General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

Is it really a favour or taking advantage?

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oopsie:
Hello fellow Ehellers! My very first post!

Here is something that happened to me this past spring.

I am a Real Estate Sales Representative and my DD's best friend's mom (who I know casually due to our daughter's friendship - to DH, I refer to her as "the jellyfish" from Bridget Jones due to her nosiness and my feeling somehow like I've been stung raw after any conversation I have with her) called me at home. I wasn't there so DH told her to call me at the office. She did. She made some small talk, then mentioned that the real reason she was calling was because they had bought a house in another town and were moving this summer.

She then asked if I would come to her house to give her an idea of its value (this is not the first conversation I've had with her about this - she had called me at home a couple of months prior to try to "pick my brain" on what their house would be worth and what improvements they could do that would help with resale value. I was unable to give her a price point as I had never seen the inside of her home past the front foyer). I told her "sure thing" and then she casually mentioned that they were going to first try selling it themselves "to save on paying out commission." Somewhat deflated, I tried to remain positive and we set up a time to meet.

When the day came, I met her at her home. She first thanked me for coming as "most real estate agents wouldn't do this knowing we're trying to sell it ourselves." I said "no problem" then asked "if you do decide to list with a real estate agent, you'll consider me though right?" She turned around and said "oh no! We're loyal to Real Estate Agent A. We'd be going with her. She's on holidays right now, that's why we asked you to do this favour for us."

She then picked up the phone, as I'm standing in her foyer, to call her husband to have him confirm that they would be using Real Estate Agent A should they decide to list with an agent. It was an extremely awkward conversation to witness, nevertheless, he does confirm this fact without hesitation. At this point she seems embarrassed and tells me that I should go, she doesn't want to inconvenience me any further. Admittedly, I'm feeling pretty deflated at this point but I tell her that I'm here now and so, I would do what I can to help.

She perks up immediately and happily takes me on a tour of her home and I offer her several pieces of useful advice (which she follows) and give her a price. A week later, they have their property listed For Sale By Owner at the price I have recommended. She posts her For Sale By Owner ad on my personal Facebook page not once, not twice, but three times (I deleted the posts without comment each time). Two weeks after that, the house still unsold, they list with Real Estate Agent A for the same price and it's sold by the end of the month.

So what are your thoughts? Rude, clueless or perfectly acceptable?

Edited to add details about Facebook posts.

PastryGoddess:
She was rude, you were graceful

She gave you the opportunity to leave and you didn't. You should have left and let Real Estate Agent A do all the work.   It's a lesson learned.

NotTheNarcissist:
I vote rude.

Yvaine:
Wow. Yeah, she was rude. She talked you into doing your job for her for free and then paid someone else to do the job. She took advantage of the connection between you.  >:( Next time just leave!

MamaMootz:
Very rude and you didn't get paid for any of your efforts, but Real Estate Agent A did. It's business, not personal. But she took advantage of your business knowledge based on your DD's personal relationship with her child. All kinds of wrong.

I would not have priced the home or given her advice, but instead said to her, "RudeMom, I do not earn any money when I do not list/sell homes. I'm not in the business of giving away my knowledge for free, so I think it's best that you contact Real Estate Agent A when he/she returns from their trip. I'm sure you understand -you would not go to work if you did not get paid, correct?" And then I would leave.

AND ....I'd be willing to bet she knew she was going to do this and she lured you there without telling you she was planning on using Real Estate Agent A on purpose. She probably figured once you got there, you'd be too embarrassed to leave without giving her the advice - and she was right. She got what she wanted without paying you a cent.

Sorry, I used to sell real estate and I learned very quickly to show these people the door. If they weren't there to list or buy from me, I cut them loose. Bless you - it's a tough business.

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