No Thanks, I Can't Take the Commission. You Keep It!
Posted by Shannon Milligan on Saturday, August 9, 2014 at 1:44 PM By Shannon Milligan / August 9, 2014 Comment
No Thanks, I Can't Take the Commission. You Keep it!No Thanks, I Can't Take the Commission. You Keep It! - Last year I had the pleasure of working with an out of town client in selling a Richmond VA property they had inherited. The home had not been lived in for years, so I spent a lot of time doing pre-listing work, such as scheduling a cleaning crew, taking items to Goodwill, and so forth. We signed the listing agreement and I had the home under contract within a day and sold within 30 days. It was a slam dunk! Fast forward to this year and my former client contacted me to sell another property they had inherited. This time, the home had a tenant in it and my former client had never been in the house. I went over to tour the property, talked with the tenants, and realized some major work would need to be performed. My once again to-be seller asked if I could arrange for a contractor to go over and obtain an estimate. I said, "no problem!" and had someone out within the week. I also had spent several hours in pulling comps and answering questions. After receiving the quote, I spoke with my former client and it was decided to sell the house as-is. We were ready to draw up the listing agreement as soon as a notice was written for the tenants to vacate. The letter was sent but an interesting thing happened. Turns out, someone in the neighborhood was interested in buying the home and renting it back to the current tenants! How awesome is that?! All of the stars were aligning just as they should. When my potential seller told me this, they said I could go ahead and write up the listing paperwork for full commission. This is where I had to step in and say, "No thanks, I can't take the commission. You keep it!" My former client was floored! I explained to them that if they had already found a buyer it was in their best interest to contact a lawyer to review the contract the buyer presented and have them do the closing. The to-be seller said that didn't seem fair as I had done so much work, however I told them that I had not found the buyer, THEY DID, thus I was not the procuring cause of the sale. We had no listing agreement in place and it was the right thing to do. Instead of paying me a few thousand dollars, they can pay an attorney approximately $500 and save money! The potential seller couldn't believe it and said it was a breath of fresh air to have someone be so honest. While I was flattered by the compliment, I was also a little sad. Honesty and integrity should not be a surprise to anyone, it should be EXPECTED. I don't know why, but the real estate profession gets a bum rap sometimes. Sure, some people would have written up the paperwork and taken the commission for something they didn't earn. But, I know plenty of agents who would have applied the Golden Rule here and done unto others. This isn't all wrapped up yet and if it doesn't go through, I will be happy to write up the listing agreement and sell the house for my client! Until then, I keep thinking of these words from Miranda Lambert's "Automatic": Cause When Everything Is Handed To You, It's Only Worth As Much As The Time Put In. Doing the right thing may not have put any money in my pockets, but I do know it bought a lot of Goodwill from my former client and I know this much is true, I will benefit from this greatly in the very near future!
Richmond VA RealtorLooking for a Richmond VA Realtor who can help you navigate the ever changing Richmond VA real estate market? Then contact me, Shannon Milligan at the RVA Home Team, today!
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