Selling By Committee? Be The Chairperson

Real Estate Broker/Owner with HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 311291


When there is a transaction with a ''committee"

 you better be the chairperson!

Your property may be coming on the market, is already listed or you may have an offer. Unsolicited advice starts coming in from others, like children, in-laws, siblings, best friends, neighbors, and even people you hardly know.  

These are the people I refer to as "the committee."  Think about how your own family makes significant decisions.

Even though the seller has complete title to the property (without legal or financial need) they may feel overwhelmed if not prepared for all the advice.

If you are Selling by "committee", the REALTOR®, must be the Chairperson.  Why?  Because everyone has an opinion to share.  Anyone who has ever lived in a house is now the expert.  They want to be helpful with the decision.  This 'committee' can get in the way.  Don't be surprised when one is in a real estate-related field, maybe a lender, financial adviser, appraiser, former real estate agent, or one who has taken a real estate course.  Each may want to help by advising what is right for you.

Not all family members get along, not all committees can come to the right decision.  Who is the decision maker?  Who is the spokesperson?  Who is the one who has the power to sign? If you are you are the sole owner and the final decision maker, do what's right for you!

Instead of fielding multiple objections and concerns second hand from the seller, ask to speak directly to that member.  Transactions can go smoothly if this step is not bypassed.   If you are under contract, keep the buyer's agent in the loop, explaining that the family is meeting and discussing the offer.

How you, the listing agent, handle this will make or break the deal.  You become the spokesperson for the committee.  Make sure you are listening to everyone. And be certain regarding who makes the final decision.  It should be the actual owner, but there are exceptions.  First-time buyers may have parents with strong opinions.  Seniors may have children who take over any financial decision.  Maybe the seller has turned it over to a financial advisor or attorney.  Find out who you need to talk with at the beginning, even before the listing goes live.  I have seen deals disintegrate by not having a handle on who carries the weight.

If Selling by Committee...You Have to Be Chairperson

Buying or Selling a Home

Call Margaret Rome

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Margaret Rome
HomeRome Realty

Baltimore, Maryland

Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

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Author: Real Estate The Rome Way

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Comments (31)

Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services



Mr. Crappy Says

Without A Chairperson

Flush a Committee






Aug 21, 2023 06:00 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400

Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Estate Specialist 

Thank you for the feature! See you tomorrow.

Aug 21, 2023 03:50 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

I've seen more than my share of home sales go sideways because sellers or buyers listened to family members, or friends, who had no background in real estate.

Aug 21, 2023 06:35 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400

Myrl Jeffcoat I think it took us awhile to make sure who was in charge.

Aug 21, 2023 03:51 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

CONGRATULATIONS Margaret, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Aug 21, 2023 06:35 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

I have helped clients buy and sell that have full committees.  It really can be a challenge if you do not find out who carries the weight.  

Aug 21, 2023 02:13 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400

Hi Ray,

Those committees can be very challenging. See you tomorrow on ZOOM.

Aug 21, 2023 03:54 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Congratulations!  Your post has been featured on BananaTude.

BananaTude Feature Logo

Aug 21, 2023 02:27 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400

Thank you so much, Ray Henson 

Aug 21, 2023 03:57 PM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Margaret this is an awesome post!  I have often thought this over the years that we as agents or broker are  the chairperson and must lead accordingly.  I learned this my very first year in the business when learning to work with estate sales and dealing with "too' many siblings that all needed it there way!!  Well folks, do you want this to close or do you all need to be right?  It's not going to work out that way, just saying.  I  actually did say that, in a kind way, but firm way and somehow the 'light bulb' went on for them all.  We got it closed.

Aug 21, 2023 03:00 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

What a perfect comment, Anna "Banana" Kruchten 

"Well folks, do you want this to close or do you all need to be right?"

Aug 21, 2023 03:57 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Go morning Margaret,

I love this post and love using the term "Chairperson" of the committee! I will remember this as we've all been put in this situation. I like Anna "Banana" Kruchten had to make the same comment to a family of "everyone was right and knew everything." These groups on the committee can be very challenging and you have to take charge right off the bat and let everyone be heard and then lead them! That is part of our job....sometimes you feel like you are herding cattle!!!

Aug 22, 2023 05:23 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400

Dorie Dillard Austin TX  People do not realize how much work goes into a transaction, and we say at the closing, this was a smooth settlement.

It's more like herding cats..oh, oh, I see Anna "Banana" Kruchten already used that line. 

Aug 22, 2023 10:20 AM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten

Dorie Dillard Austin TX more like'herding cats' if agent doesn't take the role of chairperson!!

Aug 22, 2023 09:56 AM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten

Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400 


How do you herd cats?





Aug 22, 2023 04:56 PM
Buzz Mackintosh
Mackintosh REALTORS - Frederick, MD
“Experience, reliable, leadership”

Great advise. In many cases it seems every unlicensed  acquaintance, family member etc becomes a real estate expert when someone put their house on the market.

Aug 22, 2023 05:24 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400

Good to see you, Buzz Mackintosh. And they do believe that everyone who has ever lived in a house is an expert.

Aug 22, 2023 10:22 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

In the book Buyers Are Liars and Sellers Are Too, one of the chapters is entitled "The Parent Trap, Ma and Pa Meddle." A very good post and congrats on the feature. 

Aug 22, 2023 07:37 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400

Leanne Smith, That is a good title for a chapter and thanks so much for stopping by.

Aug 22, 2023 10:23 AM
Leanne Smith

Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400 you are more than welcome.

Aug 22, 2023 03:50 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Margaret:

This is an excellent analogy. It's important that the Chairperson keep in mind their role in the is not just to follow their particular agenda but to keep in mind what's in the seller's best interests.


Aug 22, 2023 08:41 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

So very true, Jeff Dowler, CRS. We always have to keep the seller's best interest first!

Aug 22, 2023 10:25 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

This thing about knowing what you want in a way that will make you always have the right level of authority.

Aug 23, 2023 07:23 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400

Good comment, Laura Cerrano 

Aug 23, 2023 02:08 PM
Allyson Hoffman
RE/MAX Properties Northwest - Park Ridge, IL
Making Today's Dreams Tomorrow's Reality!

Great advise, my friend!  Hope all is well!

Aug 23, 2023 09:02 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Allyson Hoffman 

It was good catching up with you today.

Here is the link to the weekly ZOOM  Click HERE to join, or you can also click the link below.

Aug 23, 2023 04:14 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Oh - I don't even like to think about committees. When I first left real estate to be a copywriter, I did quite a lot of work for animal rescue groups. That was my passion, so I gave them a cut rate. But boy did I learn my lesson about working with committees.

It was all fine when i had just one person to deal with. But then there were committees. And everyone on a committee would have a different idea about how I should have written their fundraising letter. 

The last one I did... Among other things, one member (the one who had majored in journalism in college) said I could not use contractions. "They are not grammatically correct." Another insisted that I remove the "ask" from the letter. She felt it was tacky to actually ask for the money. 

I said "You paid me a deposit, and we'll call that good. You can make as many changes as you want to this letter, but I'm finished with it."


Aug 24, 2023 09:34 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Marte Cliff,  I like your story!

Your comment would be a good stand-alone post.  All of us have a committee when we give service. Important to find out just who is the chairperson.

Aug 24, 2023 09:43 PM
Marte Cliff

Thanks Margaret. That one really was a mess. Too many people and each of them thought they knew everything. I had to wonder why they hired me when they knew how to do it themselves. 

At first I tried to accommodate them. The final straw for me was the demand to take the "ask" out of a fundraising letter. 

I wanted nothing more to do with a letter that was destined for failure! 

Fortunately, most of your committees don't have quite so many members. Of course there are those situations... 

Aug 24, 2023 09:49 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400

Marte Cliff,

It was time to let them go. Interesting in a fundraising letter, they did not want you to use the word "ask."

Aug 25, 2023 10:45 AM
Marte Cliff

Margaret - they wanted me to just talk about the situation and the need for bedding, food, vet care, etc. From that people were supposed to understand that they needed financial help. My original letter said "Please get out your checkbook right now and...."

I really shouldn't say they. In each instance, it was one member who insisted. The problem was that then all the others went along with her. 

Aug 25, 2023 11:11 AM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Excellent advice as always. Thank you for this incredibly important analogy.

Aug 25, 2023 07:40 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400

Always good to see you Dr. Paula McDonald 

Aug 25, 2023 10:46 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Great post Margaret with sound advice!  It's so important to know who is the final decision maker.  Learning that early on will assist with communication and help to provide a smooth transaction!  Love this! 

Aug 29, 2023 09:11 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ It can be very difficult if you don't find out the decision maker(s) upfront.

Aug 29, 2023 10:06 AM