Picture this: You are a Realtor. You have been in the business 20 years. You not only have years of experience, but you have taken your career to the next level and have your Broker’s license. You get a call to go meet some people who need to sell their house. You ask when they are available and they want you to come tonight. You quickly scan your calendar and decide that you can move your gym appointment to after the meeting. You’ve never met them and you want to give them a great first impression. You arrive at the house with your material and are ready to take all the necessary notes so you can be armed to sell it.
They walk you around the house, telling you why it is the best in the neighborhood and that it will sell quickly. They ask your opinion on any work that needs to be done and how they should stage it. You ask to sit so you can get to know each other and to go over the numbers. The rest of the “conversation” goes something like this: “I want you to sell my house fast and for the most amount of money possible. I want you to pay for the professional photos and top-quality marketing. I want you to advertise it everywhere reasonably possible and get it in front of as many people possible. I want you to have a Broker open house so agents that may have a buyer can see it. I want you to have at least two public open houses per month until it sells and I want to be able to reach you 7 days a week, at least 14 hours a day if I need to reach you. And I want you to reduce your commission by 50%.”
As you choke on your own saliva, you are thinking that you just wasted a quarter tank of gas and an hour of your life. You think to yourself, “I sell houses. Did you hear that? I SELL houses. I have been selling houses as a full-time Realtor for 20 years. I have continued my education every year I have been licensed. I spend a lot of time and a lot of money on making sure that I market houses as much and as professionally as they can possibly be portrayed. You just met me. You don’t know what value I can bring to the table and you’re asking me to work for half price? Would you go see a doctor for the first time, ask him to evaluate your symptoms, give you something to solve your issue and tell him you only want to pay him half price for your surgery? You’ve seen those horror stories about what happens to people who go to cut-rate doctors, right? They have to go to a REAL doctor to fix what the first one messed up.”
Instead of saying all that and getting kicked out of their home, you simply thank them but you can’t give them the service they deserve for that little.
I’m not saying Realtors save lives like doctors do, but the professional ones do bring a lot of value to their clients. Does selling your house with a Realtor cost money? Yes. Could you legally do it yourself? Yes. Do you know what you don’t know? No. That is why you need a professional. Would you want to interview for a job with a new company in a field that you have been working in for 20 years and them tell you they love you but they only want to pay you half of what you’ve been making? That would be an insult. You likely wouldn’t take the job…unless you were desperate. And, if you were desperate, you probably wouldn’t do a great job because you would be bitter, knowing you were only making half of what you’re worth. You would be secretly continuing to interview on your lunch break and quit the second you got a better offer. You have heard the saying, “you get what you pay for” and in my experience, that is very true in the world of real estate and professional Realtors. If someone works for half-price, it’s likely that they will only work half as much and half as hard. You pay for professionalism. You pay for experience. You pay for results. So, if you want to pay half, you will probably get half, just sayin’!
Michelle Froedge is a residential Realtor and Principal Broker in the Greater Nashville and Williamson County areas of Tennessee. “Mom” to four-legged fur baby, Tyler, Auntie to Zelamie, she is a vegetarian and sings in her spare time. Michelle has lived in Nashville and Franklin since 1997 and has been selling homes since 2004.