Ed's Chesprocott Region Blog: Do you Sometimes Feel The Need to Apologize for Other Agents?

Do you Sometimes Feel The Need to Apologize for Other Agents?

Our Obligation is to Inform and Protect

At a listing presentation recently, there were a few statements made by the owner that had me cringing internally as the owners had not been treated very well by the agent that sold them their house.

They bought their home over 20 years ago and for sure the regulations were not the same then as they are today. I could not speak to the regulations or procedures that may have been in place then. There is no question that there was a time when real estate agents had a bad reputation and were looked at much the same way as the peddlers of the early 19th century would have been as well. While there were no cases of snake oil in the trunks of the car, it is conceivable that some of the descriptions or issues that should have been discussed were less than clear.  Even the appraisal process would have had a possibility that there would have been special requests made of the appraiser that may not have been to the best advantage of the buyer. Much of this was the reasoning that lawmakers made so many changes to the real estate process with their mandates.

Do you feel the need to Apologize for Other Agents

We now come to the realization for these sellers now have a few additional hurdles to overcome to get their home sold. As their agent, I will have the responsibility to get their home to the closing table and keep them as well protected as I can, while getting to accept that the home they have owned all these years will not return as much to them as they had hoped.


As real estate agents, our responsibility is in the proper handling of this responsibility and in the education process we need to accept in keeping our clients well informed with all aspects of the sale of their home as well as an understanding of the purchase process the buyers of their home will undergo. We cease to be sales people and more holders of knowledge which is there, provided we appreciate what we need to offer in information yet still letting the clients know it is their right to challenge us with questions and to make the answers clear.

For these sellers, I felt the need to apologize to them for the poor way they were treated when they bought the home. It was also my statement to the that they would be better treated with the rest of their process and their responsibility to speak up and ask questions while we are making this journey together.

Do you Sometimes Feel The Need to Apologize for Other Agents?



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Comment balloon 41 commentsEd Silva • April 05 2016 08:17AM


Ed Silva  Oh yes ..many many times

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) over 2 years ago

Yes indeed I do.  Should not have to happen though!

Posted by Cindy Edwards, CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677 (RE/MAX Checkmate) over 2 years ago

Ed a lot went on in the last decade that I am happy is behind us, but in this business history does tend to repeat it self.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) over 2 years ago


I find myself still doing it.  A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) over 2 years ago

It is amazing how some agents behave.  It gives the rest of us a bad name.

Posted by Belinda Spillman, Colorado Living! (Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado) over 2 years ago

If I apologized everytime the need arose I would get nothing done! #ClientLivesMatter!

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) over 2 years ago

Ed yes I do.  I was just thinking about it this morning as a client of mine was treated so badly on a closing yesterday. I'm just glad I found about it and can do something about it.  Going above and beyond is what we rainers do - for all our clients.  I'm glad your clients have you on their side - finally.

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) over 2 years ago

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Posted by marti garaughty, a highly caffeinated creative type... (garaughty.com) over 2 years ago

It's unfortunate when home buying mistakes can end up costing home owners money. Not all agents are equal in knowledge and responsibility. These sellers are lucky to have you. 

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) over 2 years ago

Many times, yet I applogies for myself too as agents should be working together as teams. 

Posted by Stephen Turner, The BIG Guy of NEW HOME SALES (TriCorner Homes (TriCorner Realty)) over 2 years ago

I listen ... I give them an outlet to relieve their complaints or anger.  I acknowledge their feelings and opinions.  I say I'm sorry that they had a bad experience.  But I also make sure I illustrate that there's a distinct difference between the quality and level of mortgage service they experienced in the past .. and what they'll experience using my services.  And then follow through, of course. 



Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) over 2 years ago

Only if they won't shut up about it. I often get the "comparison" and blow-by-blow statements about how different I am, and I wish they would just focus on the job at hand. I tell them that's water under the bridge, it's too bad it happened, but it was an anomaly. Won't happen now. If they continue to yammer, then I apologize so they will put it behind them. Just goes to show that clients don't always remember superior service but they sure as heck don't ever forget the bad.

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (Lyon Real Estate) over 2 years ago

I KNEW this was feature-worthy, Ed! This is such a serious business with huge responsibilities attached and I do cringe at the cavalier attitude some agents take. 


Posted by Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate, "Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905 (John L Scott Market Center) over 2 years ago

Hi Ed - there are bad apples out there.  But being honest is the only solution to follow.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) over 2 years ago

Why would I apologize for something I didn't do? Maybe say something like "I'm sorry you had to go through all of that" but we can't be responsible for agents who are determined to do a bad job. 

Posted by Jeanne Gregory, The most important home I sell is YOURS! (RE/MAX Southwest) over 2 years ago

Selling a home today is a complicated business, & many agents aren't as professional as they need to be...yet we're all painted with the same brush! Great post!

Posted by DALIA KIBBY, Selling Broward County Homes with Passion! (Keller Williams Realty Partners SW) over 2 years ago

Yes, and I do. I explain that the ability to have a license is tougher than it used to be, but still isn't a major hurdle. The ability to be a highly competent and ethical agent is another, and too often that hurdle isn't reached.  

Posted by Dan Tabit (Keller Williams Bellevue) over 2 years ago

20 years ago wasn't real estate still under the 'buyer beware' caveat? It's before my time, thankfully - but I remember some agents who still thought the seller controlled everything and I had to set one straight and reminder her that I was not working for the seller. Too bad they still have such a vivid bad memory, but you will have no trouble erasing that, Ed.

Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) over 2 years ago

Hi Ed Silva ,  I wish I could say No, but unfortunately we run into having to deal with the actions of others.

Posted by Larry Johnston, Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN (Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC) over 2 years ago

No.  I don't.  For starters, I really try to avoid talking about other agents to consumers even when they initiate it, as it could border on an ethics violation.

When you were in school and you had a great teacher, did you expect them to apologize for the crappy teacher you had the year before?  Or um - twenty years ago?

 There is good and bad in every profession.  I have found myself saying "Oh wow" to a few horror stories.  But then I change the subect to the task at hand.

Posted by Margaret Mitchell, Seacoast Maine & NH Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Yorke Realty) over 2 years ago

We need to remember that there are good and bad in EVERY profession. From trash collectors to physcians.

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) over 2 years ago

Ed, I think another blog is needed so we may know a little about what happened 20 years ago and how things have changed.  That being said, you are SO RIGHT that our job today is not just selling, but informing, educating and protecting.  Well written. 

Posted by Juli Vosmik, Scottsdale/Cave Creek, AZ real estate 480-710-0739 (Dominion Fine Properties) over 2 years ago

Why should you or anybody apologize for what someone did 20 years ago? There are so many reasons why it's irrelevant, however, the laws and regulations about real estate and financing have changed dramatically since then.

Additionally, if their agent did something inappropriate, why would I apologize for actions that I had nothing to do with? Focus on the goals and objectives and timeline to achieve them and the benefits your client recieves by having you as their adviser. You can't change the past and part of educating future clients is teaching them to focus on the now or present and not the past.

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) over 2 years ago

Good morning Ed. A well deserved feature and very important topic. We all need to do whatever it take to keep the public trust, even if it means apologizing for others.

Posted by Joe Petrowsky, Your Mortgage Consultant for Life (Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709) over 2 years ago

I might have said something like, "it's unfortunate you had such a bad experience" but that's the extent of it.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) over 2 years ago

20 years ago isn't ancient history.  I've been an agent for 17 years and I really don't think the code of ethics has changed much.

I don't apologize for what other agents do since I have no control over it.   I try to make people aware that all agents are different and it's important to evaluate and choose carefully.  A big brand real estate franchise just isn't like a McDonalds where all the hamburgers are the same no matter where you go. 

Personally I think that it's good to have some less than perfect agents.  You need the bad ones in order for people to really appreciate the good ones.

Posted by Tim Maitski, Truth, Excellence and a Good Deal (Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage) over 2 years ago

I agree with Jeanne Gregory. I didn't do it and i won't make it a repeat.

Posted by Theresa Akin (CORPUS CHRISTI REALTY GROUP) over 2 years ago

I regret hearing things about other agents as it reflects on the general population. I try not to make excuses but just promise what I will do and how I will handle the situation. It is best to move on and not get bogged down in the mire.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 2 years ago

I regret hearing things about other agents as it reflects on the general population. I try not to make excuses but just promise what I will do and how I will handle the situation. It is best to move on and not get bogged down in the mire.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 2 years ago

The dynamic of compare & contrast exists for a reason. It is not to play judge and jury as many think but to course correct and proceed responsibly.

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 2 years ago

Ed, unfortunately, we don't always have to go back 20 years to hear about less than stellar service to the consumer. The number one reason a consumer chooses a particular agent is TRUST. When they have had a bad experience with an agent they may find it a bit more difficult to trust the new agent.

That is why it is critical for agents to be knowledgeable and professional. Listen, Care and build that trust.

Posted by John Wiley, Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA (Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty) over 2 years ago

It's hard to apologize for others when you are constantly called or referred to resolve issues or mistakes made by others. I just let the consumer know we will move forward quickly with a clean slate and in their best interests regardless of what happened in the past. I do take the time to listen to them vent, so I understand any mistakes or behaviors to avoid. Then I take the time to explain my process, systems, results, and goals so they begin to look forward with me rather than at past issues with others. 

Posted by Mike Wong, Realtor: Commercial, Residential, Leasing, Invest (Keller Williams Realty Southwest) over 2 years ago


I might feel like it but I try not to go there, other than to perhaps sympathize they had a less than positive experience. I like to focus on the present. That said, it does help to know about some of these issues so you know their perspective and can avoid those things that would be major irritants.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) over 2 years ago

That happens a lot unfortunately.  I have come to realize that it is better to not try to apologize....especially for something that may or may not have happened 20 years ago.  If I don't have direct knowledge, I don't speculate on whether the agent didn't do their job.  Even if it is an expired listing and I can clearly see why their home didn't sell before, I don't throw another agent under the bus.  Just my two cents...

Posted by Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group) over 2 years ago

Hello Ed ...

Great post, great comments and I know what you mean, and congrats on the Gold Star 

Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz, Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale (Realty ONE Group) over 2 years ago

Hi Ed:

I am not sure if I will apologize as I don't know the story from both sides. 

The sellers are in your good hands now. That is what matters.






Posted by Maria Gilda Racelis, Home Ownership is w/in Reach. We Make it Happen! (Home Buyers Realty, LLC-Manchester, Bolton. Vernon,Ellington) over 2 years ago

Ed, Frequently!  I feel this statement “here is no question that there was a time when real estate agents had a bad reputation and were looked at much the same way as the peddlers…” is still true today. At least it is in my market.  

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) over 2 years ago

Ed much too often it seems. These days there seems to be alot of brokers who spend the mandatory minimum time working under another agency and then jump out on their own with visions of great wealth and prosperity. They bring on other agents who are also inexperienced and under trained. Their new broker can't train them because they jumped out on their own too soon. The result is the blind leading the blind and others left saying sorry for that....

Posted by Mark Trask, Professional real estate services buyer and seller (M. L. Trask Real Estate) over 2 years ago

I think it's difficult when agents who came before us had a bad experience in a home sale, in whatever way, with our new current client.  Their 'bad experience' can now affect how we market this client's house, and I've experienced that.  I didn't apologize for what happened 'back in the day', but got to deal with the after-effects!  Now with one client, we had to be at every new realtor/client home showing, as no lock boxes were allowed.  They did not allow open houses, either.  So, no matter how many years had gone by, our client/seller still remembered the details of that bad experience.  Fortunately we did get their house sold Ed Silva!

Posted by Allie Angeloni (Long Realty ) over 2 years ago

Hi Ed a very difficult situation for you to be in that you handled brilliantly.

Posted by Joy Bender, #1 San Diego Luxury Real Estate Digital Marketer (Pacific Sotheby's) over 2 years ago

Your good communication and service will show them that there are good REALTORS out there and they will remember you.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) over 2 years ago