Real Estate Agent with Dean's Team - Keller Williams Realty Partners Chicago IL

Hello, on a cold, snowy, sleety, icy, messy day in Chicago!

Ever call a client, and tell them they need to reduce their price?  I know you have, of course.

But, usually, how do they react?

"How come you haven't had more Open Houses?"  "Haven't seen my house in the local paper in the last few weeks!"  "My sister says you should have taken more pictures of my home.  Different pictures.  Larger Pictures."  "The sign is too small."  "The brochures are too short!"  And on, and on, and on.

If I didn't know much better, I would begin to feel it is the Listing Agent is responsible for everything WRONG in the market.  During stronger markets, it's the SELLER who did the right things at the right time!

Open Houses, Brochures, Costly Advertising.  They all skirt the issue.  There is one thing that will sell a house, in ANY market - THE RIGHT PRICE!  PERIOD!

Problem is, many in our industry live day-to-day on desperation thinking.  "I'll do more Open Houses, or the seller will get mad at me!"  "I'll pay for more ads, or the seller will get mad at me!"  "I'll do a ninety page brochure, mail out 10,000 postcards promoting their over-priced home, cut my Listing Fee (never call it "Commission" again folks), or else I won't get the listing, or, the seller will get mad at me."

Then, when an offer comes in, and you've spent a small fortune making your clients "happy," spent your weekends doing Open House of questionable benefit to them, mailed postcards with little positive result, some sellers have the temerity to ask you to "kick in a couple of thousand or so," to make the deal go through.

And many agents DO kick a couple of thousand in!

The problem here, folks, is that too many Real Estate Practitioners give in rather than counsel.  Pay up rather than invest wisely, with confidence and conviction.  Give in rather than fight. 

Sellers can have their choice of many agents beside you, and many that will agree with them blindly, just to buy the listing.  Then they fail - and we ALL get painted with the same brush - "We're all the same,"  "You folks are only in it to make a fast buck."  And on, and on, and on!

What I've found, in all these years in the business - be in integrity, all the time.  And . . .

Know when to fold 'em!  Kick toxic clients to the curb!

If, when you propose a price reduction, after your due deliberate thinking, they accuse you of being greedy.  Or, unethical.  Or, lazy.  Or, cheap.  SAY GOODBYE!


Beginning in 2008, Our Team will add a rider to our Listing Agreement allowing us to terminate the agreement if, in our opinion, our clients are not following our advice and counsel.   And pre-scheduled price reductions, agreed upon at time of the initial listing.

We have confidence in our marketing.  I would stake my reputation that our web presence, our customer service, our follow though and follow up, is second to none.  That being a given - IT'S GOTTA BE THE PRICE!

Would love your reaction on this - thanks for the space to rant!

Dean & Dean's Team Chicago


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Robert Huntsinger
Empire Realty - Upland, CA
Empire Realty Upland, CA - Full Service at a Discount

Your so right, they only see the large numbers on their HUD 1's and never see the work and expertise that goes into selling their homes.  I wonder if they go to their Doctors and ask for a discount, I guess they perceive them more professional than us.  Go figure!

Take care!


Dec 01, 2007 04:15 PM #1
Paula Smith
Red Rock Real Estate St. George - Saint George, UT
Paula Smith Red Rock Real Estate
I agree.   I will not even take the listing in the first place if I believe it's to high...then when the inevitable price reduction conversation comes...I tell them how it is...
Dec 01, 2007 04:28 PM #2
David Matney
BHHS - Ambassador Real Estate - Omaha, NE
Omaha, NE Real Estate | Omaha, NE Homes For Sale
Dean, you are right on the mark on this post!
Dec 01, 2007 04:29 PM #3
Ray Wilson
Meticulous Home Inspection Corporation - Bohemia, NY
NYS Licensed Home and Building Inspector
I did a free prelisting home inspection for an agent friend of mine who wanted to get this listing of a 1790's home in a desireable neighborhood. She has been having a tough time making money, so I did the inspection without a report, just a verbal to tell him what is wrong with his house so he is prepared when buyers - if any are foolish to even look at this overpriced house - bring their own inspector. Asbestos pipe insulation, heavy termite damage, sloped floors, shoddy vinyl siding and trimwork (on an antique home?), moss growing on the roof, were just some of the problems I saw. She got the listing, then released it within a week because the seller is in fantasyland. This appears to be the norm here, and sounds like the norm where you are, except for a few sellers who watch the news and really need to sell. Move to the next seller, and don't waste your time and money! - Ray
Dec 01, 2007 04:36 PM #4
Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552

Dean, you're right about never calling our fee a commission.  The word has taken on a negative connotation.  

If the listing was priced right, it would have sold with competent marketing.  Period.

Dec 01, 2007 07:57 PM #5
Linda Sticklin
Home Staging & Organizing - Berwyn, PA
I do agree that price is key, but you are missing another piece of the marketing plan. The house needs to look better than its competition. If a house is priced right and looks great, it will sell.  
Dec 01, 2007 09:18 PM #6
Vicente A. Martinez
Prudential Douglas Elliman Licensed Real Estate Salesperson - Woodhaven, NY
Realtor, Brooklyn - Long Island - Queens Homes

Dean I agree with every last word on this page! It all boils down to price. Personally I'd rather turn down 25 listings if I know only 2 "might sell" and work on four or five that I know will sell. Doesn't it make sense?? If there's one thing I learned from the Duke of Dialogue it's this... I'd rather turn them down now and not let them down later.

I've walked away from quite a few listings this year (at least 30 since the first week of January 2007) because I know that what the seller is asking for (a ridiculous price in this market) just won't happen. In addition, I've noticed them immediately come on the market (with weak agents) that let the seller set the price and terms (including the fee).

Guess what?? A few months later they've all expired and I've managed to pick up a few (thirteen to be exact) at my price and terms after the weak agents have had all the frustration (in most cases making the listing more saleable as far as price is concerned).

No matter what we do an overpriced listing won't sell... so don't take them. Let someone else take them and then after it expires go back and talk with the sellers (wait till it expires, it's the ethical thing to do). Always get the listing priced right (not too low, we don't want to shortchange the homeowners either). Once the sellers are on board and can see that you're a superior Realtor they'll listen to whatever you have to say.

Happy Holidays and Best of luck in 2008.


Dec 01, 2007 10:05 PM #7
Dean Moss
Dean's Team - Keller Williams Realty Partners Chicago IL - Chicago, IL
Dean's Team Chicago IL Real Estate Team

Appreciate your well-thought comments, folks!  Thanks!

Linda from Philadelphia -

Well said!  Usually, when getting a listing, I mention that TWO things sell any house, PRICING and STAGING!  However, even the best-staged house will not sell if it is not priced correctly.

There is quite a competition here in the City of Chicago among Home Staging Companies - many spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars for professional home staging, then feel they have license to OVERPRICE their house to re-coup their investment.  Not true, and the staging investment is wasted.

They've got to stage effectively, that's for sure, but price is still key.  Do you agree?

Again, thanks for the comment - Happy Holidays!

Dean & Dean's Team Chicago

Dec 01, 2007 10:46 PM #8
Linda Sticklin
Home Staging & Organizing - Berwyn, PA
My point was that with so many houses for a buyer to choose from, they will likely choose the one that is priced comparably but needs the least amount of work (looks the best). Even if a house is priced below another, most buyers do not want to take on the seller's neglected repair and replacement projects--however minor they may seem. They want a house that is move in ready. 
Dec 02, 2007 01:37 PM #9
Dean Moss
Dean's Team - Keller Williams Realty Partners Chicago IL - Chicago, IL
Dean's Team Chicago IL Real Estate Team

Linda from Philly -

ABSOLUTELY AGREE - thanks for your take on this!

Again, Happy Holidays - we'll trade you a Deep Dish Pizza for a couple of Cheese Steaks, straight up.  What do you think?

Dean & Dean's Team Chicago

Dec 02, 2007 02:45 PM #10
Linda Sticklin
Home Staging & Organizing - Berwyn, PA
I lived in Chicago for 3 years in the mid 80's. I loved it there and sometimes wish we had stayed! Pizza v. cheesesteak--now that is a toss up. I think my favorite was Lou Malanati's (? spelling).
Dec 02, 2007 09:27 PM #11
Dean Moss
Dean's Team - Keller Williams Realty Partners Chicago IL - Chicago, IL
Dean's Team Chicago IL Real Estate Team

Linda from Phil, PA -


We live only about a mile and a half from the ORIGINAL Lou's!  

Lou actually worked as a cook at Uno's/Due's downtown in the mid '60's, got into an argument with Ike Sewell, the man purported to invent Chicago Style Pizza at Uno's in 1943, and opened his own place in suburban Lincolnwood IL.

The rest is history - you can order Lou's To Go Online, par-baked - if you'd like a bit of Chicago at home in Philadelphia, or anywhere.

if you're ever here in town - look us up - we'll treat you like royalty, and won't get you too drunk,either!

Dean & Dean's Team Chicago

Dec 02, 2007 10:36 PM #12
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Dean's Team Chicago IL Real Estate Team

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