Well, like all agents have experienced, I just lost a listing that I should have won. I know that I erred when I didn’t insist on being the last agent to present, but other demands limited my availability. I was certain that I would earn the listing because I was direct, frank and honest with the sellers.

Since they we on the market for 120 days without a decent offer for their home, my approach was to suggest the most cost effective preparation and get ready staging we could muster. The sellers needed to terminate the existing listing so I had to wait a couple of days. It the old story from there. The sellers listed with another agent who raised the price $10,000. None of my recommendations were evident in the poorer than before photos, limited listing information and altogether boring marketing approach.

Ignored was my approach of using technology to market the listing. My recommendation was to stay with the previous sales price and upgrade the look of the property to make it more appealing. New improved photos, a virtual tour and maybe a podcast could put a new face on the old listing. When the competing agent raised the price and left all else as it was, the client is ultimately mistreated. Not only is the near term sale of the property unlikely at an even higher price, but the seller has been less than honestly dissuaded by a higher list price. Sure I may get the listing in a few months, but the stale, downtrodden property will need more cash infusion, and a much lower price to move it. There is little chance of a satisfied client “ the client is going to have a severe dislike of our industry because he was drawn to a higher, but unattainable price.

In a sense we bring about our own self failing scenario. Clients don’t trust us because we fail to deliver. Our failures are often because we take the easier and less honest approach of dangling a high price to the client. The higher price leads to more failures and more distrust. What a cycle.

I am not as cynical as I may sound. My approach to this situation remains unchanged. I will continue to provide the honest and straight up counseling on pricing that I have been providing for years. And I will win most of the competitions because of my honesty. And the really funny part is that I really like helping people. I want to sell their properties so they can move on to the next stage of their lives. This is another case of the competition appealing to the sellers base instinct of more money. Too bad for these sellers. I wish they would have let me help them.

So, what is the penalty for honesty. I lose the listing. The real penalty is the seller who will have his listing for more months in the future. Maybe they will see the light and get the price down. I hope they get is sold somehow. But I kept the moral high ground and treated them honestly. The penalty to be paid is theirs, not mine. I wish them well.