Property Grunt

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Customer is always right

Joyce Cohen's column The Hunt spotlights a young Food Network anchor's quest to leave her mom’s house to find a studio.

The part I loved the best was when Ms. Hall agonized over calling the broker about pulling out of thedeal.

Then she had to make the dreaded phone call, telling the broker with the 57th Street listing that she was pulling out. "I suppose I could have had my lawyer do it, but she had done a lot of legwork on my behalf, so I felt I needed to tell her voice to voice," Ms. Hall said.
"I said it's not something I planned and I feel really bad, but you know how the broker thing works," she said. "She was really dramatic and emotional. I was kind of feeling guilty about it but there was nothing in writing, I wasn't committed to her, and I didn't do anything illegal or unethical. It was ironic because, had she gotten me the contract a month earlier, we wouldn't have had this situation."

I admire the fact that she had the balls to call and break up with her broker. Most of the time buyers are too chicken s**t to call or they email a Dear John letter. What Ms. Hall did is not an uncommon occurence since buysers nowhave more resources at their disposal and unless they have signed a contract they go wherever they want to go.

All agents have stories where buyers for whatever reason broke it off. I was once working with a couple when the husband dissolved our relationship by informing me that his wife wanted to work with an agent that was Chinese. He was white but his wife was Chinese. I responded with “Happy wife, happy life.”

Ms. Hall should not feel guilty in any way because the customer is always right. If she did not feel the agent provided the proper services and is not legally bound to the agent then she has the right to look for a better deal.

That agent can bitch and moan about Ms. Hall all she wants. But the bottom line is that this is a huge investment of Ms. Hall’s time and money. Remember, she has to live with whatever decision she makes since she has to live in that apartment. I know it sucks from my own experience but those are the risks in our line of work.