Saturday Morning, January 9th, 2010.
One of the shortest meetings with a prospective Listing Client in my Real Estate Career!
The owner of a now-vacant home in the Chicago Suburb of Niles IL asked me to provide my pricing strategy and proposals last Fall. She apparently did not like what I told her back then - and did not put the home on the market with any Real Estate Practitioner at the time.
Now, in the New Year, she surprises me with a return call. She wants our Team to list her house now. Under the same pricing structure as I proposed last Fall.
Problem is . . . prices in her immediate area have fallen an average of an additional 14.2% since our last meeting!
One close comparable, in the same general vicinity and Elementary School District, and in the same style and roughly the same number of square feet as her property, is still active on the market. It is now a short sale, and has a current listing price nearly $60,000 less than it was when I met with my prospective client last November. And it has been at this new, lower price point for over 45 days, unsold!
But she didn't want to hear about this and other realities in her own neighborhood. She did not care about the plight of others nearby. And she did not want to wait longer - perhaps months, even years - for the market to turn back in her favor. She wanted her price NOW - because that's her "Break Even" number.
As a Real Estate Practitioner, I had a decision to make, right then and there. And I made it - I would not take the listing at her too-high price. It made no sense to do so!
It wouldn't have sold! Further, if her listing went unsold at her demanded list price, it seemed unlikely she would later lower her asking price enough to generate a sale in today's market. And, likely, she would have berated me every time I proposed further reduction.
So . . . faced with likely lack of respect and understanding for my future hard work on a home priced too high, coupled with about $1,000 in marketing and advertising costs, considerable time and labor to set up and manage her listing, and the slim chance of getting paid . . .
. . . I refused to sign on!
What would have been the point? Isn't adding an Unsalable Listing to your inventory worse than not taking the listing at all?
As good ole' Michael Corleone said in the classic Godfather movie, "Nothing personal. Just Business!"
Would a lawyer take on a fee-contingent case without a good chance of winning?
Would any professional take on new business if they knew the chances of getting eventually paid were negligible?
Would a staff employee take on a new full time job if the prospective company were teetering on the brink of insolvency, and it was a crap shoot whether he would ever receive a paycheck?
No! Didn't think so!
Yet, so often in the Real Estate Business, we find desperation agents taking on haughty clients without the likely chance of bringing home a nickel to their families. All in the name of . . . what? Serving the community? Serving the client? Getting additional listing practice?
Actually . . . Nothing!
Year's ago, back when Richard Nixon was President of the United States, I remember a cute little pop song by Bill Deal and The Rhondels, based on the long-standing saying, "Nothing Succeeds Like Success." In the Summer of '70, I went out and plunked down $1.49 on the '45 RPM record.
Every rational Real Estate Client wants SUCCESS, and will gladly sign on with and competitively pay someone likely to get it.
The irrational ones? Those that want their Practitioner to spend lots of money, invest lots of time, and nod their head "yes" whenever asked? Not worth getting involved with, I would say!
You'll never get paid for the hard work you do, and neither will your clients. So . . . what's the point?
Hey - what say you? Please share!
DEAN & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO