Get your hands out of my pockets … or … Do Unto Others.
There may be a trend on the horizon – an ugly one at that.
Let me lay out a scenario for you –
Buyer prospect calls or emails you, the Realtor. You discuss wants, needs, timelines, goals and set an appointment to meet in the very near future. A few days go by and you get a call from a Realtor you’ve never heard of. The conversation goes something like this:
– Hi, this is Joe Realtor and I want to send you a referral.
– Great! Thanks.
– Actually, instead of you paying me a referral, I’d like to you credit the referral you would pay to me to the buyer as a credit at closing.
– Sure, that sounds reasonable. What are their names?
– Mary and Paul Buyer, they’re moving from here, and I’m listing their house.
– Hmmm … I spoke with them a couple weeks ago. They found me on my blog and we’re already scheduled to meet on Thursday. I don’t see how I can justifiably pay a referral fee.
– Well, if you don’t I’ll send them to one of the other two Realtors I have been speaking to in your market.
– <Flabbergast/Fury/Fierce desire to reach through the phone and throttle said other agent>
Personally, I don’t ask for anything other than Karma in return for referrals, and I don’t have any issue with paying someone a referral fee. Where the problems arise are –
1 – It’s an after the fact referral. Contact has been made and a relationship is forming.
2 – It places the prospective Buyer’s Agent in an position in which he or she should not be placed – telling the Buyer that the money that had been promised to them by the listing agent is not coming –
3 – It might be “ethical” but it goes against my interpretation of the Golden Rule … and it just ain’t right.