Always Remember Who You Are Representing In The Transaction.

Always Remember Who You Are Representing In The Transaction.


Lenn Harley posted an article earlier today that got me thinking. I was going to write a response and then remembered I already did!! 3 years ago. want professionalism?

Hi folks. Let's talk a little bit about professional courtesy. I hear this term quite a bit on AR and in my business. Usually, it goes something like this:

  • "The listing agent should have told me he had other offers on the property, as a professional courtesy".
  • "Even though my buyer's offer was a low ball the listing broker should have gotten back to me before the offer expired, as a professional courtesy."

You get my point. Anyway, let me see if I can shed some light on this professional courtesy "thingie". First, I want to say, that anyone who has ever worked a deal with me will tell you that I am very professional in all that I do. I treat my peers with respect. I am always willing to help "newbies" in anyway I can and if I say I'm going to do something, I do it.

But, and it's a big but, sometimes what you are expecting me to do, as a "professional courtesy", is completely against what my customer/client is telling me to do or not do. Last time I checked, I work for my customer/clients NOT my peers.

My job, as a listing broker, is to look out for my Sellers and do everything I can to get their property sold in a reasonable amount of time and for a reasonable price. Sometimes, that may require my Seller and I to "sit on" your Buyer's offer. We may even choose to ignore it completely. We can do that. We may even use your offer to negotiate a better deal with another Buyer. We can do that too.

And you know what? I don't have to tell you I'm doing it. There is nothing unprofessional about that. Your Buyer is NOT my concern. What may seem like my lack of action or response, from your perspective, may very well be a negotiating strategy from my Seller's perspective. Don't jump to conclusions about my professionalism or lack of.

I completely agree that we should all work together and that we do not have to work in a disrespectful manner. We should be professionals in all we do. If you want to be a professional then please remember who you are working for and who is paying you. Your "professional courtesy" could very well jeopardize your customer/client's position. How professional is that? What say you?

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***I am NOT an Attorney nor do I play one on TV. Click the button below for my Bio.

The BIO for Bryant Tutas


 Tutas Towne Realty, Inc handles Florida real estate sales, Florida short sales, Florida strategic short sales, Florida pre-foreclosure sales, Florida foreclosures in Kissimmee Florida Short Sales, Davenport Florida Short Sales, Haines City Florida Short Sales, Poinciana Florida Short Sales, Solivita Florida Short Sales,  Orlando Florida Short Sales, Celebration Florida Short Sales, Windermere Florida Short Sales. Serving all of Polk, Osceola and Orange Counties Florida. Florida Short Sale Broker. Short Sale Florida.

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Comment balloon 34 commentsBryant Tutas • September 11 2010 09:00AM


Bryant an excellent post.  People forget that they are representing a client's BEST interest and that needs to always be our first priority.

Posted by Alan Bruzee (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Good post BB.  This is just a reminder that some agents out there need to grow up!  I could go on and on with a little rant but enough said about that!  Just grow up! 

Posted by Kent Dills, Real Estate 817-495-8028, Bellingham, Washington (Broker, Dills Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

You crack me up BB!   It is so brutal.   Did you realize the house is listed at XX?   I am just chuckling away, the truth is always funny!

Posted by Yvette Chisholm, Associate Broker - Rockville, MD 301-758-9500 (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) almost 9 years ago
Not surprising that other associates may be miffed by the unexpected action or non-action. We must always answer to the higher authority, our Sellers. BB, I will add that the review of your expanding videos is very entertaining too. Much fun!
Posted by Kevin J. May, Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida (Florida Supreme Realty) almost 9 years ago
Bryant, I have a cash buyer who is making a very similar offer to the one you just tore up. I cannot provide any justification for such a low price by the comps, it's just that he likes lowball for sport and for his ego. I fully expect to have the sellers ignore it, and have prepared my buyer for just such a reaction.
Posted by Barbara Charlton (inactive - license is on ice with State of MN) almost 9 years ago
That's a great post and a great reminder that we are representing our clients, not the other agent and their clients. Great Video by the way. My daughter watched and said "how mean" :D! I loved the response and may do something similar to my next lowball offer!
Posted by Brenda Mullen, Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!! (RE/MAX Access) almost 9 years ago

I find the timing of this post interesting.  I have a buyer that would like to purchase a property.  We have made several offers and still can't come to an agreement on price.  So the last offer the seller countered, I go back to my client and they reject the offer.  Then she calls me two days later to see what's happening.  I, of course, respond nothing you rejected their offer.  She then says but I thought they'd come back again.  I said no there was nothing to come back to, you rejected their offer.  You didn't counter with another.  Well their agent should tell them to take the offer we originally wrote.  Guess what, that agent isn't going to pursue this any further if you don't.  She said lets wait a couple of weeks and see how they feel.  Let's hope the property doesn't sell in the meantime.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) almost 9 years ago
BB - While that was funny and amusing, my favorite is still the redneck counter offer. I must have seen that video 20x and still laugh at it every single time I see it again. I've even showed it to people who, of course, crack up over it. WTG BB!!!
Posted by Donne Knudsen, CalState Realty Services (Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA) almost 9 years ago

While we are in a business of cooperation, that cooperation does not mean running over the best interests of the parties we represent.  Good post.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) almost 9 years ago

This post couldn't have been timed any better. You wouldn't belive the e-mail I just got from an agent. OK, maybe you would. I'll be posting it tomorrow.

Posted by Cynthia Larsen, Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA almost 9 years ago

Oh my gosh are you speaking my language!  I have experienced this in just the past year!  The other agent was quite animated with me because of my seller's instructions. I did not tell her that I was acting according to my seller's instructions..just did as instructed. To this day, I am sure she is still mad at me.

Posted by Kathryn Maguire, Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach ( (757) 560-0881) almost 9 years ago

I like Chris Ann's comment on your post. She echoes your thoughts, and you both make a lot of sense. Answering the phone and returning phone calls is a professional courtesy. Telling the buyer's agent about all the other offers is not.

Posted by Melissa Zavala, Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County (Broadpoint Properties) almost 9 years ago
Classic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Some agents forget it's not about Us but about our clients who we represent.
Posted by Cameron Wilson, The Short Guy - Murrieta,Temecula,Menifee Californ (Labrum Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Perfect! If we wander into our broker's office with a trouble, the first question out of her mouth is always, always, always "who do you represent?". She teaches pre-license class and is a stickler for details, never skirts the law, so this question instantly snaps things into focus. Wonderful post.

Posted by Leslie Ebersole, I help brokers build businesses they love. (Swanepoel T3 Group) almost 9 years ago

Bryant - Few agents know that disclosing the existence of other offers is up to th the seller. 

Posted by Wendy Rulnick, "It's Wendy... It's Sold!" (Rulnick Realty, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Bryant--Our clients have to approve that multiple offer  "professional courtesy" in writing or we cannot say anything about a multiple offer. It is up to the client because that is who we represent!

Posted by Teri Eckholm, REALTOR Serving Mpls/St Paul North & East Metro (Boardman Realty) almost 9 years ago

BB ~ I was laughing may butt off.  Great video!  I want to know if you have really don't this to someones offer?  It just seemed so natural for ya.

Posted by June Tassillo, Let me help you with the next phase of your life! (Owner/Broker RE/MAX Elite Realty) almost 9 years ago

I know you were indoors and all, but I still love it when you plug the thing with a bullet or two. 

You have no idea how much I want to have a beer with you. 

Posted by J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY) almost 9 years ago

we have a numbnut over here that always makes my eyes roll when I call to schedule a showing.  Despite knowing how 'he operates' I show his properties, and if my customer is interested I submit their offer.  upon completion of all paperwork and all signatures I inform my clients of what they can expect, and it has been true every single time

"We are in a multiple offer situation and we need your highest and best"

You may be surprised at how many bidding wars I have won, when he is the listing agent, despite not sending in 'a highest and best'

I support getting as much for your seller as you can, but Every listing is a bidding war every time?  puh-lease

His father is a widely respected member of the RE community,  him not so much

Posted by Daniel J. Hunter (REALTOR®) almost 9 years ago

Agreed!  I have a buyer client who simply loves to negotiate.  Since I was representing him on a purchase, the negotiations became quite interesting.  The listing agent, worn out, asked why "we" were being so difficult.  Hey, I represent my client and just want him to get the best deal without losing the deal.  We did great!

Posted by Kathryn Acciari, Brand Ambassador and Business Coach (Century 21 Real Estate) almost 9 years ago
Bryant - as with everything else, you are right. Again. You always have to be mindful who you are representing. Professional courtesy does not include showing your customer's hand.
Posted by Coleen DeGroff, Haile Plantation Real Estate - Gainesville FL (eXp Realty) almost 9 years ago
Bryant - Couldn't agree more. Sometimes we get so caught up in playing nice with co-op agents that we forget that our job of representing our client might not leave room for playing nice in the sandbox. I've never had a confrontation with another agent, although there are some that have tried, but there are times when you just can't take certain actions...professional courtesy or not!
Posted by Chris Dugger, Louisville REALTOR (Real Estate Marketplace - Louisville KY) almost 9 years ago

BB--As always, you're completely right--and many times agents rant on and on about these types of issues and truthfully, they're not considering our fiduciary duties to our clients is not the same thing as our REALTOR-to-REALTOR ethics--the client ALWAYS comes first.  ALWAYS.

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods ( | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) almost 9 years ago

OH, yes, I have seen that "professional courtesy" lose money for clients over and over.  I like the agents who call me and ask me if my client will raise their offer, "because if they won't, I'll tell my clients that's it and we will just accept the offer."  That happened to me recently.  It cost her client $10,000!  That's the amount I knew my client would go up if needed.  But the question to me already told me it wasn't needed!

Posted by Pam Ruckriegel, Negotiating the Best Deal for You! (Louisville Real Estate Pros - 502-435-5524) almost 9 years ago

BB, communication is also key. If an agent has an expectation that another agent does business the same way they do, they must ASK. If communicaiton is open, then there are no misunderstandings. Of course, representing our client comes first, but it may be in their best interest to divulge multiple offers to drive the price up.

Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) almost 9 years ago

Bryant, so true.  I think we all get a little tired when an agent goes on a tirade about something that he/she should have known better about.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) almost 9 years ago


Professional Courtesy, to me, means that we are courtous to each other as professionals. 

Professional Courtesy was extended to me when I sold my home in Bethesda and my listing broker rebated 1/2% to me as a "Professional Courtesy". 

Professional Courtesy, to me, is when an agent returns a phone call timely to another agent when the listing report clearly states "for access, contact listing agent".

Porfessional courtesy does not mean kicking your client under the bus to "make nice" with other agents. 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

I can STILL here my instructor preaching that point when I was in licensing school. Very well put!

Posted by Diane M. Phillips Realtor 443-286-4365, Specializing in Carroll Co., MD (Frankly Real Estate Inc.) almost 9 years ago

I still prefer the Tutas Towne counteroffer method of TLW shooting a hole in the contract.

Posted by Dave Halpern, Louisville Short Sale Expert (Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827) almost 9 years ago

BB rules, then my client, and then, my fellow agents, and if there is anything left......then me.

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) almost 9 years ago

Well worth a repeat of this blog...I missed it, first time around, so thank you.

Posted by Li Read, Caring expertise...knowledge for you! (Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring)) almost 9 years ago

I totally disagree.  I think you should not only give me preferential treatment in the deal, telling me how much the seller will actually take, but you should also buy me a beer after closing too.

Posted by Jeff R. Geoghan, REALTOR, Marketing Manager (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) almost 9 years ago
Broker Bryant, this is such a good post.
Posted by Tim Maitski, Truth, Excellence and a Good Deal (Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage) almost 9 years ago

Ok so I guess zI never made it back here!! Sorry about that.

My business has beem slamming busy lately. No time for anything but work.

As always though I really appreciate you stopping by.

Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) over 8 years ago

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