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Why Are Seller's Reluctant To Hire A Real Estate Broker?

Real Estate Agent with John L Scott

Recently sellers have told me that the reason they won't hire a broker is they owe too much on their loan, they think broker's make too much of the money from the sale  of their house or they feel they can sell their home themselves. 

If the owner is upside down in their mortgage then this is the time the seller really needs the real estate professional.  Why does the seller want to sell his/her house?  Have you recently lost your job?  Have you recently been divorced?  Has your wages been reduced?  This is a great time to hire a broker who can sell your house and negotiate the fees with the bank.  Of course you would also be required to get advice from your C.P.A and Attorney. 

Who says Real Estate Broker's make too much money on the seller's home?  Could it be someone who has a real estate broker who doesn't communicate?  Could it be someone who just doesn't recognize the value of a professional? 

I  talked  to this for sale by owner who said you broker's make too much money to sell my home.  Why should I pay you when I can do it self?  That particular for sale by owner had been trying to sell his house for 2 years.  I stopped trying to get him to list and discovered that he listed his house with another real estate agency. 

 The house stayed on the market with that realtor for a period of 9 months.  It was all good because at that time the seller wanted his house listed at an unrealistic sales price.  It taught me that sometimes you have to detach from getting the listing and allow things to progress without feeling rejected.  Rejection is the hardest thing to swallow.  This feeling is a direct feeling of our ego.  It was a lesson for me to detach and see what happens. 

 I watched as this house sat on the market at the really high price and it didn't sell.  When the house became expired I jumped on the opportunity and sent him a letter.  The letter had big bold titles like I can sell your house for the right price.  He called me and asked me how could I sell his house for the right price?  It opened up the dialog for discussion.  When I arrived at the listing presentation, the seller had every letter that I had sent him and he even called one of my current listings to see if I did what I said I would do.  Of course my current clients were very complimentary even though their house hadn't sold yet.  I put phone numbers of my current clients on this letter. 

At this time I had only been a real estate agent for a short time so the seller was still reluctant but I asked one of my friends to co-list this property with me.   The co-lister was one of our agencys's top sellers. We made an appointment and we got the listing. 

At one point I thought do I really want this listing? Thoughts of fear were hounding me on a daily basis about this listing.  How could I sell this house?  The other agent didn't sell this house what makes you think your good enough to sell this house?  Each time a thought like this came up I simply snaped my fingers and said to myself, stop this insane thinking.   I did take the listing and we took it at a higher commission than the last real estate agent.  The seller had asked if we would cut our commission and we told him no!  The seller said why not cut your commission your competition was willing why not you?  We both turned and told him because we will sell your house! (Intention Spoken)

When we put the  house back on the market the old listing agency called me on the phone and told me that I had the listing priced too high even though the price was $6,000.00 lower the last price the agency had listed the house.  Again fear of doubt began to creep into my realtor being.  I snapped my fingers and said out loud,  STOP!  

 I hired a  photographer who took great pictures and I made flyers. (flyers were put inside the house) I talked to everyone I could think about and told them about this great deal.  I'm so grateful to the  old listing real estate agency's phone call, advising  me of my overpriced listing.  I had a plan.  My first step was the plan of an open house... Allowing my client to have the open house viewers to assist me in getting the price lowered. 

My client sat with me as people came through the house and I asked them their opinion of the house.  One lady yelled I wouldn't give you $250,000 for this house?  I asked her why she felt that way.  Remember my client is sitting in the dining room listening.  The house is outdated, yes I said, The view is nice but the windows need updating, okay I said tell me more.  The carpet is new but I'm not sure I like that color.   The client had updated the carpet in the house.  The lady thanked me and went on her merry way.  Another couple came into the home and said the same thing.  I sat down with my client and said what do you think about the open house opinons?  My seller said "oh they don't know real value. " The open house continued and the same opinions came out of each and every visitor.  It's my opinion that I was glad I had my client there at the open house to hear the open conversations of everyone who came into the house.  Realtors have told me having the owner at the open house isn't a good idea.  I have to disagree as in this real estate market I like the owner at the house.  Of course this is my opinion. 

After the open house we began to have phone calls for showings.  This indicator gave me the idea that the house was priced right.  A couple of weeks later the house got an offer and I was excited.  It happened in the first 30 days.   I listed the house in the winter market.   The first offer was lower than what my client was willing to take.  I negotiated with the other agent and we were able to negotiate this offer at a higher price.  

 My seller loved this house.  It was very difficult for him and his wife to sell this house but we got it done just in the nick of time.  If that house were on the market today it would have sold for a lesser price.  My client's were very lucky for accepting the sale. 

As broker's we marketed the house, took all the phone calls and called our client's with the results of each and every showing, and we educated our client through the sale.  An example of educating our cleint.  The inspection came back with many repairs. You know from experience that some inspectors examine a house with the perception of a perfect house.  We all know that the inspections are designed in some ways to get the price of the house lowered.  It's a good thing to have inspections but its important to be familuar with the inspectors report to help your seller get through the rough areas of a report. When  you have a seller that is connected to the house they are selling and then a 181 page report comes back with every small minute detail that can cause the seller to become disillusioned with even wanting to sell the house to the buyer. 

In this particular case the buyer wanted the original price reduction that we had previously negotiated back up.   The seller was upset as he looked at the report. I took a deep breath and calmly said let's go through the  report page by page and see what they are trying to say. I told him it's important to make the buyer feel that you are concerned if the repair has issues dealing with safty.    After going through the report we were able to determine that their $10,000 price reduction really was $1,500.00 in repairs at which time we told the buyer we would get the repairs done but were going to reject the lower price. 

It's more work for me as a broker.  I had to line up estimates for my client and supervise the time it would be done, get all the reports back to the buyer etc.  Keeping communication with the other agent and updating my client on a weekly basis.  Calling the title company and making sure the preliminary title doens't have any issues that would hold up the sale of the house.  This was a cash deal so I had to call the title company and make sure the funds were at the title company at least 10 days before the sale was to close.  My idea is that my client needs to know that everything is okay with the sale.   Keeping my client informed is my number one priority.  Making sure all the dead lines  in the contract sales agreement are met and my client is being advised of every step. 

I'm so grateful to this client to have taught me some great negotiation skills.  I earned every penny from this transaction however with that said it has made me a much better broker to have empathy for these sellers.  While its said that its a buyers market we need to have compassion and understanding that the sellers are going through agony  when it comes to giving to the buyers.  It wasn't so long ago that the buyers had to bow to the sellers.  Isn't it interesting how a few years changes things. 

You see as a for sale by owner my client had tried to sell this house for $475,000.  The other agent  listed it  $375,000 and finally the last price of their listing was $315,000  My listing started at $309,000 but evenutally sold for $289,000.00.  No one will ever know if he had listed his property at a better price would he have sold it at a higher price?  Can this be reasonable expectation of  success?  My client I'm sure had to suffer a lot of dissappointments.  The motto of this is hire a professional real estate

 I commend the for sale by owners who want to sell their house.  Recently a for sale by owner bought a house across the street from my house they paid $235,000 $10,000 more than they could of paid if they had used the skills of a professional real estate broker.  Hello?  Buyers don't buy a house unless you use a broker. 

A message to you the seller.  Please explore hiring a professional broker who can sell your house for the right price.  A broker will get paid a reasonable price for the job that they do.  Please don't think a broker just puts a sign in your yard and thats the way your house is sold many brokers are very hard working people who will do a great job for you.  Remember most broker's work for free until they sell your house.  What is your time worth?  I think if you examine the pros and cons of hiring a broker and not hiring a broker you will find that its worth the small tax deductible expense to hire a professioanl real estate broker.  If your looking to expore what I can do for you please give me a call at 541-296-8880