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The way I do business is out of the ordinary. It is different. People are often resistant to and sometimes uncomfortable with change.
Resistance begins internally with a prospective customer who is considering selling their house on their own, without going through a traditional real estate agent. The seller always worries if they will be successful. They worry that their friends will laugh at them. They worry that it will never sell quick enough.
Now think about it logically. Since the for-sale-by-owner can have their house in the MLS through me, we can do almost EVERYTHING to sell their house that the larger companies can do. In fact, there are only two things that I can think of that mega-brokerages can do that we cannot do.
One is to have our own magazine and stock it in the entry of a local grocery store. The other is to saddle up a bunch of agents in a caravan of cars to go through a newly listed house. I am not certain that history has ever recorded an incident of a house ever selling because of an agent caravan, and I believe people are looking less and less at printed real estate magazines.
So we have all the tools. And usually as much, if not more motivation. We have as much exposure. But the worry never leaves. Every week that goes by with the house unsold, the worry magnifies. It’s the sound of crickets.
An occasional friend will say to the seller, “you still trying to sell your own house?”
The rumble from other agents gets louder. They always pick at the house, the seller, and the process of selling. Like that is endearing to the seller and causes them to want to do business with that agent. The listing police come out. They have a swat team, too. The seller is doing everything wrong. “If it were me I would … ” or “Maybe you ought to try…”
They will tell the seller about the ultimate disease/pestilence that is headed their way if they keep on doing business like this.. MARTIN PROPERTIES COOTIES! It’s the worst thing that can happen. Your house will never sell. You will be sued. Your friends will think you’re a kook. Nobody will want to talk to you anymore. You will have to sell it for pennies on the dollar. People will steal your stereo. Kick your dog. The Nile will run red.
Even if a seller were a picture of confidence in the beginning, this is enough to shake their resolve of even the strongest of sellers. Let it go on for weeks and many sellers will cave. Sometimes just a few weeks short of triumph.
They will sometimes give in to the agent who has picked at them the most. That agent first gets the seller to drop the asking price by several thousand dollars. They get the seller to pledge another several thousand dollars to commission for them. Sometimes, after this happens, I will watch the new listing and most of them sit on the market on and on, sometimes even longer that the seller tried to sell it on their own/with me. Only once or twice did I see a listing sell quickly (after the price was significantly, even though the seller bristled at the thought of dropping the price will we were trying to sell it with out paying all the commission.)
At any rate, I see it happen from time to time. Martin Properties has been successful with hundreds of sellers and their houses, but there are a handful who don’t try, or even worse, do try and quit too soon. It should not bother me. In the final analysis, I have been paid my fee and I have done my job. I can walk away, unharmed.
But it does bother me on some level, and it does leave me harmed to some extent. If someone cancels one of my listings, I feel sad, and I feel as though I have let them down. I feel like I made a promise and then didn’t deliver. I always run through a litany of items I could have done differently or better. I take it personally. I know that customer will never send me a referral. I know that customer will spend way too much more money that they needed to.
It is, indeed, a horrible affliction, but to date, I am afraid that medical science has not discovered a vaccine to produce immunity against Martin Properties Cooties.
Yes, I am the Reasonable Realtor, Don Martin, MARTIN PROPERTIES (615) 973-8970. Just make your comments here, or you can reach the Dean of Graduated Realtors at www.FSBO-GUY.com or “like” him at http://www.facebook.com/MartinProps