If my Son can Battle Darth Vadar, I can Stand Up to My Clients

Real Estate Agent with eXp Realty | Luxury Homes

I have clients who insist on pricing their home too high. They will not listen to reason. "But we bought it at this price, why isn't it worth twice that now? We wanted this property, so will someone else. The market isn't affecting these more expensive homes..." and on and on. You get the picture.

Some short time ago, we visited DisneyLand in California. We surprised the children with the news on the morning we drove the airport. Instead of celebrating and running around the house screaming like my 4 yr. old did (she knew she would dine with the coveted Disney Princesses), my son sat on the counch rather pensively. Clearly we could tell he had something significant on his mind. We joined him on the couch. And here is what the little man said to us:

...Well, I'm sort of excited. But my friend Cody went to DisneyLand and he had to fight Darth Vadar (keep in mind, my son is obsessed with all things Star Wars. He has four light sabres so the whole family can spar. He has every action figure including Princess Leia. And has a Darth Vadar, Clone Trooper, and Jedi costume). And Darth Vadar is sort of scary. He's mean and people don't like him...

Disney PilotTo our wise yet vulnerable young son, we explained about the concept of pretend (while nervously looking at our watch. I mean, we had to get moving! Mickey Mouse does not hold planes, even for cute little fellows) Our brave son gets up off the couch, and argues:

...Let's go. I'm ready. Darth Vadar is a bad guy. I will fight him. Can I bring my Jedi costume and Star Wars suitcase and a couple Star Wars guys? (yes he really has one)...Young Jedi

After some explanation that we had already packed his Star Wars suitcase for him, and, no, he would not be allowed to bring a light sabre on board the plane (the husband-pilot assured us that TSA would not be okay with this). You see, Disney offers a fantastic show where children are selected from the audience, "trained" in the jedi arts, and then have an opportunity to "fight" Darth Vadar. Who even knew if our son would be chosen?

Who am I kidding? He is adorable, full-hearted, and looks great in the Jedi costume. Voila! He was selected. But not before contemplating the situation and carefully calculating his moves with Darth Vadar! He "graduated" Jedi training, and fought Darth Vadar - and won. He won! Words cannot describe the pride and love we had for Jedi Leland at the moment in time. Darth Vadar said: You have been taught well, young Jedi. My son faced his greatest nemesis, in the passion of saving his world.

Young Jedi Fights Darth VadarWhy can't we all face our challenges publicly, without fears of repercussions? My son was 6, and fought Darth Vadar. You men out there can identify with the importance and significance with that, can't you? Star Wars is for men what Titanic is for women.

The punch line is this: if my boy can face the meanest guy he knows in his little universe, then I can certainly stand up to my stubborn clients, and not walk away. I can and will say, "Pricing is everything. Location is important, but if the price is not accurate, then it will not sell. I repeat, it will not sell."

...And furthermore, I will not tolerate idle threats. Go ahead and call those other agents who continue to call you. If they want a listing merely to generate leads off of the sign, then go ahead. You will not make me feel little. I know the market. I know the challenges of the market. I know that this price to which you have married yourself will not stand the test of the market. It will fail, and it will sit and sit and sit without a reasonable, qualified offer. And then who will you blame?...

Oh, the force is strong... I drew strength from my young Jedi that day, and it has served we well ever since. Go with the Force Jedi agents. And stand up to your Real Estate fears. Great, kid, now don't get cocky. That too is important, my friends.

Thank you for reading.

Amy's Sweet Signature

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Thank you for reading.

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Amy Zender
eXp Realty | Luxury Homes - Bellingham, WA
Luxe Gal

Barb, Cindy, Rebecca G - Thank you for your wonderful and inpiring comments! Kids are funny, but my clients and I are on a break... more later. Cheers!

Russ - I bet you're in that 12 x 12 room tinkering around with the Millenium Falcon and OB Won Kenobi... thanks for the smile. Cheers!

TLW - How the heck are you feeling? Fairing well, I hope. Yes, I have initiated a break with the client. Amiable, but I encouraged them to shop around a bit so they'll know I'm not full of it and myself. Cheers.

Kelly - I'm relieved to know I have folks on my side. Thanks for standing with me sister. My son leading the charge... I love it! Thanks for the encouragement. Cheers.

Dedra - I can always count on the best comments from you! Thank you again. Although I feel as though I'm making the right decision, maintaining a grounded disposition is paramount throughout this process of "breaking up" with the client. Thanks for the smiles! Cheers.

Lizette - Well, hello, Diva! I'm elated you came to the post! Fashionably late of course... thanks for the attaboys. I really enjoyed writing this. I know I have much to learn from you, so thanks for being so kind to me. I'll be giving you a call soon. Cheers!


Apr 02, 2009 03:55 PM #65
Eric Lowery


All I can say is that is a fantastic post.  Your analogy is wonderful, and the imagery, both in words and pictures, really tell the story.  You can hear the passion in your language as well.

Great advice, too!

Eric Lowery, Author of the Expert Skills for Real Estate Agents Blog

Apr 02, 2009 04:07 PM #66
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

I love this analogy and the pictures of your son.  What a brave boy you are raising.

Apr 02, 2009 04:08 PM #67
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I have learned it is not worth it to agree to overprice the property just to get the listing. 

Apr 02, 2009 04:24 PM #68
Julie Ferenzi
john greene Realtor - Plainfield, IL
Julie Ferenzi

Catchy title!  Cute :)

I learned this lesson the hard way too many times.  (way too many times!)

Apr 02, 2009 05:29 PM #69
Ray Logan
Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors - Stacy Mathews - Houston, TX

Good analogy and great writing

Apr 02, 2009 06:00 PM #70
Mike Henderson
Your complete source for buying HUD homes - Littleton, CO
HUD Home Hub - 303-949-5848

I always cheer when brokers stand up to fighting overpriced listings.

Apr 02, 2009 06:58 PM #71
Kara Phadael
Century 21 Classic Homes - South Windsor, CT

Great story Amy. This is a lesson that in my mind I know, but am always afraid to try. I really need to be more assertive with my clients. Thank You for reminding me.

Apr 02, 2009 10:58 PM #72
Sonya Loose
Modern Realty - Beaverton, MI
The Lake Girl,Selling Waterfront in Gladwin County

I love this post!  Isn't it great when our kids inspire us so much!

Apr 02, 2009 11:37 PM #73
DeAndrea "Dee Dee" Jones
Home Buyers Marketing II, Inc. - Manassas Park, VA
The NorthernVARealEstateLady & DMVRealEstateChick

Great post, and great analogy.  If we don't stand up to sellers the market will get even worse.

Apr 03, 2009 02:16 AM #74
Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)

Amy - As you know, I love to write about my kids.  I thought this was a terrific and well-written post.  What is a measly difficult client compared to Darth Vader?  Go get 'em!

Apr 03, 2009 02:53 AM #75
Robby Leviton
Keller Williams Realty - Kirkland, WA
Knowles Team

Amy, Great story. I am with you, I have not gotten a few listings lately and those listings are still on the market priced to high. My time and reputation are too valuable to work with people that aren't realistic.

Robby Leviton, your Seattle connection

Apr 03, 2009 03:43 AM #76
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate

Amy, a great perspective and isn't your son courageous to take on Darth Vader. The breathing itself ust creeps me out.

Apr 03, 2009 04:26 AM #77
Brad Yzermans
First Time Home Buyer & Down Payment Assistance Specialist in So Cal. - Temecula, CA
Temecula-Murrieta-Menifee FHA/VA Mortgage Lender

This is a great analogy.  Both of my sons (7&3) are huge Star Wars fans and almost everyday re-inact battles between Darth Vader and Darth Maul.  They have the moves from the movie memorized.  I'll apply this in my mortgage business as well with the rate shoppers.    

Apr 03, 2009 06:22 AM #78
Kerry Jenkins
Prime Properties - Crestline, CA

What a great light hearted post!  And that's awesome that he got to fight Darth Vader! And i agree:  I won't stand for a client to overprice a listing, and if they insist, fine: but you're signing a contract to automatically drop the price to where I say it should be in 30 days, and extending my listing by 30 days.

Apr 03, 2009 07:17 AM #79
Kathy Booth, Setting the Stage
Setting the Stage - Newmarket, ON
Home Staging and ReDesign Professional

What a sweet analogy.  We learn so much from our kids.

Apr 03, 2009 10:53 AM #80
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

May the force be with you Amy Luke Skywalker with your clients. Bring your light sabre over to their house when discussing price adjustments. That ought to get their attention!! A great lesson from your son!!

Apr 03, 2009 05:06 PM #81
Joe Tupper

We can learn so much from children.  I often watch my little grandson who has fallen hundreds of times, get up with resolve and know in his hardest of hearts that he will indeed walk someday soon.
As adults we often take our disappointments as major setbacks, when all we need to do is pick ourselves up and go on!

Apr 04, 2009 02:39 AM #82
Debra Kukulski, Broker Associate
RE/MAX Unlimited Northwest - Cary, IL
SFR,CDPE;GRI;ABR;e-PRO Realtor, Northern IL

Amy, this is an excellent post...I am flagging it for a feature if it is not one already!  Correct Pricing is QUEEN in this market;-)

Apr 04, 2009 02:54 AM #83
Don Sabinske
Don Sabinske, Sabinske & Associates Inc. - Zimmerman, MN
Sabinske & Associates Inc.

Late comment, but I like your style.  The only way to be in this business is to be completely honest with buyers and sellers.  It never pays to be less than forthright with your comments.  You have to know what you are doing, and you seem to have it down! 

Apr 04, 2009 03:31 PM #84
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