Several times this year, I have experienced or heard first-hand stories about Buyers who will initiate a relationship with a Realtor to search for a home and ultimately not work with that (or any) Realtor for representation. I have seen it written that Realtors give away much of their expertise for free in the hopes that some business will be generated. This is unfortunately the nature of the business. Having grown up in the business, I knew that this could be a cutthroat career; I was prepared more for the competition from fellow Realtors than from the dishonesty of the buyers.

Perhaps I am a bit of an ideologist and expect a modicum of candor and openness from those with whom I work. The genesis of this post has been the recent spate of Buyers “jumping ship,” often months after we had been working together. I give each set of clients my one hundred percent dedication to do the “right thing.”

One used to be able to assume (spare me, please!) that a months-long relationship would lead to some level of trust. Now it seems that the current market — driven in no small part by greed — has caused many to lose their foundations. Part of me (the pessimist today) believes that there are fewer “good people” with whom to work. The other part sees that good people are out there, but that the not-so-good ones tend to be more efficient at and more intent upon wasting our time and taking our knowledge for free. I try to live by the Golden Rule and expect others to do the same.

All of this is leading to a change in the way I do business. I have not required a Buyer to sign a Buyer-Broker’s agreement until we got to the offer stage, as I believed that mutual trust was sufficient to maintain that loyalty. Unfortunately, times have changed. Trust is a two-way street. I am reluctant to change my methods of business due to the actions of a relative few, but this will enable me to weed out the “bad” so I can concentrate more effectively on the “good.”

Sour grapes? No, just an evolution of the business.

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