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Amazed and Disgusted: I took a new listing in an area that is one of the more affordable areas for SFRs in SoCal. I have received more than 5 very bizarre calls from agents. At first I thought I was misunderstanding because what they were proposing was so outlandish. They are agents representing buyers they are asking me to write up their clients' offers, double-end the transaction, and then they will do the loan and grossly overcharge to make their money. It usually takes me several attempts to explain to them that I do not want to represent any buyers and that they should just submit their best offer for their client.
I recently received a good offer on the listing. This is our 3rd attempt with this house and each other time it has fallen out in the first 3 days. Buyer 1 cancelled because a neighbor told him someone on the street plays music at night. Buyer 2 cancelled because he found out his wife was pregnant and needs a 4 bedroom. Anyhow, I called Buyer #3s loan officer and he asked me which property this was -- which clued me in that maybe these buyers have multiple offers out. So I put together a counter offer that merely changed the escrow period and had a clause that the buyers must withdraw any other outstanding offers upon acceptance. Their loan officer (not their agent) just emailed me that Buyer #3 doesn't like the counter and is offended. Am I missing something here?
The official "ruling" on this out here in CA was that either the selling or listing agent can claim they have "sold" the property. Where it gets sticky is in situations where you might be (even inadvertently) implying that you sold a property.
My I'm going to be a voice of dissidence on this. It's all "talk" until we meet in person and I really don't think it matters that much whether it's email or on the phone. Prospects have different communications preferences and I try to be accommodating to whatever works for them. To the above inquiry I usually respond with the following key components: 1. I'm upbeat and excited 2. I tell them any inside information I have on the property that is NOT in the MLS 3. I ask some questions that qualify them and give me some information 4. I suggest some times to see the property...what they're actually asking about.
Redfin has been in CA for a while. They tend to serve the lower end of the market, mostly. The problem is that they hire agents that, for the most part, couldn't hack it in a traditional model. Also, the model of using different people for different parts of the transaction doesn't go over so well with more sophisticated buyers in our market and at the end of the day, most consumers here fundamentally understand that Redfin agents have way more clients at a time and they don't get the same level of service.