Home > Buy It, Sell It > I work for you (but I don’t work for you)

I work for you (but I don’t work for you)

Let’s get something straight – you and me. I work for you. I am contractually obligated and have a fiduciary responsibility to you. Just you. I promise to always have your best interest at heart. I am your agent and you are my client. This is even true if I don’t like you (rarely) or you don’t like me (occasionally). I take our relationship very seriously and I always explain it carefully so you will too. What you tell me in confidence always stays between us – you and me. If you tell me you will accept less than the asking price or that, for some reason, you need to sell your home immediately – that stays between us – you and me. Anything you tell me that would reveal your negotiating position is just between you and me. These things are never revealed to the other side – the other you – the you who I am about to address.

Now as for you. I don’t work for you. I work with you. You are not my client, you are my customer. We have no contractual agreement and my only obligation to you is to treat you fairly and honestly. I take this particular obligation very seriously, and always fulfill my end of the bargain. I usually like you, and we often get along swimmingly and you can trust me. However, none of that changes that I don’t work for you. So, please don’t ask me if the owner is negotiable, or what can you get this place for. Those questions are all going to get you the same answer. The answer is that I work for the seller, and I take that obligation very seriously, and because of that I’m not going to answer those questions. However, if you need to know if the seller is negotiable, or how much you can get a property for, then make an offer. I promise to present your offer to the owner promptly, and get back to you with his or her reply. And this, in no uncertain terms, will answer your question.

Me? I’m a broker. I work for you. That is, the you who is selling your home and you, who has signed a contract with me. My job is to get you the best price for your place -. the absolute best price that the market will bear. I take my job very seriously. On the other hand, I don’t work for you. You, who has a lot of agents telling you that you should only work with them, that only they can find you the perfect home, that they are your agent, that they are your broker, that they are your best friend. Me, I don’t understand how they can say this to you. They have never signed a contract with you, they know that New York State law says that they don’t work for you, and they know who they really work for. They know that we all work for the seller. But that’s just me, telling you and you, like it is. Thanks for reading.

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Categories: Buy It, Sell It
  1. Steve Bruner
    October 25, 2007 at 1:11 pm

    Jim,

    YOU tell it like it is! That is why YOU have clients that love YOU so much. YOU have one of the best websites on real estate, because YOU write articles that are straight to the point.

    YOU are the man!

    Steve

  2. Peter
    October 25, 2007 at 7:56 pm

    Jim,

    Fair is fair, both to me (the person you work for) and to me (the person you work with). Truth is, we’re both getting the “first me’s” money’s worth.

    Peter

  3. Glenn
    October 25, 2007 at 9:12 pm

    Jim,

    ME thinks YOU really hit the nail on the head! Anyone, buyer and seller should know who they can trust…….YOU!

    Glenn

  4. Jane
    October 25, 2007 at 10:38 pm

    I found it interesting to see the difference in your relationship between the person you have a contract with, and the person you don’t. The fact that the contract is covered by law is something many people don’t, I suspect, fully appreciate.

  5. allan
    November 3, 2007 at 10:55 pm

    Very interesting but only to the part of me that finds these things interesting. The other me, the me you know best, doesn’t have a damn clue what both of yous are talking about I….ignore him,this is the me interrupting that is worldly and bright and easily understands complex issues and I find your writing to be…give me the damn keyboard…i will not…yes you will…

  1. March 12, 2008 at 9:38 pm

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