I had an agent call me, a couple of days ago, and inquire about doing in inspection. 2,400 SF house in a moderately upscale neighborhood. He asked a lot of questions about my qualifications, time licensed, etc.
Said he would check with his other “possibilities” and “maybe” get back to me.
Called yesterday and talked, mainly, about price. I told him that I don’t discuss price with agents, preferring to talk directly to the client. I gave him my general price ranges, but said I would prefer to talk to the client. He said good-bye.
Called back a couple of hour later and said that he was the client. He was buying his first house and wanted to make sure that he had a good inspector. Said he had checked around and thought that I was very good.
Then the “other shoe” dropped. He started talking about “best price” and “discounts” and the like.
Look, I have many agents and one or two brokers who use me, exclusively. They want to best serve their clients and understand that agents and inspectors are a team, both serving the client, but as different partners. These agents have NEVER asked me to “go soft” or change anything substinative about the report (just adding some more explainations, sometimes). But I never ask or give discounts to agents. I have even referred a few clients who called me first to agents that I know. I let them explain their commission structure to the client and I expect them to give me the same professional courtesy.
He kept asking about “best price”, wanting to knock off a few dollars. I explained that my fee was my fee and the only “discounts” I give would be to police, fire, return clients and active duty military. He kept pushing, but very gently.
I told him, for the fifth time, that I don’t give discounts to agents and if I had a dollar for every time an agent told me that he would refer business to me in exchange for a discount for themselves, I would be a rich man.
He just wouldn’t let up.
I then asked him for his license number. He asked why. I said that I would be reporting him to the IAR, NAR and the state for un-ethical behavior. He yelled and said that he would not give it to me. I said, “heck, you know what? I already have your name and I can just look it up on the state web site.” He got REALLY defensive and said that he never asked for a discount. I wished him well.
What is it with agents? I have, pretty much, all the business I can handle with past customers, referrals from other agents (who don’t ask for discounts), RE lawyer referrals and various other sources. I don’t need to give discounts and understand that for a Realtor to ask for one is a violation of their association code of ethics and state law.
Yet, they still ask.
Why, oh why, do we have to put up with this waste of time dance with agents who don’t even adhere to their own code of ethics and standards of practice?
What a waste of time, both for us and for them.