Entry by Deb Orth

Working With Buyers, Part 2 - GRRRR


Following up on previous posts, I want to reemphasize that getting a Buyer's Agency Agreement in addition to whatever Consulting Services Agreement you come up with, is IMPERATIVE.

I won't go into all the gory details but suffice it to say, against my better judgment and in a moment of temporary insanity, I didn't follow this practice with the buyer I referenced in a previous post. We came toward the end of our initial period covered by the retainer fee when she announced she has been independently going after FSBO sellers and from now on, all she wants me to do is work MLS Sellers on her behalf while she hits the FSBOs and with NO consulting fee to me.

After I pulled all my hair out and put it back in, I had a dialogue with her about it, told her I would not compete with HER to find a property for HER anymore than I would work for her when she might also use other agents. The end result was I fired her. Another lesson learned....

Deb Orth
Richmond, VA


Deb, as usual thank you for sharing not only your successes but your setbacks. We have all been there and by sharing with us, we learn.

I was talking with Merv yesterday and he tells me that he got two more consulting contracts over the weekend! The second one was a gentleman who had been reading his blog. He contacted Merv and told him he wanted Merv's opinion of what his property was worth. Merv told him (I'm paraphrasing) "Let me tell you how I work. As a consultant, I charge for my time. My hourly rate is $175 and this will take about two hours. Now, if you decide to hire me, I'll be happy to credit my fee".

Merv said that the gentleman didn't even blink an eye! Told Merv that this made total sense. Which is funny because as Merv is telling me the story, deep down I'm wondering how the guy is going to react.

The conclusion dear ACRE's? I think we all have been afraid to ask to be paid for our time, thinking the consumer will react poorly. But me thinks, that we have been afraid for nothing. When explained as Merv did, with confidence that this is how we work, the consumer thinks it's totally logical. In fact, I wonder if they think that this is how it should be done anyway.

So, don't be afraid to stand up for yourself, whether it's asking someone to sign a contract that protects you or asking to be paid for your time. You can always credit it if you get the listing, but doesn't that make better sense than doing it free in hopes they will hire us?



It was hard getting those words out of my mouth. But once I did it felt really good. What was going through my mind as I started to utter my proposition was "maybe I should just do this to be sure he doesn't go somewhere else." But, the words came out, he understood, we made an appointment and I will carry an invoice with me to personally hand to him.

Now, I must say it is easier when clients are coming to me from my Blog (like this one). The reason? I have unknowingly created a relationship with them. They know me, how I think and my principles. I don't know who they are or when they might call upon me. But, I know they are out there, waiting for the opportunity to engage my services. I call these "blind relationships." When I get these calls they are ready to do business. Both clients this weekend have been followers for some time. Knowing this, it is pretty easy to be bold.

The other engagement Mollie referred to is a listing I signed using my "Shared Risk" approach. I'll be paid 60% of my total listing fee over the next 60 days with the balance at closing. I have a check for 20% as a retainer. The client is also a reader of my Blog.

Now, I'm not pushing Blogging one way or another. It works for me. Each person needs to determine how they create these "blind relationships." Because when you get the call they are ready to do business.

When the moment is right, will you be ready? (To say: "I'm a real estate consultant and require payment for my time if you value my opinions and ability") I'm sorry. I couldn't resist!


I'm going through something similar with a guy who has 5 condo's to sell, but keeps wanting to call all the shots and tell me what it will take to get his business. For those of you who don't know me very well, you can only imagine how that worked!

We have another call today, and I'm going to give him my famous Paula speech which starts (in a nice way) with something along the lines of running with the big dogs or staying on the porch.

He has all these other agents who are willing to do this for nearly no money at all, so, hey - you get what you pay for! I can go get 5 other transactions started that will really work, so no loss of love on my part.

Now, I'll be brave and be the first to use your words above, even though he didn't come from a blog or my site and has no clue who I am or what I do... he'll soon find out. I'd rather watch soap opera's than waste my time on non income producing activites, and that says alot, because I detest soap operas ;-)

Stay tuned for more news at 11:00!

Paula Bean
Orlando, FL

Hi folks,

As you may recall, I posted a story on June 12th about a buyer whom I fired because she was competing with me by seeing who could find her a home first, me or her. She wouldn't sign a new more specific and detailed consulting agreement with me and we parted ways. I was proud of not allowing myself to be taken advantage of and not compromising my values.

She has been through 4 other agents since that time. I received this email from her this morning:


Hi Deb,

Will you take me back? I want to commit to this relationship.

No more flip/flopping. I am focused on the region/schools/price range. I just need someone I can rely on to work in my best interest. I know now, that person is you.

I will sign on the dotted line. Hell, I'd sign a prenup if you want me to.

I'm serious...please take me back. I need you desperately.


Isn't that a hoot??? And, of course, you KNOW what my answer will be. I'll work with her again but now I'll be SURE to be paid for all my time and effort.

Another example of how standing your ground is better than giving in.



This goes to show us all that if you stick to your principles, you'll win in the long run. While I was in San Francisco, I got a vm from a man I spoke with back in January.

He said " I don't know if you remember me or not, but my name is ______, we talked about selling my house and I didn't believe you at the time about how bad the market was, and what I needed to do to sell it.


He went on to say that I told him the truth, but he only wanted to hear what he wanted to hear, and after dealing with fsbo, as well as several other agents who told him what he wanted to hear, that it was clear to him that I was honest with him and he wanted to chat more with me and do whatever it takes.

ahhhh....... There is a method to our madness, we just have to stick to our morals, be honest and wait for them to wait up and smell the coffee. Some will swallow their pride and call back, like Deb's girl and my guy, others won't, but in the end, we didn't waste our time doing something for nothing.

This page contains a single entry by Deb Orth published on June 12, 2007 8:12 AM.

Fee Schedule was the previous entry in this blog.

Changing Brokers is the next entry in this blog.

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