Author Topic: Is it really a favour or taking advantage?  (Read 9807 times)

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Raintree

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Re: Is it really a favour or taking advantage?
« Reply #30 on: December 21, 2012, 04:26:55 AM »
There have been several e-hell threads about people who ask others to work for them for free. It seems to cross all lines of work, but especially the self-employed. Perhaps the self-employed are seen to have discretion over their fees, or just love what they do so much that they enjoy discussing it outside of work. Cake decorators would just looooooove to make a cake for their neighbour's daughter's friend's wedding; professional musicians would be thrilled to play at an aquaintance's wedding for free; photographers are asked to "just come over and take a few shots of my baby"; artists are asked to "paint something for me to give my mother"; people who work with computers in any capacity are expected to be free technical support for everyone; doctors are asked about medical conditions at parties, and accountants are asked for free tax advice at Thanksgiving dinner.

I myself have been asked to "give a break" to the girlfriend of a vague acquaintance I hadn't seen or spoken to in two years. I have also "traded services" with someone who then procrastinated about providing HER service for so long that I gave up and got someone else to do it. (The initial person protested, "But I wanted to do it! I owe you!" Great, but you've been promising for a year and I need it like yesterday).

And I don't think you should beat yourself up too badly. You were taken advantage of, and yes, you allowed it to happen, but I think many of us have to deal with "one of those" before we wise up and don't allow it to happen again.

I had a client about a month ago who failed to pay (it's not an amount that makes it worthwhile to go after legally, but I still feel quite burned by the time I spent with her for free). In retrospect, I see all the signs that should have warned me off her, but hindsight is 20/20. I know how I will deal with the likes of her next time, ahead of time, so I don't get burned again.

Slartibartfast

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Re: Is it really a favour or taking advantage?
« Reply #31 on: December 21, 2012, 07:41:13 AM »
My father was a doctor, and he used to get this all the time.  The thing is, he really didn't mind answering questions in general terms - but he (rightly) got grumpy about people who expected him to examine and diagnose them right then and there.  Or to diagnose their sister-in-law who lives a thousand miles away but was totally griping to the asker over the phone the other night.  It's nice to be able to ask a doctor-friend "Hey, my kid has been sniffling for a month now - when do I stop giving him Sudofed and take him to the doctor?", but it's something else completely to say "Hey kid, come over here!  I want Dr. Friend to take a look at your throat!"

JoieGirl7

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Re: Is it really a favour or taking advantage?
« Reply #32 on: December 21, 2012, 08:11:15 AM »
While its insensitive to talk about hiring another agent right in front of you, I don't know that anything she did was rude.

You could have taken it as a challenge and tried to convince her to hire you instead.  Real Esate is not just about selling houses, its about selling yourself to clients.

And I don't know where she would have gotten the idea that agents won't come and do an appraisal.  I interviewed 3 agents who all told me what they thought the home was worth, what changes I needed to make and what they would do to market it.

And I will still free to try and sell it myself if that is what I had wanted to do.  As it was, it was the second realtor we hired who actually sold it.

I think this was not taking advantage of you because you had an opportunity to get a client, you just didnt see it as such.  Even if you dont get the listing, you have the opportunity to bring buyers to see it and in a negotiation you have an upper hand having talked to the buyer before it ever went on the market.

This is all about business.

In the future, you should have a standard way of professionally handling any friend who asks for advice that will turn them into an actual client.  "Of course I will come in and help you!"  "Oh, you have a realtor in mind?  Well, won't you give me the chance to show you what I can do to sell your home?"  "If that doesnt work out, give me a call and we can talk about selling your home."

They might actually hire or even recommend you to a friend.

oopsie

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Re: Is it really a favour or taking advantage?
« Reply #33 on: December 21, 2012, 11:03:09 AM »
While its insensitive to talk about hiring another agent right in front of you, I don't know that anything she did was rude.

You could have taken it as a challenge and tried to convince her to hire you instead.  Real Esate is not just about selling houses, its about selling yourself to clients.

And I don't know where she would have gotten the idea that agents won't come and do an appraisal.  I interviewed 3 agents who all told me what they thought the home was worth, what changes I needed to make and what they would do to market it.

And I will still free to try and sell it myself if that is what I had wanted to do.  As it was, it was the second realtor we hired who actually sold it.

I think this was not taking advantage of you because you had an opportunity to get a client, you just didnt see it as such.  Even if you dont get the listing, you have the opportunity to bring buyers to see it and in a negotiation you have an upper hand having talked to the buyer before it ever went on the market.

This is all about business.

In the future, you should have a standard way of professionally handling any friend who asks for advice that will turn them into an actual client.  "Of course I will come in and help you!"  "Oh, you have a realtor in mind?  Well, won't you give me the chance to show you what I can do to sell your home?"  "If that doesnt work out, give me a call and we can talk about selling your home."

They might actually hire or even recommend you to a friend.

Thank you for this feedback. It's interesting to see this from another perspective.

While I definitely agree that a part of real estate is about selling yourself, to chalk it up to "you had an opportunity to get a client, you just didnt see it as such" is totally incorrect. This is precisely the reason why I did agree to go over in the first place and stayed to give it my best shot - others on this site, including myself, felt this was a doormat move. I also personally disagree that it wasn't rude. All you have to do if flip it around. I couldn't even fathom having the gall to do this to a stranger much less someone I actually know personally.

There is nothing wrong with interviewing real estate agents, even if you plan on selling your property yourself, but to expect one to give you their knowledge and services for free when you know ahead of time that you have absolutely zero intentions of ever giving them your business simply isn't cool or even ethical, IMO. Competition is healthy, yes definitely. Using someone is not.

Each to their own though. Cheers!




Yvaine

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Re: Is it really a favour or taking advantage?
« Reply #34 on: December 21, 2012, 11:10:00 AM »
While its insensitive to talk about hiring another agent right in front of you, I don't know that anything she did was rude.

You could have taken it as a challenge and tried to convince her to hire you instead.  Real Esate is not just about selling houses, its about selling yourself to clients.

And I don't know where she would have gotten the idea that agents won't come and do an appraisal.  I interviewed 3 agents who all told me what they thought the home was worth, what changes I needed to make and what they would do to market it.

And I will still free to try and sell it myself if that is what I had wanted to do.  As it was, it was the second realtor we hired who actually sold it.

I think this was not taking advantage of you because you had an opportunity to get a client, you just didnt see it as such.  Even if you dont get the listing, you have the opportunity to bring buyers to see it and in a negotiation you have an upper hand having talked to the buyer before it ever went on the market.

This is all about business.

In the future, you should have a standard way of professionally handling any friend who asks for advice that will turn them into an actual client.  "Of course I will come in and help you!"  "Oh, you have a realtor in mind?  Well, won't you give me the chance to show you what I can do to sell your home?"  "If that doesnt work out, give me a call and we can talk about selling your home."

They might actually hire or even recommend you to a friend.

Just no.

For one, the OP did try to sell herself when she found out what the acquaintance was planning.

But before that, this was not presented as business by the acquaintance but as a favor for a friend. It would have been rude for the OP to try to push her paid services on this acquaintance when she was under the impression that the acquaintance was not going to buy those services from anyone and just wanted a friendly favor. You don't just push your business on your friends when they've said they don't want to buy that thing.

Bait-and-switching--by using the friendship bond to manipulate the OP into helping, and then switching it to a cold business matter--is a large part of what makes the acquaintance rude in this situation. When the acquaintance switched over to business, the OP also switched to business in response and did try to sell herself.

JoieGirl7

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Re: Is it really a favour or taking advantage?
« Reply #35 on: December 21, 2012, 12:31:14 PM »
I don't know if y'all live in another country but in the US it is very common for real estate agents to give appraisals and advice in an effort to become the listing agent.

Part of interviewing an agent is finding out what they think your home is worth.  They pull comparables and offer options.  This is all before they are hired.

So, I dont understand where this attitude is coming from that provoding that information is somehow working for free. The nature of the business is that you get paid when and if the house sells.

I had an agent represent me for 7 months.  The house did not sell in that time.  We had even extende the contract by one month.  One night before the end of the contract an offer was about to come in,  Th agent begged me to "just work that offer" and the answer was "no."

So, technically, he not only worked for 7 months without getting paid, but it cost him money to list the house , etc.  Was it unethical?  No.  Did I take advantage of him?  No.  Should I have paid him something?  No.

The house sold less than 40 days later with a different agent.

Its the way the industry works.

Agents are not paid for their advice, they are paid for actually selling and marketing a home.  it is also common for agents to advertise that someone can find out how much their home is worth in an effort to get a foot in the door-- and this even for people who are not really considering selling their home at all!

oopsie

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Re: Is it really a favour or taking advantage?
« Reply #36 on: December 21, 2012, 01:16:37 PM »
I don't know if y'all live in another country but in the US it is very common for real estate agents to give appraisals and advice in an effort to become the listing agent.

Part of interviewing an agent is finding out what they think your home is worth.  They pull comparables and offer options.  This is all before they are hired.

So, I dont understand where this attitude is coming from that provoding that information is somehow working for free. The nature of the business is that you get paid when and if the house sells.

I had an agent represent me for 7 months.  The house did not sell in that time.  We had even extende the contract by one month.  One night before the end of the contract an offer was about to come in,  Th agent begged me to "just work that offer" and the answer was "no."

So, technically, he not only worked for 7 months without getting paid, but it cost him money to list the house , etc.  Was it unethical?  No.  Did I take advantage of him?  No.  Should I have paid him something?  No.

The house sold less than 40 days later with a different agent.

Its the way the industry works.

Agents are not paid for their advice, they are paid for actually selling and marketing a home.  it is also common for agents to advertise that someone can find out how much their home is worth in an effort to get a foot in the door-- and this even for people who are not really considering selling their home at all!

Yes and I will do that as well, however, the understanding is that I actually have a shot at the business and potentially, the opportunity to, in the future, earn a paycheque. If I know for certain going in that this is not the case, of course I'm not going to do it. Why would I? I'm in this business to earn a living, not for charity. Furthermore, it wasn't just some faceless agent she was taking advantage of (although that would be bad enough). There was an established relationship, one that, for the sake of our daughters' friendship, should not have been put in jeopardy with this request.

She and her husband had every intention of using Real Estate Agent A, not me, should they be unable to sell privately. Therefore, she should never have made the call to me. It's no different than if they used me to show them a bunch of houses, using up my time and gas, all the while having every intention to use Real Estate Agent A to put in their offer and earn the commission. You could say it was my fault for not having "sold myself" to them while driving them around or not having locked them in to a commission earning buyer agency agreement beforehand and I suppose to a certain degree you would be correct. However, I say it's them acting on bad faith and shame on them for doing it.

If she was on the fence about who she was going to hire and was giving me the opportunity to earn her business, then by all means. This was not the case here, she knew that right from the start and that is why her actions were, IMO, wrong.

MamaMootz

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Re: Is it really a favour or taking advantage?
« Reply #37 on: December 23, 2012, 12:54:06 PM »
I don't know if y'all live in another country but in the US it is very common for real estate agents to give appraisals and advice in an effort to become the listing agent.

Part of interviewing an agent is finding out what they think your home is worth.  They pull comparables and offer options.  This is all before they are hired.

So, I dont understand where this attitude is coming from that provoding that information is somehow working for free. The nature of the business is that you get paid when and if the house sells.

I had an agent represent me for 7 months.  The house did not sell in that time.  We had even extende the contract by one month.  One night before the end of the contract an offer was about to come in,  Th agent begged me to "just work that offer" and the answer was "no."

So, technically, he not only worked for 7 months without getting paid, but it cost him money to list the house , etc.  Was it unethical?  No.  Did I take advantage of him?  No.  Should I have paid him something?  No.

The house sold less than 40 days later with a different agent.

Its the way the industry works.

Agents are not paid for their advice, they are paid for actually selling and marketing a home.  it is also common for agents to advertise that someone can find out how much their home is worth in an effort to get a foot in the door-- and this even for people who are not really considering selling their home at all!

I have been a real estate agent in the US and I think what this lady did to the OP was shady. Here's why:

(quote from the OP)

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 knew she was using a different agent from the get-go but didn't tell her that up front. At first, the guise was "just give us an idea what the house is worth, we'll sell it ourselves" which made the OP think she had a small shot at the listing, and then once OP got to the house, it was "Oh no! We're loyal to Real Estate Agent A!"

If that was truly the case, this woman should have called Real Estate Agent A in the first place and not asked the OP for anything at all. People like her are the reason why there are now there are (in some states) disclosures buyers must sign showing that if an agent showed them a property and then buyers purchase the same property through a different agent,, commission must be paid to the original agent.

Most of the time, agents looking for more listings to sign target FSBO's because they know the homeowner more than likely has overpriced the property and obviously they are motivated enough to sell the home on their own. Truth be told, any agent can sell a house as long as it's priced correctly and is kept in show-able condition.

« Last Edit: December 23, 2012, 12:59:27 PM by MamaMootz »
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JoieGirl7

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Re: Is it really a favour or taking advantage?
« Reply #38 on: December 23, 2012, 01:15:49 PM »
There is a big difference between showing someone houses and having them buy it from someone else and touring a friend's home and suggesting a price point.

There is also a difference between suggesting a price point and doing the research needed to document and back it up.

People here have suggested that what the OP did is similar to a doctor giving advice or someone "working for free."

A listing agent is paid to list and market a home, not simply tour it, say that you should do this or that and suggest a price point.  Even if they did do the research and presented it, it serves the purpose of trying to get a job.

Just because someone thinks the will use such and such an agent doesn't mean they will and most aggressive agents know this just like they know darn well that someone trying to do a FSBO is probably going to hire an agent at some point.

I really dont think the OP was asked to provide any information that most agents are happy to provide to get their foot in the door.  The only remarkable thing was that her acquaintance was actually honest about wanting to hire the other agent.

Amara

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Re: Is it really a favour or taking advantage?
« Reply #39 on: December 23, 2012, 01:20:53 PM »
What makes no sense to me about this scenario is why would this friend ask the OP for her advice on how to prep her home? If she intended to use the other agent if she couldn't do a FSBO? Wouldn't it make more sense to get the preferred agent's advice on prepping?

MamaMootz

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Re: Is it really a favour or taking advantage?
« Reply #40 on: December 23, 2012, 02:40:08 PM »


I really dont think the OP was asked to provide any information that most agents are happy to provide to get their foot in the door.  The only remarkable thing was that her acquaintance was actually honest about wanting to hire the other agent.

Actually, that's what I have a problem with. The acquaintance was not honest about wanting to hire the other agent up front. She waited until the OP was at her home before she dropped that bomb on her, which is why I maintain it was shady of her.  She lured the OP there under the slim hope of signing a FSBO and then slammed the door on her once she was there and it was too late for OP to do anything about it.  The acquaintance should have gone with Real Estate Agent A from start to finish, period. If nothing else, she wasted the OP's time that could have been spent following up on other potential clients.
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jedikaiti

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Re: Is it really a favour or taking advantage?
« Reply #41 on: December 23, 2012, 02:57:59 PM »
I don't know if y'all live in another country but in the US it is very common for real estate agents to give appraisals and advice in an effort to become the listing agent.

Part of interviewing an agent is finding out what they think your home is worth.  They pull comparables and offer options.  This is all before they are hired.

So, I dont understand where this attitude is coming from that provoding that information is somehow working for free. The nature of the business is that you get paid when and if the house sells.


I had an agent represent me for 7 months.  The house did not sell in that time.  We had even extende the contract by one month.  One night before the end of the contract an offer was about to come in,  Th agent begged me to "just work that offer" and the answer was "no."

So, technically, he not only worked for 7 months without getting paid, but it cost him money to list the house , etc.  Was it unethical?  No.  Did I take advantage of him?  No.  Should I have paid him something?  No.

The house sold less than 40 days later with a different agent.

Its the way the industry works.

Agents are not paid for their advice, they are paid for actually selling and marketing a home.  it is also common for agents to advertise that someone can find out how much their home is worth in an effort to get a foot in the door-- and this even for people who are not really considering selling their home at all!

Because the OP didn't have any opportunity to sell herself, or to compete for the business. They never had ANY intention of doing any business with her whatsoever. This wasn't interviewing agents, this was, we're going to sell it ourselves, but if we fail, we'll be working with Someone Else, but they're on vacation, so YOU tell us what our house is worth. With NO hope of ever getting ANY business out of it. Probably not even a mention to anyone else who might be looking to buy/sell.
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JoieGirl7

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Re: Is it really a favour or taking advantage?
« Reply #42 on: December 23, 2012, 05:04:48 PM »
I don't know if y'all live in another country but in the US it is very common for real estate agents to give appraisals and advice in an effort to become the listing agent.

Part of interviewing an agent is finding out what they think your home is worth.  They pull comparables and offer options.  This is all before they are hired.

So, I dont understand where this attitude is coming from that provoding that information is somehow working for free. The nature of the business is that you get paid when and if the house sells.


I had an agent represent me for 7 months.  The house did not sell in that time.  We had even extende the contract by one month.  One night before the end of the contract an offer was about to come in,  Th agent begged me to "just work that offer" and the answer was "no."

So, technically, he not only worked for 7 months without getting paid, but it cost him money to list the house , etc.  Was it unethical?  No.  Did I take advantage of him?  No.  Should I have paid him something?  No.

The house sold less than 40 days later with a different agent.

Its the way the industry works.

Agents are not paid for their advice, they are paid for actually selling and marketing a home.  it is also common for agents to advertise that someone can find out how much their home is worth in an effort to get a foot in the door-- and this even for people who are not really considering selling their home at all!

Because the OP didn't have any opportunity to sell herself, or to compete for the business. They never had ANY intention of doing any business with her whatsoever. This wasn't interviewing agents, this was, we're going to sell it ourselves, but if we fail, we'll be working with Someone Else, but they're on vacation, so YOU tell us what our house is worth. With NO hope of ever getting ANY business out of it. Probably not even a mention to anyone else who might be looking to buy/sell.

Yes, she did, she just didn't do it.  A plaintive asking if she will be given a chance if they decide to use an agent is not selling yourself.

Someone saying that they will use someone else should be a challenge not a roadblock.  Just because they say that doesn't mean that the other realtor actually will take the listing.
 
There are agents who use the promise of telling someone how much their house is worth to get their foot in the door--and this is for people who are not even considering selling their home!

Being able to sell yourself can be a test of getting hired.  If you can't sell yourself how will you sell the house?

If someone offers you a free sample and you have no intention of buying the product, are you rudely taking advantage?

The OP should consider this an opportunity that didn't work out.  And maybe ask an agent with high sales how to handle this type of situation in the future so that it pans out better.

MariaE

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Re: Is it really a favour or taking advantage?
« Reply #43 on: December 23, 2012, 06:40:47 PM »
If someone offers you a free sample and you have no intention of buying the product, are you rudely taking advantage?

That's not what happened though. This would be more like somebody asking for a free sample of something that wasn't labelled as free, while knowing she would never have any intention of buying anything. And yes, I do think that is rude.

My local ice cream store does small tastings. By that I mean that when I go to buy an ice cream I can ask "can I have a small taste of the honeysuckle?" In order to figure out whether I want to buy it or not. I can do that with several flavours if I want. However, going in there and asking for five tastings knowing from the outset that I'm not going to buy anything would definitely be if not rude, then at least unethical.

And the fact that t was the OP's 'friend' only makes it worse. She was deliberately taken advantage of.
 
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JoieGirl7

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Re: Is it really a favour or taking advantage?
« Reply #44 on: December 23, 2012, 11:41:32 PM »
If someone offers you a free sample and you have no intention of buying the product, are you rudely taking advantage?

That's not what happened though. This would be more like somebody asking for a free sample of something that wasn't labelled as free, while knowing she would never have any intention of buying anything. And yes, I do think that is rude.

My local ice cream store does small tastings. By that I mean that when I go to buy an ice cream I can ask "can I have a small taste of the honeysuckle?" In order to figure out whether I want to buy it or not. I can do that with several flavours if I want. However, going in there and asking for five tastings knowing from the outset that I'm not going to buy anything would definitely be if not rude, then at least unethical.

And the fact that t was the OP's 'friend' only makes it worse. She was deliberately taken advantage of.

How was it not labelled as free?  The OP knew that her friend was doing a FSBO when she went over there.  The only thing that seems to change it for everyone is that the friend had already decided on another agent if the FSBO didn't work out.
 
The OPs friend never agreed to pay her or hire her at any time.  And its not up to the friend to see that this is an opportunity.  That is up to the OP.  The friend has really nothing to gain.  She gets some advice, yes, but what the OP has to gain is a potential listing which will enrich her much more than it will enrich the friend.
 
The point is that it not being FSBO was completely hypothetical at that point.  And, the point to ask about becoming the listing agent isn't when you are giving advice to a friend.  You use the initial meeting to establish a professional relationship regardless of who is waiting in the wings.

Did the OP think that by virtue of giving her friend some advice that she was a lock for getting the listing?  That by asking that question when the friend was planning a FSBO is going to get it for her?
 
That's like saying she knew that the FSBO would fail.  Let me tell you, when you're selling a house, you aren't always thinking of Plan B.
 
And the OP could have been part of Plan B.

Again, what part of what the OP provided is a service that should be paid for?  Because that service is provided by agents all the time trying to get a foot in the door even with people who have no plans at all to sell their home.