What Is Wrong With Our Industry?
I recently got a call from a homeowner that was referred to me by a past client. He had just recently lost his wife and was living in a 3,000 Sq. Ft. home by himself and wanted to see what his option were on selling and downsizing. His home was built in the 1990’s. Parts of the home had been updated but there was still cosmetic work that the house needed. My conversations with him really got me thinking about how we all handle our business in such a different way. There are always a few bad apples in any profession but I am seeing in more and more as more people become a REALTOR in a strong market.
After a tour of the home we sat down at the kitchen table to discuss numbers on his home and the best timing. I live in the next neighborhood over and have done a lot of business over the years in his neighborhood so I know it pretty well. Since out appointment was short notice he asked that I run some numbers and get back with him. After I gave hime my best ballpark to give him something to think about he then told me some disturbing news. He was contacted by an agent in a large firm in our area after his wife had died. All we could think of is that they got a copy of the obituary and looked up his wife in the tax records and was able to get his name. Some of the services that some REALTORS pay for they can get your home and cell number. Then this REALTOR called him and without seeing the home or driving through the neighborhood he quoted him a listing price over $100,000 more than I was.
Be A Good Human Being
I understand that if you know a neighborhood well enough and you know the condition of the home that you are quoting you can fairly easy get within a pre percentage points of a solid list price. My heartburn in what happened is actually two fold. He contacted a man after losing his wife to try to get his business when he was not ever ready to discuss selling at this point. This in my opinion is no better than an attorney that is called an “ambulance chaser”. As a REALTOR we have to subscribe to a code of ethics and hold ourselves to a higher standard then just anyone that has a Real Estate License. I understand that this is not a violation of any of our codes but it is what is giving our industry a bad name right now. When you do not care about the people in the house and all you care about is getting your sign in the front yard you are not helping anyone but yourself.
Know Your Market
My second issue with how this REALTOR handled themselves is that all he did was run quick comps. All he did was figure out that average Dollar Per Square Foot Price. If you know your market this can be a fairly easy and quick way to give a “ballpark” price but it is not the most accurate and I would not list a house this way, with the acceptation of some new construction. This is where he made his second mistake. most of the recent sales in the neighborhood have been new construction. The rest of the neighborhood was built in the 1990’s there were a good number of lots that have been sitting empty until now. A local builder has been building new homes on these lots for a few years now. This REALTOR did included these in his numbers that he gave this homeowner.
I’m Not Perfect
I’ll be the first to tell you that I am not perfect. All I can do is follow the Golden Rule and treat you as I would like to be treated. As a REALTOR we are all independent contractors and every one of us runs our business in different ways but doubt that any of us would have been happy to get that call that day from a REALTOR after we had just buried our spouse.
Here is a link to the REALTOR Code Of Ethics that was mentioned above
If you have questions on how we conduct our business or would like a second opinion from someone who may know your market please contact me here.