Saturday, November 04, 2006
What's It Gonna Take?
"I love it but I'm not in love with it. Actually, I don't even love it. Let's just say I'm in like with it and leave it at that." Or, "My client?... My client was underwhelmed." And finally there's my all time favorite, "What does my client think of the place? Did I fax you an offer? I didn't? Hmmm...I guess that's what my client thinks of the place." Those words actually once came out of my mouth before I could grab them back! So much for the feedback request form.
More so than ever the behavior of listing agents can best be described as (and this is a term my Broker coined that you won't find in any real estate glossary) "panting." It seems lately that an hour doesn't even pass before the showing agent is calling on the cell phone wanting "feedback." And then there's the whole new and improved agent targeted incentive based initiative (see GMABreak article below) that seems to be popping up everywhere in the marketplace. I saw one the other day that offered the buyer's agent a 2006 Mini-Cooper if multiple contracts were presented and accepted on a proposed new Condo project.
It's fun to listen to the brand new agents--who are fortunate enough to have buyers in their cars--respond to these frantic requests from the apparently less fortunate listers. I had to pull one of them off to the side the other day to explain that what they are really asking is, 'What's it gonna take to get a deal done? What do we have to change? What can we do to make this happen? They just want something to take back to the seller. Often times they are just using your "feedback" to posture their client for a price reduction, taking on the role of the messenger--you know, the one that isn't supposed to be killed in Shakespearean plays but more often than not, still gets the dagger in the end.'
The following "finger wagging," as an associate of mine calls it, is for my professional peers:
Panting. It falls into one of those "hard to explain but I know it when I hear it" categories. It's not good for our image. Let's just assume for a moment that the volume of business (offers and closed transactions) has been reduced across the board in your market. (although I hear this isn't the case in places like Seattle! ) This is the very time when agent credibility becomes vital. If traffic is slow show some dignity. If someone shows interest in a listing, say what you need to say during the showing and let them digest it. And finally if--and only if--the buyer shows visible signs of contractual commitment and your property is in the running with more than a handful of others, then ask the only question you really need the answer to..."What's it gonna take to make this deal happen?" Just remember to wear a smart, professional dagger proof outfit and sensible running shoes when you bring your client the news-- just in case its not so good.
picture courtesy of bcu theatre