Commission-Breath: Avoid it!

Adapted from Vintage Ad #787: Hutch for Bad Breath By jbcurio on FlickrNot so long ago, there was an article in Columbus Real Estate Voice about the kind of Realtor or Salesperson everyone dreads. You know, it starts with that really aggressive handshake to show you they’re in charge and then the meeting proceeds like a sales tactics class gone wrong? We’ve all been there, and wanted to run away from the person whose focus is on their own needs and how they can use us to fulfill them!

The term used in the article was commission-breath. Considering how a person with commission-breath makes you want to back away as fast as someone with severe halitosis…it’s the perfect term! The article gives the credit for the creation of that label to Ken Blanchard, the author of The One Minute Manager who used this term in a presentation to realtors at the Keller Williams Family Reunion.

Every good Realtor knows the signs, and has been contacted by a victim of an agent with commission-breath. Whether it’s a seller who originally paid well above the fair market rate when buying their home and is now struggling to break even, or the buyer who is the luckier client who got away, but is now leery of trusting any Realtor.

There is a Realtor Code of Ethics that agents promise to follow, and state laws that tell us to operate with our clients’ best interests in the forefront. The agents who put their own bottom line and financial interests first violate that code of ethics, break the law, alienate the client and damage what should be a relationship built on trust, respect, and mutual benefit.

Buyers need to know that if they get the feeling of being pressured to buy a home they are unsure of wanting, or they feel pushed to do anything during a search or negotiation that feels uncomfortable or wrong, it probably is. There’s nothing wrong with an agent advising you that a great property in a popular neighborhood may sell quickly, but you shouldn’t feel like you are being marched to the altar at gunpoint! This may be the largest purchase you make in your lifetime, and you deserve to feel comfortable and safe with the person you’ve contracted to guide you through the process. The key word here is guide, not push or coerce.

Realtors make money when a home closes, yes. But a good Realtor knows that a career is built on trust, good reputation, and referrals from happy clients. The best way to avoid an agent with commission-breath is to watch and listen carefully during your first meeting. Look for an agent who wants to know about you. Your needs and wants are vital to finding the right house for you. Choose an agent who listens well, can communicate clearly with you, and shows interest in meeting your needs. Like halitosis, it’s hard to hide commission-breath, it stinks! Run from commission-breath! Find an agent for whom the priority is not his or her wallet, but the real prize, a happy sale and a great referral!

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