Broker Bryant’s advice. Sound or foolish?

OK, I put up a post yesterday,(you may need to read it first) sharing an Email I had received from a consumer asking me for my advice. As promised, I am going to post my response below. First, I want to thank everyone for their responses, by reading through the comments it should help Mr. Consumer make an informed decision on the way forward. The point for my previous post was twofold. First I wanted us to be able to learn from each other and secondly I wanted the consumer to get additional input to help him with his decision. After reading through the comments I think both of these objectives were achieved.

Several folks had responded that they would NOT give any advice since the consumer is already working with another REALTOR®. While I can appreciate this response, personally I disagree. The consumer contacted me and asked me for advice. I have no problem with giving it and do not feel I am interfering with the contractual arrangement, with his agent, in the least. Our REALTOR® Code of Ethics explicitly states that I can discuss business with any consumer as long as they are the ones initiating the contact.

Standard of Practice 16-13

  • All dealings concerning property exclusively listed, or with buyer/tenants who are subject to an exclusive agreement shall be carried on with the client's representative or broker, and not with the client, except with the consent of the client's representative or broker or except where such dealings are initiated by the client.

The client is free to seek advice from whomever they want. My opinion is, that if their REALTOR® was doing their job properly, then their Buyer/Seller would not be calling me for advice. My responsibility as a REALTOR® is to protect the public.

Anyway, I have known this particular consumer for several months and have had numerous email communications during his home buying endeavor. He trust me, I like him and want to make sure he is making good decisions.

So, not only was I not hesitant to give my opinion but I felt compelled to do so. Here is my response to his Email:

Good morning,

First, there's a saying that I use in my business "I never hold the buyer responsible for the incompetence of his agent" So, I guess in your case "Don't hold the seller responsible for the incompetence of his agent" If I didn't take this stance I would drive my self crazy.

OK, were these the only two issues of concern in the inspection? If so, at least it's a very sound property. At this point these are your options:

        ***Move forward and close

        ***Walk away

        ***Renegotiate the deal

In Florida, a room must have a closet to be called bedroom. If it doesn't, it's called a bonus room, den or office. Depending on the particular neighborhood, it may or may not affect value. The sq footage is still the same, it's just the room has a different function. Would having a closet in the room add value for YOU? If it would and it is something you want, then get estimates on what it would cost to remove the bookshelf and put in a closet and ask the seller for a cash concession. If the closet does not add value to YOU then even though the agent screwed up it really shouldn't be a deal breaker for you.

Concentrate on the deal not the agent.

I would have the same thought on the central vacuum system. Is this something that you had your heart set on or is it just something that was mentioned, so would have been nice to have, but now it's gone? Would you NOT have been interested in the house if you knew it didn't have a central vacuum? Is it REALLY a deal breaker? If not, then either forget about it or maybe ask the seller for a cash concession.

You have to ask yourself what are you trying to achieve. Are you more interested in finding a reason to back out, or a solution to move forward? The agent will be gone in a matter of weeks the house will be yours for a long time.

"Don't hold the seller responsible for the incompetence of his agent"

If this is the house you want, "Don't let the incompetence of the agent prevent you from getting it" If these issues are really more aggravating than deal breakers, then move forward, close on the property and enjoy your new home with your family. Stay focused on what you are trying to achieve.

Then after it's closed, fire off some letters to the agent's broker.

Now, if I were the listing broker, my response would have been, "I'm so sorry, I made a mistake. What can I do to make it right for you? What I can I do for you, to move forward with this deal?"

Mistakes happen, but for him to just blow it off and make light of it is very bad in my opinion. But, as hard as it is, you have to try a separate it from your goal. I hope this helps. END OF EMAIL.

That's it. My intent is to get the Buyer focused on the end result. I could tell by his Email that he is letting his emotions dictate a financial decision. The Buyer has already agreed to get his emotions out of the deal and appreciated me pointing this out to him. He is not in my State so getting his business was not my motivation. My motivation was to give an honest answer to a legitimate and honest concern. So what do you think? How did I do?

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