The other day I got a call from a very nice lady. She had heard good things about our brokerage from some friends of hers and we began to chat. “What are you looking to do?” I asked. “I’m looking to sell my existing home and move into something a little smaller.” This is a classic life event phone call. I asked if she had been looking at any homes for sale. She said that there was one house that caught her attention. It had been on the market for some time, and based on everything she saw in the pictures, it looked like a good match.
I agreed to meet the woman at the house she was interested in. When I got there, I felt like this house wasn’t going to work out. I was aware of the neighborhood she currently lived in, and the neighborhood she was looking at was two steps down. When she arrived, we went inside and there were some basic things that she didn’t like.
- It was a two bedroom house, but neither of the bedrooms looked like they would fit anything more than a twin bed.
- The area for the laundry was in the basement. This area had a very low ceiling, so you had to bend over every time you wanted to do your laundry in an awkward position.
- The basement floor was a combination of tile and tile carpet squares. There was a strong scent of air freshener, and one wall had water marks on them. The carpet was likely mildewed; The air fresheners were likely covering the smell.
- The house had been marketed as 1300 square feet, but that was total living area. The measured square feet was a little more than 600.
On our way out of the house, I mentioned that I was looking forward to the challenge of finding her a home that would suit her better. There are lots of areas where she was interested that had homes that would come up for sale over the next few months.
Yesterday, I got the disappointing phone call. “After some tough consideration, I’ve decided to stay where I am currently living.” At this point, a lot of real estate agents would turn in two different ways.
- Talk the lady into continuing the search.
- Be indignant that the lady wasted their time.
I guess I’m not cut from the same cloth as a lot of agents. I told her that I understood her decision and that I enjoyed meeting her. My rationale is simple: We don’t coerce people into doing things they don’t want to do. This tactic may work once or twice, but it isn’t how Deerwood Realty does business.
Will I ever hear from the lady again? I don’t know. I would be happy to help her with her search for a new home whenever she feels like it is the right time.
There’s a perception in the real estate world from the general public that all we care about is sales. That isn’t the norm, at least from the good agents I know. Those of us lucky to have success know that at the end of the day it is the way we treat our clients that ultimately makes the difference between success and failure. Real estate sales fall apart for many different reasons. If your buyer isn’t ready to buy, it’s best practice to take the high road and move on.