What “Professionalism” Sometimes Means in the Real Estate Game


To My Realtor Friends Who May Read This,

Please accept my preemptive apologies for some off the cuff, unvarnished notes rants from the field. I know quite a few agents who bring tremendous value to their clients and who have the best interests of those clients in the forefront. We love working with those kind of agents on a collaborative basis and we cherish those relationships. Having said that, I’d like to talk about yesterday’s 2 unit ‘vintage’ apartment building inspection.

A couple of times a month I am called ‘Unprofessional’ by one of my realtor friends. Yesterday was one of those days. The drama began with what should have been a simple inspection booking. Instead, a half dozen phone calls and 3 time/date changes were needed because the buyer’s agent ‘wanted to be there for the entire inspection’.  Experienced inspectors and agents will know that this is a certain sign that the agent is trying to push a dump on a buyer and wants to make sure he/she is there to counteract the findings of the inspector.

True to form, this agent was constantly interjecting his opinion regarding the condition of the property while I was attempting to explain things to the buyer. This kind of ham-handed and blatant attempt to ‘push’ the buyer into going through with the purchase and to undercut the inspector is sometimes referred to as ‘realtor breath’, as in everyone can smell it but it the agent.

When the 2nd floor tenant complained to us about the horribly uneven heating and cooling in this ‘duplex up’ unit the buyer’s agent went into damage control overdrive. He ran to the furnace closet to look for the HVAC duct dampers which he claimed would solve this ongoing indoor comfort issue. After listening to his prevarications for several minutes I finally had enough. “Please let me be the one speak to the buyer about the condition of the property” was my heartfelt but firmly voiced plea to this craven money-grubber. This is the type of agent that I refer to as a ‘property pimp’ b/c his sole focus is on getting the deal done. It’s a Glengarry Glen Ross world for this agent and his ilk and I felt a responsibility to my client, the buyer, to prevent the agent from confusing him with his lies on a subject about which the agent was seriously ignorant.

At the end of the inspection the agent refused to leave our presence and would not allow me to speak to my client/buyer in private out in front of the home. I had to demand that he provide us with some space in which to speak in private. He tried to justify his encroachment and meddling with, “we’re on the same side here” and “you’re being unprofessional” but both the buyer and I knew better. The buyer knew who was looking out for Truth, Justice, and the American way and who was looking out for his own Personal Payday.

This type of agent is on the side of his checkbook and knows no other loyalties. His parting words  to the buyer, the buyer’s father and myself were these, “it was nice to meet you all….except you Mr. Inspector”. This is the kind of agent from whom I get the “Unprofessional” designation. Well guess what, if being unprofessional means calling out the con game then damn right I’m unprofessional! It’s a badge of honor and one I wear with pride. Thanks to Greg from @ for providing this content!

p.s. If you’d like to read another article on Professionalism I’ve attached a link to one that I feel is worthwhile.



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