How To Get Fired By Your Buyer’s Agent

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Home buyers are often  surprised to find that their real estate agent is less  than enthusiastic when they insist  on an endless series of showings  before they will entertain any decisions.  They  think that its our job  to show them as many homes as they could ever want to see – even if that takes 6 months of Saturdays.  This has always been a major issue for agents, but the problem has reached epidemic proportions in a market where buyers have no urgency and think nothing of taking their agent on a 700 mile wild goose chase even when they are not committed to a purchase.

However, there are signs of push-back.  Buyers who are “working the system” by insisting on seeing literally every home under the sun are finding that they are wearing out their welcome as their agents are no longer enabling their addiction to to an endless  search.

Of course some agents will not fire a client directly…If your agent has made themselves scarce or is inexplicably  unavailable because they they are suddenly having root canal every day  for the next three weeks – you may have been dumped.  Here are some reasons why you may have been given your walking papers.

1. You told your agent that  you were “in no hurry to buy”.

Some buyers think this “motivates” their agent to work harder.   Freely translated this says  “I’m going to be very demanding, I’m going to take tons of your time, I’m totally unmotivated, but someday – 3-5 years from now I might buy…and if you jump through all my hoops – you might be lucky enough to close with me.”  Please explain to me what is “motivating” about that?

2. You mentioned that you ” can always renew my lease for another year.”  

Please see #1 for the explanation.  If you used #1 & #2 together on the same day it is a clear sign that you are not a buyer.

3. You sent your buyers agent  a showing request that requires a torturous  zig-zag route  across more than half a county that will consume  an entire day and  at least one tank of gasoline to complete?  

People who do this are seldom true buyers unless it is very early in the search process.  Being rudderless may sound like fun, but the fact is that this tells the agent you have no idea what you are looking for and worse still – you are unwilling to do the necessary research that would  eliminate entire towns.  This in turn indicates a lack of commitment to the home buying process.  How serious can a buyer like this possibly be?

4.  You request multiple showings   that have nothing to do with any of your primary criteria apart from the fact that they all contain granite kitchens and tumbled marble baths?    

There are a lot of homes out there with these features.   They can be found in many towns and cities all over the continental US.   Many buyers go ga-ga over  granite and marble – but these are just finishes.  Location should be your meat and potatoes issue.  And  yes – these features  sometimes exist in a very inexpensive house  But chances are fair to near metaphysical certitude that there is a huge catch…like the roof is missing – or some similar triviality.

5. Did you complain that the last home you saw was in a higher crime area and then send your agent six listings that you MUST see even though they happen to be across from a meth lab?

Well…the price is probably right.   But just  how seriously is your agent going to take you if you keep running pell mell into the county’s worst neighborhoods – while complaining about the crime rate?  We are not allowed to discuss such things as crime – so this can be particularly frustrating.  Most people who do this are bottom feeding – and hoping to steal home.

6. Do you have a low to moderate price range but then complain to your broker that without a master suite with double sinks, granite  and marble you feel like you are settling?

Champagne taste on a beer budget + no urgency = NO SALE.    Serious buyers understand that there are tradeoffs.  There is no perfect home – so at the end of the day we ALL settle. If you aren’t willing to deal with trade offs involved in purchasing a home – chances are you are not a buyer.
7. Are you coming up with impossible criteria.  For example – you want an old -world pre-war charmer of a condo  with   laundry in the unit, 3 full baths,  central air, a fully equipped gym and a pool onsite  all  of which are must-haves?  

Sometimes criteria are mutually exclusive.  I had a potential buyer waste about a day of my time once with crazy criteria that was physically impossible to reconcile.  I couldn’t get it through her head that you were not going to get central AC and laundry in the unit in a  building built before 1940. You see – these things hadn’t been invented back then.  And no – no one is going to gut an entire pre-war building to install these amenities.

8. Has seeing yet more homes become almost an obsession or an addiction for you?

Be honest about this one.  For some would-be buyers seeing home after home becomes the buyers equivalent of smoking crack.  Agents shouldn’t enable addictions in their clients – no matter what they are and clients  who are obsessed with seeing “just one more home” seldom buy.


All in all – we want to accommodate a ready, willing and able buyer.  Although we have objective criteria for determining the ability to buy –  we sometimes have to feel out whether the buyer is ready and willing.   Sometimes buyers think the are ready and willing when they aren’t.  If you recognize yourself in the above scenario – you may have to ask whether indeed you are ready to buy a home.   If a buyer isn’t ready or willing – we can’t spend a lot of prime showing time on them.  There are only so many Saturdays, Sundays and early evenings in a given year and if we spend the bulk of that time with people who won’t pull the trigger our business goes belly up.  Respecting our time and expertise will get you more of the help that you need when you truly are ready, willing and able to purchase a home.

©2011 – Ruthmarie G. Hicks – – All rights reserved.

Please feel free to contact me anytime to request additional information or to set up an appointment so we can explore your listing or purchasing needs. I am easy to reach by phone, text or email. Or, if you just want to continue your search online, the links below will help you get started.

Phone/Text: 914-374-5529


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