Author Topic: Gift for real estate agent? UPDATE p.4  (Read 2659 times)

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JenJay

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Gift for real estate agent? UPDATE p.4
« on: October 28, 2013, 11:22:23 AM »
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?
« Last Edit: October 28, 2013, 11:49:55 AM by JenJay »

TootsNYC

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Re: Gift for real estate agent? (whithout a signing)
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2013, 11:38:10 AM »
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

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Re: Gift for real estate agent? (whithout a signing)
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2013, 11:43:21 AM »
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

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Re: Gift for real estate agent? (whithout a signing)
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2013, 11:46:46 AM »
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

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Re: Gift for real estate agent? UPDATE p.4
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2013, 11:49:24 AM »
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

bopper

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Re: Gift for real estate agent? UPDATE p.4
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2013, 09:04:26 AM »
In my limited experience with Real Estate Agents, if they have you as a potential client for whatever reason, they won't let you go even if they don't know the area or "leaseing" or whatever.  They will do their best even if it would be better for you to have someone who is more experienced in that particular area.  So that leaves it up to you to move on when you have to.
When we started looking, we looked in town X and found (semirandomly) a real estate person.  She knew town X, but then we wanted to expand to town X+1 and then town X+2.  When we got to Town Y which has a major highway and two train tracks, we said we didn't want to be next to either one...of course she showed us houses that had a train track in the back yard.  We realized at that point she didn't know anything about that town (which we ended up choosing).  We felt bad, because she had helped us, but when it got to the point that we were looking at completely inappropriate houses we had to move on.

TootsNYC

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Re: Gift for real estate agent? (whithout a signing)
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2013, 12:29:31 PM »
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.

Well, if she'd really done a lot of work for you, etc., even if you didn't find a house through her, I'd say it was good form to give her a thank-you gift (like $25 to Starbucks).

But she didn't do a lot for you--and as Deetee points out, she didn't *even* look out for you by connecting you with someone else who could help you until late in the game--or at least, late in *your* game.


(I have known real estate agents to do the "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" sort of exchange with other agents; sometimes for an agreed-upon cut of the fee. And in your case, her agency did have a leasing specialist, and she didn't hook you up right away? No steak for her!)
« Last Edit: October 29, 2013, 12:31:55 PM by TootsNYC »

veronaz

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Re: Gift for real estate agent? UPDATE p.4
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2013, 12:33:22 PM »
You don't owe her a thing.  A gift card (of any amount) is extreme and way over the top.  There is no reason for you to feel bad - you did nothign wrong, and frankly I don't see where she did that good of a job.

JenJay

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Re: Gift for real estate agent? UPDATE p.4
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2013, 01:19:35 PM »
Our last contact with her was that she was passing us back to their relocation specialist who would assign us a new agent. Twenty-four hours later we received a generic email from the relocation lady saying our new agent would be so-and-so and she'd be in contact soon. No word from her. I'm incredibly unimpressed. This is a service provided to us through DH's employer because this is a paid transfer. I get the definite impression that the feeling is "We have to contact these people but we don't have to put ourselves too far out for them."  ::)

We've got three homes to look at this evening and we're just working with the agent representing the home owner at this point. That made us nervous at first but obviously we weren't going to have anyone looking our for our interests anyway, so when the time comes we'll read the lease carefully and verify as best we can that the property management company handling everything is on the up and up.

I do hope I get one of those "How'd we do?" surveys next month!  :P

norrina

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Re: Gift for real estate agent? UPDATE p.4
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2013, 01:25:24 PM »
You might also consider having a real estate attorney review your potential lease before you sign it, if you're concerned about protecting your interests. And some employers offer prepaid legal services as a job benefit, so that might be worth looking into.



lowspark

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Re: Gift for real estate agent? UPDATE p.4
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2013, 02:04:45 PM »
You might want to also give feedback to your DH's employer as to the service (or lack thereof) that you have received from this agency. This is a case where the person using the service is different than the person who makes the decision on whom to hire, which makes it easy for the agency to be lax because they already are getting the referrals from the employer.

Your feedback should at minimum get DH's company to do some evaluation on the service they are receiving.

MurPl1

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Re: Gift for real estate agent? UPDATE p.4
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2013, 05:43:06 PM »
Oh my!  How incredibly short sighted!  A smart agent would realize that getting you the right lease home with great service could quite possibly lead to additional and more lucrative business in the long run if you end up relocating permanently.

JenJay

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Re: Gift for real estate agent? UPDATE p.4
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2013, 10:32:43 AM »
You might also consider having a real estate attorney review your potential lease before you sign it, if you're concerned about protecting your interests. And some employers offer prepaid legal services as a job benefit, so that might be worth looking into.
I'll keep that in mind, thank you. So far all the homes have been under a pretty typical lease but we'll certainly look over things very carefully before we actually sign one.


You might want to also give feedback to your DH's employer as to the service (or lack thereof) that you have received from this agency. This is a case where the person using the service is different than the person who makes the decision on whom to hire, which makes it easy for the agency to be lax because they already are getting the referrals from the employer.

Your feedback should at minimum get DH's company to do some evaluation on the service they are receiving.
Unfortunately, as with everything else gov't-related, the company Relocation uses won a contract so they're pretty well locked in as far as getting referrals. There really isn't anyone to complain to officially, but I will mention it to our Transfer Coordinator so she's aware. If I get any type of follow-up from the agency itself I'll absolutely let whomever know that we got dropped by our first agent and the second one never contacted us.


Oh my!  How incredibly short sighted!  A smart agent would realize that getting you the right lease home with great service could quite possibly lead to additional and more lucrative business in the long run if you end up relocating permanently.
That's what we thought, too! So far we absolutely love the area and we can see ourselves deciding to purchase a home and settle in. There is a lot of opportunity for DH, career wise, so he could easily continue to promote within the area. Typically DH will request a few business cards from whichever agent has helped us and post one on a board at work as well as keep a few in his wallet in case a coworker mentions needing an agent. Obviously that won't be happening this time around.

Yesterday we saw a couple of new houses and we really liked one in particular so we're submitting the paperwork today. The agent who showed the home (which is leased by a major real estate company, so no worries there) was very nice and we feel comfortable with him. Hopefully it works out and he receives a nice commission for the 20 minutes he spent with us.  :P