Does This Listing Make Me Look Fat?!?!?

Real Estate Agent with Cherimie Crane & Associates

I realize the importance of listings. I work hard to attract realistic sellers, however; there is always that one home that makes me wonder......

I believe that in some way the listings we take reflect on us as professionals. Is that crazy? My listings are my inventory, my inventory is my business. My business is where I spend most of my time.

I have done the "We should really paint, you may want to declutter, speech"  to no avail. This particular property is priced well, yet it lacks the appeal needed to really draw in the buyers. Before signing the listing paperwork, we made a list of things that needed to be completed before introducing the home to the MLS. They agreed;however, once the date arrived (although understandably due to personal circumstances) the list was not finished. Not even close.

So what did I do?? I went ahead, at their request, and listed it. I know....I fault. (banging head against wall)

Anyway, I am heading out AGAIN today to meet the photographer for more pictures with the hopes of making the home more appealing. Maybe I should take my own paint brush too.....After is possible I did this one to myself!


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Gary Bolen
McCall Realty - South Lake Tahoe, CA
CRS - Lake Tahoe Real Estate Information

Love the idea of putting a house on a diet... maybe even a 3--day fast. Fun post.


Jan 28, 2008 12:21 PM #61
Brande Bradford
Keller Williams - McDonough, GA

Shoot, I would help them in a heart beat.  Help them get their house in order, get it sold and reap the rewards. No, not the check, but the great feeling for what you did.  I have taken a few listings against my better judgement, but they sold. Why? Because I kept positive and worked with the sellers.  I dont see helping the sellers prepare the house as doing anything to get business. I see it has showing someone that I am an agent who really does care. Just my two cents.

Jan 28, 2008 02:05 PM #62
Gail Robinson
William Raveis Real Estate - Southport, CT
CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT
Cherimie, I had a listing that I thought was just fabulous, but it didn't show well because the owner had tried to cram the contents of her 10 room house into a 2 bedroom condo.  I paid a stager to come in and give her advice, going room to room.  I wrote down every suggestion the stager gave her and then typed it up as a checklist.  I encouraged her to enlist her grown children to set time aside and help her work her way through the list room by room.  I would then stop by to visit every week and she would show me what she had accomplished.  She felt terrible if she hadn't made much progress as she knew I had paid for the staging advice. 
Jan 28, 2008 07:02 PM #63
Amy Hunter
Hearth & Home Videos - Sudbury, MA

Some thoughts.....

Present the feedback of other realtors and potential buyers from showings.  This way it's not all just you vs. them, and they may perceive the feedback as more valid.

Take the sellers to other homes on the market in their price range and area.

Bring in a stager, even if only for a consult to give them another voice to hear comments from.

Take the listing, maybe only for a 3 month contract length.  You never know - the price or location (or luck) may still enable the house to sell.  After the contract ends, then you can re-address the issues, and if the sellers still won't do anything, let them find another realtor.


Jan 28, 2008 11:39 PM #64
Patricia Kennedy
Redfin - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital
Cherimie, I think this deserved a post just for the title alone!  OK, OK, the post was excellent, and the title just resonates! 
Jan 28, 2008 11:47 PM #65
Cherimie Crane
Cherimie Crane & Associates - Beaufort, SC

Wow..what awesome responses! Thank you all so much! It is helpful knowing some of you have been there and the advice is just fantastic. Of course every situation is unique and the circumstances differ. I truly want to do what is best for this couple...and if that means using a little elbow grease..then so be it.

After all...

If this listing makes me look fat.......I guess I should work out a bit more:)

Jan 29, 2008 12:43 AM #66
Kathleen Lordbock
Keller Williams Realty Professionals - Baxter, MN
Keller Williams Realty Professionals

If this listing makes me look fat.......I guess I should work out a bit more:)

 Well said Cherimie - clever girl. 

Jan 29, 2008 01:47 AM #67
Christy Powers
Keller Williams Coastal Area Partners - Pooler, GA
Pooler, Savannah Real Estate Agent
Hmmmm...I wouldn't take a listing that made me look fat! I had sellers like this. They are now someone else's sellers! There house is still the same, they changed nothing. 
Jan 29, 2008 02:05 AM #68
Sean Carroll
The Get Off Your A$$ Academy - Manhattan, NY
Real Estate Speaker and "Expert" Coach
The answer brought it on yourself :), but the good news is that you don't need to take on responsiblity for your clients actions. Go easy on yourself, and learn from this experience. I went against my better judgement and took a listing in the fall that I knew I shouldn't take, and it has been nothing but a headache since I took it. I made a decision at that point to never take a listing again unless it was a smart business decision. You are doing all you can in this case, and I wish you the best.
Jan 29, 2008 02:08 AM #69
Monica Bourgeau
New Phase Business Coaching - Portland, OR
Business Coaching

We had a listing like that once. What a nightmare, the house never got fixed up and then the people moved out-of-town and left the house a mess. One of the agents that showed the listing told me that it "looked like you had some bad renters and they left in the middle of the night so they wouldn't have to pay the next month's rent."

I would tell your sellers that their house is only worth "X" in its current condition but if they make the changes, they may be able to get "Y" to try to encourage the work. You could also offer a contractor to do the work for a fee.

Jan 29, 2008 03:45 AM #70
Luis Pezzini


It's the nature of the beast you never know what they will end up doing. This is a difficult market and i find that many seller don't realize what their up againts.

Jan 29, 2008 06:40 AM #71
murvin durkee
Durkee Appraisal Service - Los Angeles, CA
THis was really funny
Jan 29, 2008 10:08 AM #72
Greg Knowles Santa Barbara Ca.
Fidelity National Title Group-Santa Barbara - Santa Barbara, CA
I just loved the title of your post and had to let you know. ;o)
Jan 29, 2008 11:39 AM #73
Ryan Hukill - Edmond
ShowMeOKC Real Estate Pros of KW Elite - Edmond, OK
Realtor, Team Lead
I probably can't say anything that hasn't already been said, but sometimes we just have to give a little tough love and stand our ground.  Don't take the listing if the seller can't hold up their end of the deal.  If they're not coming through in the beginning, is that not an indication of how the whole process will likely go?  Great post!
Jan 29, 2008 03:17 PM #74
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes
Oh my. And then there is the seller who says they will take care of things and never gets around to it. And when you remind them, they smile and say again that they are "getting to it". But they never do get to it... sigh.
Jan 29, 2008 03:44 PM #75
abka defg
Fountain Hills, AZ
Have you considered installing hidden cameras and holding an open house like that reality TV show "Sell This House"? The truth hurts, but sometimes sellers need to hear it straight from the horses mouth.
Jan 30, 2008 12:00 AM #76
murvin durkee
Durkee Appraisal Service - Los Angeles, CA
Very wise advice.
Jan 31, 2008 12:47 AM #77
murvin durkee
Durkee Appraisal Service - Los Angeles, CA
Very wise advice.
Jan 31, 2008 12:48 AM #78
Taryn Clancy
Security Pacific Real Estate - Lafayette, CA
Broker Associate, Lafayette, California Real Estate
Jan 31, 2008 02:44 PM #79
Brian Burke
Kenna Real Estate - Englewood, CO
Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate
then you can have sellers that insist that the will not keep the house clean - because they live in it. Several feedbacks later of how the home is dirty etc. still no difference. Staging would help, except we were afraid that it would get ruined... at least the listing is in great area to attract buyers for us. You do what you can, and hope that some of the feedback sinks in eventually.
Feb 02, 2008 07:25 AM #80
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