Dale Erwin (Househunter of Fort Worth)

Spam prevention
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

I think I would ask them a few questions about their needs.  Then, ask them if they would like me to refer them to a "specialist" in that area.  

Aug 31, 2015 04:45 AM
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

I think I have one coming up like that, but it's ok, I'll take it. "Difficult" is my middle name. As long as the price is right and they follow my showing instructions. I will only turn down business if I really don't feel I can help them. Some of these difficult ones can become real sweethearts, after all, they are trusting you to help them. 

Aug 31, 2015 11:11 AM
The Woodland Team of Texas
The Woodland Companies - Austin, TX
Land Specialists

Tell them that you may not be the best person for the job, but you know someone else who can do a better job, then refer them to that other agent.

Dec 17, 2018 10:27 PM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

I would do what the others have said and say I am really busy and would be glad to refer them since I want them to have great service.

Aug 31, 2015 01:48 PM
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

I would ask them the necessary questions and then let them know my schedule but I have an agent that could help you now.

Aug 31, 2015 12:19 PM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

I would probably tell them that I knew another agent who would be more suited to handle their specific type of transaction and then I would collect the referral fee.  After reading through the answers, I like Bob Crane's very diplomatic response.

Aug 31, 2015 11:21 AM
Kathleen Luiten
Resort and Second-Home Specialist - Princeville, HI
Kauai Luxury Ocean Home Sales

My answer is the same as Sharon Altier, SFR's. And I would follow up with the referral agent and touch base once or twice with the contact during their process. Keep it arm's length, friendly but professional.

Aug 31, 2015 07:14 AM
Beatrice Briseno
RE/MAX Unlimited - San Antonio, TX
Beatrice M. Briseno, GRI, CDPE, San Antonio, TX

I would refer them to someone on my team.

Aug 31, 2015 05:32 AM
Sharon Altier
Coldwell Banker Realty - Elmhurst, IL
Luxury Property Specialist, CSC, SFR

Tell them you would be happy to refer them to an agent who presently has the time to assist them.  Perhaps you have some projects that may not allow you to give them the service they need?  Let them know you will be sure to keep in touch with the agent (who is giving you a referral fee), so you are sure they are happy with the referral.  It is professional and would be appreciated.  Good luck!


Aug 31, 2015 05:25 AM
Harry F. D'Elia III
Avant Garde Residential Management Services - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

We will take this dance slowly

Sep 11, 2016 12:36 AM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Carol Williams nailed this one!

Sep 04, 2016 10:15 PM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

Approaching me doesn't mean they will actually buy (as an Exclusive Buyers Agent, I don't take listings).  So I would have to discern that first.  If I was sure that my efforts would lead to a closed transaction, I'd put up with difficult.  I do it all the time.  If they didn't pass the sniff test, then I'd do what Pamela Seley suggests.

Sep 01, 2015 04:07 AM
Shirley Coomer
Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az

It depends on why you think they would be "difficult".  Do they just need a lot of hand holding through the process?  Not serious buyers/sellers?  I would probably meet with to understand their needs and share how I work...then decide if they would be better served referred out or if I think I can work with their "difficulties" I may keep them.

Sep 01, 2015 02:39 AM
Stefan Winter
Real Estate in IL & NV | Owner of Real Estate Web Tech | Daily Vlogger - Las Vegas, NV
Owner - Winter Group & Real Estate Web Tech

Just let them know you'd prefer to refer them to another great person you know that can help them.

Aug 31, 2015 12:46 PM
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
HomeSmart - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Dale - If you knew for sure that these people were going to be difficult to work with, then I would just offer up a referral. You could say that you have too much work to give them 100% of your attention, or that you don't want to mix business with pleasure.

Aug 31, 2015 11:06 AM
Chris and Dick Dovorany
Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida - Naples, FL
Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty

Gee, Tom, thanks for thinking of me but I'm going to have to decline.  I can suggest someone who specializes in 4 bedroom homes in that part of town.

Aug 31, 2015 10:14 AM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Refering it out is the best answer.

Aug 31, 2015 08:11 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

I have had this situation many times, "I would love to help you with this, but rather than mix my business and personal life, I will recommend another professional who can help you with that."

Aug 31, 2015 07:55 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


I agree with Beatrice Briseno .  Just refer and keep smiling.  A

Aug 31, 2015 07:06 AM
Jill Murty, Realtor - Orange County, CA
Movoto - Laguna Niguel, CA

I'd explain to them the parameters in which I work, buyer and agent responsibilities,  expectations, etc.  If it seemed like it would be a fight at every turn, I might say that I may not be the right agent for them.

Aug 31, 2015 06:26 AM
Cindy Davis
SD Home Source Realty - San Diego, CA

I would pobably say that my plate is full right now and I am not taking on new clients. I would ask if they wanted help with a referral.

Aug 31, 2015 06:15 AM
John Meussner
Mortgages in AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, MD, MN, MT, NC, NJ, NV, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI - Fair Oaks, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Fair Oaks, CA 484-680-4852

Childs teacher?  Let's see some A's on juniors report card and I'll take great care of ya

Spouse's coworker?  Not my headache, I'd be happy to help (if this goes well, word will spread through the office how awesome you are, worth the risk IMO)

Someone at church?  Sign me up, I don't have to be their best friend every Sunday.


Bottom line, it's never good for business to take on toxic clients, but I also think we're crazy to turn away someone that could, potentially, be "difficult".  Growing a successful business doesn't afford us the luxury of always going the easy route.  

Aug 31, 2015 06:08 AM
Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Tampa, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Tampa Home Buyers

I always made it a a rule to never use the services of my agents spouses, or significant others.  I kept it arms length.

Never mix business with those that you know on a personal level...if things don't work out, it can sour the entire relationship.


Aug 31, 2015 05:32 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

I believe I would recall immediately that last evening I prayed for patience.

My choice is turn towards God's response or away.

However, since I know better than to pray for patience, I would find a 'better fit' within my referral network....or to an agent on 'the list.'

Aug 31, 2015 05:27 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

You could try telling them that you prefer not to mix your friendships with business and would be willing to refer them to another agent.

Aug 31, 2015 05:11 AM