In spite of what too many believe before becoming licensed, being a real estate agent is not an easy job. At least, not if you do it correctly.
You not only have to wear diverse hats and learn to do things that you didn’t realize came with the job; you have to deal with the human element. You get to interact with every personality type under the sun, while you witness nearly every emotion imaginable.
Once licensed, you no doubt found that some of your new roles were easy and enjoyable, while you dreaded having to deal with others.
I once worked with a woman who refused to try to find things on a map or draw out property lines from a legal description. Her answer was always – “You do this. I can’t.” Others said they “couldn’t” do a market analysis because the math was too hard. Many “couldn’t” write so they didn’t try. Their property descriptions were wonderful. They looked something like: “3 bedroom, 1 bath, garage, city lot.”
I’m sure you didn’t and don’t shirk your duties like that. Since you wanted (or still want) to be a top agent, you learned what you needed to learn, even when it was tough.
My own toughest task as a real estate agent…
I thought all that brain work was fun, but there was one task I really wished I could give to someone else. My toughest task as a real estate agent was telling people that they needed to clean their house.
And oh boy, some of those houses reeked. Dirty dishes piled all over the kitchen, dirty clothes all over the floors, and overflowing cat litter boxes and garbage cans. I even saw bathrooms with mostly black bathtubs and toilet bowls. Ugh.
Fortunately, most weren’t quite that bad, but I still dreaded telling people that the way they lived was not an acceptable condition for home selling. I was raised to be polite – not to rudely tell people that their homes were dirty!
Some people listened and some did not. One man actually told me “If they want it clean, they can clean it after they buy it.” I’m not sure who he thought “they” would be. How do you decide if you want a house when you can’t even see the counter-tops in the kitchen or bathroom? No, I didn’t take that listing.
I believe this is a “toughest task” for many agents – and one that some choose to avoid.
Why else would stories that this one told by Scott Godzyk keep popping up? These agents are not doing their clients or themselves any favors, since those dirty houses don’t attract buyers.
If telling people to clean house is also your toughest task as a real estate agent, here’s help…
It won’t keep you from having to address the subject, but will save you from having to say “You need to shampoo these stinky carpets” or “Your front yard looks like a landfill.”
This list will allow you to go over the tasks to be performed and explain why they‘re important without pointing any fingers. (Too bad I didn’t think to write it back when I was an agent.)
You can get a free copy by visiting: https://copybymarte.com/seller-checklist/
Should you take the listing if the sellers refuse to clean house?
That all depends upon the community and the price. People buying fixers don’t mind the dirt – they plan to rip things out anyway and they know that dirt lowers the price.
The trouble is that it’s often the “dirtiest” homeowners who expect to sell for more than market value.
Consider carefully before you say yes – even if you “need” more listings.
Taking a listing that will not sell is a drain on both your finances and your peace of mind. Just because the sellers are making it tough doesn’t mean they won’t harass you over why the house isn’t selling. It also doesn’t mean they won’t bad-mouth you when the listing expires unsold.
If you’re a seasoned agent, you don’t need me to tell you that. If you’re new and desperate to get started, do heed the warning. A bad listing IS worse than no listing at all.
Is this your toughest task as a real estate agent?
If not, what is?
Send me an email and tell me about it. Perhaps it’s something we can explore in a future message.
Meanwhile, if you have more buyers than sellers right now…
It’s time to prospect! The COVID Hot Market prospecting letters might be just what you need to get some reluctant sellers off the fence. Combine them with niche letters or use them to prospect in your geographic territory.
Messy staircase Image courtesy of varandah at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Hats courtesy of Pexels