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Jim Flanagan, GRI, e-PRO's Blog

By Jim Flanagan, GRI, e-PRO | Broker in Toms River, NJ

Sally Got Fired?


You're Fired!

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Last week, one of my freshman sales associates, Sally (not her real name), came into my office and confessed that she had been fired by her “buyers” the night before.  What exactly did Sally do that prompted her “clients” to fire her?  Her job!

Her former clients, whom I had the pleasure of meeting and consulting with myself the previous weekend, were a young couple looking for their “First Home” in Toms River.  Sally had found them a NEW 3 bedroom, 2 bath Ranch listed for $208,900.  It wasn’t in the greatest of locations but it was a BRAND NEW home for just over $200K.  The young couple liked it so much, they asked his father to come take a look at it…and he did!

Herein lies the problem! As I wrote in a previous post, “No Secrets Here…”;

So, here we are again in Ocean County, 12 years later.  The local housing market is poised for a recovery; home prices and mortgage interest rates are at historic lows and their is an abundance of homes to choose from (limited by price range of course).  Let’s learn from history and not repeat it; your friends and family may mean well but they just may cost you the home of your dreams.  Trust and listen to your real estate professional.  Unless, you want to live with mom and dad for the next 12 years!

The father KNEW EVERYTHING about real estate and construction (it only costs $75 a finished square foot) and advised these “kids” to offer $135,000 with a mortgage or $125,000 cash.  Now, I happened to be in the office when Sally returned with her “kids” to write up the offer and she did advise me as to the father’s instructions.  My initial response to my sales associate was, “is the father with them now”?  Unfortunately, he was not so I went with Sally to counsel our clients about their offer.

This is what is known as a NO WIN scenario.  How do you counsel a young couple that their father is going to cost them the house they like?  I did it as delicately as I could, with Sally observing, and we let them know we would submit their written offer but beware of the consequences (losing the house, not even getting a counter-offer, alienating the seller, etc.).  Despite our cautious counseling, the “kids” stayed the course with the father’s directions and…Sally was able to get a counter-offer of $202,000 from the Seller…that’s when they fired her!

They said, and I quote, “that they didn’t like it that we were discouraging them from short sales and foreclosures and they agreed with their father that there are houses to be bought in that price range“.  There are…but NOT in Toms River and NOT in that CONDITION and NOT in that (their) time frame!  So, we were fired for being honest.

I told Sally to send them a “Thank You” card, for sparing her from the long, painful, frustrating “hell” that their business relationship would have become.  She was now FREE to work with buyers that understand the opportunity that exists and WANT a home of their own!

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