Entry by Alysse Musgrave

I did it! Let's see what happens next.


A buyer contacted me earlier this week and we agreed to meet for an interview on Thursday.  This morning  his wife wanted me to bring them the average sales to list price ratio for 8 areas that they were interested in, along with a list of every property I helped someone buy in the last 12 months, including address, property type, list price, sales price, date, and name and current phone number of the buyers.    

It wasn't easy to say no because I am accustomed to providing free info in hopes of getting the client.  I told them that they hadn't yet hired me as their agent and that I hadn't agreed to represent them yet.  I told them I have an hourly consultative fee and would be happy to give them more information about that program.  And, btw, I'm not giving out my client's personal information.

I have to admit that, regardless of the outcome, I feel pretty good about this.  I'm behaving like the trained professional that I am instead of a panhandler.  Hopefully my refusal will humble them a bit and we'll be able to work together.  If not, it's okay.  I'm pretty tired of being a beck and call girl.  Hoping to start to like my job again.


Good for you Alysse! It takes time to establish new habits but my experience is that in time, you will not lose a thing. You are showing that you have respect for your own time and expertise and the clients you will attract will also respect your time and expertise. The ones you "lose" are not really a loss.


I love that!  I completely understand what you mean when you say "hoping to start to like my job again."  I have been there way too many times and have finally found a way to rebuild my self worth and respect back up again!  Check out my buyer consulting service page I added to my website today.  I am tryinig to get the message out about the consulting option for buyers!  Any suggestions for improvement are always welcome! http://www.canyoncasa.com/Buyer_Consulting_Service.html

I really like your new page Jeani. Very warm and inviting. 

I like your page too...really nice and readable.  I plan to start requiring a nominal fee up front.  Have you presented this to buyers yet?  If so, how did they respond?  

I read some good advice about upfront fees that I'll share with you.    All buyers pay or no buyers pay so that the fee is non-discriminatory.


That is good advice!  Since I am relatively new to the consulting model, a lot of this is trial and error and I would like to have as little error as possible! :)

I haven't had a chance to do this with buyers yet since I am the managing broker I mainly list, but I am encouraging my agents to get their ACRE and training my agents to think like consultants!  They are open to it and really like the concept!  When I have a buyer consultation I will definitely share it here. 

Alysse, your consulting page is terrific. The FAQ format hits the right note and the information is clear and concise.

On the upfront fees, if a buyer chooses to use the commission based option why would you need to take an upfront fee just because you take them for your consulting choice? Maybe someone in this group knows the answer.


Awesome Jeani. Exactly the way I practiced with buyers. Nicely done. Just be sure there is language in the buyer contract that makes it very clear what happens to the retainer.

Alysse, there is power in being able to say no! Congrats!!!!!!

Sorry for the incorrect attribution on the page Jeani. It is still terrific.


Not sure I understand the question .... but, here is my approach:

  • Signed buyer agreement that includes a non-refundable retainer.
  • If client ultimately buys and closes, credit retainer to my commission client closing cost.
  • If client never buys and terminates the agreement, retainer is not refunded and I at least got paid for some of my time (never enough to cover all but gets the client to have skin in the game).

Was this your question?


If client ultimately buys and closes, credit retainer to my commission.

Should be

If client ultimately buys and closes, credit retainer to client closing cost.

Merv, I was referring to something Alysse had said in her post of 5:09 which was "All buyers pay or no buyers pay so that the fee is non-discriminatory."

I would suggest that all the consulting buyers should be treated alike but not necessarily commission clients and consulting clients.


Howard, There are three client types in your suggestion: Consulting buyers, Commission clients and Consulting clients. Need to understand your perspective on the differences.

Sorry Merv. Poorly written. I mean to say that asking a consulting client for an upfront fee and not asking a commission client for an upfront fee should not present a discrimination issue. It might raise the issue of discrimination if you asked some consulting clients for an upfront fee but not all consulting clients.

Howard, Thanks for the clarification. I believe you are correct. Whatever your policy, it needs to be consistent. If you ask a commission clent for a retainer, then that needs to be consistent too.

Consider this: Since all fees are negotiable and client contracts are confidential, you may waive a retainer as a result of negotiation but, the consistency is the fact you asked.

It would be interesting to hear the opinions of the group.


This page contains a single entry by Alysse Musgrave published on March 30, 2011 4:27 PM.

Calling ACRE Brokers was the previous entry in this blog.

Press Release for ACRE®s is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.