Hero for a Day

broccoliOnce a very long time ago there was an agent who believed he was going to become a hero to all clients and customers. Whenever he was representing the sellers, he’d strap on his armor and charge into battle against the buyers whom he often thought were taking unfair advantage of his sellers and usually made it all the more difficult to strike a fair price between the buyers and sellers simply because he’d become too friendly with the sellers and wanted to make himself shine in their eyes. Sometimes he’d answer a question for his sellers rather than placing the question to them directly and leaving them to make their own decisions. He entered the real estate market after I did and most of the time I thought he to be simply a novice in training and would in time get over his dramatic ways. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case.

When he was representing a buyer, he’d find every little thing wrong about a house that was listed with someone else and create mountains of repairs out of easy fixes. I almost hated to see him walk in the door of a Realtor’s open house simply because he’d always find something wrong with either the house or even the owners. There were always half truth stories to be told about this or that seller. There were a few times I thought the reason he entered real estate was simply to be able to gather more information about people of which he could pass on in his network of gossipers. His manner of selling a listing to a buyer was to prove to a buyer that there was some blood-letting done on the sellers’ part during his battle to get the home purchased for the absolute lowest price.

I often thought it humorous when some of his buyers who turned sellers years later would list with a different agent or office. I’m sure he was not happy to see that happen and likely had some obscure excuse for their having jumped his ship of “friends”.

Having followed his patterns of practice, I long ago understood his MO to be nothing more than self-serving as soon as the backs of the buyers and sellers were turned. Too many times he intimated things to me that would have created a great amount of fury with whomever he was speaking simply because of the depth of likely skewed personal information that was being shared with me.

About 15 years ago he placed me in a very uncomfortable position with a seller by purposely inserting a monetary request from my seller on a line that was rarely used in the purchase agreements of the time. After it was signed by the sellers, several days later I noticed it and challenged him on it. His remark was, “You missed it, and it’s your fault.” I held my tongue and bore the brunt of my mistake by making up the difference out of my commission. After the closing I had my firm little “chat” with him about what he’d done to me. I think for the first time he’d seen a side of me that rarely awakens.

My final words in walking away was, “You’ll understand in time what you did and you’ll not be able to turn back the clock.” About five years later those very buyers listed and sold their home with another agent. There will always be those buyers and sellers who want their agents to be their apparent buddies, but most after a while, learn that buddies are not the most beneficial when it comes to making sound real estate decisions. The buying and selling public have their choices to either employ workhorses or their “buddies”.

A hero is normally a hero for a day and then life goes back to normal. Isn’t life wonderfully better when it’s normal? A workhorse is most times quiet while diligently plowing his acres a day, then trotting back to the barn seeing the sun growing low in knowing his pail of oats and bale of hay is waiting because he’s done the best he could after another normal workhorse day. Iowa has always been a breadbasket thanks to those quiet workhorses.