What Do Tootsie Rolls Have To Do With Real Estate?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Home Buyers Realty BRE 01247457

Back in the day on the Bozo The Clown Show, he’d have this huge bucket of prizes. If you were a contestant on the show and you won, you got the whole bucket. And it was filled with some really awesome toys.

But if you didn’t win, he gave you a giant Tootsie Roll. It was practically as big as the children receiving it.

Anyhow, nobody liked or wanted the giant Tootsie Roll. First of all, it wasn’t the grand prize bucket full of awesomeness. Second of all…a giant Tootsie Roll?! Let’s leave it at that…

What’s that got to do with real estate?

Picture this…

You interviewed a few real estate agents to list your home for sale. You decided upon one of them. Let’s call that one the winner. (Because he or she is…)

Now you have to break the news to the other real estate agents, and tell them that you decided to list your house with someone else.

You don’t want to hurt their feelings. You wish you could have hired the agent, but the other agent just sounded better, or sold you on themself, or their company, or whatever. Doesn’t matter. You chose someone else. You’ve gotta say something to the agent(s) you didn’t hire…

But what do you say?

Apparently, there’s a handbook somewhere that homeowners can reference for just this occasion. Because so many homeowners go to the agent(s) they didn’t hire and say the exact same thing.

“Sorry, we decided to go with agent blah, blah, blah… But, hey, you can still sell my house. Go find a buyer and you can still get paid.” (Or something along those lines.)

For a real estate agent, that’s the equivalent of being given a giant Tootsie Roll.

That’s not how this works…

This sounds good and hopeful. And, let’s face it, nobody’s saying it with anything but kindness. It’s probably just something to say in the moment.

And it’s true enough…

The agent who didn’t get the listing could still make as much as the listing agent does…if they have, or find an appropriate buyer for the house. It sounds like a win-win situation… “I get my house sold, and you still get paid!”

But listing a house, and having a buyer for a house are two separate things.

If you get the listing for a house, there’s a pretty good chance you’re getting paid. You are representing the house, and the owner. And all the buyers out there will come to see the house with the agents they’re working with. Maybe one here and there will come directly through the listing agent, but not necessarily, and maybe even unlikely. But, since you are listing the house, a buyer who is unrepresented may very well call you and buy the house…and, bingo, you get both sides. Because the house was the magnet for the buyer. The listing agent didn’t necessarily just have, or “find” the buyer…the buyer found the house.

The chances that the agent who didn’t get the listing just happens to have a buyer for your house, or comes across one, are pretty slim. If it did play out that way, it’d be great. Just highly unlikely.

So, what’s the point?

Take this as a lighthearted public service announcement…and a bit of a tip.

It’s hard to break that news to an agent you have interviewed.

But, if you find yourself in the position of having to tell a real estate agent that you decided to list your house with another agent, maybe you can break the ice by giving them a giant Tootsie Roll and a copy of this article.

It’s better than giving them that old line about finding the buyer for the house so they can still get paid


Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Michael J. Perry 10/16/2020 11:12 AM
Real Estate Industry

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS, Broker, Instructor
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

I love your post Ron Cedillo !  A touch of humor/sarcasm and total reality.  I'll pass on the tootise roll......but I so appreciate the idea!

Oct 14, 2020 09:49 PM #4
Camilla Yearsley
Student at Agent Professor Real Estate School - Ogden, UT
The Greatest Real Estate Agent Ever, in training

Great post! I'm going to be the weird one and say that I would LOVE a giant tootsie roll. I also want the bucket and the listing and I'll find a buyer and yeah I want it all! 

Oct 15, 2020 01:45 AM #5
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

Great Post! And so True

I have an agent in my office from Ireland. She does not understand the concept of tootsie rolls. She doesnt understand why Americans eat them!! Pretty Funny!

Oct 15, 2020 01:50 AM #6
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Congratulations on your feature. It made me chuckle and yes I have been told the same thing on occasion

Oct 15, 2020 04:41 AM #7
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

I like the analogy and have heard that line, as you say there must be a book out there for homeowners. Much prefer having listings especially in a low inventory market.

Oct 15, 2020 04:55 AM #8
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Ron Cedillo,

Congratulations on the well deserved featured post! Great analogy! I had a seller use me for my pricing and then used his cousin to list the house. I had a great buyer and ended up selling the house so still got paid..no tootsie roll for me!

Oct 15, 2020 06:12 AM #9
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Haha. We also had a family use us to confirm pricing from a family-member agent who will list it. They did say, "we loved you guys, find us the buyer and get it sold." Honestly, it didn't feel fabulous at all, and even if there was a tootsie roll involved, we still felt used. 

Oct 15, 2020 07:21 AM #10
Anne Corbin
Long and Foster - Lake Anna - Spotsylvania, VA
Serving Lake Anna & Central Virginia

I had a wonderful prospect who communicated continuously during the interview process. She was going to list at $650,000 and, after comps, I told her $690,000 was a better listing price. I felt I was really qualified for this unique farmette because I grew up not 5 miles down the street. Unfortunately, for me, the client chose another agent in the next county over because she had more experience than I did (I only had 6 years vs. 20+). The hired agent listed it at ..... wait for it....$690,000. It sold for $675,000. I was a little disappointed, well, no, a lot disappointed BUT the best part of this was I felt good at the end of the day. First, the client e-mailed me the most respectful e-mail telling me I wasn't chosen. That was the best part of this loss. Second, of course, was that the seasoned agent and/or client used my price, so I was right there on the mark. 

Oct 15, 2020 07:28 AM #11
Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417
United Real Estate - Addison, TX
Real Service. Real Results. Real Estate

There are too many sellers here who never follow up with the agents they chose not to hire. When you see the house in MLS, you know you didn't get the listing.  Then there are the agents who get the "whole bucket" who offer to the sellers that they'll call the other agents who got the tootsie rolls and let them know.

Oct 15, 2020 07:34 AM #12
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Ron Cedillo - very good analogy. And a bit of humor.  People have problems turning others down.

Oct 15, 2020 08:33 AM #13
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

Is it just me or do sellers who considered you feel like you will somehow feel obligated to find that buyer.  Had a listing down the street from one and that was the supposed reason I didn't get HIS.  He felt that if they didn't buy or like MY listing, I would take any potential buyers over to HIS.  And he felt that he had TWO agents working hard selling his home.  That is twisted thinking unless the homes are identical. 

Oct 15, 2020 08:50 AM #14
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Ron: it's kinda like "it's not you, it's me". It doesn't matter except it really does.  Good analogy. 

Oct 15, 2020 09:40 AM #15
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Ron:

I enjoyed your post, the humor, the sarcasm, and the reality of it all. We have all been there in one way or another.


Oct 15, 2020 02:16 PM #16
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

It's not at all funny when that happens, but humor is always good. Enjoyed your post.

Oct 15, 2020 04:11 PM #17
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

That line always burns me. Like it's a privilege to bring them a buyer! But I see your point that they think they're being nice about it. Honestly, many sellers never bother to respond at all.

Oct 16, 2020 06:24 AM #18
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Great post on handling a difficult phone call . I haven’t had a Tootsie Roll for years ( but am now craving one ).

Oct 16, 2020 06:56 AM #19
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Good post! I don't want a consultation prize! I,like you hate  the line "you can still still sell it." Just thank me for my time, and move on. 

Oct 17, 2020 12:51 AM #20
Dana Hollish Hill
Hollish Hill Group, KW Capital Properties - Bethesda, MD
REALTOR and Productivity Coach

So very true. Thank you for this important PSA.

Oct 17, 2020 08:26 AM #21
Lynn B. Friedman
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ... - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Ron Cedillo 
Just had this happen and two AR members suffered from it. I was proud to receive a referral from Virginia. The Seller was moving there to be near his children and his wife in memory care. Their Atlanta home had no updates in 45 years and was packed to the roof with "special" possessions - in other words - needed to be packed out to the dump.We arranged for a house organizer for him, a home sale organizer for him and shipping for him - hours of work. 

He wrote to say an old friend visited him and he decided to give the listing to him. No courtesy at all for the hours spent on his needs. Not even the offer of a Tootsie roll!

We told the referring agent-  "Just try again!"  We are always willing to support our fellow AR Members! Of course, he was not happy - not due to money but for the discourtesy shown to us. And - having done these AR referral sales already in Hawaii, New York and Florida - it would've been fun to add Virginia! As Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400 says - "NEXT!" Lynn

Oct 17, 2020 02:28 PM #22
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Ron Cedillo - Well... if I ever get a giant Tootsie Roll, I will know where it came from LOL! 

Oct 18, 2020 07:12 AM #23
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Ron Cedillo

Helping People and Enjoying Life
Ask me a question

Additional Information