Priming the Pump

J Philip Faranda May 24, 2009

I saw today that a listing that expired and did not renew with me has re-listed with another broker for $50,000 less. Now, as a guy who specializes in expired listings, I have to admit that I usually am on the other side of this; by the time people get me as their agent, they are, shall we say, educated. This particular seller was a tough case. A contractor, he bought the house at the height of the market, made improvements and wanted every cent back + $100,000 in under 4 years of owning the place. 

The home was just across a county line, so their post office and school district were in different counties, making the home very difficult to be “found.” Worse, they were incredibly un-savvy when it came to the Internet and appreciating my marketing. What made this a bigger issue was their dippy daughter who (no kidding) would put their address in the URL window of Internet explorer and flame me for not being what appeared on the screen afterward. When I brought them to my office and explained how people search for homes online, they were skeptical- who wants to go through all those steps? My answer: over 80% of home buyers and growing. 

Why did I take an overpriced listing to begin with? 2 reasons: first, I didn’t promise them their price. I agreed to start out at their number with the proviso that we’d adjust as the market indicated. On this, they reneged. I also bet that their desire to be close to their grandchildren would overtake their desire for an unrealistic profit. I lost that gamble too. 

SO…when they told me that they were giving up on selling and choosing to remain in the home, I took them at their word. Not so. I primed the pump for another agent. I did a good job- they whacked the price 50 grand, probably because they want to live closer to those grandkids. 

That’s baseball!

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