JoAnna and Gail's Real Estate Blog


Falling on Deaf Ears

I saw a cute video the other day.
YouTube I want to sell my house
Cartoon realtor is talking to cartoon seller.  It was hysterical!!

Seller explains he wants to list his home and lets realtor know that his home is "the best house on the planet."

Realtor explains that seller bought at the height of the market and owes the bank $100,000 more than the home could sell for and that perhaps now is not the time to sell.

Seller reminds realtor that it IS the nicest home on the planet and proceeds to ask realtor to work for a reduced commission.

You get the idea!  Keeps going on and on with realtor making  relevant points and seller ignoring him completely and consuming the conversation with his needs and wants. 

Won't post the video or link here because, as you would imagine, the realtor gets extremely frustrated and eventually tells the seller exactly where he should stick his listing!  Send me an email and I will send you the link.

Falling on Deaf EarsI couldn't help but think of this video when I received a call from a potential seller.

He wasn't willing to meet me in person.

He wasn't interested in learning about what I do or how I do it.

He didn't want to know my thoughts on pricing or the local real estate market.

He said, and I quote, "I know it all already."  LOL!  He really said that, you can't make this crap up! A real "know it all."

He said he was looking to hire a realtor who would work under the following conditions:

1) The seller would retain the right to sell the home himself at any point and will pay the realtor nothing if he finds his own buyer.

2) The seller will not pay 5% commission. 

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm... Is that all???

I thought about just saying no, hanging up and getting back to dinner with my family.  In hindsight, perhaps I should have!
Falling on Deaf Ears
Instead I replied with very serious, well thought out, intuitive responses.

I explained that a realtor who would agree to allow a seller to sell on his own wouldn't invest enough marketing dollars at the risk of the transaction resulting in a loss due to circumstances out of his control.

I explained what the going rate for commission in that neighborhood.  I explained that for a home with a potential value of $95,000 the difference between competitively commissioning and under-commissioning his listing would be approximately $475!  I represented that under-commissioning his home would almost certainly have a negative impact on the sale price of his home of much more than $475.  I further explained that with approximately 45 competing units for sale, he was being penny foolish to try to save $475.  Of course I also suggested hiring the "right" realtor would more than likely net him more $$ in his pocket as well.

Each time I made a point he said he understood.  He said "that makes sense."

Finally, I asked him if he would reconsider his position on the two conditions and he replied...

"I have the nicest home on the planet,"  or essentially the same thing!

I told the story the next day to my manager.  I told her I didn't know why I even bothered wasting my time and real estate knowledge on this guy.  She asked if I've ever changed someone's mind. 

I have.  Many times and I know that I will again.  Even if they do have the nicest home on the planet!

Nicest house on the planet


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JoAnna Siminerio, Weichert Realtors

JoAnna Siminerio
Weichert Realtors - Marlboro / Manalapan
732-598-6823 cell
732-536-4400 x116 (office)

Let's Connect!

Comment balloon 14 commentsGail Szeluga & JoAnna Siminerio • November 14 2010 08:56AM


Jo~ Applause, applause, well done. Sounds like you professionally said what needed to be said & he was choosing not to listen.

Posted by Diane M. Phillips Realtor 443-286-4365, Specializing in Carroll Co., MD (Frankly Real Estate Inc.) almost 9 years ago

It would be interesting to see this seller in the role of a buyer. I could see a lot of time invested with very little return.

Posted by Larry O'Sullivan almost 9 years ago

I watched the video and it was extremely funny... I wondered if only realtors would see the humor or would our clients get the point if they were to watch it... you definitely did the right thing trying to educate him to the reality of real estate... we win some we loose some... 

Posted by Ellie Penaranda, Naples Florida Real Estate - Waterfront & Beach Co (239.776.5077 Downing-Frye Realty ) almost 9 years ago

Good reply, Jo. I think it was worth your time to attempt to educate the seller. Your words will come back to him when his home is an overpriced listing with a discounter who has no marketing budget and it will begin to make sense to him. I think it's important that we educate the public. Its not just for his benefit or ours; it is for the benefit of our industry.

Posted by Pam Sitterly, CRS Magnolia-Tomball Texas (RE/MAX VINTAGE) almost 9 years ago

Ellie, it is always a fine line between what to share with the public and what not to share.  I had my finger on the "share on facebook" button on that video and honestly, if it didn't have so many bad words, I would've shared!  I think it is a great way to get the point across!

Posted by Gail Szeluga & JoAnna Siminerio, Fostering Community Spirit Through Real Estate (Weichert Realtors - Manalapan - Marlboro) almost 9 years ago

Thanks Pam!  The very funny part of this was how I went on and on about why his conditions will hurt him in the end.  He sees the point and agrees and says he wants to do it his way anyway.  Hmmmmph.  He was actually almost annoyed that I through a wrench in his plans!

Posted by Gail Szeluga & JoAnna Siminerio, Fostering Community Spirit Through Real Estate (Weichert Realtors - Manalapan - Marlboro) almost 9 years ago

Love the story & the You Tube video :D Than ks for sharing! You responded quite well and even though you might think it was a waste of time, I think you just might hear from again ... that is, after his house is on the market for months & months & months!

~Cheers to you!

Posted by Samantha Smith, Sam I Am Houses, Simply Texas Real Estate (214.422.0729 almost 9 years ago

Thanks Samantha!

You know his unit just might sell.  I dont know what it looks like or what he will price it at.  He just might find his own buyer. 

Grief to success ratio.... what does he stand to benefit and at what cost??  What does he stand to risk??  I know I'm preaching to the choir.  With probable sale price in the range of $95,000, we are not talking about huge commissions for the service and marketing he would receive.

Then again, this chap doesn't even understand the service and marketing full-time realtors would be providing since he thinks he "knows it all" already!

Posted by Gail Szeluga & JoAnna Siminerio, Fostering Community Spirit Through Real Estate (Weichert Realtors - Manalapan - Marlboro) almost 9 years ago

I was hoping the dinosaurs had died out but I guess there are still some around.  It always amazes me that people can listen to the news concerning the housing market and how it is a Buyers market, and still think they (the Sellers) are in control.  I guess your guy hasn't looked around lately and seen the "for sale by owner" signs have disappeared; in this market they are extinct, and for good reason.

Posted by Lois Davies, Cape Coral & SW Florida (Century 21 Birchwood Realty, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Tell me about it Lois!!  I've had situations with Seller's where I didn't get the business.  He lists and doesn't sell.  I reach out and he says... "yeah, I guess you were right then.  But will overprice and and reduce your commission now?"  It's like 6 months didn't pass and they still think they know it all!!

Posted by Gail Szeluga & JoAnna Siminerio, Fostering Community Spirit Through Real Estate (Weichert Realtors - Manalapan - Marlboro) almost 9 years ago

Also want to go on record here that not all seller's are stubborn know it all's!! I've had some very good clients who hire me for my expertise and experience.  I present them with information and together we make decisions. It all comes down to trust and belief by the seller that we, the realtors, will do right by them.  This fella didn't give me a chance to show him he could trust me.


Posted by Gail Szeluga & JoAnna Siminerio, Fostering Community Spirit Through Real Estate (Weichert Realtors - Manalapan - Marlboro) almost 9 years ago

Loved the post and the graphics were perfect as usual.  Let us know if he does come back.

Posted by Tony Orefice, Realtor/Harrisburg NC,Concord NC (Wilkinson ERA/ almost 9 years ago

Great post.  The video was funny. We need a good laugh once in a while.

Posted by Kenneth Cole, NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson (Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, -) almost 9 years ago

Watched the video...couldn't stop laughing.  It is so TRUE!

Posted by Tony Orefice, Realtor/Harrisburg NC,Concord NC (Wilkinson ERA/ almost 9 years ago