On the Market – Part I
October 27, 2010 by admncc
Our house has been for sale for a few months. And as we’ve been going through the process of trying to sell ours and looking for another one, I’ve been keeping tabs on anything that is blogworthy. Originally I was going to do one post about everything, but I think it might be too much. So instead, I’ll just break it up into several segments.
We’re going to start with realtors… We hired the realtor who sold us our current house eight years ago. She even told us that she’d give us a good commission rate, not only for being returning customers, but because we’d be using her to sell our current house and buy a new one. However, the “good commission rate” apparently meant something different to her than it did to us.
First, apparently it meant lack of marketing. Now…we’ve all seen the huge “Howard Hanna” signs in people’s yards – they’re very eye-catching and hard to miss. But since we were dealing with a different company, we weren’t sure what we’d get. The answer – a sign so small that I could barely read it from the sidewalk in front of my house – let alone see it from the street. It looked more like a sign you’d see from a “mom and pop” chimney cleaning company or something. Second, we asked what her approach was for getting potential buyers into our house. Below is the actual conversation:
Me – “Will you put an ads in the newspaper?”
Realtor – “I don’t believe in newspaper advertising.”
Me – “Will you send out direct mail postcards?”
Realtor – “I don’t use direct mail.”
Me – “I bought the web domain for my own address. Can we use that?”
Realtor – “Um, I guess I can talk to our web guy.”
Me – “When can we schedule our first open house?”
Realtor – “I don’t do open houses anymore. I leave those to the rookie realtors.”
Realtor – “Hmmm, you guys really need to think about how you’re going to get people through the door to look.”
My Wife – “Isn’t that your job?”
Realtor – “Yes, but you’re responsible too.”
My Wife – “What are we paying you for?”
Realtor – “That’s why your commission rate is so low.”
Needless to say, we fired her. Our best guess is that she was burnt out from the lousy housing market and several years of not making any money. She really didn’t put forth any effort into helping us stage our home or set up the pictures we used to advertise it – plus we wrote the MLS description for her. Now…wouldn’t you think that the challenge of the current housing market would motivate a realtor?
After seeing the error of our ways, we made the right decision and hired the big gun…Howard Hanna. Yes, the commission is higher, but now we have the power of their marketing, advertising and brand recognition behind us. The house has been staged, is priced correctly, has been advertised, we’ve had multiple open houses and some potential buyers have recently come back for second and third visits. We’re hoping to close a deal soon. Next up…the bizarre antics of realtors who have come to show our house to their potential buyers.