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Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

Don't use that agent again and apologize to the sellers for how that turned out. An agent should never begin marketing without a written listing. I really can't see how this happened. It takes a lot longer than a day or two (the length of time the agent thought the sellers were going to sign) to get it published in a local publication. That ad could have been cancelled when they didn't sign the next day. Shame on the agent.

Feb 23, 2018 08:48 PM
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

I would begin by apologizing profusely to the Seller. Beyond that there isn't much you can do except vet other referral agents better if the situation arises again. Forget about the $2,000 it's your reputation here. Hopefully it has more value than that.

Feb 23, 2018 06:46 PM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

The only thing you can do is apologize to the sellers for the misunderstanding, and assure them that the next agent you send will be more professional. If you get the chance.
Forget about the loss of money that you did not have in the first place.
Nothing will drive you crazy faster than the 'what ifs'.

Feb 23, 2018 06:45 PM
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

 Apologize to the Sellers.

 No sale = no referral fee, so there's nothing to gain from contacting that agent.

Feb 23, 2018 06:49 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Make amends with the seller and never refer to that agent again. I do hope that agent apologized profusely to you!

As for the $2K - that was mailbox money that never got delivered - all referrals don't work out. You can never count on that money until it's in your bank account. 

Feb 23, 2018 10:39 PM
Lynnea Miller
Bend Premier Real Estate - Bend, OR
Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon

I would obviously apologize to the sellers for the huge mistake the referring agent made and hope they don't blame me in the future for the misbehavior of another. 

Feb 23, 2018 09:44 PM
J.R. Schloemer, CRS
Kentucky Select Properties - Louisville, KY

I think apologies are in order to the sellers. There is not much that can be done for the other agent, at this point. You need to make things right with the seller so your reputation isn't jeopardized.

Feb 23, 2018 08:10 PM
Richard L. McKinney P.A.
Atlantic Shores Realty Expertise - Port St Lucie, FL
For Results that MOVE you on the Treasure Coast!

The problem is between the seller and the other agent. For what it's worth, you can apologize to the seller. Other than that just move on. 

Feb 23, 2018 07:38 PM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

I have no idea how the agent ''misunderstood'' you. How she can prepay the ads if she never saw the house? Sounds too pushi and not professional at all. 

Btw, in our referral form, we clear indicate what and who we refer. 

Feb 23, 2018 10:41 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Sounds like everyone is losing in this situation, find a way to build and repair bridges, be a peacemaker and get the deal back on track.

Feb 23, 2018 07:23 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Don't send that agent any more referrals.

Feb 23, 2018 06:47 PM
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Apologize to the sellers. Invite them to dinner or lunch and offer to refer another agent with your commitment to ensure that the agent is professional - if in fact you know an agent that will do a better job.  

The money was never yours to lose.  It cost you nothing. What cost you is your name and reputation with people you know well and who trusted you. That is what I would be focused on ... regaining their trust and forgiveness. 

Feb 24, 2018 07:59 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

select a better quality listing agent next time.... can't unring that bell.... 

the best you can do is contact the homeowner... apologize for the other agent's poor judgment and have a "top shelf" listing agent ready ....

Feb 24, 2018 05:41 AM
Allie Angeloni
Long Realty - Oro Valley, AZ

I would definitely talk to the Seller, who you know very well.  I would apologize for the other agent's behavior, though you cannot truly 'speak for him or her', in regards to 'what were they thinking'.  Somewhere there was a huge misunderstanding.  You can certainly let the sellers know that you are as shocked as they are about how the entire situation went.  Regarding the $2,000, one never knows if Referrals will work out in a sale, so I personally 'never count that money' until it's really a 'done deal', at COE.  I would be more concerned about the sellers, and my relationship with them, than the money, but that's just me . . .  As you wrote, you know the sellers very well, so I'm thinking your relationship or friendship is not forever gone.

Feb 23, 2018 10:06 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

I would apologize to the sellers for sure.  But how did thi cost you monetarily?

Feb 23, 2018 08:39 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor e-Pro, CRS, RCS-D, Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Learn from it and move on.

Feb 23, 2018 07:45 PM
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

I am flabbergasted ANY agent who has been licensed for more than, say, a day, would do this.  Seriously, what was she thinking?  Is she brand new?  Did you know her at all?  At any rate, apologize profusely and say you have no earthly idea how someone could make such a huge mistake. Hopefully this has not damaged your relationship with them too badly and also, in the future, hope your referral agents have more sense. 

Feb 24, 2018 08:48 AM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

Wow... that sucks on toast.  I'm sorry to hear that the referred agent was so totally dense... placing an ad, and making the assumption that they had the listing, before they'd even met the clients was a huge faux-pas.

Hopefully, that agent's screw-up hasn't tainted you... and they might allow you to send them a fresh (better vetted) referral??

Time for some damage control.  Send them an apology gift... and make an apology phone call to assure them that this is NOT the way things work.

Feb 24, 2018 07:47 AM
Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

It's a painful lesson, but keep on going to the next thing.

Feb 24, 2018 07:08 AM
Gloria Valvasori, Accredited Senior Agent
REAL Experience | REAL Commitment | REAL Results!

It's not the money you lost that you didn't have, its the relationship with the Seller you have to salvage if you can.  I would apologize to the Sellers for the other agent's unprofessionalism... and if you have another chance let them know you will vet the next agent to ensure they are experienced and professional.

Feb 24, 2018 07:06 AM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

Just jumping the gun & I guess you didn't refer to the right person. If those sellers did not sign the paperwork that night she made a big mistake. Don't be blaming anyone else but her.

Feb 24, 2018 06:53 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

I don't understand how this is costing you money.

Feb 24, 2018 06:44 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Apologize to the seller. Maybe have your broker call the referral agents' broker and have a conversation!

Feb 24, 2018 05:47 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Wow, that definitely did not go well. The only thing you can do at this point in time is to sincerely apologize to the seller. It's unfortunate that you won't be getting any referral fee from this seller but sometimes referrals don't work out. It's difficult finding a really good person in another area. I'm sure you did your due diligence in vetting, so at this point, all that can be done is to never refer to that agent again and to apologize. Good luck.

Feb 24, 2018 04:09 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

I don't understand how you lost money on a referral...

Feb 23, 2018 09:42 PM
Evelina Tsigelnitskaya
SIB Realty - Sunny Isles Beach, FL 305-931-6931

All good anwers are here. Good luck.

Oct 13, 2018 07:27 PM
Valeria Mola
SIB Realty - Miami, Sunny Isles Beach - Sunny Isles Beach, FL
305-607-0709 SIB Realty Condos for Sale and Rent

Great answers are here. 

Oct 13, 2018 07:23 PM
Andy Brown-Climer School of Real Estate
The Climer School of Real Estate - Orlando, FL
The Best Real Estate School in Florida

Tough one. Did she have anything signed?

If she did, I'd let it go.

If she didn't, I'd have my Broker talk to her Broker.

Feb 26, 2018 04:49 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I always try and set expectations with agents.  If my seller is going to sell in a few months I let them know that up front.  Perhaps just better communication in the future. But there is really no excuse for running an ad without a signed agreement.

Feb 25, 2018 07:51 PM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

If you are a REALTOR® you would know to talk to your broker. That is why they get a part of your commission.

Feb 25, 2018 05:22 AM
Pete Xavier
Investments to Luxury - Pacific Palisades, CA
Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide

Just one thing (you already got great responses), I consider referral earnings "found money". Never had considered it costing me if things didn't happen as it sometimes doesn't (don't count your chickens before they hatch). Best wishes!

Feb 24, 2018 11:32 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

How can one assume the listing is her without signing the listing agreement?

One should be ready to market - but not spend a dime until the agreement!

Feb 24, 2018 08:41 PM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

I don't think, the agent was well knowledgeable.

Feb 24, 2018 02:17 PM
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Apologizing is all you could do with the sellers. As far as the $2000.00 what could've been the referral fee, it was never yours to begin with so you didn't lose any money.
I just don't understand why any agent would market the property if they don't have a listing agreement. Makes no sense, new one for me.

Feb 24, 2018 11:37 AM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Apology and small gift of  "reparation" to sellers. Next time, try to be present at presentation and make sure no misunderstandings occur. Hard to beliece how agent could "misunderstand" if she did not have a signed document. Maybe agent needed better vetting for integrity and modus operandi. Hope all you lost was money and not the friendship of the sellers; I could understand their frustration and dismay.

Feb 24, 2018 10:09 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

Without a signed contract, the agent shouldn't have been doing anything.  I'd apologize to the sellers and see about providing another agent and have a talk with them first.

Feb 24, 2018 09:10 AM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Debe Maxwell, CRS nailed this one!

Feb 24, 2018 09:03 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

What Kevin J. May said. A

Feb 24, 2018 07:51 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

She never got the listing so be it.

Feb 24, 2018 07:48 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

I like the response by Kevin J. May

Feb 24, 2018 07:45 AM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

The agent definitely jumped the gun and thought this was a sure thing. In this business there is no such thing as a sure thing. Apologize to the seller and refer another agent.

Feb 24, 2018 06:22 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

I like the core intention of this however the gun was jumped. False start!

Feb 24, 2018 06:06 AM
Peter Mohylsky. The Santa Rosa Beach Expert
PrimeSouth Properties - Santa Rosa Beach, FL

Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.  

Feb 24, 2018 06:06 AM
Buzz Mackintosh
Mackintosh REALTORS - Frederick, MD
“Experience, reliable, leadership”

I would first apologize to your friend / Seller , then have a talk w/ the Broker of the other agent's company to assure they don't make that mistake again. Next time search out a company w/ a relocation department to place your referral w/ someone who has been trained and they can match an agent w/ a specific Buyer / Seller, better chance of closing the deal !

Feb 24, 2018 05:18 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Better communication between Agents in the future 

Feb 24, 2018 04:47 AM
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

I don't understand how this cost you $2,000. Are you talking about a referral fee? Not all referrals work out... and you can't lose what you never had. I would however, reach to the seller friends and apologize to them.

Feb 24, 2018 04:30 AM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

I curious what law they broke?

Feb 24, 2018 04:21 AM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Good luck 

Feb 24, 2018 02:54 AM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Talk to your broker

Feb 23, 2018 07:22 PM