Real Estate Agent with Douglas Elliman Real Estate 30HA0800896


This question may be the most obsurd one you will ever be asked by a home seller. And yet, if you don't discuss it with him/her, you may end up being mighty MAN SITTING IN HOUSE WHILE I SHOWED ITembarrassed by the presence of the owner when your customers arrive! The time is now to clarify why it is totally unaceptable for the owner to remain on the premises while it is being shown for sale.

Just about a month ago, I had a big disagreement with the man who owned the house I was marketing and trying to sell. It started out as a disagreement about the price of the house. I had taken the listing with the written agreement to drop the price in 30 days if we did not get immediate showings and interest from the public.

We were well past the 30 days and he was still resisting the price drop--he was also telling me "I will be in residence" when I called to set up the few appointments that I was able to set up.

Since it was the summer--he was more than happy to sit out at the pool. That was bad enough; now this fall he was staying in his bedroom at his desk and on his computer whenever I was showing the house. This was after I had told him it is always better not to be there and why!

He was also listening in on the coments and the conversations I was having with agents and customers; the reason I know is that he repeated several things to me right after an open house I had.  He was settled in upstairs, in his room in the hottest weather we had all summer long...Since he was there and not about to leave I called to him up the stairs and asked him if I could turn on the AC. He told me "Well, I never use the AC..." and left me standing there in a pool of sweat as I tried to conduct the 2 hour open house! I said "Well anyone who walks in here is going to think you don't have a working CAC."...There was dead silence from the room upstairs.

I called him later and told him there were several things I needed him to do for me if I was to continue handling the listing:

  • He needed to be out of the house so that the potential buyers would be able to envision the house as their own as I showed it to them--I let him know that several customers told me they had not really had a good look at the house because the owner was there.
  • The price needed to be dropped by a significant number in order for me to continue marketing it; I supplied him with the current comps which reflected an even greater difference in asking to actual selling prices. The market had taken another price drop since I first took the listing, in exisitng homes and the price of his property needed to reflect that difference.
  • I explained that in the current market, exisitng homes were taking a beating because if someone has a lot of money to spend on a home, they want new construction and they are willing to pay twice what they will pay for an existing home. If they buy an existing home they almost always tear it down and build new, or renovate totally so it is just like new. I let him know this is a fact of life and the price on his home was making it impossible to sell it.
  • I also told him that if he wanted to sell his home in 100 degree weather, he needed to have the AC running--other wise it is surmised by customers that the AC does not work; why else would you not have it running on such a hot day? Besides, I could not face another day inside the house or outside the house for that matter, in such unbearable heat.MAN AT HIS COMPUTER WHILE I SHOW HIS HOUSE

I finally figured out that this man would do none of the things I requested and thats when I saw the light: He is not a seller and in fact may even be using my services in showings and open houses as a sick social engagement--where he was able to be there--see people, talk to them about his family (he had model ships all over his house because he came from a long line of Admirals in his family) and to listen to their "forced" compliments about the fine job he did in building his house!


I had no trouble telling him I could no longer represent his property. I gave him the reason of price, lack of consideration of the need for an uninterrupted chance to view the property, and the fact that the heat was unbearale for people to spend any time what-so-ever in his house without the use of the CAC.

Whew....I have never felt better!


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Barbara Hensley 10/10/2013 04:43 AM
  2. Gabe Sanders 10/12/2013 10:07 AM
Home Selling
The Lounge at Active Rain
Most Active ActiveRain Blogging Agents
Diary of a Realtor
showing while owner remains in the house
problem for the buyer to be able to see themselves living there
unbearable heat
no cac

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Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

The realities of the Real Estate business...nicely shared here Paula...Good post and thank you

Oct 09, 2013 12:55 AM #23
Tosh Dickenson
Willamette Properties Group - Junction City, OR

Great post Paula!  Sellers just don't understand how uncomfortable it is to have them present when we are showing the home.

Case in point, the other day we went to show a country property after making an appointment with the listing agent.  When we get to the home, the seller is present.  He immediately starts off by complaining that we knocked instead of just coming in!  Then he says he will be working upstairs and not to disturb him.  He goes upstairs and immediately begins shouting, yes shouting, in Arabic onto the phone.  It can be heard through the house.  We couldn't see in the garage because there were animals in there (even though the garage door was open about 10".

All in all, it was very uncomfortable and a little unsettling.  This wasn't a short sale but for the life of me I can't figure out why the heck it was on the market!  Needless to say, our buyers couldn't get out of there fast enough and it's one I won't be showing again!

Oct 09, 2013 01:44 AM #24
Blatt + Cutino
Keller Williams Coastal Estates - Monterey, CA
Broker-Associate 831/206-8070*Call today*

Well written post.

Oct 09, 2013 01:54 AM #25
Jay & Michelle Lieberman
Keller Williams World Class - Agoura Hills, CA
Creating Calm in the Buying and Selling Chaos

Wow.  Goes to show you the "odd" human side of this business.

Oct 09, 2013 01:57 AM #26
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

I felt a huge wave of relief when I read you fired him!  Because I know . . . I've been there . . .

Your other business had to be suffering.

Oct 09, 2013 02:03 AM #27
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

that really is absurd!

Oct 09, 2013 02:08 AM #28
Drick Ward
NEPTUNE REALTY - Virginia Beach, VA
"RealtorDrick" - Experienced Representation

Thank you for sharing your story

Oct 09, 2013 02:12 AM #29
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Gene: Thank you! I believe I divested myself of one of the more costly listings...

Richie: Thanks for the acknowledgment..I like to share some of the more interesting experiences in this business; helps to get over it too!

Tosh: Ugh! That sounds like one to avoid...I think we all have had bad experiences some being more unbelievable than others..this falls into that category.

Angelica: Thank you!

Jay and Michelle: It certainly does and it doesn't get weirder than this one...

Margaret: It was taking a toll that I won't know exactly until I see what I made for the year!

Alan: It is and it doesn't get any more weird than this.

Drick: You are welcome!

Oct 09, 2013 02:44 AM #30
Jimmy Faulkner
Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage - Wantagh, NY
The Best Of St. Augustine

Paula: I was very pleased to hear your story on what sometimes becomes an unbearable seller. How people act in life shows their lack feeling for other people. I have found them unhappy and stuck on themselves and most of all very lonely. I do feel sorry for them and the trap they caught themselves in but we do have to run a business. I rather be me than your seller.  Good luck!  Jim

Oct 09, 2013 05:03 AM #31
Laura Filip
Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Great post I feel for you. We have all had this happen. Stay strong and move onto the next person and or listing it will work out much better I am sure of it. Have a blessed day

Oct 09, 2013 05:20 AM #32
Steven Cook
No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA

Paula -- Sorry it took you so long to decide to fire him.  One open house without the AC would have been all the Opens I would have staged (though I don't have big problem with heat) just because it makes such bad impression. 

Oct 09, 2013 05:26 AM #33
Brad MacKenzie
Brad MacKenzie - Duxbury, MA
Turning Houses into Homes on the South Shore

My favorite long-term client vacuums his carpets "just so", so that when the showing is over, he can tell where they WALKED!

Oct 09, 2013 08:59 AM #34
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Jimmy: Me too! He is an absolute loser as far as I am concerned...not going to waste anymore time on that one!

Laura: Thank you for the encouragement! I have very nicely moved on by the way. I have new clients and new customers and all is well...

Steven: That's about what it took for me to move on!

Brad: Nothing can explain the neuroses of some! I am so relieved to be free of the albatross! I never saw the carpet man in action though--he must be a real mess!

Oct 09, 2013 12:15 PM #35
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

It does feel better to get rid of a burdensome listing where the seller is not behaving as a motivated seller.  Good for you!  Such a strange man to want to be there and then not turning on the air in the heat of the summer?  Good grief.

Oct 10, 2013 02:27 AM #36
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Karen: You better believe it does! I have had difficult listings before that have been a pain to handle but this one was just that much over the top and I don't need to be treated that way!

Oct 10, 2013 04:07 AM #37
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

Always better to let clients like that go if they are completely unreasonable and difficult to work with.  I've had the opposite happen to me where they believe I'm not doing enough for them, when they are directly hindering my ability to do so.  Then they act like it is my fault and drop me.  

Oct 10, 2013 07:04 AM #38
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Kevin: I have had those too--this one was different---he sang my praises for months--then he became the worst perosn to deal with! Maybe he wanted me to resign, by treating me like he did...

Oct 10, 2013 10:36 AM #39
Bahman Davani, CM at Texas Five Star Realty, Plano, TX (214) 457-7055
Texas Five Star Realty, Plano Texas - Frisco, TX
Homes for Sale in Plano, Frisco, Prosper, Allen TX

Buyers the don't feel comfortable to see the entire house with the time is needed to see the house when the seller is present.

Oct 12, 2013 05:35 PM #40
Jared Garfield
Rich Life Real Estate Team - Buford, GA
Invest With The Best For The Highest Returns!
Wow that's a crazy experience, always best to turn loose of those types of clients?
Oct 13, 2013 01:59 AM #41
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Bahman: You are so right..there is nothing more uncomfortable than trying to see how big a closet is with the owner breathing down your neck!

Jared: ...and that is exactly what I did!

Oct 13, 2013 10:07 AM #42
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...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!
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