How Many Licks does it Take a Buyer to Get to the Tootsie Roll Center?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. BK629999


how many licks does it take to get to the tootsie roll center of the tootsie popDo you remember the Tootsie Roll Pop commercial from TV? The little boy goes up to Mr. Turtle and asks, "Mr. Turtle, how many licks does it take to get to the tootsie roll center of the tootsie pop?" And Mr. Turtle says, "I don't know, ask Mr. Owl." So, the boy takes the tootsie pop to Mr. Owl and asks the same thing. Mr. Owl takes 3 licks and then bites the lollipop. He tells the boy it takes 3 licks to get to the tootsie roll center of the tootsie pop.

It reminds me of buyers of real estate...some people buy the first day they're out looking at houses, some people take their time, and some never buy at all.

A buyer calls up and tells us they are looking for a house to buy. We show them a couple of houses and the first day out they write an offer and  buy a house. They're like Mr. Owl. They do it quickly.

Then, there's buyers that take their time. They call and tell us they are looking for a house. They do all their homework and they do it again. We show them houses and months go by. We call them, but get no reponse.   They're in no hurry. They contact us again and want to look again. Then, they look at more houses. Some buyers take months or even a year before they finally make a decision on the house they want to buy. But, they do eventually buy. They are the ones that savor every lick of the lollipop, until they finally get to the tootsie roll center.

Some never buy. They've got a lot of time on their hands. They find ways of talking themselves out of buying each house they see, for one reason or another. Sometimes they tell us they have been talking to friends, and the more friends they talk to the more confusing the decision becomes for them. Perhaps they're really not ready to buy. They spend months or even years looking at houses.  They just can't seem to take that plunge. They're like Mr. Turtle, they don't know how long it takes to get to the tootsie roll center of the tootsie pop, and frankly they don't care.

"How many licks does it take your buyer to get to the tootsie roll center of the tootsie pop?"

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Melbourne FL Real Estate, Sandy Shores, Realtor

Sandy Shores, Broker Associate, Brevard County FL Real Estate

Sandy Shores, Melbourne FL Broker-Associate

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how many licks does it take a buyer to get to the tootsie roll center buying a home

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Doug Rogers
Bayou Properties - Alexandria, LA
Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent

In my small market we can hit every house in a price bracket in three trips. After that buyers either "buy" or become renters. Gas is too expensive to tour folks around for 5 months looking at essentially the same "3 bedroom ranch style house".

Aug 02, 2012 12:05 AM #2
Sandy Shores FL Realtor®, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County Real Estate, Florida's Space Coast

Raymond, Buying a home is different for each individual buyer.  And each has to move at their own pace, so they are certain that they buy the right house that suits their wants as well as their needs.


Aug 02, 2012 12:28 AM #3
Sandy Shores FL Realtor®, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County Real Estate, Florida's Space Coast

Doug, Wow, your market can be seen in 3 trips. Well, I suppose that narrows down the options for buyers quite quickly. So, do houses in your market move rather quickly?

Aug 02, 2012 12:30 AM #4
Chris and Dick Dovorany
Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida - Naples, FL
Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty

Some people think they want to buy a house but in reality they just can't take that huge jump.  Others buy the first one they see.  I can pretty much figure out those who like to use up my time by showing them houses they will never buy and with those people I do not stay in contact.  Let someone else give them a city tour.

Aug 02, 2012 12:30 AM #5
Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Rockledge, FL
... a small office, delivering big service!

Another great featured post, Sandy! You have been full of creative posts lately...must be the yoga!

Aug 02, 2012 01:02 AM #6
Wayne Johnson
Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS® - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale

Sandy, I've only had one to buy on the first day (six year period). You are right about some who savor the search but for most there comes a point that if the search goes too long, the savoring becomes an uncomfortable grind. Tootsie Roll Pops-great candy.

Aug 02, 2012 01:10 AM #7
Jerry Murphy, CRS, SRES
Long Realty West Valley - Anthem, AZ
Anthem, Phoenix, and Scottsdale AZ Real Estate

It takes 563 licks to get the center.  I tried it once.  No just kidding.  But seriously, I like the buyers that just crunch right to the Tootsie Roll center.  Those are the best buyers.  Good post Sandy and best of luck to you.

Aug 02, 2012 01:11 AM #8
Richard Arnold
Keller Williams Realty East Valley - Tempe, AZ
Realtor - Tempe, Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert, Phoenix

Doug is right - some "buyers" want to look at that same house 5 miles away, 10 miles away, then 7.5 miles away, then 2.35545 miles away, in a cul-de-sac, on a busy road "just to be sure".  And they're still asking to see fresh homes when they've seen all that's available in their niche.  Suddenly, all their "must haves" change!!!  

That's when we get off the merry-go-round.

Aug 02, 2012 01:59 AM #9
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

I've worked with buyers in every cateogory. Although, the ones who are like Mr. Owl are good for the pocket book, I enjoy buyers at every phase. Except those who think they'll just waste my time.

Aug 02, 2012 02:09 AM #10
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

What a delightfully written blog so worthy of its feature, Sandy!  It does seem to take a variety of Mr. Owls and Mr. Turtles to make up the world doesn't it:-)

Aug 02, 2012 02:16 AM #11
Anthony Daniels
Coldwell Banker - San Francisco, CA
SF Bay Area REO Specialist

That depends.

If the buyer is an owl then it only takes two.

Aug 02, 2012 02:19 AM #12
Karen Burns
Sacramento, CA

Let me guess, you ate a tootsie roll pop yesterday didin't you? Cute post Sandy. Now I have a hankering for a lolly pop or tootsie roll pop.

Aug 02, 2012 02:47 AM #13
Mike Kemper
My Home Group - Surprise, AZ

Sandy, I guess it all depends on the market environment you are in.  In Phoenix for example, if there is a halfway decent home priced well an offer will need to be that day.  Most decent homes are receiving multiple offers within the first 3 to 5 days on market, so the mentality of buyers has to change.  Sometimes one lick it all they will get!

Aug 02, 2012 03:45 AM #14
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.
The less the better I suppose.
Aug 02, 2012 08:29 AM #15
Tatyana Makarov
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - South Windsor, CT
Your Greater Hartford Area Realtor

Hello Sandy,

great post :)  I would say, as many as it takes... just enjoy your day and buy something

Aug 02, 2012 11:41 AM #16
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Hello Sandy. I think we have all run into these various types of tootsie roll people...

Aug 02, 2012 12:12 PM #17
What Not To Renovate - Milan B.
Palm Coast, FL
We provide tips & trends on home renos & designs

Hi Sandy,

I enjoyed reading this entertaining blog.

Every buyer is different, so the licks could be one or unlimited :)

Have a fabulous weekend!

Aug 02, 2012 02:46 PM #18
Phil Leng
Retired - Kirkland, WA
Phil Leng - Retired

Hi Sandy,

It is up to us to decide who to work with and what approach to take.

Anyone with experience has done the show and show and show with no go.

Good way to burn you out of real estate completely.


Aug 02, 2012 08:42 PM #19
David Burrows
Classic Realty - Fairfax, VA
No Pressure, Just Seriously Devoted to Real Estate

Sandy, first and most important, I always enjoy your posts!!! It simply doesn't matter how long it takes (or how many licks) I am with a buyer for the duration. BTW, As a kid, I always enjoyed the Tootsie Roll Pop... I had forgotten all about them until your post today.

Aug 03, 2012 04:20 AM #20
Frank Laisch
AmTrust Title Insurance Company - Chicago, IL
"The Insurance Guy"

Great post Sandy! Love the tootsie pop analogy, it is so very true.

Aug 04, 2012 10:07 PM #21
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Sandy Shores FL Realtor®, Melbourne Real Estate

Brevard County Real Estate, Florida's Space Coast
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