Great Things Happen when Agent "Does the Right Thing"

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Keller Williams Realty 50461-90

I heard a great story yesterday from the Keller Williams office I work with in Wausau, Wisconsin.

One of our newer hires, who came to us from another firm but is relatively new in the business, had her first listing appointment last week.  The appointment came about as a walk in to the office.  He was an elderly gentleman who lived about 2 blocks from our office.  He stated he needed to sell his house so he could move approximately 3 hours north to live with his son and his son's family.

My excited agent scheduled a time to come out to his house to present a CMA.  Being newer at this, she asked her friend in the company to join her and help her with suggestions on how to stage the house with the Seller.  When the 2 agents arrived at the home, they found it an utter disaster!  There were newspapers piled everywhere, dirty dishes 2 feet high on the counter tops, etc.... Those of you who've been in the business for any length of time have probably experienced someone's home in this condition.

Anyway, as the agent proceeded with her presentation the Seller got very agitated.  He argued with her on the numbers the market analysis were showing as to the value of his home.  He had it listed for the prior year with another firm in town and never received an offer.  When my agent inquired as to why the Seller believed he hadn't received any offers previously he told her it was because of the "Doctors and the Aliens".  "Doctors and aliens?" my agent asked.  "Yes, first the aliens abducted me and ran all kinds of tests on me, now the Doctors want to do the same thing", the Seller responded.

Yikes, my agent thought.  This poor man isn't mentally stable.  She quickly thought of a way to graciously excuse herself from the meeting and left the man's home. 

She then went back to the office and did some research on this man and his family.  She was able to track down the son's telephone number in a town 3 hours from here.  She called him that evening and explained what  had happened earlier in the day with the man's father.  The son was very grateful for the call.  He, in fact, stated that never once had a real estate agent tried to contact him when dealing with his father.  He agreed that his father was facing some challenges but the fact that the father wanted to sell his house to move in with the son wasn't going to work for the family.  They had no room nor the ability to care for him.  Sad is this was, the son also stated that the father would drive north to visit his family every 2 weeks and that if he took his medication regularly, his apparent dementia was held in check.

The son thanked my agent for contacting him.  Told her he would speak with his father again about not selling his house and work to make sure the father was given the care he needed in Wausau.

I was so proud of Sue when I heard this story.  She could have taken advantage of a bad situation, convinced the father to sign a listing agreement and tried to sell the house for him.  She chose, however, the high road when she realized he might need help in this decision making process.  That road cost her getting her first listing but I know that in the long run put her on the right path to being a huge success in this business.



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Chris Tesch
RE/MAX Bryan-College Station - College Station, TX
College Station, Texas Real Estate
That's awesome!  You have to wonder about the agent that just simply listed it.  Wouldn't they want to know if their loved one was having issues?
Mar 16, 2007 06:38 AM #20
Darren Kittleson
Keller Williams Realty - Madison, WI
I was so proud to hear how she chose to handle this.  Your outpouring of awesome comments only validates this.  I'm blessed to be in business with an agent like Sue Zeinert in Wausau, Wisconsin.
Mar 16, 2007 08:05 AM #21
Sean Carroll
The Get Off Your A$$ Academy - Manhattan, NY
Real Estate Speaker and "Expert" Coach
That is a great story, and a great example of doing the next right thing. In the short term, it may appear easier to move on and forget about it, but longer term, if we make these types of right decisions the cornserstone of our business, we will be successful in all parts of life
Mar 16, 2007 08:14 AM #22
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Good story, Darren. She did the right thing, IMO. Sad situation, though. Wonder how many other agents would take advantage of the circumstances?


Mar 16, 2007 08:39 AM #23
Michele Connors
The Overton Group, LLC Pitt & Carteret County - Greenville, NC
Your Eastern North Carolina Realtor

Sue makes us all proud she did the right thing. She is welcomed to join us, as we would love to have an asset like her as a member. There are way too many vultures out there and I am grateful this poor man found her instead of a pending disasterl

Mar 16, 2007 09:38 AM #24
Ark Rhowmine
Keller Williams Realty - Wausau, WI
Thank you Darren for sharing.  I am happy she's on our Team here in Wausau.  Just working with Sue you know her heart is big as gold.  She deserves that  BIG STAR.
Mar 16, 2007 09:53 AM #25
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

We need more agents who have this type insight and integrity.  May the next 5 listing appointments result in sales!

Mar 16, 2007 10:44 AM #26
Stephen Luckett
ExecuHome Realty-LuckNet Real Estate Group - Dundalk Sparrows Point, MD
If everyone in our business used the same judgement-we wouldn't get the negative press that we get!
Mar 16, 2007 11:03 AM #27
Robert and Lisa Hammerstein -201-315-8618
Keller Williams Valley Realty - Hillsdale, NJ
Bergen County NJ Real Estate


Sounds like Sue is the winner in this situation.  There just ain't no road like the high road!  Thanks for sharing this story.

Mar 16, 2007 11:19 AM #28
Christy Powers
Keller Williams Coastal Area Partners - Pooler, GA
Pooler, Savannah Real Estate Agent
That was great. I would have done the same thing. The really concerning part is that the son can not care for his father and has allowed him to live alone in this condition. 
Mar 16, 2007 11:32 AM #29
Desiree Daniels
RE/MAX Tri County - Robbinsville, NJ

Great story ... I love when there are positive "out of the box" things that agents do.   We get such a bad rap and I know its not the entire population of agents... but a nice story is a nice reassurance.  Wish her the best of luck in business please.


Mar 16, 2007 11:39 AM #30
Joe Gomez
Realty Executives of Treasure Valley - Eagle, ID
Great story we need more people like Sue in our profession !
Mar 16, 2007 11:47 AM #31
Aziz Abdur-Raoof
RE/MAX Rewards - Columbia, MD
Howard Co. Real Estate Scoop
Enjoyed reading the story -its a good reminder of the many good things that occur on a daily basis that we never hear about unless its shared --Thxs Darren 

Joe  --I am sure there are lots of people like Sue --we ust tend not to right about her though.
Mar 16, 2007 12:23 PM #32
Thesa Chambers
Fred Real Estate Group - Bend, OR
Principal Broker - Licensed in Oregon
What a great story - and a true professional - it makes us all look so much better in the eyes of the public
Mar 16, 2007 12:51 PM #33
Gina Tufano
Ask Gina & Company with Pearson Smith Realty - Sterling, VA
Ask Gina & Company, Northern Virginia Real Estate
Kudos to her.
Mar 16, 2007 01:05 PM #34
David Edwards
Edwards Real Estate Group, Inc. - Newcastle, WA
What a great story! I just heard from an instructor at a local real estate class that Realtors were recently rated lower than car salesman in a consumer opinion survey. The first point I want to make is that most car salesmen work hard to provide a necessary service and an indispensable product and they do not deserve to be our benchmark for whether or not we have achieved satisfactory consumer confidence levels. The second point I want to make is that most Realtors work hard to provide valuable services to consumers as well. Your story reinforces that. Thank you! 
Mar 16, 2007 01:48 PM #35
Toby Davis
Keller Williams Realty - Charleston, SC


I am very impressed by the integrity of this fine agent.  It goes to prove that

"there is never a wrong time to do the right thing".    Good Job!

Mar 16, 2007 02:24 PM #36
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ
win win or no deal - do you think the author of "I'll take the high road..." could have been a KW agent? :-)
Mar 16, 2007 03:52 PM #37
Debbie DiFonzo
Debbie DiFonzo - United Country VIP Realty, SW Missouri - Lebanon, MO
Lebanon MO and Buffalo Missouri Real Estate
Great story! Way to go!

Sue will be rewarded for doing the right thing.
Mar 17, 2007 06:24 AM #38
Patrick Brady
The Danberry Co., Realtors - Sylvania, OH

It certainly sounds like she handled the situation in the right way.  I can imagine trying to locate someone 3 hours away.  It is tough enough to track someone down locally.

Mar 20, 2007 07:35 AM #39
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