Seller Refuses to Relist with Realtor Tom Because of No Open Houses

Real Estate Agent with DWELL Real Estate

Angry Man

September 2008

Tom gets a call from David who owns a home in Sarasota, Florida. David wants to sell his home and move to Bridgeport, Connecticut so he needs to list his house. Tom agrees to meet with David to discuss the marketing of his home.

Tom visits David the next day to see his home and present his marketing plan. Tom's marketing plan consists of:

  • Professional photographs taken of home
  • Virtual tour
  • Enter property on MLS (multiple listing service)
  • Feature home on Tom's website as well as his companies website
  • Listed on several real estate national websites including,,
  • Highlighted on Tom's personal, and blogs
  • 250 "Just Listed" direct mailers to immediate area of listing
  • E-blast to thousands of local Realtors featuring new listing
  • Listed on Tom's monthly Homes and Land advertisement
  • Advertised periodically in the local newspaper on Tom's companies advertisement
  • Pitched at companies Tuesday morning meeting
  • Sign in the yard
  • Flyers on yard sign

David is impressed with Tom's marketing plan however he asks about open houses. Tom explains that open houses are primarily used as a tool by Realtors to find new clients and that they have a small chance of success of actually selling the home. David accepts Tom's explanation and feels that all of the other marketing will be enough to sell his home.

Tom did a thorough job of arriving at a range of value for the home and feels that the home should be listed between $475,000 and $500,000. Of course, like many sellers, David thought his home was worth around $550,000. Tom emphasizes that home prices are still dropping and how important it is to price the home properly from day one. David understands Tom's logic but still wants to list at $550,000. Tom reluctantly takes the listing at $550,000.

Later in September 2008

Tom implements his plan to market David's home. After the home hits MLS there immediately are five showings on the home. Tom pitches the home to other Realtors in office which produces two more showings. David is excited about the activity although none of the showings produce an offer.

October 2008

David is happy thus far with Tom's efforts. Through Tom's marketing plan David consistently gets about two showings a week. In late October Tom discusses a price reduction with David. Unfortunately, it fell on deaf ears and they don't lower the price.

November 2008

David is still averaging about two showings per week on his home. He is still happy but a little concerned that he has not received an offer yet with somany showings. One of David's competitors sold so he asks Tom about an open house. Again, Tom reiterates that open houses rarely sells homes and that they are mostly used to pick up buyers. Tom mentions a price reduction to $500,000. David, reluctantly, drops his price to $525,000. Home prices have continued to drop.

December 2008

The showings slow down to about one a week. No offers.

January 2009

In early January one of the showings produces an offer for $425,000. Tom emphasizes how challenging the real estate market is and how David should do his best to hold on this buyer. David counters at $490,000. The buyer goes as far as $455,000. Tom feels that this is a very fair price and recommends that David take it. He doesn't and the buyer walks away.

February 2009

The showings are getting more sporadic. Tom asks David about another price reduction. They drop the price to $500,000. No offers. David asks Tom about doing an open houses. Tom tells his wife, "I am tired about hearing about the damn open house." Just to please David he does an open house. Since the home is in a popular part of town 15 groups of people come through the house. No offers.

March 2009

An offer comes in at $400,000. David counters the offer at $475,000. The buyer reaches as high as $440,000. David doesn't take it and the buyer walks. 

The listing is up at the end of March. Tom discusses relisting his home with David. At this point David feels that he needs some new blood to market his home. One of the reasons David has decides to list with another Realtor was because Tom did not do enough open houses.

April 2009

David lists home with Realtor Joe for $500,000. Joe does 2 open houses. No offers.

June 2009

David reduces price to $475,000. Joe does 2 open houses. No offers

July 2009

David receives an offer and sells the home for $420,000 - $35,000 less than his 1st offer and $20,000 less than his second offer.

Lessons Learned by Tom

  • Some sellers suck
  • Some sellers are stupid
  • Sometimes it is best to be the 2nd Realtor. The 1st Realtor softens up the seller.
  • If there are any missing elements in a marketing plan sellers can use that as a reason to not list with you
  • If a seller is stuck on open houses sometimes it is better just to do them.


Realtor Tom Quits The Business

Realtor Tom Learns a Lesson About Advertising and Pricing


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Bekah Casaday
ERA Oxford Realty - Gardendale, AL

This is exactly why I won't take an overpriced listing anymore!! I have been Realtor Tom one time too many! But I have been Realtor Joe, too! ;)

Feb 26, 2009 02:19 AM #1
Cindy Edwards
RE/MAX Checkmate - Johnson City, TN
CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677

Yep, that is how it happens!  I had a property like this for a year- sellers would not budge on price (over priced!) They went with another agent for 18 months!!!  It just got re-listed today with Realtor #3.  Still overpriced!

Feb 26, 2009 02:23 AM #2
Fran Gaspari
Patriot Land Transfer, Inc. - Limerick, PA
"The Title Man" - Title Insurance - PA & NJ


What gets me is when a seller is willing to counter at 490K but afterwards reduces the asking price to 500K...!!! :) Thanks,   Fran

Feb 26, 2009 02:30 AM #3
Irene Tron
Valparaiso, IN

I guess there's truth in the saying that over-priced homes help sell other homes around them.

Feb 26, 2009 02:35 AM #4
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Marc - I can relate on all sides of this. I recently but a buyer into contract on a listing where the owner did the same thing - except for hiring another agent. Good news for my buyers - they got they home of their dreams at a price lower than they imagine. Buyers are happy - Sellers are not. Sellers lost over $50K because they did not want to believe the market. I am sorry this happened to you. I know how much work you put into the listing and did not earn a dime for it. It's happening everywhere - it is never about the price of the house for the sellers - it always has to be about what the agent is or is not doing - go figure. We are in a crazy business and yet I would not want to be anywhere else.

Feb 26, 2009 02:38 AM #5
Eileen C

Sometimes it is best to walk away from an overpriced listing, unless you desperately need the listing

the seller can beat someone else for a year and when all is said and done they usually remember

when someone told them the truth. Unrealistic sellers are becoming a thing of the past finally!

Feb 26, 2009 02:44 AM #6
Dan and Amy Schuman
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Solon, OH
Luxury Home Specialists

It is ALWAYS best to be the second realtor. This seller chased the market and got burned and unfortunately, so did you. This exact scenario has happened to us and we are now smarter about what listings to take and where to initially price them. We chalked it up to a good learning experience.

Feb 26, 2009 02:56 AM #7
Brian Opperud
Hot Realty Leads - Phoenix, AZ

Quite often the first offer is the best offer.....sellers rarely understand this.

Feb 26, 2009 02:57 AM #8
Donna Shuman
Florida Wholesale Realty Corp - Oviedo, FL
REALTOR - Marketing for Richard Shuman -

Great lessons learned! Really funny but only because it's so true.

Every realtor has had clients like this. Hopefully they're leveled out by clients that actually believe we know what we're talking about.


Feb 26, 2009 03:08 AM #9
Marc Rasmussen
DWELL Real Estate - Sarasota, FL
Sarasota Real Estate

I made this story up but I am sure I hav experienced something like it before. Thanks for your comments. ;-)

Feb 26, 2009 03:09 AM #10
David Width Jr.
Little Egg Harbor, NJ

Don't you just love the wat luck works against you sometimes. Also sometimes, I feel as if the seller's reduce and take lower offers to kind of spite the other Realtor. I just don't understand how you can beg for a price reduction the whole time you have a listing, do everything for your seller, and after six months he lists with another agent and lowers the asking price by $50,000! Being the second Realtor is always easier because the homeowner generally will reveal what he disliked about the 1st Realtor and you know how to make them comfortable by emphasizing your efforts to do the things the other Realtor did not.

Feb 26, 2009 03:10 AM #11
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Marc Rasmussen

Sarasota Real Estate
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