Do they attend open houses without you? Of course they do. And most of the time they're just "looking." But the agent holding the open house is looking for fresh meat and your client may be ripe for the picking if you didn't get her to sign a Buyer's Agreement. The agent may just have a personality that "clicks" with your real estate client. Buyers switch agents all the time based on meeting a new agent at an open house. So this could easily happen to you.
New construction can tempt buyers with all the financial incentives, the design choices and the emotions evoked by "newness." But you know how it goes, the moment a potential buyer steps through the sales office doors without you, those buyers are no longer yours if they choose to go with a new home sold by that builder. Even if buyers don't mean to step out on you and cut you out of the deal, it happens. A lot of people like to look at new homes. To see what's out there, to get design ideas and to pass time. But sometimes, buyers fall in love and the next thing you know, you're out of the picture.
If you don't have MLS searches on your website, are you sending your buyers regular search results? With a few clicks of a mouse, your clients can find properties for sale at a local competitor's website. If they find more help on another agent's site, how long will it be before they think that other agent might be more helpful than you?
You can't predict the future and you can't prevent all buyer clients from cheating on you. But you can put measures into place that will help deter any cheating by your real estate buyer clients. If at all possible, get them to sign that all important Buyer's Agreement. Explain that it protects them as well and reinforces the buyer-agent relationship and makes clear your fiduciary responsibility to the buyer only. If your buyer is still hesitant, don't press it. Just make sure you are providing superior customer service and being as helpful as you possibly can, so your buyers won't even think about contacting someone else or heading off to see homes without you.
Tina McAllister is a ghostwriter for busy professionals and the author of The WAHM Agent. She blogs on everything from writing and marketing and more.
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