Horror Story: Agent Loses Commission With This Common Mistake

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Last Updated on April 7, 2017

“THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY!! This could be a “Horror Story” of sorts. This is even one I hate to admit to, but if it saves even one other Realtor a commission this story will serve it’s purpose. I was helping a fellow Realtor with the selling of her sister’s home. We were going to share the commission.

Her sister purchased her home four years earlier for $223,000. She had added a substantial amount of improvements, i.e., heat pump, 2″ wood blinds throughout, plantation shutters, sprinkler system, water softener, custom draperies, etc. Now her sister, my client went through the listing presentation, but clearly decided she wanted to re-coop some of those expenses, and even though the cumulative market analysis showed home prices that sold (and in a short period) were listed at $219,000. My client decided to price her home at $229.000.

While I disagreed I did get in writing after 45 days the price would be lowered by $5,000. Even though I was proud of myself for remembering this and implementing the procedure, I failed to make the price reduction every 30-45 day the home sat on the market. (FIRST MISTAKE). I held open houses three out of four weekends, and had a lot of interested lookers who went down the street and purchased the same home at $219,000, or lower.

While I held my clients home open there was one customer in particular who kept coming through. This couple was selling their home in the same subdivision, and had informed me when their home sold, they would purchase this one. Their home was a 2-story and was priced a little high, but their agent was lowering the price every 20 days or so. (They really needed a 1-story because of his disability of getting up and down stairs).

After a six month listing agreement, my client decided she was going to lease her home and was going to have her son-in-law do it for her. So we were kindly told our services were no longer needed. So I did the right thing of picking up my sign and lockbox, and sending them a Thank You letter for allowing me to market their home. BIG MISTAKE – I did not count on the son-in-law hiring another agent and in less than a month had my clients not only under contract, but closing in less than a month. It was not that the other agent was so great and wonderful, it was the customer who had come into my listing 3 other times and told me of his intentions!!

The customer who had his home on the market and was allowing his agent to lower the price, received his offer and after the option period walked right over and put in the contract to make my clients home his. Now my big mistake was not asking and getting my client to agree and sign the form saying if this gentleman (who also signed the sign-in book all three times) comes back to purchase the home, I would be compensated for it. You must always think outside the box and protect yourself in this business. I even knew better, and that is what is so embarrassing.

The new agent received the commission I work for on three different occasions. I should have protected myself after the agreement ended. I just hope whoever reads this, remembers when one of their listing is ending they take the time and fill out the form for their own protection. Even though the client may not agree and sign the form, what if they do? You will earn the commission that is rightfully yours!”

Craig Forte
Craig Forte has helped more than 32,000 real estate professionals over the last 22 years, helping them generate more clients, more referrals and repeats, and grow their production with less stress, time and effort – all by using innovative marketing training, systems and tools.