Sometimes It is Best to FIRE a SELLER! Yikes!

By
Real Estate Agent with Williams Trew Real Estate Services, an Ebby Halliday REALTORS company

If you are like me, most of the time you have clients who are cooperative and who are extremely motivated to sell their properties.  In fact, the most motivated sellers welcome most suggestions that their agent provides.  Here are some of the symptoms that may lead you to rethink if the "problematic" seller is worth the aggrevation.

*   Has a demanding style of asking questions

*   Becomes angry if showings are requested even though the showing instruction states a specific preference of notification or cancels showings that have been set up

*  Talks to you like you do not know how to do your job

*  Refuses to take your suggestions on how to make the home have a better appeal, inside and out*  Continually berates your efforts and always has a better way that "things" should be done

There are many other signals that a seller either is not motivated to sell.  I invite you to add to this list.

None of us want to give up business, however, all of us find that on occasion, there is a difficult client that we cannot please, no matter how good we are. AFter more than 15 years as a top producing agent in my area, I have found that sometimes it is best to terminate a listing rather than suffer the stress of a seller client who is difficult to deal with over a long period of time.  If a problematic client is keeping you on the phone or jumping through the hoops that he/she has designed, you may not be using your time in the best way to actually get their home sold. A listing agreement always works best between an agent and a client who work hand in hand to accomplish the goal.

 

 

 

 

 

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. D B 02/02/2010 01:13 PM
  2. Wallace S. Gibson, CPM 02/02/2010 11:58 PM
Topic:
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fort worth
sellers
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Rainmaker
748,626
Rob D. Shepherd
Windermere/lane county - Florence, OR
Principal Broker GRI, SRES

When my patience level has been exceeded I have on occasion fired sellers as well as maybe buyers. It saps your energy in a negative way. Move on, you will thank yourself later!

Feb 03, 2010 12:34 AM #48
Rainmaker
733,453
Eileen Hsu
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY
LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON

Not everyone would have the courage to fire their sellers. If you did fire that seller that sounds like is being abusive, good for you. There is a way to earn every dollar, either the easy way or the hard way. I think there has to be mutual respect from both seller and the agent.

Feb 03, 2010 02:14 AM #49
Rainmaker
336,879
Jenna Dixon
Momentum Real Estate Group LLC - Marietta, GA
55 & Over | New Constructions | Horse Farms

This was a sign that I ignored ONCE as a new agent.  On a listing appointment, I went over with the seller the staging suggestions ($500K house without drapes, art, children's beds, no shower curtains...you get the picture?). 

I knew going into the appointment that I was not the first agent to list this home, but nothing prepared me for "all of our other agents told us the same thing and we do not want to spend the money".  I'm a tough cookie though.  I insisted...and I volunteered!  WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?  Long story short, they funded the staging costs, I did all the shopping and installation and the home looked great! 

One month later, they went behind my back, purchased another home, moved out of my listing and took EVERYTHING WITH THEM!  I'm left holding 5 months on a $500K listing that looks like they left in the middle of the night to escape the law.

LESSON: LISTEN to your prospective clients, they usually tell you who they are before you are hired.

Feb 03, 2010 02:30 AM #50
Rainmaker
336,879
Jenna Dixon
Momentum Real Estate Group LLC - Marietta, GA
55 & Over | New Constructions | Horse Farms

This was a sign that I ignored ONCE as a new agent.  On a listing appointment, I went over with the seller the staging suggestions ($500K house without drapes, art, children's beds, no shower curtains...you get the picture?). 

I knew going into the appointment that I was not the first agent to list this home, but nothing prepared me for "all of our other agents told us the same thing and we do not want to spend the money".  I'm a tough cookie though.  I insisted...and I volunteered!  WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?  Long story short, they funded the staging costs, I did all the shopping and installation and the home looked great! 

One month later, they went behind my back, purchased another home, moved out of my listing and took EVERYTHING WITH THEM!  I'm left holding 5 months on a $500K listing that looks like they left in the middle of the night to escape the law.

LESSON: LISTEN to your prospective clients, they usually tell you who they are before you are hired.

Feb 03, 2010 02:30 AM #51
Rainer
15,298
Cynthia Grebenstein
Keller Williams Chattahoochee North - Roswell, GA
Opening Doors For You!

One of the hardest things we do is trying to decide when it is time to "cut someone loose" . You never really know how much energy and time is wasted until you do this and feel the relief. Unreasonable sellers take you away from other real and profitable business and drain your energy. Not to mention it's fun dealing with people you like (always a bonus) I once fired a seller and within a week I had 3 additional listings that sold within a month. I concentrated my energy where it should have been in the first place.

Feb 03, 2010 02:44 AM #52
Rainer
71,982
David Obbee
Obbee.com - Agoura Hills, CA

My wife is an attorney, and she feels the same way about her practice.  If she doesn't like the client, it takes so much more of her energy to do a good job for that client that it isn't worth the effort.  She's more productive (and makes more money) working for clients with whom she gets along.

Feb 03, 2010 03:06 AM #53
Rainmaker
206,301
Ed Gillespie
WealthWise Mortgage Planning, a Division of American Pacific Mortgage Corporation NMLS #1850 - Folsom, CA

Thanks for posting this Dianne!  I've heard of this and it's probably ok to just say "no".  The client obviously isn't taking you seriously and it's a wonder your "know it all client" doesn't do a FSBO.  You may ask them at some point.  Maybe they just resent having to pay you a commission?

Feb 03, 2010 03:23 AM #54
Rainer
120,617
Brenda Carus
Century 21 Zwygart Real Estate - Monroe, WI

Some sellers really do need to be fired.  Life is too short to work with some people.

Feb 03, 2010 03:29 AM #55
Rainer
37,568
Trevor Elliott
RE/MAX Integrity - Salem, OR

well said. I went to preview a possible listing and I could not take it. It was horrible.

Feb 03, 2010 04:16 AM #56
Rainmaker
1,561,863
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

And everything you mentioned is prior to the offer.  YIKES is right . . . when the offer comes in it would be like pulling eye teeth, as the saying goes.  I've had potential clients like this, and you can almost see their teeth grinding when you talk with them. 

Feb 03, 2010 04:44 AM #57
Rainer
208,325
Sajy Mathew
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Lancaster, PA
Making your real estate dreams become a reality!

I agree!  Hopefully you can tell this is the way it will be at the initial interview.  If you feel it in your gut, you are probably needing to heed the warning signs.

Feb 03, 2010 05:15 AM #58
Rainer
9,457
Mindy Kaye
MindyK Photographer - Charleston, SC
Real Estate Photography by MindyK

I wish my agent would fire me! :0-)  Then I could hire someone willing to provide the insight, expertise and initiative I seek! I want them to protect my interests and that just has not happened.

I took the photos, I wrote the listing, I did the staging, I even asked for her input and still could not get the expertise I feel I deserve when I know she is going to collect a nice sum at the end.

Again, it behooves me why agents are not hungrier in such a devastating economy.

Feb 03, 2010 05:39 AM #59
Rainmaker
888,227
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY
Broker-Owner

I've fired both buyers and sellers. It isn't something you do lightly, but I never regretted parting ways with those whom I released. 

Feb 03, 2010 01:09 PM #60
Rainer
17,383
DIANNE ARNETTE
Williams Trew Real Estate Services, an Ebby Halliday REALTORS company - Fort Worth, TX
Knowing the market...the areas, the amenities, and

REsponse for Mindy Kaye #59....

I am curious if the agent asked you to do all of that, or if you insisted or offered to do it. And, is this a minimal service brokerage. 

Most professional agents are just that, professional.  They take their own photos, and write the marketing materials, etc.  Staging suggestions are part of the package, but agents are not normally furniture movers, or cleaners...that is the homeowners responsibility.

I believe there are plenty of hungry agents, however hungry doesn't necessarily mean professional!

Good luck with your situation.

 

 

Feb 04, 2010 12:25 AM #61
Rainer
9,457
Mindy Kaye
MindyK Photographer - Charleston, SC
Real Estate Photography by MindyK

Thanks Dianne!

She did ask me to take the photos knowing I am a photographer and recently we put it back to market because buyers backed out.  She then asked me to rewrite my listing for the MLS.

Rather than throw it back to her to do I simply took the reigns knowing I could creatively convey the listing to provide the best appeal.

She does not and has not staged, I have done that myself and consistently communicate those changes to her that I have made.  I had my master bedroom painted and have invited her on more than one occasion to come and see it. 

It took me weeks to get her to change the photos in my listing! I clearly advised her upon the sale of my bedroom set and the new paint that dated photos are misrepresentative of my unit. She insisted it showed better with the set and color and left those photos for some time.  Again I reiterated the importance of presenting my unit true to its form.

I just checked the listing yesterday and finally she updated the language and the photos but clearly just because I am versed in all of these important aspects to selling a property does not mean she should take advantage of my knowledge and not do anything.  If I didn't suggest the open houses, I often wonder if they would occur.  Prior to the first series of open houses, I designed and printed brichures for the open houses.  She isn't even present for those. She told me she pays some girl 15.00 hour to sit in my unit during the open house. Well I don't need someone inexperienced with my property sitting in there watching my 42" TV, using my electric for their personal entertainment.  My agent is the one that should be present to market the property, highlight the features and answer any questions.

She is representing me as a Seller's Agent and as a Transaction Broker on other properties (as my Listing Agreement states).

Worse yet, she locked me in for 7 months and then another 6 after the contract expires.  I have done mass mailings on my own, market my property and open houses all over the internet and it kills me to know that should a buyer be procured she will reap the financial rewards of my hard work.  She went on vacation last week and I had to ask her when she would be back!

Feb 04, 2010 04:01 AM #62
Rainer
17,383
DIANNE ARNETTE
Williams Trew Real Estate Services, an Ebby Halliday REALTORS company - Fort Worth, TX
Knowing the market...the areas, the amenities, and

Mindy, No relationship is pefect, however, it sounds like the communication in this one is way off track.  Maybe a meeting is in order to discuss expectations of each of you and if they cannot be met, it might be best to have a friendly parting.  I am so sorry this has not been a positive experience.

Good Luck...I hope your property sells soon, as a result of each of your efforts.

DiAnne

 

Feb 04, 2010 06:35 AM #63
Rainer
9,457
Mindy Kaye
MindyK Photographer - Charleston, SC
Real Estate Photography by MindyK

Diane, thanks for your concern and your hopes. As a result of the inclement weather ahead here in the East she will not do an open house this weekend upon my request.  It's only supposed to be troublesome for the one day.

I just contacted her via email (as we communicate a lot via email) and asked her to remove it from market for now until weather breaks.  Selling should not be this emotional.  Like someone else noted in their blog, once you elect to sell its a commodity. 

I reached out to a pro stager too for some tips, I feel better to wait until her contract runs out, do some additional staging and then secure a new agent with a fresher approach and hopefully a desire to work with me to procure a buyer. 

All the best.

MindyK

Feb 04, 2010 06:42 AM #64
Rainer
9,457
Mindy Kaye
MindyK Photographer - Charleston, SC
Real Estate Photography by MindyK

PS. forgive the typo in your name, I know I missed an N :-)

Feb 04, 2010 06:50 AM #65
Anonymous
Heidi O'Connor

Dianne, thankfully, I've only had to "fire" a seller one time. If it's a buyer that's driving me crazy, I just refer them!

Feb 10, 2010 07:05 AM #66
Rainmaker
555,992
Ernie Steele
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Homesale Realty - Lebanon, PA
Call me, let's get started!!! 717-273-3774

We fired a seller on Friday...3 offers in a week, 2 cash and 1 with a mortgage contingency...Seller INSISTED on using his 'out of county' settlement company...Buyers all said no...So did we.

Feb 12, 2010 11:12 PM #67
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Rainer
17,383

DIANNE ARNETTE

Knowing the market...the areas, the amenities, and
Ask me any question about the DFW area!
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