In order to succeed we must know when to be flexible.

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

REALTOR(R) opportunities

A while back I called one of our fellow ActiveRainers. I did this because I had received an email and could tell this person was struggling a little in their business and needed some words of encouragement. So I called.

Anyway, it seems discouragement was setting in because she was going on listing appointments but was losing them on pricing. Then they would list with another REALTOR® and after several months, and a few price reductions, the property would sell at close to the list price that she had suggested from day one. Have you ever had this happen?

I actually felt a little guilty because I know this person reads my blog constantly and has heard me time after time talk about "NEVER take an overpriced listing".

I know I write about these things a lot. NEVER take an overpriced listing. I NEVER work with Buyers and I NEVER lose a listing.

Well folks, today I want to let the cat out of the bag. I'm a big fat liar!!! There I said it. I HAVE taken an over priced listing. I HAVE worked with buyers and I HAVE lost a listing.

OK..... so now I'm wallowing in the puddle of deceit. Or am I?

One of the attributes of a successful person is the ability to be flexible....being able to read a situation and change directions quickly.

NEVER is a guideline not an impregnable barrier. What that means is, in an ideal World or situation I would NEVER........(fill in the blank).

However, we do not live in an ideal World so we have to learn to be flexible. We have to make judgment calls. Being able to read folks and their motivation is imperative to being a good "salesperson".

We have to make judgment calls on whether or not to work with folks under less than perfect circumstances. If I meet with a potential Seller and they do not agree with my pricing then I MAY take the listing at a higher price. It depends on a few things:

  • Their motivation. Do they need to sell but have a little leeway with timing?
  • Is their suggested price within reason? Within 10% or less of where I feel it needs to be is my rule of thumb.
  • Do they understand what I am telling them about pricing but just feel they want to try a little higher?
  • Do they trust me and do we get along?
  • Do I feel they will listen to me in 30 days when I tell them we need to reduce?
  • Will they sign off on my suggested price and agree that I am taking the listing higher than I have suggested?

If the answer to these questions is yes then I will probably take the listing. My NEVER has turned into a maybe.

My point is, we have to be brutally honest with folks and make sure they understand THEN we have to make a judgment call. Guidelines are set to guide us in our decisions. But our ultimate decisions have to be based on our judgment. This is where our experience and ability to read people comes in.

We will make mistakes along the way but that is all a part of the learning process. So be flexible. There are very few absolutes in real estate or life for that matter. Your success will come when you are able to discern when you need to be flexible.

Be firm when it comes to your ethics and your morals but leave room to change your mind in other areas. Does this make sense? Never? Maybe? What say you?

Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

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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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Blatt + Cutino 10/26/2009 01:47 PM
Real Estate Best Practices

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Ben Giordano
RE/MAX Sun & Sea - Boca Raton, FL

It all comes down to motivation. If you start overpriced but know that the seller has to sell and will reduce price over time, then be flexible and take the listing despite your price recommendation.

Oct 28, 2009 02:43 AM #93
Keith Lutz
Keller Williams Metropolitan - Long Valley, NJ

I am NEVER going to read this blog again!  (He-he!)

Oct 28, 2009 03:41 AM #94
Catherine Marrone
Integrity Residential Brokerage LLC - West Newbury, MA
West Newbury MA real estate, Essex County

I have, on occasion, decided to take an over priced listing.  Sometimes it works out fine and the seller eventually reduces.  Sometimes the seller digs in and the listing expires only to be relisted at the lower value and sell.  This is a tactic that I use with a high level of success.  Take the listing at the seller's price but write into the contract that within "x" amount of days if the property is not under agreement, the price will be reduced to "x".   Be specific with the amount of days and the revised listing price. That way, you have a built in price reduction and a higher chance of selling the property within a reasonable amount of time.

Oct 28, 2009 04:07 AM #95
Marian Pierre-Louis
Fieldstone Historic Research - Medway, MA
Metrowest Boston

This happens so often.  It is a really difficult call.  I have seem so many houses languish on the market at the wrong price point and then suffer price reductions.  It a downward market it is a no win situation for the seller.  They end up selling at a lower price that they would have needed to if they started at the right price.  It's all about education.  But is that enough to get people to change?

Oct 28, 2009 04:59 AM #96
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I have taken some bad listings just to have something to do and get a sign up.  The over priced ones are not as bad as the ones with tenants that will not cooperate or sellers that refuse a lock box.  I am more reluctant to take them and will not expend too much time and money if I do not think the seller will work with the situation.

Oct 28, 2009 05:14 AM #97

Great Post! Thanks for admitting what many of us have known all along; we all sometimes do that which we say we would NEVER do! 

Oct 28, 2009 05:17 AM #98
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Quite the out pouring of comments here!!

I have to say I have absolutely nothing to add to this conversation except.......

Thanks for stopping by.


Oct 28, 2009 05:24 AM #99
Larry and Marilyn Mennetti

You really need to expand your vocabulary....instead of never, try these: sometimes, once-in-a-while, now and then, rarely, on occassion, from time to time, I know there must be more, but I can NEVER remember them when I need to    ;>)

Oct 28, 2009 06:11 AM #100

Hi Bryant,

Thanks for being honest. We all try to tell our sellers what they need to hear and try to make sure that they acknowledge that they understand. Being flexible is not always an "F" word if we feel that we can be the help that our customer needs.Sometimes they DO need to see what the buying market has to say about their home (by not having a lot of showings) if it is overpriced. We do need to be honest with them and ourselves. Ourselves...knowing that it is costing us money to market a property. Ourselves...will they be flexible and lower the price later if it is needed?

Carol Riley, Huntington Real Estate, Albuquerque, NM 

Oct 28, 2009 06:55 AM #101
Kathy Opatka
Serving Ocean City, MD, & The Delaware Beaches


Thanks for the pep-talk!  I'm going on a listing where I know the Sellers (we've become friends thru my selling them several places), they want to "recoup" their investment (bought in 2005!) and then reduce the commission! 

I'm going to take your suggestions to weigh the situation as I stand in front of them.  Hopefully, we'll both be content with the outcome!

Kathy Opatka


Oct 28, 2009 08:47 AM #102
Martin Kalisker
Greater Boston Association of REALTORS - Boston, MA
Professional Standards & Legal Assistant

Great post BB.  But can I add my two cents worth from the viewpoint of a broker/owner? 

Agents: DON'T make these business decisions on your own!!!  Consult with your broker.  Make him out to be the bad guy if you need to.  You need to step back from the heat of the moment, gather your thoughts and talk it over with your broker.  Same goes with lowering your compensation. 

The 10% rule is a good rule of thumb.  Remember, your reputation is at stake if you get a "stinky listing".  You are going to work very hard at selling something that isn't marketable.  Get the seller to buy in to your marketing strategy and hold them to your agreement to drop the price immediately and without further discussion if you find that the number of potential buyers is next to nil.

And finally, good luck!

Oct 28, 2009 10:35 AM #103
Don Anthony
Don Anthony Realty ~ - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte & Triangle NC Discount Realtor

Being flexible is important as long as you stick to your core philosophy, whatever that is.

Charlotte Discount Realtor Don Anthony Realty Signature 

Oct 28, 2009 04:18 PM #104
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

The real estate profession demands flexibility. The only absolute is never lie.

Oct 28, 2009 04:29 PM #105
Jirius Isaac
Isaac Real Estate &TriStar Mortgage - Kenmore, WA
Real Estate & loans in Kenmore, WA

Totally agree with you guys.  I think the words never and always should be wiped from our vocabulary.  They are too extreme and make no room for any change.  Life is not black and white.  That being said, it is much better to hve guidelines that we adhere to most all the time, and make exceptions to when appropriate.

Oct 28, 2009 04:58 PM #106
DeeDee Riley
Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA - El Dorado Hills, CA
Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas

Makes great sense, Bryant.  Thanks for the input.

Oct 28, 2009 07:57 PM #107
John MacArthur
Century 21 Redwood - Washington, DC
Licensed Maryland/DC Realtor, Metro DC Homes

Bryant - another lesson realized. The language is wrought with mis-steps.  There is no lie involved. If we were able to always communicate our intent, without it being misconstrued as gospel, we would never have to face those that question our actions.

It is true in professional and personal behavior. 

Some will castigate using the broad brush of perception based response.  Some will say that there is no permanence in situational based behavior. Both reactions will be correct. Neither reaction will be totally accurate.

All decisions must be based in our core belief system. Of course, most people will use the term never. It is safe to say that never is only an accurate depiction of our beliefs in most situations.

There is no shame in altering behavior because of a situation. There is no shame is doing an about face when faced with new information. There is no shame in admitting aberrations to normal choices.

In our profession, we claim to be educated regarding laws, markets and trends. These things vary from black and white to shades of gray. Ethically, whether a member of NAR or not, we also claim to stand for doing our best for our clients. All agents, clients and situations are different. We must be ready to address each situation from our most honest position.

There is no harm in admitting that we have feet of clay if we are doing our best to have a heart of "gold".

Oct 29, 2009 01:03 AM #108
Dianne Hicks
Realty ONE Group - Poway, CA

Perfect point, flexibility. Every time I turn my head either something in the market changes or how we have to handle it changes. Yikes.... I think it is turning so many times it is making me dizzy.

Oct 29, 2009 01:15 AM #109
Susan Mangigian
RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A - West Chester, PA
Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches

This is wonderfully written and so true.  Never is as never does.  I am going on appointments that at one time, I wouldn't have gotten out of bed for!  Literally.  I was a spoiled brat who gave away buyers when my kids were small because my listings were selling so well, I didn't need to worry about it and I was so overwhelmed with work.  I was happy to take the referral fee to supplement my income.  Now, I wouldn't dream of giving those buyers away!  Never is very subjective!  The only time I stick to my never now is that I am never going to meet another male buyer at a home without meeting them in the office first.  It's hard to do when the listings are too far away for this to make sense, but in that case, I ask a man in my office to either accompany me, or I refer the business to him.  Either way, that is something I vow to never do again.  Great post BB!

Oct 29, 2009 09:17 AM #110
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices


Ha-ha, we all are liars in that sense. And it is a bit easier for me, as we usually work with Buyers, so all the  troubles of pricing do not affect me. And with short sale price is  usually not that much an issue.

Hey, at least something good in working with Buyers (LOL)

Oct 29, 2009 05:11 PM #111
Fran Gatti
RE/MAX Integrity - Medford, OR
Managing Principal Broker - RE/MAX Integrity


It makes perfect sense.  We all need to find our rhythm with the listing process. I used to hate going on listing appointments, and then I found my rhythm and what worked for me.  I stopped doing what I thought I should do and came up with an approach that is me.  I now enjoy the listing process and actually look forward to listing appointments, even when I know I'm competing.

Nov 01, 2009 12:59 PM #112
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