The House That Wouldn’t Sell (Part 4)

Ryan Coffey
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Here is part four of my series which features a fictional account of a couple who have trouble selling their home. It is based on an amalgamation of some of the most common errors made by people hoping to sell their home which ultimately are detrimental to their efforts. Please read from the beginning of part one in order to understand the context of the following passage.

Discount Realtor

After two disheartening mishaps and three months of working hard to sell their home while trying to keep it spotless and presentable on top of both working full time, Roger and Shirley decided that it was time to hire a professional. After all, who knows what other unanticipated problems lie between them and a successful sale. The two issues they had with Buyers were things they wouldn’t do twice, but they realized that there are probably more possible unforeseen issues that could get between them and a successful sale.

The discount Realtor, the third one they interviewed in the beginning, came and took some photos and had Roger and Shirley fill out some paperwork. In a few days they saw the listing on the website and it looked pretty good. They felt much better now that they had someone to guide them through the process who could foresee issues before they happen and they felt reassured knowing their property was getting attention from a wider audience of Buyers thanks to being on the broader MLS system. Hiring a professional may mean paying some commission that they orignially thought they could hold on to, but in their mind they were taking the middle road; a discount Realtor who in their eyes offered all the important aspects that a full price Realtor offered without all the bells and whistles.

What no one told them is that paying half the commission for the real estate services means that half as much money is paid to the buyer’s agent before deductions and other business costs. At the end of the various deductions to the company, taxes and expenses most Realtors would be working for about the same as minimum wage or maybe less were they to sell this property to their Buyers. The Buyer’s agent has three choices: Work their stressful job with unpredictable hours for nearly free, refuse to show the property (and risk losing the client) or tell the buyer that they will have to kick in the extra comission in order to make the sale a part of the sustainable business model for that Realtor (and risk losing the client). Suffice to say, that Buyer’s Realtors are generally not too excited to show the discount property.

It never occured to Roger and Shirley that having the sign up and the listing on the internet would draw buyers to their Realtor. Nor did it occur to them that it would be a more sustainable business plan for that Realtor to sell other Realtor’s listing for full commission and leave up the for sale sign and listing of Roger and Shirley’s property in hopes of attracting more Buyers who they could sell full commission listings from other Realtors to.

Again days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months. A few showings happened here and there but there was no serious interest.

Click here for part 5, the conclusion.


Ryan Coffey