Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The American GeniusThe American Genius

Opinion Editorials

How Long is Your Memory?

Having a decent memory helps greatly in the real estate game. From a sales standpoint, it helps greatly to remember names and faces. From a customer service standpoint, it helps to be able to remember differences between the 37 homes you visited over the past three weeks as your buyer lurches closer to an eventual decision.

But sometimes a short memory is necessary. Like closers in baseball and defensive backs in football, a short memory is the key to long-term success. Spend too much time dwelling on the failures and your mindset never will get right for the successes ahead.

I’ve not been blessed with such a short memory, unfortunately.

About two months ago I received a call from my Westbrook Village website from a couple asking me to help find them a casita in the Village. We spoke on the phone twice more that week and met one Sunday afternoon to look at homes. No decision was reached as they needed to put her condo on the market before they could buy.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Two days later, I was asked to keep them updated on any changes in Westbrook and more specifically with two of the casitas we’d visited. We scheduled another showing tour for the coming Saturday.

Friday night I get a call canceling the appointment. They didn’t want to look at any more until they had her condo sold. Four days later, I was informed that I’d been fired in favor of someone “with more experience” in the area. Checking through sold listings today, I saw they wrote a contract the weekend after I was fired.

Who wrote the contract? Not someone who has “more expertise” but rather their listing agent, who likely offered some sort of rebate for using her on both sides of the deal.

Now, I don’t begrudge using the same agent for the purchase as for your sale especially if there’s a rebate involved. I routinely offer something similar to my clients. But I do have a significant issue with being lied to.

Real estate agents are accused of being little more than used car salesmen who’ll say anything to secure a deal, but it’s rarely if ever pointed out how often the public will lie to an agent (theirs or otherwise) rather than being up front any given situation.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

In what may be a supreme act of chutzpah, I’ve asked for referrals from this couple – since they didn’t use anyone else who works in this area, my expertise likely was not the issue. So what have I got to lose? In truth, it seemed like a far better solution that calling them both miserable liars, deserved or not.

In any event, other buyers and sellers are waiting so the time’s come to try and put this memory behind me and move on to the next pitch. Whether that works is another story.

Written By

Jonathan Dalton is a Realtor with RE/MAX Desert Showcase in Peoria, Arizona and is the author of the All Phoenix Real Estate blog as well as a half-dozen neighborhood sites. His partner, Tobey, is a somewhat rotund beagle who sleeps 21 hours a day.



  1. Jeff Royce, RE/MAX Choice

    October 15, 2007 at 6:16 pm

    There is definitely a double standard on lying with agents and clients. We are professionals so we are to be held accountable to what we say. The public is allowed to lie to us in return. This is the way it is, and probably the way it should be. None the less, the people who lie to us are not the people we want to work with. Be careful with the people they refer to you, people often have friends with similar values.

  2. Jay Thompson

    October 15, 2007 at 9:33 pm

    “In truth, it seemed like a far better solution that calling them both miserable liars, deserved or not.”

    Deserved, IMHO, but best not to call them that.

    And I agree with Jeff’s comment above. Their friends are likley to be of equal moral fiber.

  3. Jonathan Dalton

    October 16, 2007 at 12:25 am

    > This is the way it is, and probably the way it should be.

    Yes … and no. Though perhaps I’m guilty, inasmuch as the answer “I’m just looking” while browsing in a store is less white lie than “when I need you, I’ll come get you.”

    I just think it would be refreshing to have a client say “sorry, Jonathan, but we’re getting a rebate if we use this agent on both sides” rather than putting things in terms of my “lack of expertise” in a given area. Especially when the agent they used had never completed a sale in the subdivision in which they were buying.

    I agree … the referrals coming from folks like this would be worthless.

  4. Benn Rosales

    October 16, 2007 at 2:30 am

    I have many times fired clients for lying. I am all about loyalty and I demand respect at the very least in return. In Texas, if that happened to me, I would be collecting that commission even if my name was not on that contract- simply on principal. And do not think I would not have lit mr experienced agent’s broker up like a roman candle because no matter who lied to you, it was up to the realtor to follow the code of ethics- rep agreement or not. I’m pissed with you.

  5. Jonathan Dalton

    October 16, 2007 at 5:37 am

    Thanks for the support …

    Trust me, I double-checked my records to see if the property they bought was one I had shown them. The weakness was I didn’t have anything signed. I did discuss agency but didn’t have them sign off on the form.

    I rarely use a buyer broker agreement because I tend to trust the people I work with. It’s cost me in the past and may do so in the future. But it’s hard for me to get my arms around it.

  6. Benn Rosales

    October 16, 2007 at 2:03 pm

    It still falls on the other agent & broker. It is just plain disgusting. I wont even show a home another agent has shown the same client, it’s that simple. What a sad day…

  7. Nicole Mills

    October 18, 2007 at 8:17 pm

    I feel your pain. Not 20 minutes ago, I got an email from a client inquiring about a particular listing. I pull it up, and wham! It’s a home belonging to a couple I’ve worked with recently. I won’t tell the entire story, because it’s one we’ve all most likely lived and heard a thousand times. But, what it boils down to is they lied to me, and it really irritates me!

    Why is it so difficult to speak the truth? Why not just tell me, “Nicole, logically we know you’re right, but because we found an agent that was willing to tell us what we want to hear, we’re going to go with him….Thanks for all your worthy advice, we’ll be sure to remember it when our agent starts hitting us up for price reductions next month…right before the Holidays.”

    I ask you, would that really be all that difficult to say? Put it in an email if you don’t have the chutzpa to tell me to my face.

    Geez…I’d like to have a short term memory about this, but then I wouldn’t remember to keep my eye on the final selling price, which I hate to admit, will give me a small amount of satisfaction while I’m silently singing the “I told you so, I told you so” song. Forgive me, but that’s the only compensation I’m going to get from being honest with them…without receiving the same in return.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.



Business Finance

Hershey panicked the market announcing they would have limited Halloween supplies but has retracted. Was it hype or reality?

Business Finance

(BUSINESS FINANCE) U.S. retail sales aren't coming back as many had expected, as the nation braces for wintertime with COVID-19.

Business Marketing

(MARKETING) These tips and tricks are prime ways to boost the dollar amount spent at checkout and close more deals -- even on the...

Business News

(BUSINESS NEWS) Abercrombie is surviving the retail cull but in attempt to thrive in it, they are revamping their marketing.

The American Genius is a strong news voice in the entrepreneur and tech world, offering meaningful, concise insight into emerging technologies, the digital economy, best practices, and a shifting business culture. We refuse to publish fluff, and our readers rely on us for inspiring action. Copyright © 2005-2022, The American Genius, LLC.