Never Take an Agent’s Price Opinion Personally

J Philip Faranda February 6, 2011

Life is short! Carpe Diem. Dealing with the public means dealing with peoples’ foibles. I seldom think much about difficult people once I am finished with them, but recently there was an exception I am moved to reflect on because the meeting was just so weird. It was not unlike many meetings, hi, how are you, and this is the bathroom. The folks were justifiably proud of their home, but somehow combative in our conversation. 

I work with a laptop, and it has spoiled me. Since using it for the past 14 months, I have really seldom had much of a dispute about value. The facts are right there on the screen. Tonight, however, facts were not a priority. The lady was genuinely offended at my price opinion, and informed me that she had two recent appraisals far higher. And rather than just agree to disagree, as some clients have a bigger appetite for speculation than I, the meeting was over and I was thanked for my time. That was it. They asked if I needed any help with my stuff and got up from the table. It was really strange. 

So I left, with a bizarre silence in the room, as I packed away my laptop and the homeowners uneasily stared at the floor with uncomfortable body language. To diffuse the strange tension in the air, and since it was obvious that we would not be doing business, I told them that after they listed I would certainly call their broker if I had an interested buyer. That bought me about an eighth of a second of an eighth of a smirk, and I was thanked for stopping by as the door followed my rear end out. 

I’m fine, but I don’t think these people will be. Clearly, they were very invested in a number, which they didn’t get from me. And most w-2 employees are not accustomed to the nuances of business and large transactions. But this was kind of sad, in that they took my price opinion as a personal insult, to the point that I was out the door within 5 minutes. I certainly do wish them luck, and they’ll need it. Buyers could very well drive these folks crazy, and if they act like they acted tonight their agent may have a tough job. You can’t take things personally in selling a home. 

What’s really too bad is that it was a nice place, but if they overprice it, as I think they will, they’ll be more disappointed than they were tonight. High bidders get the house, and I think these folks will end up keeping theirs. It’s business! Best to not take it personally. 

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