Don’t argue with your clients “macerate” them…

Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

One of the most deadly sins in real estate is to argue with your client.  You can disagree and point out the contract.  You can try and reason with them and you may or may not win the battle.  But for those difficult clients I say "macerate" them.  The meaning of macerate is: to soften or break down into component parts.  Of course you can avoid most of those problems by explaining the contract at the beginning before they sign the document.  Once the client knows or understands the contract and you break it down for them the likelihood of a misunderstanding goes down to minimal.  Join the group "wordsmith" on AR.  It's a great day to buy or sell a home.

Visit me at

Posted by


NW Arkansas the home of WalMart, JB Hunt Trucking and Tyson Foods.


Come for a visit stay for a lifetime.  




Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. LINDA SABO 07/08/2010 02:47 AM
Arkansas Benton County Rogers
SW MO Ozarks country lifestyles
Arkansas Realtors & Associates
ActiveRain Rockstars
It's a great day to buy or sell a home
bentonville arkansas real estate
northwest arkansas real estate
southwest missouri real estate
rogers arkansas real estate
bella vista arkansas real estate

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Jack Delmonte

Since none you are clients I feel that I can tell you that you are all wrong. :-)

Jul 08, 2010 05:27 AM #69
Jeff Ragan
Ming Tree, Realtors Real Living - Eureka, CA
Luxury Agent, Northern California

Questions are a great tool for revealing the limits of understanding of our clients.  Don't forget to ask pointed, incisive questions.

Jul 08, 2010 06:42 AM #70
Terry McCarley
REMAX Trend - Cape Coral FL - Cape Coral, FL

Great reminder...and good timing for a client I am currently dealing with...thanks for the post!

Jul 08, 2010 07:57 AM #71
Michael Emerson
Keller Williams Realty - San Juan Capistrano, CA

Part of the job in real estate is education. We owe our clients the time for clarity and understanding on all steps of the real estate process and we must be willing to answer all their questions. 

Jul 08, 2010 08:43 AM #72
Bob Pisa, Broker Associate
Downing-Frye Realty, Inc. Naples, FL - Naples, FL
Commitment, Service, Satisfaction...

Made this mistaked once, but don't really regret it. I had the seller and the day before closing he said that he would refuse to close if a few more dollars weren't thrown at him after both sides already reduced our commissions.

I did break down the contract and explained that he would owe us as the listing broker our full commission whether he closed or not and then the buyer could sue him to perform.

End result, I caved-in for the sake of the buyer. The ONLY thing I regret, now, is caving in. I had the full support of my broker and we would have gone to the wall to get paid in full and we had another four months on the exclusive listing agreement.

I chalked it up to doing the right least I think I did but I still regret it.

Jul 08, 2010 09:26 AM #73
Mike Mayer
Mike Mayer, Broker/Owner - i List For Less Realty, LLC - Lafayette, LA

Bryant #4, I was told that too.

Alan #29, How can you claim that? It HAS to be affecting your eyesight - you're WEARING GLASSES!

-Both of you guys possess great humor!

You're 'on target' with this post, James. And thanks for the word of the day!

Jul 08, 2010 09:48 AM #74
Susan Horner
Berkshire Hathaway Homesale Realty - York, PA
The Bob Aldinger Team

It's funny how appropriate this blog is! Lately it has been a struggle to stay out of jail for killing some clients. (just joking of course) Sometimes I do forget that the irrational behavior they are exibiting may be due to their lack of understanding. I try to bend over backwards to explain everything in plain english, but we still may not be speaking the same language. I'm working on rephrasing, not just repeating when they are having a hard time grasping what I am presenting. I remember that before I was in real estate I had no idea how it works, although I thought I did!

Jul 08, 2010 09:59 AM #75
Christopher Pataki
RE/MAX Associates - Hockessin, DE
Hockessin Delaware Real Estate

It is funny the timing of the blog as I recently found myself in the position of arguing with a client.  I quickly stopped but was quelled by the statement of a comedian who stated "you can be right or you can be happy" and immediately my thoughts of being happy overtook the thoughts of being right..................chris

Jul 08, 2010 10:06 AM #76
Carole L. MacCollum
Broker/Realtor 207-337-4792

Too Funny!  You learn the darndest things on AR...I'm up for a little maceration myself! 

I have found that you can almost never explain too much...especially to out-of-staters and first time buyers.

Susan Horner, you must be having a week like mine, LOL!!!!  Ain't it the truth!

Thanks, James!  I haven't giggled all day long until I read this post of yours.  I feel SO MUCH BETTER now!

Jul 08, 2010 10:16 AM #77
David Pylyp
RE/MAX Realty Specialists Inc., - Toronto, ON

Wonderful   Thank you

meaning of macerate is: to soften

Had a client unhappy with her pictures;  I was about to argue after a very long stressful day,

I said quietly   You are right  I can do better   Let's reshoot the photo's.

It was like letting the air out of the argument.


Macerate sounds much better than expressed hot air ;)

Thank you


David Pylyp

Living in Toronto

Jul 08, 2010 12:19 PM #78
Matthew Bartlett
Hill Top Real Estate/BRE Lic. #01353034 - Glendora, CA

That was short, sweet and to the point. And with it a new word of the day. Well said James!



Jul 08, 2010 12:48 PM #79
Mickey Pellish, Weichert Realtors Prof. Partners

I loved many of the comments and learned several new words. Thanks.

Jul 08, 2010 01:07 PM #80
Vanessa Stalets
RE/MAX Elite - Brentwood, TN
REALTOR, Brentwood TN Homes, Real Estate

I agree with Lenn's comment, amazing how much they don't know, that they don't know~

Jul 09, 2010 12:09 AM #81
Woody Willis
Century 21 American Properties West - Jacksonville, NC

Well said, James. We are in the people business and we have to soften the communication process, sometimes, in order to get to a successful conclusion.


Jul 09, 2010 02:40 AM #82
Kathleen Sheridan

I'm a big believer in macerating, although my blog editor tells me to stop using those big words.  

Jul 09, 2010 03:06 AM #83
George Walsh
Keller Williams Realty Premier Properties - Livingston, NJ

Love it: macerate: soften and break down into componentparts. thanks for adding a new word to my vocabulary and an improved way of discussing complicated areas.

Jul 09, 2010 04:59 AM #84
Eva Castillanes
Keller Williams - Thousand Oaks, CA

I completely agree.  In my experience, when I 'dumb' the information down when working with clients I've noticed I don't encounter much, if any problems.  It's when I assume they know the process and don't take the time to have the discussions that I end up spending more time jumping hurdles.

Jul 09, 2010 08:09 AM #85
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

I love Lenn's comment.

Reminds me of an old saying my Mom used to quote - "He who knows not and knows not that he knows not..." But then I forget the rest. What are we supposed to do with him?

To Bob (#73) I think you did the right thing - because your buyer would have suffered if you hadn't. And even if you didn't like the buyers and didn't care if they got a house or not... unhappy buyers who tell the world that YOU cost them their house are really bad for business.

Oh - and I agree with this post. Avoid misunderstandings any time and any way you can. Even when it means breaking information into its smallest components.


Jul 10, 2010 06:12 PM #86
Sandy McAlpine
Search Lake Norman Homes For Sale - Lake Norman NC

sweet and to the point. It's hard not to get emotional when trying to convey your point to some clients but in the end, we just want what is best for them

Jul 12, 2010 05:46 AM #87
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

Great title. Most client objections can be handled with a through knowledge of the contract.

Sep 01, 2010 11:00 AM #88
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


James Dray

Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results
Just ask me
Spam prevention