Unethical

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Anthony: When your offer does not get accepted, that does not make the listing agent unethical. When you are 1 of 45 offers and the listing agent doesn’t have a chance to call you to say, “Sorry, your offer didn’t get accepted and here’s why.” That does not make the listing agent unethical. The unethical word, that term is being abused. It’s being thrown around way too much, and all we are doing is hurting ourselves in the end. Buyers’ agents, please, think a little bit before you’re so quick to throw that out.

Anthony Lamacchia here with question in real estate from the Wynn Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. I want to talk to you all about this because I want more people to see how we are hurting ourselves doing this. If you’ve been paying attention to my videos, I did a video a few weeks ago, we showed an excerpt from the end of my keynote speech at our question and real estate event where I talked about buyers’ agents and listing agents working harder together, helping one another out, being communicative, not being so fast to fight one another, understanding the position that the other person is in, et cetera.

Then I did a follow-up video talking about how it’s important to show your listings as much as possible. I said, “Listing agents, don’t get cocky. Remember the days when it was hard to get buyers into your listings.” I talked about how you shouldn’t have a showing window of an hour long. Now, I want to talk about this term unethical. I hope that you all will hear me out here. I understand there’s a lot of frustrated buyers. There’s a lot of frustrated buyers’ agents out there who are hearing this and saying, “No, you’re wrong. My buyer’s mad, this and that.”

The word unethical is being thrown around too much, and you’re hurting our industry as a whole. For every buyer’s agent that tells their buyer that, that buyer is going to tell 10 people, and then we wonder why we are looked at not in a positive light from the public. We’re doing it to ourselves. We need to be professionals. If you truly run into a situation where a listing agent is truly unethical, I can understand some of that, but you got to try to avoid it as much as possible. You have to simply tell your buyers, “Hey, look, only one offer can get accepted. There’s 40 offers. Only one person can get it.”

There’s no cases where you go, “Hey, you got the house and you got the house and you got the house. Congratulations to all three of you.” That doesn’t happen. One buyer gets accepted. It’s very important to be mindful of that and to explain things correctly to your buyers so that they’re not demonizing and hating on a listing agent. I’ll give you another example. Let’s say, and this one’s going to cause some controversy. I bet this one creates comments.

Let’s say a listing agent is negotiating offers and they have a deadline for Monday at noon. In Sunday at noon, the perfect offer comes in that the seller want and the seller says, “I understand that we’ve set a deadline, but I want that offer.” The seller takes it, “Sorry.” Not sorry. That does not make the listing agent unethical. Yes, it’s frustrating, yes, it’s annoying, but also think about the position the listing agent is in. They’re in a very odd spot because they don’t have a choice when their seller wants to accept.

You jumping on the bandwagon as a buyer’s agent and further demonizing the listing agent doesn’t help us. Let’s talk about another example. What about when there’s five offers on a home or forget that. What about when there’s 20 offers on a home, and your seller says, “Show me the best five.” You go over the best five, you go back to all five of those and you make a comment. One or two of them lags in getting back to you and your seller takes one. You can’t be mad at the listing agent for giving you some sort of counter, and then in the meantime going with the another offer.

What about this? What about when a buyer’s agent, and I teach buyers’ agents this, I’ve talked about it, “Do not tell people that their offer has been accepted. The best wording to use when your seller wants to go with an offer is it looks like they’re going your way. I will let you know if and when I get it signed.” Period. Watch what you say in text and watch what you say in email. Stay with me here. When you’re the listing agent and you tell someone they’re going with your offer. Congratulations. You’re getting it. Literally, 10 minutes later, you get an offer of $100,000 higher, you have absolutely no choice but to take that higher offer and give it to your seller. When your seller sees it, they’re going to want to take it. When they take it, the buyer’s agent that you told that they were getting the property is going to be mad, and it’s understandable for them to be mad.

If you’re that buyer’s agent and you’re getting that bad news, you need to understand the position that the listing agent is in. Don’t be calling them unethical. It is not unethical of them to present a new offer that comes in in the 11th hour to their seller and their seller taking it. What would be unethical is them not presenting that offer to their seller. I am calling on all realtors, near and far, all over North America, we have a very big audience here on question in real estate, primarily in North America, I’m calling on everyone to stop throwing that unethical word around so much because you’re hurting us as a whole. You’re hurting yourself, and you don’t even realize it.

If it happens, and there is something truly unethical, I understand, but here’s what I’m observing, 1 out of about 50 times, it’s unethical. Most of the time, it’s a frustrated buyer’s agent, because the buyer is not getting their offer accepted and they’re getting flack from their buyer and their buyer’s frustrated as well. I get that. I understand that, but you have to be reasonable. You have to understand the position that these listing agents are in. They have a moral obligation, a fiduciary duty to do the right thing by their seller.

The seller has a duty and an obligation to nobody. They can take what they want to take. Please keep those thoughts in mind as we navigate what is really the trickiest time in real estate that I’ve ever seen. This is the hardest time I’ve ever seen. The available inventory is excessively low, you get buyers screaming everywhere, buyers’ agents screaming everywhere. We got to stop screaming. Start working together, talking to one another, communicating with one another.

If you’re a buyer’s agent, and you get an email, I said this at our event, there’s nothing wrong with a listing agent sending a BCC email to 30 people saying, “If you’re on this email, it’s just to let you know that your buyer’s offer was not accepted. It was not accepted. We wish you and your buyer the best of luck finding another property.” You can’t get mad at the listing agent for doing that. “Why won’t they talk to me? I need an explanation.” Bullshit. You don’t deserve an explanation. They can do it for you to be kind and courteous, but legally speaking, ethically speaking, they do not owe you that, and you have to understand that.

You have to understand that calling that many people when you’re the listing agent is very difficult. I know I’m touching on many different areas of things that I’ve brought up in the past few weeks, but the biggest part that I’m trying to say is, stop calling one another unethical. It’s being way overused. It’s hurting our industry. Thank you all. Have a great week and happy home selling.