Sadly, Taj Mahal Syndrome on the Rise

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795 Lic. #01871795

Sadly, Taj Mahal Syndrome On the Rise

Taj Mahal Syndrome [tahzh muh-hahl sin-drohm] - noun - An illness experienced by owners or those who hold an interest in real property that is chiefly characterized by the acute misimpression that the home or real estate at issue is sufficiently unique as to inspire a pilgrimage of buyers, an inexplicable and mystical feeling of love in those who view it, and/or landmark status.  Typical causes include excessive loan balances, low ball offers, and granite counter tops.

Current Taj Mahal Syndrome Treatment Protocols:

  • The housing bust;
  • Days on market;
  • The "sucky" house down the street
    (with the same floor plan) that sold;
  • An appraisal;
  • Actual motivation.

As real estate professionals, we all know that the only sure fire cure for Taj Mahal Syndrome is "Reality."  But, we also know that "Reality" is extremely expensive as it is typically accompanied by riding the market downward, additional mortgage payments, and Vacant House Syndrome.  Obviously, Reality is much too costly for the majority of home sellers, unless the government is backing their losses. 

During the housing boom, Taj Mahal Syndrome predominated among private sellers; however, recently there has been a vicious outbreak among bank owned sellers and short sale lenders as well.  The new onslaught of cases is particularly surprising given that these sellers and lien holders have never actually viewed the subject property, so the precise method of transmission is yet still unidentified but presumed by many to be the all too common Greed Virus.  However, more than likely the quick turn around BPO, an egregious failure to listen and/or the limitations of the Equator platform have played a significant role. 

Given the time prohibitions of treatment and the cost of "the cure," we as real estate professionals recognize the real solution lies in prevention.  How do we work together to prevent Taj Mahal Syndrome?


  • Telling it like it is;
  • The HGTV Abstinence Pledge;
  • An orderly presentation of facts;
  • Secret (and probably illegal) video taped broker opens;
  • Listing disinterest.

Together, I'm certain we can make the real estate market a better place for everyone.

Copyright © Tni LeBlanc 2010 *Sadly, Taj Mahal Syndrome On the Rise*


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Posted by

Tni LeBlanc, Broker
(805) 878-9879 mobile/text
CalBRE #01871795


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Gene Riemenschneider 12/23/2010 08:40 AM
  2. Chris Ann Cleland 12/24/2010 10:24 AM
ActiveRain Community
The Lounge at Active Rain
Club Chaos
Activerain and Member (Plugs)
Bartender, Make it a Double
overpriced listings

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Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

That's a great it. I see this all the time, equity sellers who won't consider a reasonable offer and then come back much later to say "sure". And we've moved on....

Dec 23, 2010 05:09 AM #18
Donne Knudsen
Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA - Simi Valley, CA
CalState Realty Services

Tni - I'm going to echo Ruthmarie and comment that quite a few buyers also get inflicted with this same condition that often plagues sellers.  Looking forward to your future post.  :)

Dec 23, 2010 05:26 AM #19
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Tni:  I wish you worked in my market so we could get together and hae coffee once a week.  Or maybe we could start an open mic night at a local comedy club....have a real estate agents night.  You would be the headliner.

Dec 23, 2010 07:35 AM #20
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Fearured in the group Bartender, Make it a Double.

Dec 23, 2010 07:36 AM #21
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I have been waiting to see you get back to some of your snappy and Witty post.  This is one.  It gets a reblog.

Dec 23, 2010 08:20 AM #22
Jack Mossman - The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Lodi
The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Lodi - Lodi, CA
The Nines Team in Lodi

OK Tni ... it's very hard for me to see the keyboard through tears of laughter ... the tragic truth is that this is all too often the absolute attitude that we're facing every day!  While we may be in different parts of the State, it is at least encouraging to know that we all share the same problems .... somehow I just don't feel quite so alone!  Have a great holiday season!

Dec 23, 2010 11:40 AM #23
Lydie Ouellet Dickinson
Realty Executives Tri County, Bellingham MA - Bellingham, MA

Oh man! think I want to make everyone home like on HGTV! lol

I just went to a CMA with a home owner suffering of the same disease. Now, I need to tell him that his black wall in the kitchen may not be as appealing to others as it is to him. Yes, Tni, Black kitchen walls in a kitchen of about 12x14, no cathedral ceilings either! What do you suggest I say?

Merry Christmas to you! And looking forward to your answer on this interesting decor decision! : )

Dec 23, 2010 01:26 PM #24
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

Classic!!  LOL...I just didn't realize that condition had an official name.  Now I know!  Good one!

Hope you have a warm and happy holiday season!!!

Dec 23, 2010 03:19 PM #26
Minna Reid
Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage - Jacksonville, FL
Associate Broker

At least with short sales this affliction has a chance at a miracle cure every 3 months with a new BPO..

Dec 24, 2010 05:08 AM #27
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

TNI - LOL! For your mouth to the asset managers' and sellers' ears. 

Dec 24, 2010 07:59 AM #28
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

I guess it’s a good thing I don’t have granite countertops. J Happy Holidays!

Dec 24, 2010 11:18 AM #29
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Realty ONE Group - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale

Vegas Bob and Family would like to wish you and your loved ones a "VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS" .... from Las Vegas Nevada to your neck of the woods .... ;)


"MERRY CHRISTMAS" photo by Robert Swetz 2010

Dec 25, 2010 04:57 AM #30
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Tni --- soooooo funny!  I know you are an attorney but now a doctor(of sarcasm. huh?).  I love this syndrome you have diagnosed so favorite cure --- abstinence from HGTV.   Great post.   Hope you are enjoying the holiday and I look forward to reading your witty posts in 2011!

Dec 25, 2010 05:21 AM #31
Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D.
Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795 - Santa Maria, CA
Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879

Karen - Yes, that happens all the time!

Donne - Yes, trying to think of a name for the converse condition.

Chris Ann - Thanks for the feature and glad you enjoyed it!  Coffee would be great.  I think we all are guilty of getting caught up in insanity, but if we don't reflect and laugh about it, it can really get out of hand!

Gene - Thanks for the re-blog.  Well I didn't want anyone to get sick of me, plus, I needed to sell some real estate -- LOL.

Jack - No you are not alone!  When speaking with a negotiator the other day who explained that we should just raise the price on a home that will not appraise any higher, I had to bite my tongue before I blurted out -- "Hey how about we just invent a price?  Reality be damned."  Ridiculous.

Lydie - That's very simple.  Compliment him on the wall and then excuse yourself telling him you have to make a few quick calls.  When you come back into the room, tell him that unfortunately the Addams family just bought a co-op, and the Munsters aren't feeling the location, so he is going to have to paint it white. 

Susan - Yes, I hate labels but this one deserves it.  Happy Holidays!

Minna- Banks seem surprised that the homes that people are considering giving back actually need repair.  They always think people are short selling the Taj Mahal.

Thanks Christine!

Russel- Yes, those granite counter tops are quite dangerous.  They emit waves that distort judgment.

Merry Christmas, Vegas Bob!

Michael - Yet another set of letters to which I can aspire!   

Dec 25, 2010 10:31 AM #32
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY

Very true. People lose their objectivity about their own place all too often. It's also a barrel of laughs when they determine their price based on the sum of their mortgage balance, the retirement of all their outstanding consumer debt, and the ample downpayment for their next house. 

Dec 25, 2010 12:18 PM #33
Justin Dibbs
Pearson Smith Realty - Ashburn, VA
REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale

Ah, I know this one oh so well.  Our good friends who have their home on the market are suffering from a severe case of this right now.

Dec 26, 2010 12:43 PM #34
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Realty ONE Group - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale

Hello Tni and this is VB's third comment because I saw that your post at the group didn't have a star by it ... fixed ... ;)

Vegas Bob

Dec 27, 2010 06:04 AM #35
Anja Kerstens
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Morgan Hill, CA
GRI, CDPE, CHS, ASP, Selling Silicon Valley Real


I loved this post so much I suggested it.  It is pretty hilarious that you actually came up with a fitting name for this very issue.  I should refer to it on my next listing presentation or maybe not but I will most definitely think of you and the Taj Mahal Syndrome.  

Morgan Hill Real Estate

Dec 27, 2010 08:41 AM #36
Bob McCranie
Broker/Owner - Texas Pride Realty - Carrollton, TX
Your best advocate when buying or selling your hom

**LOVE IT*** (especially the granite counter top line!).   These are houses, not museum pieces.  And some sellers think they own the crown jewel.  I have a buyer offering a great deal on a damaged house and the owner has his nose in the air and won't consider it. 

Dec 27, 2010 05:06 PM #37
Linda Graves Arnold
Coldwell Banker Gundaker-St. Louis, MO - Chesterfield, MO
St. Louis Real Estate Pro - 314-422-2762 - Referr

Tni, Your post energized us to really tell a seller how wrong their price is.  It resulted in a price reduction.  Thanks!

Dec 28, 2010 02:12 PM #38
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Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D.

Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879
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