Family Member Who Is a Real Estate Expert!

Real Estate Agent with Team Thomas Realtors

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I just dropped a client because they preferred to listen to their son rather than me. The son is not a Realtor and has never practiced Real Estate. Nontheless, he is a Real Estate expert and at almost every turn rainman had suggestions counter to mine.

We almost had the property sold 3 times and each time the client would move the target, at rainman's suggestion, and the buyer would walk. Once I realized I would always be shooting at a moving target I decided to go for it anyway. Big mistake. I could have used my time more effectively recruiting buyers and promoting my other listings.

In my listing presentation I tell homeowners that I will only list homes where the sellers are motivated and have realistic expectations. Once I say that,  the homeowners usually want to make sure they qualify so I won't reject them. If I'd stayed true to that on this last fiasco I would have done myself a great service.



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Comments (97)

Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Randy & Jenny,  We all get the lessons ... sometimes more than once.  I sound like a broken record when I say ... follow my gut ... that inner-knowing.  We see the red flags and are all guilty of ignoring them.  Don't be too hard on yourself.  I fired a seller last year because he would not lower the price.  The new agent he listed with listed at the price I suggested he lower it to.  The property sold at list price with a seller credit. The agent who wrote the first offer which the seller rejected when I had it listed is the same agent who closed the purchase.  When I released the contract I did so knowing there was a strong likelihood that would happen.  I release with no exceptions or exclusions so the seller could sell without concern of commission. I just wanted to be done with them! The sellers were also buying in the $1.2 price range.  It's not about money for me. It's about working with people who get it and trust the professional they hired.  Seller was a past client.  Feel good that you are done too!


Jan 05, 2012 08:09 AM
Neal Bloom
Brokered by eXp Realty LLC - Weston, FL
Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate why do I think I've heard that same story before? 

Jan 05, 2012 08:21 AM
Brian Park
Danville, CA

Once had one of these. Sat down with the parents and asked them point blank why are you listening to your son? I finally met him yesterday, and had to interrupt his burger flipping,  but I'm sure in a few more years when he reaches 35 he will be able to flip and talk at the same time and with a little more education he will be able to count to 10 which from what I can tell is his net worth, so as far as I'm concerned he is a idiot, but I can understand why he is that way, after all he was raised by two idiots willing to take advice from an idiot.

OK, those weren't the exact words, I sugar coated them and tried to convey that message, but the final question I had for them is do you want to give your son power of attorney and I'll just deal with him from now on because he seems to have the only opinion that counts here, or are you two going to be in charge of your future and make the decisions?  And those were my exact words. The mother looked at the father and said "I think we should do that", let (little mikey) play boss that is. The father finally said OK we should try that.

I said I will be removing my sign when I go, and (little mikey) can chose an agent as knowledgeable as he is, I'm sure he will enjoy working with someone other than me and it would be best because I know I have opinions that will be in direct conflict with his exceptional mental powers and knowledge. So I thank you for allowing me to present those 4 wonderful offers you received, I'm just sorry they were not acceptable to you and "little mikey," but I sure he had your (someone's) best interest in mind (like losing his bedroom), I'll drop the official notice to cancel off tomorrow so "little mikeys" selection of your new agent can get started right away.

I loved it when the market adjustment I made the parents aware of hit on Memorial day weekend of '89 hit and prices dropped 20% in my market place within a month. Of course "little mikey" raised the listed price when he relisted so he "could get better offers", they got zero, and wasted 4 months of market time. On Holloween the father stopped by the office and asked me what they could do, his company was going to transfer him for the last five years of his career, and they had to accept or be layed off. I'm sorry, I'm not a saint, "Well MR X I'm sure your aware of "little mikeys" super knowledge so you can do as you done in the past and rely on his advice, and that of your new agent of course, but I only know as much about this business as I did back when my advice was worth two cents to you, so anything I were to suggest now would only still only be worth what it was then, which was two cents. I do hope you and "little mikey" do find a solution that you both like, but in cases like this I only consult, and I charge $120 an hour, which is way to much to pay for an opinion that is only worth two cents to you.

Yes, nasty of me, but it was only a reminder of one of the reasons I got into real estate in the first place, I chose who I will do business with, and why, and how,  plus the new agent still had 3 months on their deeply discounted listing with the offer of 1% to a selling agent, wouldn't want to interfere with that marketing program. And I'm sure "little mikey" was able to impress his parents with the commission he was able to negotiate for them, you know the one they were never going to have to pay anyway, directly that is. I almost would have liked to send them copies of the offers that they rejected, correction "little mikey" rejected, in the $360k range and a copy of the mls listing sitting at $240k with no action, but that would be crossing way over the line by a mile, but it did bring a sadistic smile to my face to see "little mikey" in my mind trying to explain it all to his parents. And who am I to question a true real estate expert who was able to rise to doing frys as well as flipping in only 3 short years, yes, only in America.


Jan 05, 2012 08:34 AM
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

This can be extremely frustrating. You made the right decision to just pull up your stakes and move on.

Jan 05, 2012 09:50 AM
Raymond Denton
Homesmart / Evergreen Realty - Mission Viejo, CA
Casta del Sol Realtor®

Some people are never happy ... approximately 2%, and I'd prefer my competitors get those consumers.


Jan 05, 2012 10:46 AM
James McGary
Agents Set Free, Inc - Irvine, CA

Unfortunately, most people are only as strong as the last person they talked to.  

Jan 05, 2012 12:10 PM
Steve Warrene
Your Town Realty - Lower Burrell, PA
Pittsburgh Real Estate Investment Specialists

Randy and Jenn,  I have been down that road.  But I was to hard headed to walk away at first.  So I became their doormat for a few months until I decided to fire them.  The sellers thought they knew my job and everyone elses in the profession of real estate.

Jan 05, 2012 02:17 PM
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY

You did the right thing. The opportunity cost of devoting time to these people that could be better spent on more cooperative clients is high. 

Jan 05, 2012 02:19 PM
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

I hate when others know our jobs better than we do. My husband pretends to understand real estate and it's so frustrating!

Jan 05, 2012 02:30 PM
Dale Baker
Baker Energy Audits and Commercial Properties Inspections - Claremont, NH
New Hampshire Relocation Real Estate Information

Howdy and evening Randy and Jenny

Randy and Jenny my friends, it was your Facebook Neighborhoods link which I had click on last night. I just now click on both of the Facebook links and they are both working now. Maybe it was just some that was going on last night.

Have a good one
Dale in New Hampshire

Jan 05, 2012 02:56 PM
William James Walton Sr.
WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group - Waterbury, CT
Greater Waterbury Real Estate

Oh, that sounds like a good line to use in future listing presentations, Randy and Jenny. It would save me some headache and disappointment in the future, wouldn't it?

Jan 05, 2012 03:29 PM
Chuck Carstensen
RE/MAX Results - Elk River, MN
Minnesota/Wisconsin Real Estate Expert

The family real estate experts that have no experience and never will...yeah move on.

Jan 05, 2012 04:03 PM
Lloyd Binen
Certified Realty Services - Saratoga, CA
Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411

Yes, the world is full of real estate experts.  I too ignore my self-imposed rules only to get burned.  Or re-burned.

Jan 05, 2012 04:57 PM
Scott Fogleman
Richmond, VA

Sounds like its better to move on, let them hire their son to sell the house....

Jan 05, 2012 09:18 PM
Robyn Heathcock
IRG Real Estate - Frisco, TX

I have had similar experiences, it is very frustrating and a hard line to draw in pulling the plug, good job.

Jan 06, 2012 06:24 AM
Jack O'Neal
HomeSmart Elite Group - Gilbert, AZ

"I tell homeowners that I will only list homes where the sellers are motivated and have realistic expectations." Love this quote, I sell homes I do not just take pictures and talk about my listings  Great Post

Heres the real story of the son he is 42 lives in the basement and they are still hoping he will find a job and move. If he such and expert what is he still living at home.

Jan 06, 2012 11:53 AM
Team Randy & Jenny Thomas
Team Thomas Realtors - Springfield, MO

Thank you to everyone. 

Its going to be a great 2012!


Jan 06, 2012 02:49 PM
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

Randy and Jenny

I lost a listing because the sons got involved. This lady needed to sell, and I had multiple offers at over list price. But one son wanted to wait a little longer to see what other offers they can get. Another son felt that because we received multiple offers that we priced it too low (for goodness sakes, it was a fixer to begin with!). A third son took his mother to NY without telling me, and I couldn't speak to her to discuss the offers.

Finally, the three sons wanted to accept the highest offer, but since the buyer didn't get an answer in time, he went and bought something else. One son was angry and blamed me that the buyer withdrew his offer. The other buyers found something else as well, and didn't want to wait.

Finally, the sons decided to take the property off the market, thinking they can get more for it if they waited a little longer. Then the market bust. By the time they came back on the market with another realtor, the property sold for $150K less than what they could have gotten for this fixer when I listed it and before they got involved.

That's what these three sons did to their mother.

Jan 08, 2012 06:50 AM
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Neighbors, family members and people who used to be in the real estate business but couldn't hack it...all those we have to watch out for.

Jan 08, 2012 07:47 AM
The Elise Bickel Team
ReMax Select Realty - Pittsburgh, PA
Leasing, Property Management and Sales

For me it is very hard to turn away business, but at the end of the day being overly stressed just isn't worth it. Good for yoU!

Jan 09, 2012 11:10 AM