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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Real Estate Bullies and Blowhards

It’s an unfortunate reality in most sales jobs that there are people who believe that pushing hard until you get the contract signed or get thrown out is the way to conduct business. They are bullies and blowhards and many homeowners don’t know how to deal with them and get bowled over. The homeowner who allows him/herself to be bullied into signing with these blowhards is usually in for quite an unpleasant experience. They use the same pushy, in-your-face tactics to badger the homeowner into constantly lowering the asking price. A good deal of the time they don’t end up selling the house after all and the homeowner may get discouraged by the whole process and go away believing that all Realtors do business that way.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Most of the good Realtors that I know are caring professionals who are especially sensitive right now to the pain that is involved with selling into this down market. They try hard not to come across as pushy; but, rather try to present themselves as knowledgeable, professional real estate advisers who can help the seller formulate the best plan for marketing his/her home. That includes giving advice on what items may need attention prior to getting the home on the market, providing market pricing advice and laying out a marketing plan to maximize the home’s exposure to the marketplace.

When you invite Realtors into your home for interviews, you should not be afraid to tell them if you expect to interview several candidates and then make your choice. Watch out, if you get a Realtor who starts off with a line that sounds like this – “One of three things is going to happen today, either you’re going to decide to hire me at the end of this interview, or your going to decide that you don’t want to hire me, or both you and I will have wasted our time”. Just stop them and tell them, “No that’s not right. What’s going to happen is that you’re going to tell me about yourself and your company and how you would market my home. I’m going to listen to you and 2-3 other Realtors and then make a decision. If that’s not what you came here for today; then, you can save us both a lot of time by leaving right now.”

Bullies hate it when people stand up to them, so they will likely be a bit flustered and many of them may just choose to leave right then. That’s not a loss; in fact, it may be a big win for you. Choosing a Realtor to help with the sale of your biggest asset is too important for you to allow yourself to be bullied into a quick, on-the-spot decision. If that blowhard agent doesn’t have time for two visits with you now, how much of his/her time do you think you’ll get after they get the listing contract that they came for – you may not see them again until it’s time to change the price or re-list.

So call me today. On my first visit I’ll be focusing upon getting to know you and the property and understanding why you are selling and what some of your preferences are for things like open houses and showings. I'll ask to schedule a second visit in which I present my recommendations for getting the property ready to market and about market pricing. I'll also present a marketing plan at that meeting that will show you, in whatever level of detail that you wish to get, how I will market your home.

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