The BIGGEST LIAR gets the listing


OK... So here's the scenario...

You have a home, or piece of real estate for sale. You KNOW that you want to use a real estate professional to help you with your sale, but you just aren't sure who to call. Being the responsible consumer that you are, you decide to follow Mom's advice and interview three agents before deciding who to list with.

AGENT A - Meets with you, and gives you his assessment of what it will take to sell your property. Based on the current slow market, he advises you that it may take 90-120 days to get an offer. He also tells you that in order to compete with the 500 other listings for properties JUST LIKE YOURS, you may need to have a lower price, ESPECIALLY if you need to sell your property more quickly. After a careful analysis, he comes up with a price of $350,000.  In your mind, this doesn't sound all that great, after all you were hoping for closer to $400,000. That's what the Jones' got for their house last year... right down the street.

AGENT B - Meets with you next - After a long discussion and a careful analysis on her part... the conclusion ends up being pretty much the same. "WOW - I guess our home just wasn't worth as much as we thought," you say to your spouse.

AGENT C - Comes to your home, takes a look around, and asks you how much you were looking to get for your home. When you tell him $400,000 he lights up with a smile. "That's just the number I was thinking." Finally! Someone who agrees with you. Your sense of want takes over, and suddenly both of the other two agents you interviewed fade from your memory. How is this guy going to market your property? What will he charge? Who cares? He told you what you WANTED to hear. The only question left is "WHERE DO I SIGN?"

 We all LIKE being told what we want to hear. Here are some things I would like to hear from the professionals I work with:

My CPA - Don't worry about the IRS, they never audit people anyway, and I can make sure you NEVER pay a dime of taxes on any of your income

My Attorney - Illegal Schmegal, Just do whatever is best for your own interests, and leave the legal questions to me

My Doctor - Don't worry... go ahead and smoke, drink and eat whatever you want, I can cure anything with this little blue pill.

My Financial Advisor - I can guarantee you 120% annual returns on your investments

My Realtor - Sure your house is worth $200,000 more than you paid for it last year

These all sound nice, but they are fantasies. We wouldn't accept these statements on face value from a CPA or a doctor, but our sense of greed always comes in to play when looking to sell our property. Why is that?

The fact is, we are in a tough market right now. Properties are selling for less that what they did just a few months ago in some cases. It requires a professional agent who know's what they are doing in order to get the most money for your property. OVER PRICED LISTINGS will hurt the bottom line for you, when you finally do come out of fantasy land and decide to lower your price, it may be too late. All the newness of your listing will be gone, and at the rate things are going, your property may be worth a little less in 90 days that it is worth today. When you return to Agent A, you will find he now thinks you need to start at $340,000 just to get enough attention.

These unprofessional agents are everywhere, they not only hurt their own clients, but the whole market, by keeping listings on for month after month that DO NOT SELL. I will be happy when these agents finally are no longer able to sustain themselves in the real estate industry, and find an alternative career path, as only then, will this market turn around.



Ralph D. Nudi


Success Realtors


Comment balloon 24 commentsRalph Nudi • October 25 2007 09:09PM


So you wait 90-180 days and get another shot at the seller.  By then they are weary enough to listen and are ready to get the price right.  Sometimes it is better to be the second agent.
Posted by Vicky Poe, Realtor/ Auctioneer (Good Ole Rocky Top) almost 12 years ago

These poor sellers are doomed.  They'll probably get beaten up for a price reduction immediately.  If some fool does come along, the home won't appraise.  Ah well.  Like Vicky said, it can be good to be the second agent in this case!

Posted by Maria "Antoinette" Scognamiglio, GRI, ASP, There's no substitute for EXPERIENCE! (Coldwell Banker Realtors) almost 12 years ago
Vicky- I agree I think it might be better to be the second agent sometimes especially in this market. Although I seem to think a lot of sellers have to much pride and won't call you back to say that maybe you were right and go with another agent all together.
Posted by Craig Smith, Frederick MD Real Estate (Re/Max Achievers) almost 12 years ago

Time always reveals the truth...............always! And time is on your side.

Let us know how it goes when you get the listing in February! Thanks for posting.

Posted by Gene Dexter, Seattle Realtor (Asset Realty) almost 12 years ago

I had a seller contact me last year after having their home listed with an agent for six months.  This agent did them such an injustice, but people listen to the price instead of reason.  They put the house on the market overpriced.  Six months later, I relisted the home and had to sell it for much less than it would have gone for if it had been priced right to begin with!  I felt so bad, but there wasn't much I could do as I didn't have the listing six months prior.  The sellers learned a hard lesson.

Posted by Kim Peasley-Parker (AgentOwned Realty, Heritage Group, Inc.) almost 12 years ago
the worst thing is in this new market, by the time it really does sell they are taking a loss on what they could have gotten only if they would have listen to the first two realtor. that is what greed will do for you
Posted by Dan Tobias, Northridge Real Estate Expert (Rodeo Realty) almost 12 years ago

I wish I could add something brilliant but Craig and Vicky are right. 

I have another fib from a professional.  Don't worry Mr. Keberlein your hair will grow back!

Posted by Randal Keberlein (Weichert Realtors, Precision) almost 12 years ago
Wow - that list of things that you'd like to hear your professionals say would be really funny if it weren't so close to accurate - did you take a vacation out here to California recently? 
Posted by Chris Pollinger, Consulting for Luxury Teams and Brokerages (Berman & Pollinger, LLC.) almost 12 years ago

I agree with you all the way!! This is the exact reason why we have so many houses just sitting on the market or expiring. Thanks for sharing this with us. Here is a blog I wrote just a few days ago. Enjoy!!

"It takes more than a price & a sign to sell a home."

Nicole Garner-Portland Metro Oregon 

Posted by Nicole Garner (Not Available) almost 12 years ago

I am the AMEN chorus.  I just don't get the point of taking overprice listings.  Interview the consumer carefully and disqualify those that are not realistic.-- if they are going price their home correctly, you will only lose money! 

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) almost 12 years ago
We have an agent in our market who 'buys' listings.  If you see her name on the MLS you can guarantee the house is a minimum of $50,000 over market value.  Sellers fall for it time and again.  In the end they learn the hard way when the agent keeps hitting them up for successive price reductions only to have the listing expire because no one would make an offer.  Ya think! Excellent post... very well written. 
Posted by Jesse & Kathy Clifton, Retired (Jesse Clifton & Associates, REALTORS®) almost 12 years ago

Vicky/Antoinette/Craig   - I think Craig is right about the pride issue. I've been down that road

Gene - I personally never sweat it. Because I deal mostky with foreclosures, this doesn't happen to me too often but it's still an issue industry wide - AND it is affecting property values that there is too much inventory that is overpriced and stale. If these people would simply ALL take their homes off the market, the absorbtion rate would go down, and we would have a healthier market. Add BAD real estate agents to the list with bad mortgage lenders for the blame for our market!!

Kim - at least they finally learned

DAN - You are right - greed can cost sellers

Randy - Perhaps a good toupee would help :D - " Noboby will be able to tell" (How's that for a good lie?

Chris - Just triple every number in my above example and you have California

Nicole - good post... I read and commented!

Joan - Here's your Choir Robe!        

 Jesse & Kathy - Let her have 'em  they were greedy sellers anyway!

Posted by Ralph Nudi, "YOUR success IS our success" (Success Realtors brokered by eXp Realty) almost 12 years ago
Ralph, A good way to combat some of these LLA's(lying Listing Agents) is to pull there reports off the MLS. You can see the original listing price and what it sold for. Aside from that, what else can you do. It continues to amaze me that very intelligent people turn off their logical brain when it comes to listing their own house. I take them shopping sometimes and they can jump to the other side of the track very quickly!!! Keep on posting, maybe if it gets out enough, we can make a difference!!
Posted by Mike Norvell Sr, Norvell Consulting Group (Morris Williams Realty) almost 12 years ago
Ralph - did a google search and found you here... Just wanted to say thanks for being honest with me when I needed to sell. Not all sellers listen to the liars
Posted by Henry Rice almost 12 years ago


Pulling other agents records and giving them to sellers is a dicey way of doing business, no? I couldn't get away with that in my neck of the woods.

Dawn Cox
Weichert, Realtors
991 Hamburg Tpke
Wayne, NJ 07470
cell: 201-755-2633

Posted by DAWN COX, Broker-Salesperson, REALTOR, ABR, SRES, RELO, e-PR (Weichert, Realtors) almost 12 years ago

Henry - glad you found me!

Mike/Dawn - I have to go more with Dawn on this one, although I would love to print and post the statistics of the bad players. I believe you just have to be willing to let unreasonable sellers go. There are plenty of people who will see things your way.

Posted by Ralph Nudi, "YOUR success IS our success" (Success Realtors brokered by eXp Realty) almost 12 years ago
Ralph:  Your comments are soooo true.  I have been kicked out a couple of times this year because the seller didn't like my comps and/or price suggestion.  Do you catch yourself going to the listing about every 2 weeks to see if the home has sold?  
Posted by Jan Wood (None) almost 12 years ago

One thing you can do is know the other agents numbers if they tell you. I would maybe compare number and If my numbers were better, I may say wither that in comparison my numbers for x are the best of the people they are interviewing, or just let the sellers know your numbers and ask the others their numbers. I find the key is to educate the seller on what to look for so they don't get fooled by the other guys brochure.

On a side note, Dawn you shouldn't post your contact info in comments, the AR rules say this is a no no unless you have permission of the blog owner. :)

Posted by Ross Quintana, Real E Smarter Real Estate Coach - 509-362-1966 (Real E Smarter) over 11 years ago

It's unfortunate, but this happens quite often.  In our listing presentation, we refer to the Code of Ethics:

  • Standard of Practice 1-3

  • REALTORS®, in attempting to secure a listing, shall not deliberately mislead the owner as to market value.

    We explain to sellers that they will, most likely, encounter an agent that will try to "buy" their listing by unethically quoting an inflated price for the property.

    Amazingly enough, some folks still don't get it or it takes a few months (as you stated) before they finally get it. 

    My question is this:  We all know that this is an unethical practice, yet there are REALTORS out there that do this every day.  Why can't it be stopped?  Why are there no consequences? 



    Posted by Katherine Anderson, Managing Broker (Coldwell Banker Hobin Realty, LLC - Hampton & Rye, NH, USA) over 11 years ago
    As to quoting stats... we do use that, but we don't give a particular agent or agency name.  What we do is compare our list to sold ratio to that of the MLS as a whole.      
    Posted by Katherine Anderson, Managing Broker (Coldwell Banker Hobin Realty, LLC - Hampton & Rye, NH, USA) over 11 years ago
    Ralph, great post!  I just saw a house in our area that was initially listed for $489,000  (comped out at $420,000) almost a year ago.  Just sold for $401,000.  So it doesn't pay to take an overpriced turkey listing and for the sellers out there...It sure doesn't pay to overprice your home!  These sellers could have at least walked away with $19,000 extra in their pocket, but because they decided to hold out they walked away with considerably less and no where near their original asking price.
    Posted by Jessica Bigger, Freelance Real Estate Business Writer (Bigger Communications) over 11 years ago
    I have learned to not take a listing that is over priced. It ends up costing me a ton to advertise it. And spending way too much time trying to sell. I would rather be agent number two at least this way you look like a hero when it sells...
    Posted by Sharon Harris, Realtor (Keller Williams Keystone Realty) over 11 years ago
    Good post...
    Posted by Joseph "Joe" Peters, Helping you to achieve your Goals and Dreams (Coldwell Banker) over 11 years ago
    This sounds all too familiar.  I will walk away from an over priced listing!!  Been there; done that; spent too much $$
    Posted by Sandra Workman, BBA, Broker, CRS, GRI, ABR, SFR, CNE, ePRO, CNHS (Keller Williams Preferred Realty) over 11 years ago

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