Cleveland Real Estate Comedy - Crazy Things Real Estate Agents Say - Week of October 17th 2010

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Olsen Ziegler Realty

Some real estate agents say and do crazy things sometimes that leaves one scratching their head.  Here is what I ran across this week in my daily travels:

  • I was browsing the MLS for luxury homes for sale for a potential buyer who may be relocating to the Greater Cleveland, Ohio and I noticed almost all the photos were sideways -- that's right baby...90 degree turned.  Even a novice computer user knows about that little icon called "ROTATE" but how most all of these photos ended up turned completely sideways is beyond me.  Perhaps this listing agent read Seth Godin's Purple Cow book and decided they wanted their photos to really stand out.  While it's bad for any priced home, this home was a very expensive home.  I always ask: Where in the world is the seller in all this mess?

  • In the MLS, there is a field named "Directions:".  The entry made by the listing agent was:

    Say it ain't so Joe!  Really? Really Really?  Duh!  Why waste the effort to even put anything in if that is all you are going to do.  This is either laziness at its absolute finest or perhaps a stroke of genius.  I vote for the former.

  • I showed a property last week and the listing agent called me up and immediately told me: "The seller is ready to sell!"

    I thought to myself, self: The home is listed in the MLS for sale, so obviously the seller wants to sell (one can only hope), there is a For Sale sign in the front yard, etc., and you need to tell me this because why?  As in perhaps last week the seller wasn't ready to sell?  Perhaps a fortune cookie told them: Now is the time to sell!

  • There is a field in the MLS that only agents/brokers can see, aptly named: "Broker's Remarks".  One property I was perusing said: "Price is firm, but all offers will be considered."  I wish I had access to my first-order predicate logic theorem prover algorithm I wrote in the artificial language named Lisp back in the 1980s in my Computer Science undergraduate studies so I could run this sentence through.  What is it?  Is the price firm...or...will you consider an offer less than asking price?  I'll just leave this as an exercise to the reader!

  • I was driving by a home today and noticed one of those really eye-popping, catchy, snazzy riders, you know, the kind with all jagged edges that makes it look like a comic book excerpt....and it said:

    "New Low Price"

    Really?  Really Really?  Joe...say it ain't so again...

    I betcha even consumers that aren't and haven't been in the market to buy a home over the past three years could guess that home values have decreased steadily (or dropped off a cliff in some areas), so this is like so old news...and why don't you just smack a buyer who may be driving by across the face and give them the first impression that this home is one that no one has yet purchased and the seller needs to provide yet another incentive, so this potential buyer's impression is automatically skewed.  What about a buyer that pulls up with their agent to see it for the first time -- isn't that a welcoming sign.  In short, a listing agent and seller would be wise to really understand why a home isn't selling and to rectify these issue(s) and price is only one aspect, but unfortunately, it's the predominant or only tool used by many agents.  Thorough home preparation (deferred maintenance, de=cluttering, neutralizing, cosmetic makeovers, home staging, and in some cases, minor to moderate renovation), let alone stunning photographs, virtual tours, exterior curb appeal and the like. 

Gotta love real estate.


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George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Chris maybe the Seller that is Ready to Sell should get together with the Seller with the who has a firm price, but will consider all offers :)

What are people drinking these days? .......... LOL

Oct 17, 2010 02:27 PM #1
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Hi Chris!  How I missed this post, I'll NEVER know!  This is hysterically funny but, sad at the same time!  Oddly enough, your market is not the only one suffering from these listing agents' delirious actions!  Sideways photos, non-use of spell-check and one-sentence "3BR, 2BA brick ranch home in Neighborhood X," which is already contained within the data sheet is sheer neglect and where ARE the sellers?  Aren't they online looking at their listings?  I know my sellers surely are and if I don't highlight their 'massive' closet in the master suite (which to me wasn't massive!), then they TELL me about it!

BTW, I have my clients sign off of the MLS listing when it's created so that we can make those changes--to me, that's the respectful thing to do.  At that time, if I didn't include that massive master closet, I can make the correction before it goes active!  For me, it's about selling the consumer on what sold THEM (the sellers) on the home--could be looking for the same thing!  

And, are they REALLY ready to sell?  Are you SURE?!!  That's hilarious and happens to us here too--they have nothing to say but, just want to push their listing.  You get to the home and it's a wreck--seems that time could be better spent staging and helping their clients get the home REALLY ready to sell than wasting everyone's time making such an ignorant statement!  (Can you tell I've been working with buyers lately and getting ALOT of what you wrote about?!!)

Okay, I'm off my soap-box now!

Oct 21, 2010 01:29 PM #2
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hey George -- You are too funny.  That Kool-Aid is wicked strong these days eh?

Hey Debe -- That is a great tip on having the sellers approve the MLS listing.  I e-mail the listing to them and ask them to verify everything except the room dimensions, which I always carefully do and always round down.  I always ensure I get an affirmative response.  Very true about what sold them on the home, a true BENEFIT of the home, not necessarily the FEATURES.  Very true on staging, etc.  The sideways photos about made me fall out of the chair!

Oct 21, 2010 02:21 PM #3
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Chris Olsen

Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate
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