And… whether you think you should or should not, DO you take listings you don’t like? If so, do you find it difficult to get them sold?
This week Barbara Todaro wrote a post asking “If you don’t like a listing, will you be able to sell it?”
It’s a good question, and she got a variety of responses.
Her position was that if you don’t like it, you should refer it to someone who will like it. She loves to sell new construction and has no interest in historic homes. Others (like me) love everything about old homes (except the lack of insulation). New houses are OK, but not very interesting.
Where you work can make a difference.
I was an agent in a small town where no one could afford to focus on just one niche. With few listings to go around, we generally took every one we could get, but I did turn down a few. Usually it was because they were too filthy to contemplate showing to a buyer. Sometimes it was because I knew the people and didn’t want to deal with them. Sometimes it was a fixer-upper that the sellers wanted to price as a fully renovated home.
I do recall agonizing over writing an ad for a singlewide trailer on a flat, bare, double lot. WHAT on earth could I say about it? I finally settled on the low price, the floor plan, and the fact that there was plenty of room to build a garage – with no land clearing to be done. The right person did come along and buy it.
Conversely, there were listings I loved. It was easy to write glowing ads about them and to talk about them with enthusiasm.
But back to the questions. Can you do right by a seller if you don’t like the house? Can you write a compelling description and market it with energy and passion?
Some agents say they can find something to like about every house, so their answer is yes. Can you?
My take on this is the same as my take on how you should go about choosing a niche.
Provided that you live in an area with a large enough population to offer a choice, I think every agent should choose a niche and become an expert in that niche.
I also think agents should be careful in how they choose. I’ve known many who chose based on potential commission, and they failed miserably. If someone really doesn’t like “rich people,” and in fact resents them a bit, they should not try to list or sell homes at the highest end of their market.
When you choose a niche, you should choose to work with people whose company you enjoy, with the kind of real estate you like, and ideally with a combination of both.
Even then, you could come across a property you just don’t like.
This is especially true if your niche is focused on people or situations rather than geographic areas or a type of real estate. Think of probate, divorce, short sale, senior relocation, snowbirds, etc. Those folks could have a variety of real estate.
When that happens, should you go for the listing?
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It depends upon your level of dislike and on whether you can go all out to get it sold in spite of your personal feelings. It could be a tough decision or not – also depending upon whether you feel that you “need” the listing.
If you’re unsure about whether you can do a good job, you’d probably be better off to refer the listing to an agent who will love it and market it with enthusiasm.
You know the old saying “Half a loaf is better than no loaf.” Taking a referral fee is better than spending time, emotional energy, and money on a listing you can’t sell because you don’t have your heart in it.
In those cases, you’d be far better off putting your time and energy toward marketing to list homes you do like. You’ll sell more of them and you’ll develop good relationships with your listing clients. Those are the people who will give you good reviews, will come back to you next time they need an agent, and will refer friends to you.
Your reputation could rest on your choices.
If you want a reputation for exceptional service and for getting your listings sold quickly and for top dollar, taking listings you don’t like could harm you. Taking listings for people you don’t like could harm you as well.
Perhaps you can do the job no matter what you think of the people or the homes. But is it worth the mental and emotional strain?
I can’t answer for you – but I can advise you to give it serious thought.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comment section below…
Images courtesy of stuart miles @freedigitalphotos.net