From Listed to SOLD - How to Sell Those Listings You Work So Hard to Get!


Real Estate Agents: Get Good... or Get Out

confusedYep, that means exactly what you think it means. If you are not a good real estate agent, get out of the business now before you spend one more dime or dollar on your personal marketing or MLS dues. Give your overpriced listings to someone else who will price them right and market them intelligently. (That way you might actually see a few dollars from your efforts down the line when the referral fee comes due after closing.)

Gone (for now) are the days where being a good real estate agent meant you were a Good Prospector. NO ONE IS IMPRESSED with your listing inventory or even with the number of marginally-qualified buyers you're driving around.

All that matters are closings.

And you know what? You don't create closings with expert real estate prospecting. You create closings with expert real estate advising.

I don't care how good of a salesperson you are, you cannot sell a house to anyone. You cannot sell a house for anyone. Your new job description is to use the brain and creativity God gave you to best advise and serve your client.

If you don't know how to sell a house, other than to plop it in the MLS, create a brochure and put a sign in the yard (and oh, yes, enter it on Craigslist), then you have no business tying up a seller's valuable marketing time and energy.

Let a GOOD agent handle the listing... one who:

  • Knows how to properly price a home and absolutely refuses to overprice


  • Has the balls to be direct with sellers about any obstacles to sale and insist that they be corrected or priced for


  • Has the manpower connections to help the seller prepare his home and/or get through inspection.


  • Is willing to risk upsetting a seller by insisting that he allow short-notice showings and that he vacate the house during showings


  • Knows how to take good digital photos and post them online


  • Knows how to explain the marketing process to the seller so that the seller feels involved, committed and included (and therefore cooperative!)


  • Keeps the seller updated on local market activity and trends


  • Ensures that the brochure box is always full OR pulls the damn box off the sign


  • Ensures that the key works in the lock and doesn't accept the excuse that "there's a trick to it"


  • Is pleasant, respectful and responsive to buyer agents who express interest or have questions.


  • Is a respectful, creative and effective negotiator


  • Insists on a home staging consultation


  • Offers 7 day/week showing service


  • CARES almost as much about selling that home as the seller himself

(Feel free to add to this list...)

THE PUBLIC DESPERATELY NEEDS US RIGHT NOW. It's not all about us and our needs. Our clients need us to do our jobs exceptionally well to give all those FOR SALE signs a chance to be SOLDs. If and when that happens, the perception could possibly turn this mess around. WE OWE IT TO OUR ADORING FANS!!


copyright Jennifer Allan 2007

It's Here!


The More Fun You Have Selling Real Estate, the More Real Estate You Will Sell! 
(True Story)
Order Your Here!









Comment balloon 98 commentsJennifer Allan-Hagedorn • October 16 2007 06:44PM


Hi Jennifer - Great Post and a big 5! It's amazing to me the agents who STILL take overpriced listings just to get the listing! I agree with you...get good or get out! Thanks!!
Posted by Linda Scanlan (A Fan of AR) over 12 years ago

oh oh...I think you hit a nerve......what an absolutely great post! I think we need to be very honest with each other, realizing that maybe it does make sense to get out of the business.


Posted by Bill Nazur (First Lending Solutions) over 12 years ago
Great post...but I have better luck letting the brochure box stay empty for a little while and I tell my seller why so they don't get uptight about the empty box. I put a note in it asking if the box is empty please call and tell me...
Posted by Monika McGillicuddy, Southern NH & the Seacoast Area (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty) over 12 years ago
Interesting, Monika - I always find myself a little annoyed at an empty brochure box, and therefore annoyed with the house... and I can't help but think the agent is slacking. When you say you have "better luck", what exactly do you mean?
Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 12 years ago
Ouch! Nothing like telling it like it is and let the chips fall where they may. Great advice!
Posted by Kotambu "KS" Shabazz, Renton, Real Estate Consultant (Quality Real Estate Services) over 12 years ago

OK Jennifer you are going to have to do better than this if you are trying to get me out of the business:) I AM those things! I guess that means I can hang around awhile longer.

Well stated!!

Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Garden Views Realty, LLC) over 12 years ago
Jennifer - well stated - I think/hope that this market will help them to die off naturally.
Posted by David Thomas, Phoenix,Chandler,Mesa,Gilbert,AZ (HomeSmart Realty, Elite Group Scottsdale, Arizona) over 12 years ago
WOW!  That was pretty tough love coming from you!  I thought it was great!
Posted by Jayne Dodgson, Prudential Preferred Realty over 12 years ago

Jennifer, I could not agree more.  It is so frustrating to do a transaction with an agent who is not doing their job.  If that happens I always end up doing both ends to get it done but it is not fair to everyone involved. 

As far as the ovrpriced listings go, I learend that the hard way.  A few times of me taking the overpriced listing only to have it expire and then they go with another agent, reduce the price to what I told them and then sell it.  That was a hard lesson learned but I HAVE LEARNED IT!!

Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) over 12 years ago
AMEN - Thank you for the great post and adding your insight to the community here on Active Rain!  With another year of rough waters ahead, agents have no choice but to dig in and work for a living.
Posted by Chris Pollinger, Consulting for Luxury Teams and Brokerages (Berman & Pollinger, LLC.) over 12 years ago
Way to go, Jennifer!  I gave this one a 5.  However, I don't believe that the agents who really need to see this will since if they can't fill a flyer box they sure as heck are not taking the time to blog or read blogs.
Posted by Lisa Heindel, New Orleans Real Estate Broker (Crescent City Living LLC) over 12 years ago
What I've experienced is when the box is empty and I have a note taped to the inside asking to be notified. That I've actually gotten calls from buyers letting me know. I am able to convert the caller.  Don't get me wrong I'm not saying leave them empty all the time but instead tape a note to back and see if you get a call when it is empty. If the buyer is interested enough in the home they will call me or their agent to find out more. Sometimes a chance at the call works better than the flyer for me.
Posted by Monika McGillicuddy, Southern NH & the Seacoast Area (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty) over 12 years ago

B E A U T I F U L POST!  Of course many less than marginal agents don't know how to use the Internet yet...maybe we can get some great Brokers out there to print and tape your post to the doors of the office break rooms! 

Posted by Shannon Lefevre, Shannon Lefevre, PA Your Naples Smart Girl (John R. Wood Properties) over 12 years ago

Now tell me what you really thing!  Way to put it straight.

Posted by Jason Smith (DreamDirt Auction) over 12 years ago

I would like to request permission to print your post and frame it.  I plan to put it on my desk right next to Larry Kendall's eye of the tiger photo that he gave me last year.  I want to read it every day.  Two or three times a day.  I want to never forget to be the best agent that I can be. 

Posted by Jessica Horton Jessica Horton Realty, Jessica Horton: I'm not #1... You Are! (Jessica Horton - Jessica Horton & Associates) over 12 years ago
A real estate agent is a friend.
Posted by Melissa Lincoln, Taunton, Ma; Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty-Taunton, MA Real Estate) over 12 years ago
Great post!  I completely agree!!  Get rid of all the bad apples, and more business for me... though I've been so busy lately, I'm not sure if I need more right now... at least not until I deliver and go strong again Jan 1...
Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - over 12 years ago
Jessica - of course! Larry Kendall actually changed my life on my very first day of selling real estate. Funny you mention his name.
Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 12 years ago

Yes, and I notice you did and have moved on to training.

Seems to me every other post lately is from Matt Foley hollering at someone. 

Posted by John Lockwood (Lockwood Real Estate) over 12 years ago
Jennifer! WOW! Someone has put on their thinking cap! This is great advice for every agent. I often say there is a big difference in an agent and a consultant... you summed it up!
Posted by Birmingham Alabama Real Estate, Stephen Wolfe ( over 12 years ago

Thank you.  Do a post on the Larry Kendall story (hint, hint).  I would love to read it.  Larry changed my life.  My only regret is that I wished that I had flown out to Fort Collins sooner when I had the opportunity.  I would have done so many things differently. 

Thank you again.  It will be framed and sitting on my desk for years to come. 
Posted by Jessica Horton Jessica Horton Realty, Jessica Horton: I'm not #1... You Are! (Jessica Horton - Jessica Horton & Associates) over 12 years ago
This list is exhausting... and totally true! This job ain't for pansies! And the one's who don't "get good" will have no choice but to get out. They just won't succeed.
Posted by Lisa Hill, Daytona Beach Real Estate (Florida Property Experts) over 12 years ago

Yep.  I had a weak agent almost ruin my listing the other day.  I listed a 2,000 square foot home with a pool for $529,000 in the heart of Los Angeles.  My seller said...  "It must be worth more".  I showed him lots of statistics, and then said...  "in this market, you'll be lucky if you get 500.  I have balls.

Then 10 days later, some weak ass agent took a listing 8 doors down;  1,384 square feet, no pool, smaller lot for $540,000.  I searched and searched and there are absolutely no comps to support it.  My seller called me and said...  Their house is worth 540, ours should be like 590.  I had to go through holding my sellers hand and explaining the truth, and was able to keep my listing at 529.  I also told them if they increase the price, they can find another agent.  I don't have time to waste.  The result...  My listing will sell.  The 540 home will not EVER.



Posted by Randy Bolton over 12 years ago

Great post Jennifer!  I must say that with 4 closings in the months of Oct. and Nov., I am doing well.  In other words, I am getting good, and I am not getting out.  Two of the closings are on my own properties. Have I taken over-priced listings?  Yes, I will be the first to admit it.  Have I made other business decisions that have been time & money wasters and with 20-20 hindsight I would have done differently?  Yes.  Do I do the things in your list?  Absolutely!  Do I do them perfectly?  Absolutely not!  However, I work as hard as I can.  Truthfully, my experiences with other agents has been pretty stellar.  I am really impressed with their hard work and dedication to their clients and towards keeping things running smoothly.  I hope they don't get out either but keep on getting good.  When we are all good at what we do, we can help dispell the negativity that is out there in regards to RE Agents.  I am able to share with my clients that things are running smoothly in the transaction because we are all working together as a team.  My clients begin repeating my positive verbage when they experience the transaction going so well. I love it when I hear my clients say to me that they could really see all sides pulling together to make it work.

Maybe if the flyer box sits empty, it is a "sign" you need to hire someone to keep it filled up??  

All the best,


Posted by Joy & Shane Goushaw (Sandals Realty) over 12 years ago
   I have never "bought" a listing....and don't intend to start I wish this blog would magically appear in the mailboxes of the "heavy hitters" who week after week begin their sales meeting input with "this price reduction is almost as low as I told the sellers to list".  You bought it again and again...and becuz somehow you deflect the overpricing you manage to keep enough listings thru several reductions and once again are members of the Platinum Pedestal President's Club......grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 12 years ago
Judgeing about your figure I couldn't think you can be so strict and abrupt.
Posted by "Tommy" Decebal, Adamescu Long Island NY MASTER Home Inspector (HomeSpector Inc. 516-851-5833) over 12 years ago

Here Here!  I'm with you!  We are not hired to sell a house; we are hired to get a house sold.  There's  big difference here.

Stop being afraid to ask for what you want.  Stop being afraid to be the expert here.  The seller feels much more confident that someone who knows their industry is taking control.

Posted by Gail Gladstone, Brokering Success (Gladstone Group & Long Island Business Brokerage) over 12 years ago


Good and Honest Post!  I really like one and three.  Let me know if I can help you with them in any way.  Thanks again for the post.  Good Job on the big F!


Posted by Shane Leady (Apella Business Solutions) over 12 years ago


Great post but could you be a bit more direct next time? 

Posted by Diane Bell, Hilton Head Real Estate, Bluffton (Charter 1 Real Estate, Hilton Head, Bluffton, SC) over 12 years ago
Jennifer - Great list and luckily it seems we're working the plan - like Jessica I may print it for a quick reference. I can see why some days are challenging as well! :-)  
Posted by Cyndee Haydon, 727-710-8035 Clearwater, Beach Short Sales Luxury Condos &Homes (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 12 years ago
Jennifer -- this post was a breath of fresh air.  I have two buyers who have excellent credit, pre-approvals and are READY WILLING and ABLE, but the sellers and their agent still think we are in a sellers market -- and the pricing is out of sight and the counter-offers are a joke (if the property won't appraise, it won't get the property sold.  My buyers are sooo disappointed and this overpricing is everywhere.  I just don't know how to help them.
Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 12 years ago
Jennifer, great post.  I could not agree with you more.  It really is time to just clean up shop and take out the trash.
Posted by Joe Zapata, Your Burbank Real Estate Expert (Keller Williams Realty Media World) over 12 years ago
Had to laugh at the comment about the key working. Some clients use their garages all the time to get in and out of the home and when they give a key for the listing for the front door the lock ends up barely working --- and they are always surprised. Of course we get this fixed pronto.
Posted by Bob & Carolin Benjamin, East Phoenix Arizona Homes (Benjamin Realty LLC) over 12 years ago

Jennifer, like everyone else who left comments,  I have to  agree 100% with getting the wrong agents out of this market, and the bad lenders can join them as well, but asking them to leave is not going to fix the problem.  You addressed it in your post, and it sounds like you do so much for your clients, but the real problem still is with the consumer.  Consumers are still expecting miracles and want a simple solution to their problem.  Consumers are still not being educated about the changes to this market.  Its important for all of us out there to be proactively contacting our database and start educating them about the truth in this market.  Only when this happens, will the bad apples get out of this business. 

Just my 2 cents.

Posted by Gary Miljour, Mortgage Originator NMLS Licensed in AZ and NC (American Financial Network, Inc. NMLS#207208) over 12 years ago
I'm glad this was featured or I might have missed it.  Great post.  Get it...or Get out.  Love the sentiment.
Posted by ARDELL DellaLoggia (Better Properties Seattle ) over 12 years ago


Great post! It is indeed a long list to comb through. Good points!


Posted by David Dee, Real Estate - San Gabriel Valley (L.A.) & N. Orang (RMX REALTY) over 12 years ago
Great post, it's hard to believe that there are still any agents like that but there are and in the current market our Sellers need professionals.
Posted by Christina Bennani-Persechini, Realtor - The House For You (Keller Williams Realty Boston North West) over 12 years ago


Great post. many people new to the business take over priced listings because their Brokers tell them too and they are eager to please the boss, how little they know. Brokers want these over priced turkeys because it creates an image that they control the market place. (with over priced listings) The broker knows what properties are priced right and the ones that aren'./ The ones priced right are the ones getting the marketing $$.

When the newbie complains about advertising they tell the agent to get it reduced if they are successful they make money if not they are out of the business in time, any left over business created by this person is handed out the Brokers/managers pet agents.

Posted by Gary J. Rocks (Juba Team Realty) over 12 years ago

I was just having this conversation with an agent in my office the other day.  There are four homes  on the market in my neighborhood  (there were five but one EXPIRED).  All of them over-priced by $20,000 to $80,000. 

I provided my comps to one neighbor and she said, "None of the other agents think I will have a problem at my price."   And there it sits, until it expires!

Posted by Virginia Halter, ABR, CDPE, CRS, GREEN, SFR, SRES (RE/MAX Signature Properties) over 12 years ago


I thought your post was excellent.  There are too many unskilled sales associates working Real Estate as a part time-half/ hearted occupation while earning a pay check somewhere else.  If you are not actively selling, please move your license to inactive and let those of us wh are really doing our jobs do it well!

Kudos to you!

Posted by Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904 (St.Cloud Homes ) over 12 years ago

Excellent post...Let's not forget to occassionally clean the yard sign. Pareticularly here in Florida where, well water, from the sprinkler system, oftem discolors them ,leaving a sallow appearance.


Paying 50% for Daytona Beach Referrals

Posted by David Kelso over 12 years ago

Wow - so many great comments. I'm SO glad this post struck a chord with so many. For years I've been dismayed with the focus in our business on PROSPECTING and so little attention given to actually EARNING our commissions. And now... I think my message may actually be heard. I hate that so many of us are suffering (myself included) with the downturn in the market, but maybe it's a wake-up call to those agents who have it in them to be GREAT, but until now, haven't really had to be.

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 12 years ago

David - I almost included that in my list! Thanks! Dirty yard signs and brochure boxes full of cobwebs does not speak well of our professionalism.

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 12 years ago
I agree, totally agree.  Let the fools take the over priced listings.
Posted by New Jersey Real Estate James Boyer Morris, Essex & Union County NJ Realtor (RE/MAX Properties Unlimited, Real Estate) over 12 years ago


I love the abrasiveness...probably because I'm the same way.  And Just like my industry flushing out the "less than desirable" professionals, so should yours!

Posted by Zach Dahl, Virginia Home Loans (Ameritime Mortgage Company, LLC.) over 12 years ago

I just commented on another blog similarly.  So many sellers are looking at ACTIVE listings and not SOLD listings.  Active listings tell us nothing in a market that is flat, buyers market, or a market where values are decreasing. 

I feel strongly about not pulling any punches as far as pricing goes.  You show them the numbers and they are what they are.  I've lost listings to agents who are "buying" them also, but honesty is the best policy.  I had one overpriced listing, which I told the seller it was overpriced, it expired and he relisted with an agent who told him they had a "magic marketing plan" and added $10,000 to the price so they could give back $10,000 in closing help.  Needless to say after trying this magic marketing plan, reducing the price farther a couple times, they ended up RENTING it out. 

Prices that houses sell for are what they are and agents can't do anything about it.

Posted by David & Lisa Webber, (RE/MAX Executive) over 12 years ago

Abrasive... yep... I've been accused of that before. I think a lot of people are surprised by it because I look so sweet... ;-}

The thing is, I really really believe that if we tighten up our ship and behave like the professionals we so long to be, we can make a difference in all this doom and gloom. But it will take a concerted effort and I don't mean expensive ad campaigns by NAR screaming our value. We really need to demonstrate our value and get these darned listings SOLD!!!

SOLD signs in neighborhoods go a long way toward improving the perception (and therefore the reality) of the strength of the market.


Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 12 years ago
I am going to print this list to make sure I am the agent that should be in this business.
Posted by Steve Volkers, Grand Rapids Real Estate (SVG Real Estate Firm) over 12 years ago
I hope that the weaker market drives a lot of the lesser agents out of the business.  They are the ones giving us all a bad name. 
Posted by Lane Bailey, Realtor & Car Guy (Century 21 Results Realty) over 12 years ago

Absolutely fabulous post.  I agree with you 100% and I would like permission to print and frame your post as well.  Kudo's to you for saying what you mean and meaning what you say!!! Perhaps you should send out post cards to the part-timers....for educational purposes only!  ;- )


Posted by Karen Monsour, REALTOR, SSRS - Sells FL Waterfront, Short Sale Expert! (Coldwell Banker Fort Lauderdale Beach) over 12 years ago
Phenomenal post ... thanks for saying so elegantly what many of us have been trying to say for years.
Posted by Allen C. Wright, NS, AHS, REPS (RealtyU) over 12 years ago

Jennifer, Good Post. You are spot on about being firm with sellers and buyers for that matter. You need to be in a position where you are not desperate for the business, so you can turn down bad business. I pride myself on my media and Internet marketing, while my business partner is very firm with buyers and sellers. Not only do we handle general sellers well, but we often get referrals from other agents that don't think they can handle someone who is really tough. 

Thank you for the post and I hope that some of the agents that fall on the "Get Out" side hear you.  

Posted by Ryan Martin, Bellingham Commercial RE Broker (Windermere Real Estate / Whatcom Inc.) over 12 years ago
Thanks, Ryan. Actually what I'm hoping is that the agents who have it in them to be good, but who are sidetracked by "last year's" priorities are inspired to step up to the plate and focus on Selling Houses - instead of generating leads, creating websites and designing postcards. Right now, we need to spend our time and energy delivering SOLD signs to our neighborhoods! Prospecting needs to take a back seat, especially if an agent has a lot of unsold listings. (I'm sure this opinion is unpopular though)
Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 12 years ago
Great post! Run your business as a business.
Posted by Ken Smith (Suburban House Hunters) over 12 years ago
Jennifer: Well-written post! I am a firm believer of your principle. You know that.
Posted by Loreena and Michael Yeo, Real Estate Agents (3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co.) over 12 years ago
I'm still working on a couple of these things, but I know you are right. I don't believe in giving up and I am getting better. If you aren't making any progress at all then you are right, move on to something else you will be better at.
Posted by Cheri Smith, Realtor Prudential Gary Greene (Prudential Gary Greene, Cypress TX) over 12 years ago

I wish I could forward this anonymously to a few agents out there...

Thanks for sharing...truer words were never spoken!

Posted by Kelly Sibilsky (Licensed Through Referral Connection, LTD.) over 12 years ago


Great post. Too bad the people that really need to hear this are working their day jobs at McDonald's :)

It took balls of steel to say that :)

Maybe it will get a good debate going :)


Posted by "The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW. (President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.) over 12 years ago

TLW - Yeah, that's a whole 'nother debate, isn't it??? In this world where rookies can't afford to go full-time... that's when they really need to be full-time! In a cushy market, maybe it's doable, but today? I just don't think so.

More Balls to You!

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 12 years ago
Great post and very accurate observation by TLW!!!!!
Posted by Ana Connell, Burbank Real Estate Agent (G & C Properties) over 12 years ago
Great post - I would add get the seller to understand that their family pet is hurting their ability to get their home sold and get them to do something about it.
Posted by Jill Wente, Realtor, CRS, MCNE, CHMS (Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate | Gary Greene) over 12 years ago

Awesome post!  I had hoped that one of the side benefits of the changes in the housing market would be an EXODUS of EPIC PROPORTIONS!  I am saddened to report however, that the ranks are continuing to grow (in our market at least)...with some agents doing 1 deal a year (relatives?) I'm not sure how they are affording their MLS dues...yet they remain.

Perhaps your post will be the mirror that we all look in and see we are and not as we would LIKE to THINK we are. 

Thank you again!


Posted by Dave Pautsch, REALTOR, CRS (RE/MAX Integrity) over 12 years ago
Great post.  Your tone shocked me because this is not your usual way of expressing yourself in blogs that I've read , but it was good to see someone getting straight to the point.
Posted by Adele Irving - Easton Area Homes (Prudential Patt, White Real Estate) over 12 years ago
tough love , I guess you would call it. I am staying because I strive to do all those things.
Posted by Vicki Bishop GRI - Alabama Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors®) over 12 years ago

I have seen the light! Great Post

Posted by Rebecca Savitski, NC Real Estate Listings (BSR Real Estate Group) over 12 years ago

I'm currently writing an ebook about this topic and I"m surprising even myself - at all the factors that go into being a fantastic listing agent. It's A LOT of work and will take a lot of time, energy and effort. Is that so bad?

ONce you have your systems and habits in place, it's second nature though, and you just do it naturally. Perfectly every time? Of course not. But if you give it a great effort, you'll sleep well at night knowing you did your best.

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 12 years ago
Jennifer...Tell us how do you really feel! Wow, let's lay it right on the line. Seriously, I agree about doing it right or doing it elsewhere. Great post..
Posted by Al Maxwell, Real Estate Agent (Keller Williams) over 12 years ago

Gee Can I put This info on a Billboard. We need it in my market. Some of the realtors here still don't get it...


Posted by Paula Reno, Broker, Owner - Cedar Lake Indiana Realtor, Astro (Astro Realty (Buyer Agency)) over 12 years ago

I am just going to sit over here and watch the fun this one is going to bring!

Good post.

Posted by "JT" Prevatte (Former Agent) over 12 years ago
Great post and I agree with everything you have said. Hopefully this post will get this point across if they read this. Thank you for sharing with us.
Posted by Nicole Garner (Not Available) over 12 years ago
Jennifer - This is a good post. In the future, could you do a follow up...."Brokers, stop bringing them in!"
Posted by John MacArthur, Licensed Maryland/DC Realtor, Metro DC Homes (Century 21 Redwood) over 12 years ago

JMac - Please do! I don't know much about recruiting - I think YOU would be the perfect person to write a "GET YOUR AGENTS GOOD OR KICK THEM OUT!"

To everyone - contrary to my abrasive tone, this blog wasn't meant to encourage anyone to leave the business. My purpose was to inspire all of us to step up to the plate and perform to the best of our abilities. If a whole lot of us dedicate ourselves to becoming great listing agents (that is, agents who know how to sell and close houses), maybe we can turn this mess around!

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 12 years ago

GREAT! GREAT! GREAT!  I tell people all the time: "Listings don't matter!  Who is bringing the BUYERS!" We need to take back our profession from those who see a big check at closing and decide that they can sell houses, too!  It's a profession, not a hobby!  We are in business!  We are the experts! We must stay in control!  It is our duty to manage our sellers expectations!  If they take control, then what are they paying us for?  Under promise and over deliver!  Stay positive and upbeat!  Let the world beat a path to your door!  A friend of mine in big corporate America used to say, "Occassionally, the corporate tree must be watered with the blood of the incompetent!"  I say that the professional tree could use a good watering!

Speak the truth!

Be of service! The rewards will come!



Posted by Matt Crow, 630-728-6051 (Huntley Realty) over 12 years ago
Jennifer, What a wonderful list of how to be a great agent.  Thanks for sharing.
Posted by Kay Perry (Kay Perry, Broker) over 12 years ago

I couldn't agree with you more... I can't tell you the number of homes I see in my area of WA state that are overpriced, and undermarketed.  Yes, there are home that have been on the market for coming on two years. I completely agree w/ the statement on not taking listings that are over priced. All this does is take up your time & money, and the house just sits...

Thanks for stating what most of the morally responsible agents are thinking!

Posted by Laura Everett-Osiadacz (RE/MAX NW) over 12 years ago
I tell ya', if you focus on Selling Your Listings instead of going out looking for More Listings, you'll be way ahead of the game. There are PLENTY of houses out there to sell, but it doesn't matter if you don't know how to sell them!
Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 12 years ago
Great and interesting post. I like the list! The great agent these days has to think outside the old real-estate box or be left in the dust in the bottom of the box.
Posted by * Rate A Home (Rate A Home) over 12 years ago
Thanks Jennifer.  Selling real estate today takes more FOCUS than ever.  Your comments are on target.
Posted by Dan Forbes over 12 years ago
Great!  I do hope that we lose a lot of "pansy" agents.  It's good for the profession.  When more agents treat this like a REAL job, maybe we'll get somewhere.  Thanks for the post. Again, it was great!
Posted by Gayle Ross - C21 Ross Group Houston/Cypress Texas over 12 years ago

Amen and amen!!!  

I can't add anything to this that hasn't already been said - JENNIFER YOU ROCK!

Posted by Karen Rice, Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales (Davis R. Chant, REALTORS) over 12 years ago
I am with Karen, I can't add anything either that hasn't already been said except to say that I enjoyed the post and all of the comments.  I have had brokers advise me to take overpriced listings and worry about the price later.  I will not ever do that again!  This does not serve the client nor myself well and it was a hard lesson to learn but a very good one!  Jennifer, are you sure you are not an extrovert? LOL  Great post and you said it all just perfectly.
Posted by Donna Yates, Blue Ridge Mountains (BHGRE - Metro Brokers) over 12 years ago
Great Post!! I feel the same way, if its too hot in the kitchen get out now! Especially in this market!!
Posted by Jennifer Bowman (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Beach Properties of Florida) over 12 years ago

DeAnna:  I think the point is, if you don't do the job well, get out, whether you work RE "full time" or in between other jobs.

It is possible, though not recommended, to do a real estate job well while working another job for income.  It requires you to pay attention to details, to use your spare time to learn all you can and become is hard, but not impossible.

What is frustrating though are people who take a half-arsed approach to their responsibility as a real estate agent.

For instance, I just took a listing where the previous agent had the square footage off by over 600 s.f. - and sucky pictures that did nothing to make the house look appealing to potential buyers.  It may be difficult to be creative with photos, but it isn't difficult to take the stinking time and make sure the facts on the MLS are right. I just sent off an email to another agent who claimed her land listing "backs state land", which makes it very attractive to my buyer...until I looked on the tax maps and saw that the property is surrounded by other private landowners.  I'm still waiting to hear back from her about that.

Being a decent real estate agent takes a lot of dedication and commitment - and if you're going to do it half-way, then either DON'T do it until you can do it RIGHT, or skip it all together.  I don't have time and shouldn't have to spend time tracking down other agent's mistakes...I have enough of my own to worry about!  LOL 

Wow, sorry for this if it's a hijack Jennifer.  :-( 

Posted by Karen Rice, Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales (Davis R. Chant, REALTORS) over 12 years ago

I agree, DeAnna - I know more than one "full time" agent who is a complete moron and I wouldn't trust them to sell my dog house (if I had one.)

I guess we all speak from our own experience.  

Posted by Karen Rice, Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales (Davis R. Chant, REALTORS) over 12 years ago

DeAnna and Karen - don't mind the hijack at all - these discussions are good for all of us.

My problem with the part-time mentality is that it's all about the agent's needs ("I have a family to feed!") and not about what's best for the client. If I had a choice between a good full time agent and a good part time agent, I'll pick the full time agent. When I'm spending several hundred thousand dollars, I expect the person I'm working with to be committed to me and to his or her career. As a buyer or seller, frankly, I'm not concerned about the agent's needs for income or benefits or whatever. And my agent shouldn't expect me to be.

Bringing this back to the post... if a part-time agent can do ALL the things he needs to do to Sell His Listings, then great! If he doesn't have the time or energy, then he needs to Get Out.


Posted by Jennifer Allan (Jennifer Allan, Inc.) over 12 years ago

Jennifer- I like the post. You're very blunt and honest, and that's what's needed. Thank you.

Posted by Joshua Lazaro, serving New Orleans and the Greater New Orleans Area!!! (Prudential Gardner, Realtors) over 12 years ago

Jennifer, Well said any suggestions for new agents as how to tell clients that their house is not worth what they thik it is?

  Carol Bull

Posted by Carol Lynne Bull (Keller Williams) over 12 years ago

Hi Jennifer

Well, for someone who's new to the business - this is GREAT and exactly what I strive for. I heard an agent in my office (yup - one of the heavy hitters) say he had to "buy" the listing from another agent but he got the price down where it should be and I thought, seriously, you "buy" a listing using false hopes and playing on other's emotions? Isn't that in some way against agency? Seems like it should be! Anyway - thanks for the pat on the back and shove in the right direction!


Posted by Emily Cross (The Muljat Group) over 12 years ago


I know you asked Jennifer but I can't keep my  mouth shut.  Let the COMPS tell the clients.  Show them the comps of homes that sold for the price they want - let them see that all of those homes had x amount of features (like granite counters, more square footage, finished basement, more land, garage, etc.)  Then show them the comps of sold homes that are like theirs in size & features.

They probably still won't believe you.  I had a customer who wanted her house listed at $350,000.  However, the comps told us her house would sell at $289,000 at the HIGHEST.  She saw it in black and white.

And then listed with another agent who listed it at $350,000.

Fine...let that other dopey agent waste his/her time, energy, and money marketing an unsalable listing.   

Posted by Karen Rice, Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales (Davis R. Chant, REALTORS) over 12 years ago

Carol - Your question is one of most important questions a real estate PROFESSIONAL should be asking these days. How, indeed?

Coincidentally, I just (two hours ago) finished writing a very detailed ebook on this topic that I'm releasing at the NAR convention, and my brain is mush.

Karen is correct, of course. The comps tell the story, but there's a real art to communicating the news to sellers. You can't just beat them over the head with it - you need to respect their intelligence and dignity and let them make their own determination. If you provide the data in a form the sellers can understand, and treat them respectfully, very often they will arrive at the right conclusion. If they don't, no amount of abuse will make them see the light (IMHO).

If the seller is upside down in his home (i.e. he owes more than it's worth), you can't solve that problem. If the condition of the home makes it tough to sell and he doesn't want to clean it up... you can't solve that problem either.

If you commit to yourself that you WILL walk away from an unsellable listing and you communicate that attitude to your sellers (in a calm, professional, respectful manner), that will go a long way toward "convincing" them that you're serious about your pricing recommendation.

Don't know if this helps - like I said... my brain is MUSHY!

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 12 years ago

Right!! One of the things my mentor stressed was not to say that higher priced homes are "nicer" but have "more features" or "are different than yours because".

My mentor says to make sure to use "the market" as the reason for the pricing - you and the seller are on the same team but the MARKET is saying this... 

Posted by Karen Rice, Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales (Davis R. Chant, REALTORS) over 12 years ago

haha... I love it.  My favorite is "Ensures that the key works in the lock and doesn't accept the excuse that "there's a trick to it""  I just went through this with a listing agent... no matter what I said about the key not working... he kept saying "you're just doing it wrong."  It's a house KEY for crying out loud.  Insert and turn; it's not rocket science.

Posted by Jesse & Kathy Clifton, Retired (Jesse Clifton & Associates, REALTORS®) over 12 years ago



I really appreciated the information in your blog. In my area, many agents list it extremely high, and then drop the price. While the most productive agents are pricing homes just under market value. 

Posted by Matthew Zgonc, Realtor, CFS, CVS (Aksland Real Estate) over 12 years ago

I wish I could send this to another agent I know who I think has more expired listings now than acitve.  Maybe they would get the idea. 

Thanks for the post!

Posted by Jennifer Hartwick (Crane and Crane Real Estate) over 12 years ago

Jennifer, A M A Z I N G post!  I'm about to list a beauty this weekend that was UNDERMARKETED by the 'BEST REALTORS IN THE NICHE!' 

CAN YOU IMAGINE???  Tough love is the best love!  May I add that not only should the part-timers "do their business or get off the pot", but also some "seasoned" agents should consider retirement in the near future, as they either a) price the house at a ridiculous number b) don't do what they say they will c) and think they're just too hot to take any criticism.

Well done.  :::::::::applauding:::::::::::

Posted by Maria "Antoinette" Scognamiglio, GRI, ASP, There's no substitute for EXPERIENCE! (Coldwell Banker Realty) over 12 years ago

Thank you for all your help. I've been given a client that another agent had last year that did not work out. Her house  is over cluttered and has many pets she does not like to showher house and would not listen to the agent about pricing. I'm supposed to do better with her. your tips will help. So will lighting a few candles.


Posted by Carol Lynne Bull (Keller Williams) over 12 years ago

I agree...the public, now more than ever, really need the services of a "good" Realtor.   The services of an agent who is not professional can really hurt and seller and buyer in this tricky market we now have.

Posted by Debra Kukulski, Broker Associate, SRES;SFR,CDPE;GRI;ABR;e-PRO Realtor, Northern IL (RE/MAX Suburban) almost 12 years ago
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Posted by gtrujbwuh about 8 years ago

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