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 always been in the people’s business, having spent 23 years as a church pastor, five years as an insurance agent, and the last 16 years as a property consultant.
Danny has a genuine interest in people and firmly believes in personal integrity. While helping homeowners with their property needs, their interest always takes precedence over his personal gains. Hence, Danny has consistently earned his clients’ complete trust and loyalty. Many of them have become his personal friends.
Danny received his Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from Singapore Polytechnics and Bachelor of Science from Oklahoma Christian University of Science and Arts in Bible & Psychology.
Besides keeping abreast of the property market trend and constantly equipping himself to better serve his clients, Danny is a passionate foodie, a weekend cyclist, and an avid hiker.