Do consumers want rock stars or real estate agents to sell their homes?

Services for Real Estate Pros with Real Skillz-Clear Marketing for Your Real Estate Vision

Once upon a real estate closing (true story), I had a client named Jim who made it to the closing table after two previous attempts that failed. Jim had an ex-wife who was an alcoholic and lived in the house he was selling.

She was abrasive to the real estate buyers of the first two contracts that were signed on the house, and more than uncooperative. She wouldn't let home inspectors in, appraisers in, wouldn't comply with moving dates, you get the picture.

The last contract that came through on the house was actually the first time that my attorney's office dealt with this file. I tried to work with kid gloves when dealing with Jim's ex-wife, and even had met her when she signed the documents for closing.

I remember working with the buyer's lender, Jim and his ex-wife, surveyor, title company, and buyer's attorney. Sometimes even the buyer's real estate agent. It was a complete team effort, but one player was missing the whole time, Lisa, the listing agent. I don't ever recall working with her on the file except for when her assistant called to report another ripple in the water.

Through several trials and tribulations, much coaxing and a lot of TLC, we got to closing and Jim and his ex-wife's housing relationship was over.

To celebrate Jim's housing freedom and to show appreciation for the successful closing he took me out to dinner. His real estate agent, Tammy, and her assistant also received invitations.

Jim was a very interesting man. He was leading a full life with many hobbies and had a robust career as an executive at Motorola. He shared some interesting stories. I probably would've been able to enjoy dinner more, had it not been for his real estate agent.

First, Lisa was 30 minutes late to dinner.

Second, she was a one way talker. You know the type who talk as if they have ear plugs in their ears- ME, ME, ME/I, I, I echoed constantly through the thread of conversation.

Third, she took call after call on her cell phone and carried on lengthy, argumentative calls, right at the table.

Million dollar question- Was she successful in her real estate career? She absolutely was.

And she made an impression on me. To this day, six years later, I remember this woman, not out of respect or admiration, but in awe at her blatant disrespect and "dis-service" attitude.

But I remember her.

So I wonder: Do consumers want real estate agents or rock stars to sell their homes?




Comments (11)

Jonelle Simons
Windermere Real Estate - Park City, UT
Wow... This is quite a story!!  Some people blow me away... but yet they still make it somehow...
Feb 22, 2008 05:10 AM
Dennis Swartz
Full Circle Property Management - Columbus, OH
MBA, GRI...experience counts!
Sometimes I just have to scratch my head when I see who wins the awards for top agents. It is just amazing that someone as bad as some of these agents are can sell that many homes.
Feb 22, 2008 05:15 AM
Jo Olson
HOMEFRONT Realty - Kettle Falls, WA
Retired - HOMEFRONT Realty @ LAKE Roosevelt
Rebecca, I know that agent (not really, just one like her) and she is one of the most successful agents in the market area I use to work. In fact I worked with her. I was amazed at how she just kept getting business. There were many times I would take over her files and be the "go to" person for all the parties.  Over the 7 years I worked with her she lost 1 customer. 1!! I never understood it. She really wasn't the "rock star" type - but more so the "Princess" type!!
Feb 22, 2008 05:20 AM
Rich Dansereau
Positive Real Estate Professionals - Knoxville, TN
I would of course prefer an agent to a prima donna but to some people the allure or mystique of that rock star is irresistable. Maybe they are masochists.
Feb 22, 2008 07:17 AM
Bill Westel
Eco-Steward Realty - Asheville, NC
For many sellers its the bottom line that counts. If you can sell my home I will put up with alot of _____. I just wonder what if any kind of personal life these agents have. But hey, its their choice.
Feb 22, 2008 07:48 AM
Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro
Rebecca, I have been smack in the middle of those divorce situations several times.  I have always been the listing agent and it was my previous clients getting divorced.  You are so right kid gloves is the best way to describe it.  I can't imagine how the listing agent got out of doing her job on this.  So what type of job were you doing in the attorneys office that you were able to walk this clear through?  We close at title companies but I don't know they would have went the extra mile like what you are talking about. 
Feb 22, 2008 08:36 AM
Rebecca Levinson, Real Estate Marketing and Online Advertising Consultant
Real Skillz-Clear Marketing for Your Real Estate Vision - Lake Geneva, WI

Jonelle, Dennis and Jo- Looks like we all know rock stars.

Rich- Masochists or groupies:-)

Bill- I wonder if this will change though, with the changed market and the influx of different generations entering into the market.  Maybe not right away, but the flash and dash approach isn't gonna "cut the mustard" with Gen Y and Gen X'ers. 

Marchel- I worked for a real estate attorney in Illinois.  Basically did everything and then handed the attorney a summation of the file and his closing time and place at the end.  My job, from contract acceptance to closing.  We didn't get paid unless the deal closed, so there was a vested interest there. 

Feb 22, 2008 01:12 PM
Teri Eckholm
Boardman Realty - White Bear Lake, MN
REALTOR Serving Mpls/St Paul North & East Metro
Rebecca--What a frustration...Amazing that she can remain in business! The best transactions are when all of the players are participating...Fortunately for me, most of my deals have been with great people on all sides. I have had a few where one player might not have been all there but luckily the norm is great people all the way around.
Feb 23, 2008 12:43 AM
Bill Roberts
Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate - Oceanside, CA
"Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner

'Becca I blame short sighted sellers for dealing with these jerks. There really is no place for them in this business. The sooner they're gone the better.

Bill Roberts

Feb 23, 2008 03:56 AM
Eric Kodner
Wayzata Lakes Realty: Eric Kodner Sells Twin Cities Homes - Minnetonka, MN
Wayzata Lakes Realty: Twin Cities, Madeline Island
Some consumers are taken in by the fast-talking huckster/dealmaker type of agent.  If fits the public's somewhat negative stereotype of agents in general.  Those folks generally don't last in the industry, no matter how much of a glam act they put on!
Feb 23, 2008 04:04 AM
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services
Rebecca- This happens all the time in our part of the country and worse! The ones so full of themselves and the sellers think this is how it is supposed to be. We attract like kind so I am fine with not getting those clients in the first place. She never read the book, 'How to win friends and influence people'! The rudest thing is for people to answer their cell phone when I am talking to them and I tell them not on my time. I have a friend who is a mortgage broker who used to do that when I was talking to her or eating lunch with her. I told her it was rude and she tried so hard not to, but then she would look at her phone to see who it was, well, she just had a stroke from all the stress! Now she does not answer her cell all the time. OH, she also got in a bad car crash, guess what! Talking on her phone! 
Feb 23, 2008 05:21 PM