Are the Grapes Really Sour?
I picked up another chance at a CMA when a woman called the office while I was on phones. She said her house had been on the market and the listing was set to expire so her ex told her to call two other agencies and have an agent from each come out and quote on the listing. By the time we came to an agreement on appointment times, it was clear that this split was not amicable.
I wrote her a very business like email to confirm our appointments until I finally had to ask, 'Does your ex have a name you can print?', and then finished the email in the original business like tone. That night I received her reply. In very small skinny letters she told me his name, and then in big bold script she signed her name and wished me all her best. I really thought I had scored points. This was Thursday and my appointment to see the house was Saturday with a listing presentation in our office on Monday. A very experienced listing agent scolded me for not running over there when I got off phones at 6 and maybe she was right because Friday I got the email that said her ex had given the listing to the other agency. I expressed my disappointment and asked her to keep my contact info in case she had a friend or family member requiring assistance buying, selling, or leasing real estate. Truthfully, what I wanted was the buy side when the house did sell.
Two weeks later I attended the broker open with my friend and mentor who now works for the competing agency. My friend described the house as 'sad' when we climbed back into her car. We finished broker tour and then I staged her new listing before going back to my office to talk to my manager.
I asked if I could send an email to the seller acknowledging having seen the house and we decided if I kept it strictly personal I could. I wrote the seller to say she was selling a really nice house and her boys (there were pictures of them everywhere in the half furnished house) were adorable. I related my own parrallel experiences, and wished her the chance to take what she has learned to create the life she dreams of with her boys. She responded very positively and admitted she needs to sell the house in order to get on with her life.
That set me thinking about how the house showed and how I would stage it to show better. Forwarding my stream of emails, I asked my manager if there were some way I could offer my staging services (it's a seperate business from the real estate). I thought about asking my mentor to approach the listing agent (after all, I had just staged my mentor's listing) as if it were her idea, but in the end we decided that human nature would take my offer and turn it into something ugly and no good deed would go unpunished. Maybe it's because no one else was privy to the stream of emails, but even my partner accused me of sour grapes.
So what did I learn from this experience? That I'm pretty comfortable pricing, marketing, and staging 4 BR/2.5 BA Colonials in my market.
On a positive note, the house I staged for my mentor went under contract in 3 weeks.