The Housing Market’s “One-Percenters”

In my experience, the vast majority of people who want to buy or sell a home (at least in Minnesota) are a delight to get to know and work with.

And the fact that so much of my business is from referrals says that my clients feel the same way about me.

That leaves 1% of Buyers and Sellers who . . . aren’t (a delight to work with, that is).

Whether it’s unrealistic expectations (buying budget/selling price, demands on the Realtor’s time, how much they’re willing to pay for the Realtor’s services); lack of motivation; personality issues — or a combination of all three — they’re simply not worth the time and trouble.

Determining Which is Which

So, how do you tell the difference?

To be sure, if you work with such a client for any length of time . . . you’ll find out.

But by then it’s arguably too late.

Fortunately, at least for problematic Sellers, there’s a quick and easy alternative:  do an archive MLS search on their address, and see how many times their home has been on the market, for how long.

One or two expired or cancelled listings, especially if they’re FSBO’S (“For Sale By Owner”), isn’t necessarily cause for concern.

However, a string of Realtors (3 or more) is almost always a huge, red flag.

Vetting Buyers

Unfortunately, there’s no public, readily searched list for prospective Buyers’ agents to check to see how many agents a prospective client has previously worked with.

And Buyers who’ve discarded a string of Realtors — or been dumped by same — don’t usually ‘fess to that.

Instead, it takes a little more interviewing — always a good idea before taking on a new client — for that history to emerge.

P.S.:  I’ve always thought that if it’s prudent for clients to check out the Realtor’s references (and it is), it should be fair for the Realtor to contact past agents that the client has worked with.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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