to have gotten a response by 5 pm and it’s 6:30 pm. What gives?
Or perhaps you’re on the other end – you receive the well-written offer on your listing and happily send back an accepted offer to crickets. So you follow up with a call – only to get the dreaded “this voicemail is full” recording. And so it begins – the all too common deal with a horrible cross-agent. Now what?
You need the realtor’s guide to surviving difficult deals.
Here it is: the Realtor’s Guide to Surviving Difficult Deals
Unfortunately, there’s no easy or simple solution to this dilemma. You want to (actually, NEED to) do the best job possible and get the best results for your client, but how in the world will you do it by yourself. It will all boil down to a few basics:
- Know when to escalate
But let’s go into a little more detail on each of these.
Communicate Like a Professional
Just because you don’t hear back doesn’t mean your communications aren’t being received. Often, agents may quickly read an email or text and believe there’s no action needed on their part. You must follow up. And you must do it often and repeatedly until you get some response or acknowledgment.
Even if you don’t receive responses, timely communication will help you immensely with the next point.
Make sure you are documenting everything. The number of attempts, responses, and items omitted from responses. Should push come to shove on any single point, make sure you’ve documented your calm, persistent, attempts.
That way, you’ve not only got a solid case should the situation worsen or escalate, but you maintain your professional reputation among clients and colleagues.
Overcompensate (Yes, Really)
In deals like these, you are very likely to end up doing a significant portion of the other agent’s job.
It’s not unusual for a lender, the title company, and even the other agent’s clients to reach out to you for an answer to something that is clearly the other agent’s responsibility.
It’s just what you have to do to get your client over the finish line. So do it for them.
Know When to Escalate the Matter – and How to Do So
This is last on purpose. Not only should this be your last resort, it should also be done the right way.
Make sure you know when it’s appropriate to go to the other agent’s broker. In some cases, it’s appropriate to go directly to the other agent’s clients. In the state of Arizona, for example, if you submit an offer and don’t hear back within 24-hours (called the “24-hour rule”) it is acceptable to reach out to the agent’s broker or clients.
It might not make you popular with the cross-agent, but the goal is to look out for your own client’s interests.
Remember Why You’re Doing This
When the day is done, the real key to knowing how to manage a deal with a difficult agent is remembering why you’re in this business.
Yes, it’s to facilitate buying and selling real estate. However, you’re also acting for your clients and making their dreams reality – they’re the reason you’re in this profession!
So get the job done. Sometimes, doing your job can mean having to do someone else’s job for them, too. And that’s okay. Because you’re a pro, and it’s a privilege and obligation to look out for your clients’ best interests.