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April 6, 2023

How To Lose a Friend and Infuriate People

Enough time has finally passed to share this real estate experience. I want people to understand better what being a real estate agent is like. And I want to encourage people to remember that there are always at least two sides to a story. 

I lost a dear friend and treasured client because I was unwilling to be taken advantage of by her very best friend, her BFF. My friend and client hasn't spoken with me in a year because of her BFF's "bad experience."

The problem is there wasn't ANY experience. I never worked with my friend's BFF or met her in person. And I never showed her a single home. 

We had a phone call. That's it. Well, it's a little more than a simple phone call; my friend's BFF kept me on the phone for over an hour. She didn't want to listen to my recommendations; she wanted to emote about her marriage. 

Her marriage was falling apart. She was getting a divorce and had just changed jobs (a different career field). She didn't know what price point she could afford and didn't want to find out how much she could get pre-approved for. 

She wanted to look at 20 Pike County homes for sale in Ashley Glen and other subdivisions that were more expensive than her current home, which also had her husband on the loan. OH Yeah! She needed to sell her current residence, but that could only be done if her husband would agree. And he most likely wouldn't. 

You must remember that homes were flying off the market, and multiple offers were the norm. Cash buyers were flexing hard with quick closings, no inspections, and giving the seller possession afterward. 

Long story short: she was in no position to purchase a home. Most especially not in the hyper seller's market that we were in. 

She didn't have the cash personally to avoid a mortgage. She didn't have anyone who could loan it to her. She couldn't sell her home. She wouldn't speak with a lender about getting pre-approved. However, she sure did want to go out and look at houses.

My Friends BFF: "Jessica Horton, I just want to go out and look at these homes, and I feel it will help me be better. I can start to visualize my new life. My new life all on my own." 

Me: "None of these homes will be available when you get around to purchasing."

My friend's BFF: "That's okay. I want to look and see what's out there. I feel like it will help me keep my mind off everything. It will be fun."

Me: "Okay. Well, how exactly am I going to get paid?" 

My friend's BFF: "What do you mean?"

Me: "You just want to look at houses to feel better and provide a distraction from your life. How am I going to get paid for this?"

My friend's BFF: "I don't understand! You own your own company and can write a check each week."

Me: "That's now how it works. Money doesn't just appear in my bank account like magic. I don't make a paycheck unless I sell a home. I don't get paid to browse. I get paid to close."

My friend's BFF: "That's not fair! You have to show me the homes. That's your job. You have to do it."

Me: "You're right. It is not fair. It's not fair to me. And it's unfair to the owners of those homes who must leave. And that's why I won't allow you to use me, my time, and my resources. And I won't purposefully waste the homeowner's time either."

My friend's BFF: "My friend was so wrong about you! You're not a very nice person!" 

Click. The phone call ended. My friend's BFF hung up on me. 

I've never tried to explain things to my former friend and past client. Why? Because if they weren't willing to allow me to present my side of the situation, they weren't much of a friend, to begin with. I placed more emphasis on friendship than they did. That's just the way it goes, sometimes. However, I don't regret the decision that I made. I only have so much time, and I must choose how and with whom I spend it. 

From what I hear through the rumor mill, this lady has been looking at Williamson Homes for sale for over a year. Nearing 100 houses in 5 different counties since I told her, "No." I feel bad for the agent who devoted so much time, effort, and money to this pursuit. Even if her agent eventually sells her a home, it won't balance out when you compare time to money. 

July 31, 2017

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