Client's Interest or Own Interest?
There are times when a property agent has to choose between protecting a client’s interest or serving his/her own interest.
I faced this dilemma recently.
I brought a buyer to view a condo unit with an asking price of $1.29m. It was the lowest priced unit in the project.
My buyer liked it and made an offer for $1.24m, which the seller rejected.
I asked the seller’s agent what the closing price was. She said the owner was looking at $1.26m. And if we were to close at that price or higher, my share of the commission would be 1%. If anything less, I would get only 0.75%.
After a few rounds of negotiations starting from $1.24m, my buyer eventually offered $1.255m, which was $5k short of $1.26m. But I know if rejected, my buyer would be willing to pay $1.26m because it would still a good buy even at that price.
Just like most typical Singaporeans, my client loves to bargain!
The seller’s agent told me there is a good chance the seller would accept $1.255m if she were to present the offer with a cheque. But she reiterated my share of the commission would be 0.75% if it is below $1.26m.
So, should I push the buyer for $1.26m and get 1% or try to close at $1.255m and make 0.75%?
Should I tell my buyer that the owner had rejected $1.255m even without presenting the offer to the owner?
Should I help my client to save $5k but I get $3.15k less?
Client’s interest or self-interest comes first?
My final decision
Possibly for many agents, this is a no-brainer.
Eventually, I told the seller’s agent to present the $1.255m offer to the owner, and we did close the deal at that price.
To me, it was a moral decision because my client’s interest MUST come first.
I know, I know, I may sound stupid. Please don’t laugh at me.
But I rather live with a clear conscience than let it haunt me. I can live with $3.15k less.
It Could Have Been Me
One week after I wrote this article, coincidentally it came up in the news that a property agent was caught doing the unethical thing that I was tempted to do.
Phew! That person could have been me! Come to think of it, I am so glad that I make the right choice. It takes only one misstep can cause the downfall of an individual. At the end of the day, it’s not about whether we are caught red-handed or not; it is about a decision to do the right thing regardless of the outcome.
Danny Han has been a licensed real estate agent since 2005. He also had five years of experience as a financial consultant. The insights and knowledge he shares in his blogs are the results of years of experience in helping many of his clients in their Property Wealth Planning.
Prior to becoming a real estate agent, Danny was a full-time church pastor (don’t be shocked!) for 23 years. Even now, he is still actively involved in church work and preaches regularly. He has also made six mission trips to Myanmar to-date.
Danny is a foodie, so during his spare time he would go with his kakis to try different “CNG” (cheap and good) food. (Be sure to check out his Holland food blog in this site).
Do feel free to drop him a Whatsapp message for a non-obligatory discussion if you are planning to grow your property wealth.