It Is ALL About Perspective

It Is ALL About Perspective

Last week I “lost” a listing on a high-end home in the Bluffs subdivision here in Mammoth. I put a tremendous amount of effort into this listing for almost two years. The seller, a very intense retired surgeon who built the home and was living in the home, had the property listed with another top producing broker prior to me. He didn’t have much good to say about my predecessor, so I certainly knew that the time may come that I may be in the same position (the doghouse).

This seller made many special requests in marketing his home. I obliged him on all of them. Included were a custom welded and timber “for sale” sign–an ordinary one like “all the other ones” wasn’t good enough for his home. And a special color brochure with a brochure box on the sign so that he could observe every passer-by who picked up a brochure (and judge their purchasing capacity by the car they drove). In the first year of marketing we went through over a thousand of those brochures!

There was also lots of “hand-holding”, I memorized every little detail of the property (he never pointed out the cheap fiberglass tub he used in the second bath), and we spent (at his request) at least a couple of hours discussing just the exact verbiage that I was allowed to use to describe the home in advertising. It took a half dozen photo shoots to get just the right photos. I in turn held the line that the home needed to be “de-crappified”, which is my term for getting all of the unsavory junk out of a house to make it “show” in an acceptable manner. And on and on…

When discussing broker compensation, he thought it was appalling that brokers could expect the kinds of commissions (percentage) that were typical. Ultimately, we agreed on a commission that was acceptable to the both of us. Through the nearly two years of marketing (and all of the drama that went with it), he never expressed anything but positive feedback for everything I did, except that the property hadn’t sold–but no other home in his price range had sold either. During the last few months of the process the seller moved to another mountain town in Montana. As everybody knows, life is full of greener grass.

But this seller had discovered that he could rent his Mammoth home for large sums of money during the holiday periods. Late last fall he asked me to give the listing “a little rest” while he goes about renting for large amounts of dollars to holiday nightly renters. So I did as requested and pulled the listing. Low and behold, during the most prime rental period in Mammoth, I find an agent from another real estate company here in Mammoth holding open house at the property. And a few days later I see in the MLS that the agent now has a listing on the property.

Now I know us real estate people don’t have the greatest reputations, but after almost two years of effort (and patience) and about $10K in hard expenses, you would think I could get a call or email and a thanks but…
As I well know, this kind of experience happens to every real estate veteran. Reactions vary–some will take their own sort of vengeance and some will do really stupid things. Others will bury their feelings and move on. Me? I want to sell the property. After all the commission to the agent selling the property is larger than the commission to the agent representing the seller. And some NICE buyer would look good in this beautiful home. But more importantly, knowledge and information are the best negotiating tools. And I know this seller’s personality, motivation and “hot buttons” very well. I also know the property intimately (I’ve had to attend every showing and also deal with lots of little problems). I know the good and the BAD. And the bad can and should be fixed. I also know what the property is worth.

So if there are any higher-end buyers out there looking for a beautiful home and want to get a good deal, call me!

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