“Buyers” Who Contact Sellers Directly

J Philip Faranda June 13, 2011

I'm pretty easy to reach, and the call is free. We see quite a bit of weird stuff in this business, which isn’t surprising when you mix home, large sums of money and the inevitable stress. It sometimes brings out a side of people that is unfamiliar, even to them. I have often said that you’ll see the best and worst of people  in what I do, and often it can be the same person on different days. 

It should be no suprise then, that certain people choose what we in New York call an “angle.” One of the occasional calculated moves I see is buyers who think that sellers who are represented by a broker would be better approached directly, either marginalizing or eliminating the broker altogether. It doesn’t work, but they try it anyway, and all it does is put everyone on a treadmill.  

The scenario typically plays out like this: I get a call or email from a seller client. 

Phil:

Our friend/neighbor saw that we are for sale and is very interested. We told him to call you. He said he’s been calling the number on the sign all week but hasn’t gotten a return call. Can you please call him? We really want to sell. 

-Client

Now, the odds of me not returning a direct call on one of my listings are as high as me seeing several thousand dollars in cash on the sidewalk and not leaning over and picking it up. We have two administrative people full time, one of whom is my wife and co-owner, and everything is followed up on-thoroughly. But the guy doesn’t know that. The most he probably did was call my office at 10pm, get voicemail, and hang up without leaving a message. 

After a few rounds of this, the seller gets frustrated. They may have even shown the person through the home themselves (highly inadvisable, especially if they don’t know the neighbor). I can hear it in their voice. I finally, often with great effort, get the “friend’s” phone number and discuss the home. They often want no part of me or are uncooperative. I’m not part of their plan. In most cases, the seller discovers that it was all a big waste of time.

This happens upon occasion, and the takeaway for seller clients is that if a prospect contacts you directly the best thing to do is get their number and pass it to your agent as soon as possible. If we can’t reach them, they were probably more interested in being a lone wolf than being the owner of your property. 

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