Ask a Realtor: What to do when Realtor’s political comments don’t sit well with client (column)
January 12, 2018
Dear Joan: I have been looking at homes to purchase with a knowledgeable Realtor that I was comfortable with — until he started making remarks about how he felt about national political issues. He was just sort of joking, but it was plain to see what his bias was.
Since I feel strongly about my political beliefs, and they seem to be the opposite of his, I now feel like I would rather work with another Realtor. I have tried to ignore this feeling, but it will not go away, and if anything, my wife is even more upset. We are not sure what we should do next.
— Strong Political Believer
Dear Strong Political Believer: I think you are not alone, in that there are a lot of people who would have trouble working with someone who has completely opposite beliefs, unless that person has made it a point to avoid voicing their opinions and it is never discussed or even known.
An additional possible pitfall some Realtors forget about is social media. Many Realtors look up information about their clients to verify and understand who they are. I am sure clients are looking up Realtors on social media sites, too, so it is important Realtors avoid or remain neutral on hot political and religious topics.
Past National Association of Realtors President Ron Phipps says, "There's an expectation for you to be genuine and transparent as a real estate professional. But you want to make sure your genuineness is not provocative in a way that disrespects people. Great reputations are built one brick at a time, and buildings can come down with one bad move. One comment can destroy your reputation."
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As far as what you do next, I think you should have a frank conversation with your Realtor. If you are not comfortable with that, you could talk to his managing broker and hopefully you can get back to a comfortable place to go forward with your real estate search. If you have signed and exclusive buyer agency agreement and are unable to work it out, you will need to consult your attorney on the proper course of action.
Hopefully, you are able to find common ground and then find a wonderful property.
Joan Harned is an owner and broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear, her own real estate team. Contact Harned with your real estate questions at firstname.lastname@example.org, 970-337-7777 or http://www.skiandteehomes.com.
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