Is telling the truth being negative?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC BK607690

I thought this was a bunny suit!!Hi folks. Here it is Easter weekend and I'm still working! How about you?

By the way.....I couldn't find my damn Bunny suit!!!!

Such is life. Anyway, I want to talk a little bit about listing presentations. As most of you, know I am mainly a listing Broker and have been for 15 years. I've sold hundreds of homes in Central Florida and consider myself an expert when it comes to pricing and getting Sellers to hire me to sell their properties. It's what I do and I take it very serious.

Currently, my market is very difficult. Regular listings are just not selling and needless to say this makes my job more difficult. I can't walk into a listing presentation being Mr. Optimistic any more. Actually....I guess I could....but I won't. Giving Sellers "false hope" is the worst thing we as REALTORS® can do. Sellers, need to know, that selling their house is going to be very difficult even at the right price. If it's over priced...well forget about it. They will not get lucky in this market.

So my listing "pitch" has changed. I no longer go in with the attitude, "that if you list with me I will sell your house in 90 days guaranteed". Because chances are I won't. And Sellers need to know this. I can't make promises that I can't keep. If I did, my Sellers would be very unhappy when I start making excuses for why I didn't get their home sold as promised. Personally, I don't do excuses.

"But, Broker Bryant, why be so negative? Why would people list with you if you can't promise you will sell their house?" Well that's a good question. Folks list with me because I am 100% honest when it comes to market conditions. The market "is what it is". There is nothing I can say or do that will change that.

If I painted a rosy picture of the market, when in reality, it sucks, I would be doing my Sellers a disservice. I have more respect for my Seller's intelligence than that. They know the market is bad and because I tell them this they trust me. I'm not trying to sell them on my services. Instead I'm giving them the truth so together we can devise a plan that will give us the best shot at getting their home sold.

By having this attitude and using this approach I am able to keep properties listed until they do sell. My Sellers are also more receptive to making adjustments when necessary. They know, without a doubt, that I am doing everything I can to get their properties sold.

In this more difficult market, Sellers need a REALTOR® that is able to be brutally honest about current market conditions and pricing. Now having said that, there are still many Sellers out there who are living in la la land. And that's OK. It's their property and they can do what they want with it. It's their right to "hold out" so they don't have to "give their house away". They just won't be doing it with me.

I can assure you, there are many REALTORS® who will be happy to work with them. Of course they will be damaging their reputation and they won't get paid. But hey, maybe they'll get a Buyer or two off the yard sign. I wish them luck. 
As for me, I will continue to be brutally honest and will continue to under promise and over deliver. I hope you will too. Will you?

Are you a Florida REALTOR(R) looking for a change? Check it out.


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 Tutas Towne Realty, Inc handles Florida real estate sales, Florida short sales, Florida strategic short sales, Florida pre-foreclosure sales, Florida foreclosures in Kissimmee Florida Short Sales, Davenport Florida Short Sales, Haines City Florida Short Sales, Poinciana Florida Short Sales, Solivita Florida Short Sales,  Orlando Florida Short Sales, Celebration Florida Short Sales, Windermere Florida Short Sales. Serving all of Polk, Osceola and Orange Counties Florida. Florida Short Sale Broker. Short Sale Florida.

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Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

As for me, I will continue to be brutally honest and will continue to under promise and over deliver. I hope you will too. Will you?

Yep that would be me. Ouch sometimes I question myself when they go with highest price, especially when I see them lower, lower, lower, but...I just have to be honest. sucks sometimes to be honest.

Apr 11, 2009 11:51 AM #12
Barb Szabo, CRS
RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio - Cleveland, OH
E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes

Bryant, It can be a tough balancing act for me. I was on a listing appt. recently, being very gentle with the seller (I thought) and when I came back with my price she asked me if I thought I could "get behind" selling her house because she thought I was a little negative.  I was trying to be kind and realistic in telling her that most of her home needed updating. Someone else got it for 20K more and that's o.k. with me.

Apr 11, 2009 11:55 AM #13
Petra Norris
Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc. - Lakeland, FL
Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale

BB - Just this past week, I had a listing appointment with some nice folks. The older home was redone and also unique. With all the improvements they have done, I could not justify the price they wanted so I turned down the listing. They even told me they are realistic about the price and market.... as you said there are still owners that still living in la la land.

Apr 11, 2009 12:00 PM #14
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Hi Broker Bryant...just stopped by to wish you & TLW a blessed Easter!

Apr 11, 2009 12:23 PM #15
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Hi there BB, first of all, do you rent out for parties? Great look for you, LOL.

When I first signed on to AR your blog about how you prepare a cma was one of the first I read. I have been a fan of yours ever since. I have studied what you said, and am preparing my first cma a la Broker Bryant. I already gave them one speech, and will certainly be delivering the big speech on Friday when I meet with them. Thank you for sharing all your wisdom!

You and TLW have a wonderful Easter! And really, that is a great look for you, LOL. And I always thought that TLW was Superwoman in disguise... :D

Apr 11, 2009 03:22 PM #16
Brian Burke
Kenna Real Estate - Englewood, CO
Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate

Funny you posted this now. We have recently had this conversation as we also have shifted the way go about listing appointments. And basically are doing what you are doing. Market really is what it is. ~Rita

Apr 11, 2009 05:49 PM #17
Rich Kruse
Gryphon USA, Ltd. - Columbus, OH

They gotta know the truth if you are going to help them.


Apr 12, 2009 12:27 AM #18
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Howdy folks. I hope everyone is having a great Easter Sunday.

The reality in my market right now is that almost 90% of the sales are either REOs or Short Sales. The average seller doesn't have much of a chance.

I did however place one of my listings under contract this week that is a "flip". Can you  believe it? Values are still plummeting and these particular sellers bought a property and flipped it in less than 90 days. Incredible!!

Andrea, Good luck with the listing. Glad I could help.

As always I appreciate every one stopping by.


Apr 12, 2009 12:51 AM #19
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL


I forgot you put up a post. My bad for being so self involved and working so hard to get our home back into some sort of working order :)


Apr 12, 2009 12:57 AM #20
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL


Love the pig suit. If they only knew what I know :)


Apr 12, 2009 12:58 AM #21
Valerie Spaulding
Windermere Peninsula Properties~Allyn~Belfair~WA - Belfair, WA
Allyn-Belfair-Hood Canal-Local Expertise!

brutally honest and realistic. They need and deserve to hear honesty from us. It is not all negative - if their goal is to sell their home and you are brutally honest, it is a positive that they see and understand exactly where the numbers stand so it can be done! It is also a business decision on my part and their part to turn down or take the listing or work with me or not; If they want to be dishonest with themselves - they can, but I won't participate in a bad business decision on my or their part for the market. They learn this as well in my presentation; usually it makes them listen to me more and helps the "pain" of reality and honesty soften and they tend to become more realisitc and USE the stats. When an agent takes a listing that they know is going to sit their forever - they hurt themselves and the seller in the long run with false hopes and a not so positive result in the end for anyone. It's a tough one out there for sellers with all of the short sales and foreclosures but YES it CAN be done!

Apr 12, 2009 02:42 AM #22
Laurie Mindnich
Centennial, CO

BB, this is certainly a challenge in areas that haven't yet caught the Florida reality that seems to have hit sellers in other areas later in the game. We stopped taking regular listings some time ago; now that reality is becoming apparent to sellers, those that can reduce to reality will sell, those that can't will continue to have their property on the market for another year without a sale. Why the listing agents exend and extend, without a price reduction, is perplexing- better to just take it off of the market. Hope you guys are having a wonderful weekend!!!

Apr 12, 2009 04:55 AM #23
Michael S. Mackey
CENTURY 21 All Islands - Mililani, HI

I will always stand by the belief that honesty is the best policy. Sometimes it can cause temporary pain, but it's better than a permanent stain on your reputation.

Apr 12, 2009 05:52 AM #24
Neal Bloom
Brokered by eXp Realty LLC - Weston, FL
Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate


No way in my area can I guarantee 90 days...I'll tell them I'll do my best to sell it fast if they price it within the market...but I can't give them the exact date..I wish I could ..then maybe I could say I'm a mind reader or a magician...makes no sense to give them a story that will never be...I'drather walk away from it. Kind of like...I'd rather turn you down now then to let you down later...Happy Easter my friend.

Apr 12, 2009 10:10 AM #25
Susan Neal
RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker

Hi BB - Yes, it is always better to underpromise and overdeliver, but whatever you promise, I think you will sell those homes if it can be done by anyone.  If I have an unreasonable seller, I would rather let them know right up front that I doubt if I can get them the price they want, and that anyone who says they can may just really need a listing.  Of course they might be able to sell it eventually, but if you want your house sold in the near future, it must be priced properly - and that includes competing with the REOs and short sales on the market.  If they want to argue, I'm better off not taking the listing.

Apr 12, 2009 01:38 PM #26
Chip Jefferson
Gibbs Realty and Auction Company - Columbia, SC

Im so thankful that I dont have these problems. Well maybe I have the didn't get the listing problem to have another agent list it and the it just sits!

Apr 13, 2009 12:31 AM #27
Laraine Shape
Comey & Shepherd Realtors - Glendale, OH
Selling kitchen at a time

Bryant - I loved this post.  It's absolutely, positively, 100% spot on true.  Helping sellers pipe dream in this market, or any market for that matter, is silly.  I say tell the truth, cut to the chase, roll your shirt sleeves up and get the job done.  Love the pig suit, by the way.  Laraine

Apr 13, 2009 01:15 PM #28
Fran Gatti
RE/MAX Integrity - Medford, OR
Managing Principal Broker - RE/MAX Integrity

Yep, brutal honesty is my way of thinking.  I lost two listings in the last 7 days because of it. I told one potential seller they may want to list with agent Willlistanything, but the client decided to wait until the market improves. I was proud of them for make an educated decision based on solid market data and not overpricing their home.

Things are going well for me. There are a lot of people out there who appreciate an honest approach.

Apr 13, 2009 05:22 PM #29
Carol Culkin
Reece & Nichols - Leawood, KS
Overland Park

BB - Realistic and straightforward - that's the only approach in this market but there should be a tad amount of optimism. I use the average DOM for our MLS, and then let them know that my average DOM is much less because I focus on pricing it right starting out.  They like to have something positive to grasp onto.

Apr 15, 2009 04:37 PM #30
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL


Still loving the Pig Suit. For some strange reason, I find it attractive. Oink :)


Apr 24, 2009 11:58 AM #31
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