Always a Bridesmaid, Never the Bride

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty


Elliot & Jamie's Wedding - Bridesmaids 

Your listing has been shown and the interest is high.  You receive the exciting call, second, third showing with the same buyer.  You follow up with the buyer's agent and are told your home is one of the top 3 under consideration.  Then the news ...

Your home was the second choice for my client and they have moved forward on an offer on another property. 

The same scenario repeats itself again and possibly again.  What can you as a listing agent do to make your home the one that becomes the bride?

Pricing - At this point you do know one thing.  Your home is competitive in pricing as it is being shown and also one that is high under consideration.  You also know that for some reason you are being beat out by the competition.  To help target why you should do the following:

  • Find out what homes were selected over your property by visiting with the agent.
  • Ask the agent what was the points of difference for this selection.
  • If it is not due to location but size, number of rooms, features such as a pool, finishes,etc. then you have something you may be able to control.
  • If it a lack of a finish i.e. granite countertops then you now have information to share with your seller client.  Maybe this will entice them to make that change to be more competitive.
  • If the size or lack of a room (media room) is the issue then you know that the there needs to be a re-evaluation of the price to compensate and to sway buyers to your home.
  • Condition goes to cosmetics and staging, again curable or price adjusted.
  • Most of the time the home is a bridesmaid and with a price adjustment you will lower yourself to the next level downward and now will be the stand out choice in comparison to others.

Agent follow-up - Knowing your home is under consideration a listing agent should try to find out about other homes are being considered

  • Offer out to obtain additional information to assist the buyer with their decision (utility information, comparable sales, etc.). 
  • Try to find out what the draw may be to the other homes under consideration and if it is price then that is a visit to your client to see if they would like to offer out any incentive to motivate the buyer in their direction. 
  • Don't just stand on the side lines as a spectator while the buyer is trying to make a choice.  Get in the game and be proactive with communication and assistance. 
  • Be the agent the other agent wants to work with because you are such a professional!

Being a bridesmaid usually comes to a price issue or the agent not taking action to provide facts, information that may make the listing the stand out choice.  Engage the seller to help brainstorm as to what might help motivate the buyer.  This will enable you as an agent to get the seller's participation behind the scenes as to things that might motivate the buyer (price, bonus, offer an allowance for something, etc.). That way the seller is directing you regarding any monetary incentives to convey to the other party.  So if the buyer still moves to the other property the seller knows you have done all to help create a positive result.

Being a bridesmaid is fun and exciting but being the bride is the goal so the seller can move on to their next life's journey. 

Comments (17)

Kim Delia
Remax Professional Associates - Charlton, MA
Realty Delia Group

That's funny.....  I'm sort of felling the same way.. I have a home that has been geting 10-15 showings a week, no offers..... 

Now the bank schedules an auction and agents have to submit their offers to the auction company of which my commission is now reduced but my work load is not.... and guess what, people are acutally submitting offers now....  Where were they two weeks ago!!!

Feb 15, 2011 11:34 AM
Dawn Crawley
Dawn Crawley Realty - Pinehurst, NC
Find Pinehurst Homes

Such good advise. Following up to see why buyers choose another home is the best way to guide the seller in pricing and maybe even a bit of upgrading.

Feb 15, 2011 11:38 AM
Judith Parker
ProStead Realty - Charlotte, NC
CRS, GRI, CMRS, Charlotte, NC

Hi Connie, great post...recently I got feedback on one of my listings...the agent stated..."it is in the top two and one concern the kitchen and baths need updated."  I immediately called my sellers and suggested they offer $5000. towards upgrades and/or closing costs.  They agreed, I called and informed the agent and she called her buyers.  The next day my sellers received an offer and after minimal negotiating, my sellers are under contract.  I agree, we must listen to all needs and be proactive in making it a Win-Win for everyone!

Feb 15, 2011 11:48 AM
Barbara Michaluk
Weichert Realtors | Silver Spring, MD Phone Direct 240-506-2434 - Silver Spring, MD
Leisure World Specialist / Full Service REALTOR

Yes, this scenerio sounds familiar.  We get excited when we know potential buyers are stopping by for a 2nd look and then anxiously wait to see if they choose us.  I like your strategy to be more involved in gleaning feedback and try to steer them in your direction the best you can.

Feb 15, 2011 11:53 AM
Robin Dampier REALTOR®
Coldwell Banker King - Hendersonville, NC
Hendersonville & Western NC Real Estate Source

A great post and fine advice.  With so much inventory on the market this is even a bigger issue than it had been under "normal" times.  Following up with the buyers agent can be helpful if the buyers agent will provide the necessary information to help make a deal happen.

I like your catchy Title.

Sue of Robin and Sue

Feb 15, 2011 12:01 PM
Cindy Edwards
RE/MAX Checkmate - Johnson City, TN
CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677

Great advice in this post.  Second place is just not cutting it in this market.  Is one of those bridesmaids (or bride) yours?

Feb 15, 2011 12:20 PM
Holly Weatherwax
Associate Broker, Momentum Realty - Reston, VA
A Great Real Estate Experience

I love the analogy and the advice. It is important to be proactive when you have a 'Bridesmaid' on your hands!


Feb 15, 2011 12:28 PM
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Great comparison, Connie.   If I may carry this analogy to the extreme:

When making the proposal, the Groom/Buyer should offer a really nice Diamond Ring (large deposit). 

Prove your serious Intent (Pre-Approval Letter).  

Don't have previous Divorces (Contracts that you backed out of, and now you have a reputation as a Contract Breaker)

Make sure you stay faithful during the Contract Period, so that the Engagement is not broken, and the Wedding gets called off (fails to Close).

Have a Great Wedding Reception (a nice Closing Gift from the Agent).

Stay Married - make the Mortgage Payment, pay the Taxes and Insurance.

Remember to look as good as when you were dating (mow the lawn, keep it clean and maintained), so that you do not "lose value" in the eyes of your Beloved.

Feb 15, 2011 12:57 PM
Connie Goodrich
Keller Williams Realty - McKinney, TX
CRS ABR (McKinney Realtor)Texas

Kim- lots of work involved on a short sale and it is a shame that the offers are coming in a little late.  Banks do cut our commission for far more work when it should be the other way around.

Dawn - absolutely a great way to get the seller to understand what it will take to get their home sold.  Unless this is tracked they won't have the facts.

Judith - it really can help if you pinpoint the objection and given the opportunity to offer a negotiated win-win and overcome the buyer's resistance.  If this had not been done they may not have come up with that idea or more have lacked vision to see the home a little differently.  Kudos to you for being spot on with helping your clients!

Barbara - understanding is key .. it helps facilitate good decision and coming up with ideas to help the buyer with the challenge.

Sue- thanks for your visit.  We are charged with as seller's agents to help make good reputation and to get their home sold.  Absolutely critical to obtain information about the buyer's thoughts so you can help the seller with good recommendations.

Cindy - that is my daughter Jamie, the bride.  She married last August to her high school sweetheart, best friends for 8 years, committed relationship starting their senior year in high school through college.  They married the week after both walk the stage for college graduation.  Fun sweet story.  Thanks for asking!

Holly - being a bridesmaid gives hope but also insight.  If this is a common theme then obviously something has to be done to get the home sold and some adjustment(s) need to be made.  Being proactive will save needless DOM.

Fred - sounds like you have your next post!  Truly enjoyed your great analogies and was a fun comment to add to my post!  Thanks for the thought and sharing!!

Thank you to all for the great comments and visiting my post!


Feb 15, 2011 02:19 PM
Toula Rosebrock
Diane Turton, Realtors, Forked River, NJ - Lacey Township, NJ
Broker/Sales Associate, Realtor, Lacey Township,

Hi Connie:

Boy, can I relate to this!

I have a listing that has been the second choice, way too many times.

Problem is, the seller is hung up on the pricing...

Feb 15, 2011 03:08 PM
Connie Goodrich
Keller Williams Realty - McKinney, TX
CRS ABR (McKinney Realtor)Texas

Toula .. tough when you have a seller that just cannot or does not want to adjust to what the market is telling them.  Good luck with that situation!  Thanks for your visit, I always look forward to your comments!!

Feb 15, 2011 04:10 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Connie,

I've had a listing just like that and like Toula's price was the issue. Once he lowered the price ..more showings and 2 offers yesterday and we came to terms!! Yeah!!

Feb 15, 2011 06:43 PM
Karen Otto
Home Star Staging - Plano, TX
Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging,

Very cute and accurate analogy Connie and I like how Fred took off with it too. I love the photo in this blog as well, is this a family photo?

Feb 15, 2011 11:13 PM
Connie Goodrich
Keller Williams Realty - McKinney, TX
CRS ABR (McKinney Realtor)Texas

Dorie - yeah too!  Price cures all and when the home is positioned in the right level it should be the one to move next!

Karen - wasn't that clever of Fred!  Yes, that is my daughter, Jamie, the bride.

Have a great day ladies and thanks for the visit!

Feb 15, 2011 11:59 PM
Gabrielle Kamahele Rhind
KGC Properties LLC, Tucson Property Management & Real Estate - Tucson, AZ

GOOD MORNING CONNIE!  What a cool way to talk about this subject!  I have to agree - Fred really did add a cute twist to the post -- as for the photo - I think I mentioned one time before - the bridesmaid dresses are terrific! -- G

Feb 16, 2011 12:58 AM
Connie Goodrich
Keller Williams Realty - McKinney, TX
CRS ABR (McKinney Realtor)Texas

Good morning back to you Gabrielle - I think Fred, especially for a guy (compliment intended!) had a great twist!  Thanks, I had fun shopping with Jamie and I actually pulled this one out for her consideration at Anthropology (of, course).  I think these dresses actually will be worn again not become closet dust.  Appreciate your visit sweet friend!

Feb 16, 2011 02:37 AM
Donne Knudsen
Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA - Simi Valley, CA
CalState Realty Services

Connie - While I'm sorry you're listing isn't making it to the alter (so to speak) you are correct in positioning it as the best bang for the buck and not the cheapest one in the bunch.  Hope you get it sold soon.  :)

Feb 16, 2011 03:55 AM