I recently did an Instagram post asking the question, “What’s something a potential client can say that will never make you want to work with them again?” It went parabolic and got nearly 900 comments.
Below are some variations of the most common responses. A lot of them were hilarious, but there’s actually some real value in why you should be aware of these “red flags” from potential clients. Reading this will hopefully save you from some future PAIN. Enjoy.
“I fired my last four realtors.”
When you’re about to enter a relationship with someone you don’t want to hear how many people they’ve run through. Sure, it’s good to know WHY they fired their previous realtors so you can learn from their mistakes, but hearing this is a pretty big red flag. If four realtors couldn’t “satisfy” this client then the situation might be one you want to avoid. Plus, they are basically threatening you that this too could be your fate. It will be in the back of your mind the entire time.
“I’m looking for a deal.”
Yeah, who isn’t? Nobody says “I’m looking to pay 20% over market and give up my kidneys to get the house.” People who say this are usually Lookie Lues who want to see 100 properties in a year with little to no intention of ever writing an offer. People who say this will send you addresses to properties with no link. People who say this will walk out of every showing and say shit like, “well, THAT’s overpriced.” Avoid them at all costs.
“I’ll work with whoever can send me the property first.”
Buyers who say this belong in prison. They expect you to compete with like five (maybe more) other realtors who also have this asshole on automatic alerts and emails. Don’t waste your time on someone like this. You don’t want to scramble for someone who isn’t committed to you.
“I want to see a few houses before we get pre-approved.”
When I first started in real estate every “buyer” I had said this. I wasted months, sometimes years with buyers thinking that seeing the right house might trigger them to finally talk to a lender. It never did. I wasted enormous amounts of time driving across LA for people who weren’t serious. If a buyer says this, it might not be a bad idea to give them one “freebie” to get to know them and use it as a second buyer’s consultation. But, definitely don’t spend too much time on someone who keeps refusing to take that next step.
“I’m not in a hurry.”
People who say this do one of two things: either they waste your time for years and actually aren’t in a hurry, or they see something and write an offer tomorrow with the listing agent.
“My (insert family member) is an agent and has been advising us.”
Then work with them lmao? You’re telling me someone in your immediate family has their license and you chose to not work with them? Ok.. so they must be a complete hack or they are a part-time agent. Either way, if someone says this you know that “agent” will be whispering in your client’s ear the entire transaction, undermining everything you say. It will drive you completely insane.
“Do you come with the house?”
If someone is lame or dumb enough to make this joke you don’t want to be anywhere near them. I can literally picture the guy saying this with a slight smirk. It’s infuriating to even think about. The creep who says this clearly wants to date you and not buy a house with you. Block him immediately and call the cops.
“I don’t want to get into a bidding war.”
Cool. I don’t want to pay taxes. I don’t want to take Metamucil. I don’t want to wear sunscreen. I don’t want to write this blog. But, we do what we gotta do, right? If someone says they don’t want to get in a bidding war, tell them they can accomplish this by continuing to burn money on rent.
“My other realtor said…”
The problem is that making people sign Buyer Exclusive contracts is kinda cringe, so this happens more than one would think. I know realtors who swear by them, but those who don’t are opening themselves up to a potential scenario where the buyer is working with multiple agents. If a client says this it needs to be squashed immediately.
“Will you give us a commission kickback or rebate?”
In a world where Realtors are taking listings for major commission reductions while offering the buy-side 1%… this is not that crazy of an ask. But, if they start asking for kickbacks at the beginning of the deal, you’re preparing to fight an uphill battle. They already think you’re not worth your full commission and will probably treat you as such throughout the deal.
“I don’t want to waste your time.”
If someone says this they will definitely waste your time.
Finally, if someone says “I’m actually thinking of just getting my real estate license and doing the deal myself,” encourage them to do so, and let them experience our hell.