Do you live by it?
Do you say one thing and do another? Do you tell your clients that they have to be on the MLS to sell a house and then put yours up FSBO? Do you recommend an average home inspector for your clients, but hire the “deal killer” ones for yourself and your family? Do you negotiate harder for yourself than you would for a client?
Miriam-Webster defines Integrity as:
1 : firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values : incorruptibility 2 : an unimpaired condition : soundness 3 : the quality or state of being complete or undivided : completeness
synonyms see honesty
Integrity is not about all of us believing the same thing, but about practicing what you believe.
I have buyer agency agreements with my clients so they decide if they want me to search FSBO listings, knowing that they might have to pay me. Most of the time this works, but buyer agent commissions are not an allowable VA closing cost.
Not too long ago, I had a VA buyer and we were looking at houses. He noticed a FSBO home that might work. The only problem was that he couldn’t pay me, and the FSBO flyer said “No Realtors.” My client had never seen that before so he called the seller up. Much to his surprise…the seller was a real estate agent. The seller had been an agent for 15 years as a matter of fact. My buyer asked me to call her, which I did. She told me 1) that another real estate agent down the street had been successful selling her home FSBO, so she thought she would try, 2) she didn’t want to pay out a high buyer commission, and 3) she didn’t want to be harassed by real estate agents looking for her listing, hence the “No Realtors” remark on all of her ads.
So this agent, in the past 15 years, convinced sellers that they had to pay her, that they needed to pay her that much, that she was worth that much.
Now, on the flip side, she has decided that she doesn’t need an agent, that she doesn’t need to pay that much, and that agents aren’t worth that much. What does this say about her integrity?
As you sit down and give your listing presentation are you talking out both sides of your mouth? Are you telling sellers that in “this market” you have to offer x% or a bonus or an extra incentive. If you were the seller would you pay that? Really ask yourself that. If you were sitting at a table and someone said you have to pay me $25,000 to get your house sold, would you do it? Really ask yourself, would you pay it?
If you can’t say yes to that question, then you need to ask yourself why don’t you believe?
I guess the question for buyers and sellers is…are you hiring an agent with integrity, or one that is just giving you their scripted sales presentation in order to make money?
To all the agents out there that tell buyers and sellers “you can’t sell your home without us” and then turn around and sell your home FSBO. Shame on you. At least have the integrity to practice what you preach.
(c) Copyright, 2008. Melina Tomson, All Rights Reserved (ie…be nice and create your own content. Don’t steal mine…)