Who’s Driving Your Bus? Do Your Sellers Tell You What to Do?


posted by on Working with Sellers


Ahhhh… back from vacation… and I must confess it’s awfully darn cool to GO to the beach and then come HOME to the beach!

Anyway, here’s a follow-up to my last pre-vacation blog about the show Loreena Yeo and I did together in the SWS Virtual Studio about getting listings sold FAST.

One of more memorable messages conveyed during that show was Loreena’s utter and complete commitment to walking away from a listing that doesn’t meet her requirements. If the seller refuses to price properly and/or to follow her advice on preparation and staging, she does not want the listing. Period.

Many listeners commented to me afterwards how refreshing it was to hear a real estate agent so secure in her value and confident in her abilities – that you couldn’t help but FEEL the control Loreena takes of her business and her clientele, and be a bit awed by it.

Perhaps that’s a bit melodramatic, but only a little bit. Seriously, it was impressive.

Well, so maybe everyone wasn’t so impressed. A few listeners contacted me afterwards chiding us for making it sound “so easy to walk away.” That we were being unreasonable and irresponsible to advise agents who are not yet “there” to turn down business. That it’s fine for us fat & happy established agents to be selective about which clients we accept and which we don’t, but for the average new-ish agent, being selective is simply not an option. After all, new agents NEED the practice; they NEED the experience, and perhaps most of all, they NEED those For Sale signs to generate calls from buyers.

Whoa, let’s back up here a minute.

QUESTION: Under what circumstances does Loreena respectfully walk away from a listing? Hmmmmm?

ANSWER: She walks away because the seller refuses to do what Loreena knows needs to be done to experience a successful home sale.

Loreena knows what it will take to sell a home in her Frisco market. And presumably, that’s what the seller wants and therefore, it’s what Loreena wants to deliver. If the seller is going to stand in the way of that goal, Loreena feels duty-bound – both to herself and to the seller – NOT to acquiesce and allow the seller to fail.

That’s her job. And she takes it seriously.

To allow a seller to call the shots – to “drive your bus” as Loreena calls it – is to neglect your fiduciary duty to your seller. Your personal needs for experience, practice and sign calls are not remotely relevant to your responsibility as a licensed real estate professional who is being considered for the honor of listing a home.

I have a friend with high blood pressure. When his doctor discovered it, he prescribed a blood-pressure-lowering drug. My friend balked, saying he didn’t want to be on a prescription medication the rest of his life. The physician calmly replied “Well, then, that’s your right, but I have to tell you that if you refuse treatment, I will no longer accept you as my patient. I feel that strongly that you take this drug for the sake of your health.”

And guess what? My friend takes his medicine and is grateful his doctor respectfully insisted. We owe our sellers (and ourselves) the same respect, don’t we?

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