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October 11, 2012


Mastermind for October 10th. The Trifecta of Real Estate Lies

by mark mclean

There are many real estate lies in the world. There. I’ve said it. Most of those lies will be reused like a worn out family heirloom and for years to come they will be passed down and used on Realtor after Realtor. These lies will be the source of countless frustrations and scathing blog posts and yes, I have already written about many of them. Most are just little white real estate lies like “oh, yes, I’ve been approved already” or “I replaced the roof three years ago”. Then there are some of the bigger lies. I’ve talked about a couple in previous posts, like; “I will only buy if it is a real deal” (there never is) and, “I’m going to buy when the market crashes” (I’m too scared to take the plunge) , so it comes as no surprise when today’s Mastermind uncovered the third and final trifecta of real estate lies…..”I don’t really need to sell”.

Ah yes, the third and final grand daddy of all real estate lies. “I don’t really need to sell“. Literally translated it means “I am so desperate to sell but I need to clear $X and I will use your money, time and effort to market my home only to beat you up so badly on commission that you end up losing money just to get rid of me and if you can’t sell it then I will list it with someone else for even more money and keep on doing that until the market catches up to what I really want but by then I will want even more money because I am never going to be satisfied”. Breath. Just breath.

Just so we are clear Mr. seller, when we list a house, it is with the intention of selling it. It is not an exercise in checking in with the market. If you want to do that, consider investing in stocks where you can go on-line at any given moment and get the exact value of your portfolio.

Only a few agents in this morning’s group had been exposed to this real estate lie but the consensus was that when a client tells you they don’t need to sell, you really only have two options; ask them to pay for your expenses upfront (to be reimbursed on the completion of a successful sale), or run for the hills. Personally I vote for option two. Lost time is lost opportunity and life is just too darn short. Agents, don’t fall victim to the Trifecta of Real Estate Lies.

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Ralph Cramdown
    Oct 12 2012

    Hey, if a prospect doesn’t really need to sell, let a competitor have the listing. Let him put his name and face on the lawn and on the MLS, let him meet buyers at the open house, let him talk to other agents and call-ins about the listing and the market. Let him collect his side when it turns out the prospect had to sell, or wanted to badly enough, after all. That’ll give you more time to sit around the office complaining about the quality of your leads and wishing you could just get your hands on some of those Glengarry leads.

    Alternatively, you could tell the client he has to declutter and stage it himself, and when he’s ready you’ll be back to take the measurements and the photos, put up a decent listing on MLS for a flat $500 plus a percentage if it sells. That’s hard? The phone’s ringing. Make money, not excuses. So many agents put up such bad listings on the MLS. If you’ve got one photo that’s in focus and well lit, and no blank fields or spelling mistakes, you’re already in the top 20%.

    • Oct 12 2012

      You make a couple of good points. In some markets, taking a bad listing might actually be a good move if it means getting some exposure and there’s potential to meet people and generate better leads. But I also see the side of taking a “bad” listing as being a complete mental and financial drain. The trick, (or perhaps skill is a better word) is knowing when to hold and when to fold.
      I like your comment on being in the top 20% though. Too may listings don’t reach any audience when there are pics and info missing from the listing.

    • My understanding is that you can charge a flat fee OR a percentage, not both. Has this changed?

      • Jan 23 2013

        Hi Brittaney. Sorry for the late reply. I was at Inman in NYC. Yes you are right. As an agent I cannot charge a certain commission plus a cash “bonus” for example. I can, however ask to be reimbursed for my expences because they aren’t commission based. Hope that clarifies!

  2. Dec 23 2013

    I believe this has recently changed or is changing with a change to REBBA and in 2014 Realtors will be able to have a mix of flat fee and %. Like your examples: Others I am sure many hear all the time are “I’m not going to give it away…” or “we just need to find the ‘right’ buyer…”


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