I turned down another listing today, but I got two more buyers because of it

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Respect Realty LLC 200311024

photo courtesy of undyThe quote was, "ALL REAL ESTATE AGENT'S ARE GREEDY BASTARDS AND THEY WILL TELL YOU ANYTHING TO GET YOU TO LIST YOUR HOME TODAY, MARK MY WORDS!" Well my past client told their friend, not my agent, he will tell me the truth. He will break it down, the pluses and minuses, and I trust him. Come over and meet him and you will see.

So without my knowledge of this potential buyer being at the listing presentation, I arrive and meet the potential seller and we all sit down and discuss the home and what they should do with it. Should they stay or should they go?

Normally, I would have broken it down to the pluses and minuses, but I had a good relationship with this couple, heck I was invited to their wedding. So, I laid it on the line...I said, "I know you want a bigger home. I know this home needs some work, but if you put this on the market you not only will have to come out of pocket to sell it, but you won't have enough money afterward to buy anything else for more than a year. Stay here, work on the home a little. Save some money and hopefully the home will go up in value in the next year and then you can buy something bigger. I just can't see you losing so much money for something that YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO!"

They looked at their friends and said, "TOLD YOU!" That is when I asked, "What was that about?" They told me the story of what he had said and that he didn't think there was an agent out there that was ethical and would do what was right for their client. I impressed this guy and now we have him pre-approved and we looked at two houses today and then he told his friend at work about me and we start looking next week..

I know my first principle broker would have said, "LIST, LIST, LIST, no matter what!" But, there is a reason I'm no longer with that principle broker. Sometimes you have to do what is right for the client, not what is right for you. And sometimes, it pays you back for making that decision.


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Mike Hughes
Mike Hughes Team - Hughes Residential - Newton, MA
Services Newton, Brookline, Lexington, Waltham & W

Hi Todd,

Great story!  In addition to the ethical reason for not taking an overpriced listing, I also think that those who do will soon find themselves in another career.  Buyers and sellers need to hear the truth now more than ever.  Nice work!

Best regards,

Dec 01, 2008 12:33 PM #34
Stan Stepak (Howard Hanna - Avon Lake)

Good for you. Your honesty and great advise will get you better referrals (with less stress).  Got to tell you that picture you got there is a little scarry...

Dec 01, 2008 01:12 PM #35
Steve Shatsky
Dallas, TX

Hi Todd... Congratulations.  It's all because of the great real estate karma you create when you treat people with respect and ethical behavior!  Great post!

Dec 01, 2008 01:17 PM #36
Fran Gaspari
Patriot Land Transfer, Inc. - Limerick, PA
"The Title Man" - Title Insurance - PA & NJ


These are different times and require different advice!!! Good post!!! Thanks,   Fran

Dec 01, 2008 01:48 PM #37
Brenda Harmon
Century 21 Beal, Inc College Station, Texas - College Station, TX


Good for you.  So many times it doesn't work out that quickly.

I am worried about the guy in the picture though.  Is he okay?

Dec 01, 2008 04:35 PM #38
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Sounds like your good kharma is back on track after foundering from your post last week.

Dec 01, 2008 06:15 PM #39
Palm Coast Homes
100 Plus Realty LLC - Palm Coast, FL
Palm Coast/Flagler County Real Estate, The Ross/Co

People can smell desperation and taking overpriced listings is desparate...it will hurt your reputation in the long run.  Good job!!!

Dec 01, 2008 07:40 PM #40
Sandy McAlpine
Search Lake Norman Homes For Sale - Lake Norman NC

Great picture!! And yes, I have told the "truth" to the last 3 listings because I just don't see why I should do hours of listing work for a seller who is not going to be realistic either.

Dec 01, 2008 11:29 PM #41
DeAndrea "Dee Dee" Jones
Home Buyers Marketing II, Inc. - Manassas Park, VA
The NorthernVARealEstateLady & DMVRealEstateChick

In this market you should only tell people to list if they have too otherwise they will end up losing money.  You did the right thing.

Dec 02, 2008 12:14 AM #42


Great post! I am not sure why some people think real estate agents are one step lower than a used car salesman (well may I do but that is another story) but as professional agents we can and MUST make the welfare of our clients or in this case potential client our top priority and we must be more diligent it conveying that message.

It is in everyone's best interest to do so.

Win the day!


Dec 02, 2008 12:42 AM #43
Joan Chouiniere
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate MetroBrokers - Big Canoe, GA

I agree with your philosophy Todd.........all realtors are not unethical after all!


Dec 02, 2008 03:02 AM #44
Sandra McCauley
Stratford, ON

Great Job! It is fabulous to hear of people making good decisions for their clients, not just for their pocket books. Guiding your clients ethically can actually be better financially and gives a great reputation as it obviously gets people talking.

Dec 02, 2008 06:42 AM #45
Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552

Great story, Todd.  Your honest advice in the past got you a referral you didn't even know about!

Dec 02, 2008 07:47 AM #46
Heather Goodwin
Licensed by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission - Shreveport, LA
GoodWin Team Realty

I love this story, Todd.  Great job - integrity always pays off.

Dec 02, 2008 08:15 AM #47
Harold "Hal" Place
A1 Connection Realty, Inc. - Sun City Center, FL

Hi Todd,

Congratulations are in order. An over priced listing is just that, "A Listing!" We too turn down listings that aren't in line with the market. Overpriced listings yield a no win situation to everyone concerned.

To be up front and honest with a prospective seller is the only way to be. You have found that fact for yourself and have gained the respect of at least three in the instant case and many more to come.

Dec 02, 2008 09:03 AM #48
Sonya Loose
Modern Realty - Beaverton, MI
The Lake Girl,Selling Waterfront in Gladwin County

Todd, that was a nice post and what I find interesting is that you did the right thing and in todays world that is so unexpected...strange isn't it?  Keep up the great work!

Dec 02, 2008 12:10 PM #49
Mary Strang
Viroqua, WI

Todd, Loved the photo, it woke me up first thing this morning with a chuckle and a smile. You were tested and past, sad that not all can admit that!

Dec 03, 2008 12:15 AM #50
Jody Jones
Elkhart County Real Estate Agent

Todd, Anyone who is not afraid to post a photo of themselves like that is obviously NOT going to be pulling the wool over any clients eyes either...HAHA, thanks for the giggle! Keep on doing the right thing!

Dec 03, 2008 07:19 AM #51
Richard Stabile
Re/Max Real Estate Limited - Oradell, NJ
Bergen County New Homes Builder Realtor

The truth of market reality and issues that people face are all you can trade on. Anything else is just a hoaxes.


Dec 03, 2008 02:13 PM #52
Mike Henderson
Your complete source for buying HUD homes - Littleton, CO
HUD Home Hub - 303-949-5848

Inspiration.  Wow doing the right thing and karma is making it pay off.  Plus if you do the right thing you can sleep better.

Dec 16, 2008 05:33 AM #53
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