General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

Gift for real estate agent? UPDATE p.4

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JenJay:
DH and I have recently relocated to a new area and we were assigned an agent to help us find a home to lease. Unfortunately things go lightning fast around here so, while she's shown us about 6 properties over two different days (about an hour total each day), we haven't been able to obtain a lease. We've applied for two only to find out that they were leased to someone else that morning.

We spoke to her this past Thursday and she let us know she'd be out of town for a 3-day weekend and back Monday. Last night (Sunday evening) DH sent her an email and asked about setting up showings for 2-3 places he found online over the weekend. This morning she wrote back and said one was leased on Saturday, she can't find the listing for another (must be pulled already) and she's waiting to hear back on the third home. She also mentioned that she has a brief window of time tomorrow (Tuesday) to show us one or two homes but she's booked pretty solid the rest of the week.

Here's the thing, we can't wait for her. We realize that she needs to prioritize selling a home over leasing a rental, we completely respect that. At the same time, as quickly as things go, seeing 2-3 homes once a week isn't going to cut it. Last Friday DH found a home online and we've already seen it and met with the owner, and he'd like us to come back on Tuesday after he's had a chance to clean it up. This looks very promising but since we found it on our own she won't get a commission from the owner.

We feel bad that we basically went around her and found something ourselves but we really had no choice. We literally couldn't wait 3-4 days while she was unavailable. That said, she did give us a few hours of her time to show us some homes, and she's been in pretty regular email contact with whatever listings she could find, so we feel like we owe her something. We'd like to send her a gift and sincere thank-you for her time. We were thinking a $100 gift card to a nice steak house, something like that? Is that appropriate?

TootsNYC:
You owe her nothing. I think a $100 card is extreme and over the top.


She's spent two days with you?

She did very, very little, and if she wanted something more from you, she needed to have been more proactive. Sure, things move fast, but someone who wants to effectively help renters find an apartment needs to do more to create links to landlords so they can find out before anything even goes on the market.

Let her know right away that you are off her "to-do" list, and thank her nicely for her time.

Then move on.

This is business, she wasn't doing you any favors that you need to thank her for. And she didn't even do a really great job while she *was* working on your behalf.

lowspark:
POD. I wouldn't send her anything. She did very little work and didn't find you a house. What do you owe her for? Real estate agents don't sell/lease to every customer they show to. It's par for the course that some will not end up producing any business.

Deetee:
I agree with Toots. A real estate agent only gets paid when they close the deal.

Personally, I think she should have passed on the job to someone who would be available in time frame that you were looking or told you she would look but you should not consider it an exclusive contract and you were free to look with other agents.

JenJay:
Well, it seems I posted too soon. I just received an email letting me know that her agency has a "lease specialist" that she's going to pass us off to and "I apologize for the confusion". There's no confusion, I told Relocation Services upfront that we were looking for a 12-18 month lease and NOT buying a home, and she's been sending me listings of leased homes for over a month. She obviously doesn't care to prioritize us, which is fine, but I won't worry about any type of compensation now.

I told her we appreciated her time and best wishes. Guess we're done here.  :P

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