Nashville New Homes: The Buyer Representation Dilemna

  In over 11 years of on-site new home sales, I have always had the utmost respect for Realtors serving as Buyer-Agents.  They drive clients around to every home that remotely comes close to meeting their specific needs and also keep a vigilant watch for new listings.  They schedule entire days with their clients to evaluate their many choices.

 And then their home buying clients venture out on their own and in many cases develop an interest in properties that have nothing at all in common with the “need query” their agent is trying to satisfy.  All of a sudden, everything “having to be on one level gives way to all bedrooms upstairs,” simply based on the size of the master bedrom and suite bath.  Go figure.

I know this, and have always made it a practice to discover what Realtor the prospect is working with, and after their visit, calling that Realtor to let them know of their client’s visit, and their level of interest in purchasing one of our new homes.  I truly feel this is the right thing to do. 

If I was their agent, I would certainly appreciate the “heads up.”  Over the years, 99% of the Realtors I have had the pleasure to work with have been very appreciative of our bringing their client a step closer to purchasing!  But that leaves the other 1%.

This year has been very perplexing and has put my thoughts of the “right or wrong” thing to do through the ultimate tests.  

Several weeks ago, a very nice family arrived at one of our model homes.  They had seen our “human sign spinners” and came in to investigate.  They really loved what they found.  After all, where else in Metropolitan Nashville Davidson County can you purchase a brand new 3 bedroom, 2 bath home with a garage for $110,000….. with the seller paying all closing costs?

The family left excited and could not wait to call their Realtor to start the process.  With these homes selling fast, I called their Realtor as soon as I could return to the office to bring their visit to attention. 

(Rather than say it was a him or her, I will say their Realtor was an “it.”)

  I spoke to “it” and gave all the details of my visit with the client.  The immediate, yet sarcastic response was “Oh no, you have no clue what they want or need.  They do not want to be in that neighborhood.”

Hmmm.  I was just with them.  They loved the home.  Their only added desire was a smooth top range and side-by-side refrigerator!  Their best friends live right next door.  What did I miss?   Even more, why did I make that call?  

I made the call because it was the right thing to do, especially for the 99% of Buyer Agents that deserve, and would appreciate that call.   Several weeks passed and no sign of that family.  I did follow up with a personal thank you card to the family, but did not want to interfere with their “representation” by “it.”

Yesterday, the family re-appeared, with checkbook in hand ready to purchase the home they had been so excited about.  I asked if their Realtor would be joining us, and the answer was a resounding NO

They informed me that “it” would only show them listings in a different part of town and was virtually refusing to show them anything, or anywhere else.  They were very clear… “It” would not be representing them in any way.

This family will soon be moving into their brand new home and couldn’t be happier.  Their parents are also moving to Nashville next month and left a deposit on a homesite around the corner.  They are all happy, I am happy, and Ole South is happy.  

“It” probably won’t be too happy.  What would you bet that I get a call from “it” insisting on being added to the contract as Buyer’s Agent?  Procuring cause?  My ass.

Being a Realtor is all about bringing willing sellers and willing buyers together.  Everyone has a different idea of what the “perfect home” should be and we Realtors really have no right to impose our personal objections or desires, when they are different from our client’s. 

Whether “it” was simply trying to limit this family’s selection to a certain listing, or “it” really did not personally like another particular area of town, the buyer’s desires and interest clearly were not being addressed. 

And “it” lost out on not one, but two sales.

If “it” had been attentive to our “courtesy call,”  “it” would be in our Yes Club for Realtors from the first sale, and received 4% commission on the second sale… and all future sales for 2011 & 2012. 

The moral of the story…. when a prospect is interested in a new home, especially one built by Ole South, go with them to look at it.  It will be a deal.  They will be happy, and you will be too.

So much for the 1% and thank goodness for the other 99%.  Perhaps we can create another professional designation for those “its”….CDA.  (Certified Dumb Ass.) 

In the meantime, I’ll continue calling Realtors when their clients show interest in our homes and keep my fingers crossed that they will fall in the 99% category!

Trey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, 615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340.  Specializing in new homes in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Clarksville, and Spring Hill, Tennessee


4 comments on “Nashville New Homes: The Buyer Representation Dilemna

  1. Leneiva Head says:

    Man! “It” really blew that one! There’s no procuring cause claim anyway because the buyer happened upon the neighborhood as a result of your marketing efforts, not the agent’s introduction.

    Also, the agent can’t insist you add “It” later because the buyer’s agreement is between “It” and the buyer (if there is one). Either way, it’s not your issue.

    That agent did the client a great disservice and apparently doesn’t even care.

    Good for you for taking care of them and their family.

  2. Trey Lewis says:

    Thanks! We know how most buyers don’t really understand how agency works, and will make extra efforts to include a buyer agent in a sale is made without their knowledge. But you’re right…doing anything in this case will be a s-t-r-e-t-c-h!

    Stay cool and let’s find some more people homes!!!!

  3. Todofinanciero,net says:

    I absolutely love that designation ! I have run into a lot of its like that myself. For me its all about making my clients happy and building my reputation off the referrals.
    I love Ole South homes and their willingness to make a deal work
    You guys rock !!!!

    Viviana Milam
    Todofinanciero Show host and owner
    Hispanic marketing Consultant

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