Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Customer Dis-Service, Part I

There are a few things that have my shorts in a bunch... so, here they are. Careful. They've been brewing for a little while.

There is a house in my subdivision that has been under contract since February... that's right, February. It will six months if it closes on time. This house is listed with a flat-fee company. The listed price was reasonable (I'll be curious what it actually sold for). When it went up for sale, it was a well kept house. Of course, now it looks pretty run down. The grass was cut once or twice, and is LOADED with weeds. It is actually a fight to get to the front door.

I didn't really know the seller. His family was transferred out of town, and they had to sell the house. Of course, they didn't want to "pay the commission" to have a full service brokerage. The seller called me and asked if I would show his house if he had a call from an unrepresented seller. I told him that I would, and he could either pay me ($50) to show it, or I could take them as a client and he could pay me 3% if one of them bought it. He told me his friend that lived and worked about 30 minutes away was doing it for less ($20). Ummm... no. Then, he actually told a prospect to drop in on me if I was home and ask me to show the house. Because I am a nice guy, I showed them the house. They had a lot of questions, and took almost two hours. (Think I got paid for that?)

Anyway, he emailed me after I showed the house and asked if I could give him any feedback. I told him that the grass needed to be cut, the bushes made it difficult to get to the front door, and that the house really needed staging. Boy was that a mistake. I got torn into for the grass and the bushes. He didn't want to spend the money to stage.

Remember, this isn't my listing. I'm not making any money here. And, he asked.

Anyway, the folks that looked at the house were somewhat interested, but couldn't write an offer yet. Then, I find out that the house is actually pending. The flat-fee company didn't actually add the kick-out portion on the sale contingency to the contract when he did the contract for the folks that tied it up for the last 5 1/2 months. Someone forgot. Ooops.

Do you think that four or five months of mortgage payments are more than the other 3% commission (he's paying a 3% fee to the buyer's broker)? I might have been able to get the house sold for him and closed a few months ago, but no chance. I wonder if it'll close on time, too.

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