Why Won’t Anybody Listen?

This weekend I ran into a Realtor friend of mine. I asked her how things were going. I asked her if she had any horror stories that dealt with sellers and buyers in this flat real estate market. She did.

In a conversation that lasted less than 30 minutes, she shared 4 different stories about bone-headed, stubborn clients. And one timid, but cooperative client.

1. The Delusional Rehaber

Seller insisted he must sell his home for $325,000.

That’s how much he HAD to get out of it since he renovated the main floor, added the new second floor and built a detached two car garage.

The next closest price a home actually sold for within the last year–$178,000. Agent friend refused the listing.

2. Seller Under the Impression the World Will Wait for Him

A seller listed their house for $165,000 when the next closest was $145,000. The home sat on the market for 6 months. After they’d been paying two mortgages. They never allowed my agent friend to lower the price, accusing her of not marketing the home enough. This was not true.

She’d had it listed in all the usuals, MLS, online video, papers. She even sent out just-listed postcards.

When the listing expired, she re-listed on the condition they lower the price to $150,000, but seller insisted $155,000.

My agent friend agreed to $155,000 only because she knew she’d get showings and offers, which she did, but all the offers were around $148,000. She said to take it. They refused.

After 3 months she insisted they lower the price again, which the seller reluctantly did, to $148,000. He then insisted she go back to the agents who had clients who gave previous offers, but of course all the buyers had already bought a home.

The home eventually sold for $144,000 six weeks later.

3. Low Baller Gets Blacklisted

My agent friend had a buyer who low-balled an offer on a home $30,000 below the list price. The list price, compared to comps in the last year was probably $5,000 above average, but definitely could fetch something very close to list price.

My agent friend suggested they not go in that low, because even though they were in a buyer’s market he was probably going to piss off the sellers. The buyer insisted. Doing her job, she sent in the offer.

The seller’s agent came back, said, “My client knows you are just doing your job, so nothing with you, but they refuse to entertain any offer from that buyer.”

When she shared that information with her client laughed, he said, “There playing tough. Okay, well go back $20,000 under.”

She said, “You don’t understand: they don’t want to work with you.”

He was appalled and said, “Is that legal?”

4. A New Hot Water Heater Does Not a Massive Upgrade Make

Seller bought a home, replaced the hot water heater, and a year later put the home on the market, $26,0000 more than for what he bought it for, but $15,000 more than any other home sold in the area.

My agent friend recommend they sell it closer to the comps, but the seller refused.

It sat for 3 months without any offers.

The seller agreed to lower the price, got plenty of offers, but sold it only once it was $1,000 less than the best comp, 3 months later.

The seller was furious he’d replaced the hot water heater.

5. Nice Nurse Plays Hardball with Builder, Reluctantly

A nice nurse wanted to buy a home. Over about 3 days, my agent friend drove her around to see 4 homes. None fit the bill. The fifth home they saw did fit the bill. But it was out of her price range.

However, according to recent comps, the home was over-priced at $175,000.

My agent friend suggested they offer $162,500, which high nurses, but still in the nurses range. The nurse agreed because she loved the home to death, but she didn’t think that was such a great idea, didn’t like the idea of such a “low offer” but trusted my agent friend.

The builder of the home came back with $168,000. This shocked the nurse. They countered $164,000. The builder countered that with $165,000. Agent friend and nurse countered with $164,500, which the builder jumped all over.

What Is Up?

Here’s the deal: My agent friend couldn’t understand why so many people ignored her advice, especially after she patiently laid out the facts, namely that no home had sold with in the last year for the prices anyone wanted to buy or sell. Except the nurse.

What was the difference? Why do some people, despite your professional experience and wisdom, choose to do things there way?

Not too many people in their right mind would tell the heart doctor that they’d really like to stick to the double bypass surgery instead of the recommended quadruple bypass.

What gives? Let me know your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 4 comments
John Nixon

This situation arises because many people choose to believe what they WANT to believe.
In the UK property market we estate agents work for 1.50% of the selling price because many foolish agents offer to work for 1% or even less (a local agent is advertising a sales commission of just 0.5%); sellers are therefore conditioned in to believing that their interests lie in appointing the estate agent who quotes the lowest sales commission and the highest value of their property.
Surely, we are mature enough to know that we get what we pay for!

Gary Elwood

1.5 percent? Holy cow, how do you make money? That’s unbelievable…

Cyril Johnson

A reply to Gary Elwood about John Nixon’s posting.
Gary, the 1.5 percent commission in the UK is not that far off from the US equivalent of say 3 percent for the individual broker.
Unfortunately here in the US just about everybody else has their hand in your pocket. Like the seller’s agency, buyers agency, home inspectors, town taxes, state taxes, legal stampers, lawyers, septic pumpers on and on ad nauseam.

Gary Elwood

Thanks for clearing the air, Cyril.


Leave a Reply: