Selling Soulfully with Jennifer Allan


Is it Your Fault if Your Listing Doesn't Sell?

A few months ago, I was contacted by one of my customers who had just purchased my Listing Analyzer for Expired Listings which is a dandy little tool to help agents figure out why an expired listing didn't sell with the Listing Analyzerprevious agent... and what they can (and should) do better this go-around.

She was a little miffled by something she saw in there - specifically - my implication that the previous listing agent "failed" to sell the house and that somehow, that was HIS/HER fault!

She asked me: "So, Jennifer, you're saying that if I can't sell a listing, it's MY fault?"

Yes. That's exactly what I'm saying.

Are you a bit miffled with me now, too? ;-]

Here's the thing.

When a seller wannabe honors us with his business, we agree to take on a serious responsibility. Our job as a listing agent, when done right anyway, entails far more than just getting some signatures on an agreement, putting a sign in the yard, entering some words into the MLS and installing a lockbox. More than just holding open houses, creating pretty brochures, taking good pictures and pursuing buyer feedback. More, even, than just pricing properly!

It's our job to know:

1) if the property is sellable at all (not all are), and,

2) what it will take to sell it and,

3) how to effectively communicate with the seller wannabe so that he understands and accepts how his actions and decisions affect the final outcome, and how to inspire him to do his part.

So, Ms. Smarty Pantz, are you saying YOU sold all YOUR listings because you're so freakin' perfect?

Nope. I didn't sell all my listings and I'm far from perfect. But when my listings didn't sell, I'll be the first to say it was MY FAULT.

Agree? Disagree? Unsure? Tell me!




It's Here!


The More Fun You Have Selling Real Estate, the More Real Estate You Will Sell! 
(True Story)
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Comment balloon 59 commentsJennifer Allan-Hagedorn • August 10 2011 09:06AM


They say that when a marriage fails there is no person who is to blame (for the most part), I think the same holds true here.  I don't think it is just the listing agent's fault if the home does not sell.  I think that the seller is equally to blame if they don't take the agent's advice about price, condition etc.

Where the agent does go wrong however is by taking the listing in the 1st place.  If the seller wants a ridiculous price for their home and we list it for that, we're implicitly agreeing with the price.  If they don't respect our expertise up front, they never will.

Posted by Nancy Pav, Nancy Pav, Your "GottaHave" Realtor (Century 21 Redwood Realty) over 9 years ago

Hi Jennifer,

When you say the property is sellable (not all are), i disagree a little because i believe any property is sellable at the right price.

Posted by Gabrielle Jeans, Real Estate Web Solution, Real Estate Trainer and Coach (WebTech Dezine, Gabrielle Jeans Real Estate Coach) over 9 years ago

I tend to take it personally when a listing doesn't sell so I believe to some extent, it is my fault when it doesn't sell....if....I agreed to put it on the market at a higher price than I knew it wouldn't sell at....if I knew taking the listing that because of the sellers financial needs it probably wouldn't sell...and if for some reason I couldn't communicate that effectively to my client so that we could come together and sell his/her home

Can't wait to see the listing analyzer :)!

Posted by Brenda Mullen, Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!! (RE/MAX Access) over 9 years ago

Brenda - Your "if's" are dead-on! If you made a mistake in taking the listing (knowing you couldn't sell it for a price and/or terms the seller would accept) or if you were unable to effectively communicate with the seller (in which case, you probably shouldn't have taken it) then YES, you should take it personally!

That said - will all your listings sell even if you're the most perfect, wonderful, competent listing agent on the planet? Probably not. But the fact that non-selling listings are a reality doesn't remove the responsibility from your shoulders when a listing doesn't sell.

Gabrielle - I agree in theory, but not in practice. If a seller is truly willing to sell at any price, then sure, any listing can be sold (in most markets anyway; I remember hearing rumors of homes in Detroit on the market for $100 and no one wanted them!). But the reality of the situation for most sellers is that they do have a bottom line that may or may not be sellable in the current market. In which case, the home would not be "sellable" if the seller is unwilling to accept that "sellable" price.

Nancy - like Brenda - you nailed it. I believe we should not take listings we don't believe with all our hearts that we can sell and if the seller won't cooperate and we can't use our powers of persuasion to change his mind, it's a listing we should not have taken.  

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 9 years ago

I have no problem accepting responsibility for listings that do not sell.

That said, selling real estate is a joint venture between the owner/seller and the agent and there are situations when the seller simply will not cooperate in doing the things necessary to get the job done. It is in those situations where I must be willing to part ways with the seller OR accept the results when the listing does not sell.

Regardless, the responsibility is mine and mine alone.


Posted by Tim Fennell, Jacksonville Real Estate (The Legends of Real Estate, REALTORS®) over 9 years ago


Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 9 years ago

Don't think I can agree with this. I tell our sellers they sell the property, we market it. They determine list price, and what offers to accept, we can only coach them. Just receintly had a listing I thought would never sell because the seller wanted to much. But we just closed on it after getting full list as the seller would not budge.

So I think that it's a shared blame if I felt we had not done our marketing well. But the seller is really who can keep a home from being sold as in the case of turning down the only offer we had after a year on the market (happened earlier this year to us). I'm not taking the blame for that one.

Posted by The Derrick Team - Indy Metro Realtors, Your Pet Friendly Realtors (Carpenter Realtors) over 9 years ago

With the right price, all properties are sell-able. It's just a matter of whether the agent and seller want to admit it.

Posted by Loreena and Michael Yeo, Real Estate Agents (3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co.) over 9 years ago

Derrick Team - Thanks for your comment! And I'm sure there are situations where outside circumstances contribute significantly to the success or failure of a listing selling - if the market suddenly plummets or interest rates rise or our seller has a change of heart - obviously those factors are outside our control. But the overwhelming mindset I see is that listing agents don't take the responsibility to ensure that they TAKE sellable listings and do their darndest to sell them - many just seem to feel that it's a crapshoot - maybe it'll sell and maybe it won't - and that their efforts and selection criteria aren't relevant.

And, to be blunt, which is a more professional approach? To fully accept responsibility for a task you agreed to take on or to shrug and say "it's not my fault because ________________________"

I'd love to see our industry TAKE non-selling listings VERY personally and therefore do a much better job getting them SOLD.

I'll be ranting and raving about that topic here soon... it's one of my faves...

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 9 years ago

Loreena - As I mentioned above, I've never thought much of that statement ;-]. To me, it falls in line with the idea that our highest and best value as professional real estate agents is to get the seller to list at as low a price as possible ("Any Idiot Can Give His House Away..."). So, yes, theoretically, a house will sell if priced low enough, but that's why our sellers hire us, right?

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 9 years ago


I can't tell you how many posts I've started but didn't post on this topic. In fact, the lack of professionalism (honesty and transparency) within our industry really gets my blood boiling some days.

I know that it is most likely a minority who fail to practice our profession with entegrity but there are enough who don't that it really does hurt the entire profession. I could get on a rant about how the COE tends to "protect" the unethical among us but I don't want to hijack your post.

Suffice it to say that I whole-heartedly agree that we should accept responsibility for all of our actions... the successes and the failures.

Like momma always said, "MAN UP!"

Posted by Tim Fennell, Jacksonville Real Estate (The Legends of Real Estate, REALTORS®) over 9 years ago

Tim- I'd love to read some of those unfinished posts ;-] . I'm in the process of creating an archive of all my blog posts through the years and have been tagging them as I go along. You know what the most-used tag is in my Cloud? Well, the MOST-used is Sphere of Influence. The second? "Professionalism." So yeah, it's a hot topic for me, too.

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 9 years ago

I wrote a featured post last year about expired listings - the gist of it was that the potential new agent has no idea what went on before he got on the scene.

I lost two listings at that time and in both cases I had secured good, sound and fair offers for the sellers.  Perhaps it was my fault that I couldn't get them to accept but in both cases, they relisted with new agents, stayed on the market for 8-9 months longer, and in one case, sold for $250,000 less than I could have sold it for.

Yes, I "manned up" and went about my business, but it still irks me that I did the job well and got absolutely nothing for it. 


Posted by Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate (Baird & Warner Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Margaret - that's actually the gist of my Listing Analyzer - to find out what went on behind the scenes before and make decisions and/or adjustments accordingly. The really cool thing about working with an expired listing is that SO much information is available to the next agent - after all - the first (or second or third) agent did a lot of trial and error for you!

That said, there are certainly difficult sellers out there who seem to have no interest in helping you do your job. I will stick to my guns, though, and say that ultimately, once you've accepted the responsibility of a listing, what happens next (good or bad) IS your responsibility.

But again - I'm not perfect and I've NOT sold my share of listings... and definitely been irked about it!

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 9 years ago


I might just be motivated to write something today if I can find time. ...Just got off the phone with the floor agent for a listing that shows active in MLS and I was going to show ONLY TO DISCOVER someone moving in today. The listing agent is "on vacation" and the person "covering" for him doesn't have a clue what is going on.  The floor agent seemed a little embarrassed but he didn't have any info either.

This kind of thing happens time and again in our industry and it stinks to high heaven (as my mom used to say)! I finally got in touch with the broker who "thinks" that the people moving in might be new "tenants"... gee, wouldn't you think that is information that should be included in MLS and in showing instructions.

Good Grief! (LOL... I try to keep smiling.)

Posted by Tim Fennell, Jacksonville Real Estate (The Legends of Real Estate, REALTORS®) over 9 years ago

I so agree with you on the theory of price Jennifer.  I wrote a blog a couple of weeks ago called Price is the Easy answer.  We can all bottom out our price and then get the home sold, (in theory).  Price is a big part of selling a home....but it isn't the only answer.  Terrific discussion and suggested of course :)!

Posted by Brenda Mullen, Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!! (RE/MAX Access) over 9 years ago

Being a relatively new agent, following Jennifer's SWS philosphy, I have been studying "my" market, as well as looking at expireds. I have to throw another twist into this mix, which I believe would be the agents' fault -- that is incorrect information in the MLS listing, sometimes it is a material fact to the listing is outright wrong (ie the sub-area, which we still use).

Honestly, one expired I looked at was not over priced, in fact this was priced well below the other houses in his neighborhood. But the listing was placed in the wrong sub-area in our MLS system. I would say that was a big factor in why that particular house expired.

I also noted these inconsistencies to my broker, and she was quite surprised. Of course our MLS system is being revamped and these inconsistencies should not be happening once the new system is rolled out, but it is currently happening.Not sure if this happens in other areas, so I'm just throwing this out into the discussion.



Posted by Chiara Petro, Your KEY to Home Sweet Home - Knoxville TN (eXp Realty - Angie Cody Team) over 9 years ago


This happens in our market too. In fact, I wrote a blog about this very thing about a week ago after we consulted with a seller who had listed a few months ago.  Not only was that listing WAY over-priced but it, too, was in the wrong area in MLS.  When we showed this fact to the seller, she commented "Well, that might explain why we had NO showings."


Posted by Tim Fennell, Jacksonville Real Estate (The Legends of Real Estate, REALTORS®) over 9 years ago

Tim/Susan, I've hesitate to show, or tell, a seller, even an expired seller, that their MLS sheet was wrong the first time around. I don't want to come off making the potential client feel belittled or sound like I'm putting down another agent. Perhaps that's because I'm so new?

I did see one expired that had a mistake in her first MLS sheet -- on the size of her garage -- and I offhandedly said, "Oh, you do have a 2 car garage, it was listed as a 1 card garage" and proceed to say it was probably a typo. Ultimately, I didn't get the listing (probably wouldn't want it anyway, she was adament at staying way overpriced), and noticed that the agent she chose proceeded to list the house in the wrong sub-area! I kind of feel bad for this seller, but, you get what you pay for, or, in this case, don't pay for.

But, it is nice to know that this suff happens in other areas.

Posted by Chiara Petro, Your KEY to Home Sweet Home - Knoxville TN (eXp Realty - Angie Cody Team) over 9 years ago

Here's the link to Brenda's blog she referenced above - it's a good one!

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 9 years ago

I am making a not to myself to look at this post on Friday as i am on your list and would like to buy this

Posted by Charlie Ragonesi, Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros ( over 9 years ago

Jennifer - Not being a listing agent, I think it best to keep my opinion to myself.  However, you have started a great comment thread here Jennifer.  Think I'll park and watch it develop.

Posted by Donne Knudsen, CalState Realty Services (Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA) over 9 years ago

Awwwww, Donne.... c'mon!!!!

Charlie - you're on my mailing list, right? You'll get a reminder first thing Friday morning with details...

Chiara & Co. - I betcha if you looked at 20 random MLS listings you'd find a potentially sale-killing mistake in at least half - maybe more... It's really sad.

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 9 years ago

Jennifer, can't wait to see what you say about Expireds - I love your Listing e-book! I bought it one night when baffled about a listing that wasn't selling and you reminded me of so many things that we implemented and now it has a contract. On the other hand, we had a listing where the Seller did not follow through with their promises (divorce) and we did not sell the house. It is relisted for a lower price that we asked for, but lesson learned: and I have been much tougher with our new listings and one sold in 3 days and another one sold also after we lowered the price, and another one is renting this week since it hasn't sold yet and they need income, and another one is renting because they don't want to come down more on the price, so life is good. But definitely the buck stops here - just like it did when I was a film producer. It is my responsibility if I think the house is sellable, to communicate clearly what it will take to do the job.


Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) over 9 years ago

Jennifer - I've had some long, tough fights with clients in a declining market about price reductions and in price negotiations over offers.  I don't play a numbers game.  Every listing I take I intend to sell.  However, sometimes clients get sick or a house is damaged by a storm and the home has to be pulled from the market.  Other times clients just won't listen to reason.  I'll take the greater part of the blame, but it is a partnership and to sell a home, a client has to work with me, not against me.

Posted by Gail Robinson, CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT (William Raveis Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Price is KING right now.  If you take a listing that is over priced then you are not doing your job with communicating that information to your client.

Posted by Shawn Murray, Omaha NE - 402-250-7869 ( RE/MAX The Producers) over 9 years ago

I've had the price reduction discussion many times and I chalk it up to not believing what is really happening in the market.  I sell "off market" homes so I can do excellent marketing and go above and beyond what is needed with an "on MLS" home.  As such, if I don't get interest in the first week or so, I have a serious chat with the seller.  It's almost always because of price and they have to put it at a point where the property will sell.


Posted by Bryan Robertson over 9 years ago

As we all know or should know pricing is very important in this market

Posted by Michael Singh,Broker (Singh Real Estate) over 9 years ago
There was a featured post by Karen Krushka that has some good verbiage also this week on the same topic.
Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge over 9 years ago

It takes motivation, on the part of seller, and if you don't have that it not likely you will get a sale. Several comments mention that they brought to the seller reasonable offers, what was not mention is how motivated the seller happen to be.

Yes, price is pivotal, but so is motivation.

Posted by Lorraine or Loretta Kratz, Certified Negotiation Consultants (Crescent Moon Realty, Inc. & Land N Sea Auctions.) over 9 years ago

I agree with all my heart that selling a house is a partnership, so if I didn't make that clear, I should have! The seller most certainly has a role in the process and if he doesn't do his part, our home-selling adventure will probably fail. But I still believe it's MY responsibility to get my seller on board, and to decline the listing if I don't think I can sell it due to his or her lack of motivation, cooperation, whatever. As Sharon so eloquently said, above... The Buck Stops Here.

Sharon - I'd love to hear what you saw in the listing ebook that you implemented and therefore sold the house! How cooooool!

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 9 years ago

Jennifer, I couldn't agree more.  Ultimately it's our fault.  No excuses.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) over 9 years ago

I COMPLETELY disagree; more often than not the seller must take responsibility for a home's failure to sell. Why? Because the client is the one who acts on (or not) advice to repair, replace, stage, clean or de-clutter. The client is the one who sets the asking price, is the one who makes showings easy or difficult, kennels pets (or not), and is responsible for the home's maintenance and showing condition.

Posted by Mike Mayer (Mike Mayer, Broker/Owner - i List For Less Realty, LLC) over 9 years ago

Jennifer. My experience is that expired listings expoire due to one thing......price!

AND that is the listing agent's fault. If we can't sell the sellers on correct pricing we need to walk away from the listing (in most cases).

If you are a listing agent then the property is sold at time of listing. Everything else is just a result of listing properly.

Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) over 9 years ago

It should be understood from Day 1 that taking a lisiting is a partnership between Agent and Seller. 

Real Estate is our business and we are hired for our expertise.  We impart our expertise by way of guiding on Price, Presentation and Promotion.  We provide perspective on Price (to which the seller needs to agree on a pricing plan), we counsel on Presentation (staging, which also needs to be executed by the Seller) and finally it's the agent's responsibility to Promote the property through effective marketing.

It takes a PARTNERSHIP to sell a home, and a lack of commitment to the PARTNERSHIP for a listing to languish.

Posted by Lisa Moroniak, SFR - Short Sale & Foreclosure Certified (Keller Williams Realty | Northern Virginia | 703.635.0388) over 9 years ago

Pricing is important. If the agent came up with an unrealistic price then it is the agent's fault. If the agent came up with the right price but the seller insisted on higher then it is their fault. If the agent took a listing that is overpriced then it is his fault.... so ultimately, it is the agent's fault. This goes both ways.

Posted by Mike Yeo (3:16 team REALTY) over 9 years ago

Good post. 

I have to agree that it takes coorperation from the homeowner and an agent to sell a home. 

Posted by Keith Lawrence, ABR, SFR (Christie's International) over 9 years ago

I would say that if the listing agent has a problem communicating with the seller about what is the price range they should sell at for their home and this lack of dialogue is the difference between the house being priced effectively to get an offer than you could say the listing agent is at fault.  Often that lack of communication is very hard to conquer as the homeowner might not be ready to hear what the listing agent has to hear and the listing agent isn't prepared to tell them what they need to hear. 

Posted by Eileen Hsu, LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) over 9 years ago



Interesting article! I personally do not think it is ALWAYS the listing agent fault if the home does not sell, it is a marriage and the seller is part of it. Markets shift and if a seller does not heed advice or cannot change for legal or personal reasons, then an agent has to decide do they keep the listings once you have had it for 3 or 4 months or do you take your lost.

I know in my market average time on market right now is about 11 months for most homes, it is a long time to baby sit sellers. Agents who do not change up their marketing, communicate with the sellers and so forth, yes then it is the listing agent fault.

Everybody have a great day selling!


Mike Parker - CRS

HUFF Realty Northern Kentucky

Posted by Mike Parker, "He Sells Homes Like Yours" (HUFF Realty) over 9 years ago

Jennifer great post!  Thanks for your input.  It's interesting to see everyones thoughts on this matter. 

Posted by Sandra Hopkins, Realtor® , Associate Broker (Keller Williams American Premier Realty) over 9 years ago

Yep it is YOUR fault !  : )  I agree with you and it is the very reason why I don't take some listings now. I am interested in the program you are selling for half price tomorrow. I just signed up for the newsletter, however have not seen the confirmation yet.

Posted by Randy Elgin, Sells Affordable Homes for sale in the San Antonio (Keller Williams, San Antonio, Helotes, Leon Valley) over 9 years ago

Good morning Jennifer,

As with everything, take responsibility for what you have done (or didn't do!)  If a Seller doesn't take their Agent's advice, they can't be upset with the outcome.  If an Agent doesn't listen to their client and give the best advice and opinion...same, don't be upset with the outcome.

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) over 9 years ago

I'm a believer it take both the agent and the seller to get a home sold.  But ultimately if I have a Seller that isn't listening/responding to my advice it is up to ME to walk away.  And in doing so be very clear that I can't get the seller's home sold under the constraints they've place around me doing my job.

Posted by Judi Monday, CRS-Green Valley AZ Expert, Green Valley Arizona R (RE/MAX Valley Properties) over 9 years ago

When a property doesnt sell in a specific time frame, their are so many variables to take into consideration. Most of the time the number one reason they dont sell is being over priced. If your sellers arent realistic about the price their home is worth then it WONT SELL. I dont think its MY FAULT that it didnt sell in that situation only MY FAULT for taking an overpriced listing of which I am GUILTY of doing. Hands down in my market the homes that sell are priced right....PERIOD

Posted by Kimberly McCampbell over 9 years ago

QUESTION: If it is not our fault if it doesn't sell, why do we get paid if it does sell?

Posted by Tim Fennell, Jacksonville Real Estate (The Legends of Real Estate, REALTORS®) over 9 years ago

Hi Jennifer,  Provacative post.  If we rule out those that are in an area where nothing is selling - your Detroit example, then pricing may be the only variable we need to address.  There are many things within our control and if we manage them we are at fault for a listing which doesn't sell. 

Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) over 9 years ago

I agree with everything said above. If the property is in bad shape (or even if it's not) and the sellers can't or will not price accordingly, and you don't do everything you can to market the property and get it sold, yes it is the agent's fault. 

Posted by Ann Cordes, Home Ownership is Not a Distant Dream (Century 21 Randall Morris and Associates, Waco) over 9 years ago


Posted by Glenn Freezman (Nucazza LLP & Home Buying Evolution, & Family Abstract, Inc) over 9 years ago

There is a lot in your post, but for me it boils down to listenting to what the seller wants.  Once you understand what the buyer wants, compare it with what you feel you will be able to obtain for them.  If you feel you can sell someone's house within 2 months, that it is worth not a cent more than $300,000, and that the listing price shold be no more than $329,000, that's fine.  However, if your seller says they won't take less than $320,000 and want it listed at $349,000, you better have the confidence to walk away.

If you don't, you'll waste their time and, more importantly, your own time and resources which could be deployed elsewhere. 

You need to use backbone and walk away before getting sucked-in to a losing propositiion.  Let someone else be the listing agent for six months.  Then, when the owner realizes you were telling the truth, they'll be back - at your terms, not theirs.


Great post.

Posted by David Farrell, Licensed NY State Real Estate Broker (David V. Farrell Co.) over 9 years ago

I feel there are soooo many factors, but pricing, well it is really towards the top of the list along with condition, location, location, location...& sometimes there are things that can't be helped such as price because of the outstanding obligation(s). 

I think this could be a valuable tool & I am forwarding it to some friends of mine :).  Good post & interesting to read the feedback!!

Posted by Pam Hills, ASP/IAHSP- Stager Miami, FL, Creative Minds Innovatively At Work (Innovative Artistry) over 9 years ago

Hi Jennifer. Most "equity" sellers still think they're gonna make a killing. Unfortunately, they're not. It is what it is. I'll only take a listing thats higher than market value IF they agree at listing that we'll lower the price to a more reasonable amount withing a certain time frame or showings vs offers. Not enough showings, no offers, the price drops. Other than that, I won't put in the effort on a home that won't sell.

Posted by Eric Michael, Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519 (Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI) over 9 years ago

Great discussion - lotsa viewpoints, which is to be expected ;-]

But wouldn't it be cool if we, as an industry, took more of a Buck Stops Here approach to our business? That when we agree to represent a buyer or seller (specifically sellers in this discussion), that we take that agreement VERY seriously and are completely willing to accept full responsibility for the outcome? No, we can't do it alone, of course, we need our sellers' cooperation, but that's a part of taking responsibility - being persuasive enough to get our sellers on board, and, because we take our responsibility so seriously, being willing to respectfully and politely decline to take a listing we don't believe we can sell... for whatever reason.

I'll be writing more on this soon... hope you'll stick around for the sequel!

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 9 years ago

I love the listing analyzer - I actually use it on myself in my own current listings and it really helps to show the clients that I care about them and helps me in case I have missed something.


I suppose if there is truly fault  - it is that we have failed to communicate the importance of this or that to get the house sold, ultimately the property is still the homeowners and they do have the final decisions in many things.


Good food for thought!  

Posted by Christine Pappas - REALTOR®, eXp Realty - Because Experience Matters (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

AMEN JENNIFER!!!  I couldn't agree with you more (which btw was the opinion I was keeping to myself when I commented early).  Yes, listing agents need seller cooperation to sell a home but if the seller refuses to cooperate (by pricing right from the get-go) then it is the Realtors responsibility not to pollute the market with an over-priced listing.  If every Realtor took this responsibility seriously, uncooperative sellers whouldn't have anyone to list their home.  PERIOD!!!  JMHO

Posted by Donne Knudsen, CalState Realty Services (Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA) over 9 years ago


Just a note to let you know that we purchased the Listing Analyzer today. I have examined it carefully and am now modifying for our use.

The concise manner in which you packaged the info and the excellent tips within are WELL WORTH the price. 



Posted by Tim Fennell, Jacksonville Real Estate (The Legends of Real Estate, REALTORS®) over 9 years ago

Jennifer, great post and discussion. I agree with you that not all properties are sellable, and if they don't sell it is my fault because I should have known the property wasn't sellable and should not have told the sellers I could sell it by taking the listing. I have a story about non-sellable property, but too long to go into here. Thanks again for your post, and to Donne who mentioned it in her called shots, which I always look forward to.

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) over 9 years ago
While I agree with the post as a whole, I will have to say that sometimes we are put in no win situations. Example: if you sold Joe and Sue a house 5 years ago and today they call you to sell it as their job will move them across country. They paid 250k, owe 240k and local conditions have declined and proper pricing shows 200k. They don't have the difference. Do you just walk out on them as though they are being unrealistic? Interested in hearing how some of you would handle this.
Posted by Jeremy Helton (Lankford Realty Co.) over 9 years ago

Jeremy - excellent question! And to answer it, I'm going to refer you back to a 5-part series I wrote a year or two ago about Declining the Monkey - it starts here:

Basically, the series explains how we need to gracefully decline to accept responsibility for problems we can't fix, or aren't responsible to fix (problems = monkeys). There ARE some monkeys that are justifiably ours, but many are not - yours is a great example. Just because someone doesn't "want to" come to the table with money or doesn't "want to" short-sell - well, that's too bad. Those are the options, unless we accept their monkey and take an overpriced listing and/or reduce our commission. When we do that, we're actually disrespecting the seller's ability to solve his own problem, which he WILL if we let him.

But that doesn't mean we have to be rude or dismissive or arrogant about it - of course not... and maybe we can help. Anyway, read the series and let me know what you think!

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 9 years ago

Kind of tough, but maybe in this culture where no one takes responsibility for anything it is a good attitude to have.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) over 9 years ago

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