Posted: Apr 16, 2012 / Key West
Not all Key West Realtors will take your listing.
Why do realtors accept your listing, even those listings with practically no chance of selling? Answer: Self Advertising. The sign in the front yard, the many internet sites that allow viewers to click on a Realtor’s “See My Listings”, Just Listed adverts in print and text media. In contrast, I want you to sell your home. With that, I would like to share with you the 7 steps I use to decide when to take your listing.

By the time I’m sitting in your kitchen attentively listening to you about selling your home I’ve spent considerable time figuring out one thing – can your home be sold?

  1. I’ve researched homes comparable to yours that have Sold, Expired or have Cancelled their listing.
  2. I’ve researched homes that are For Sale and will compete with yours. They are similar in size, number of bedrooms and full bathrooms, physical condition and neighborhood.
  3. I’ve reviewed an Excel worksheet I have made going back to 2000 that looks at the trend in sales of homes like yours so we can see EXACTLY how many homes like yours have sold and at EXACTLY what price.
  4. I’ve reviewed tax assessments, outstanding or expired permits, code violations and whether or not your home is on the FEMA or National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) lists.
  5. I’ve taken a picture or two of the outside of your house.
  6. I’ve researched whether or not the overall market is going up or down, if your neighborhood is going up or down and if there is anything specifically happening up or down on your street.

7. Sitting together I’m now learning all I can about what you want.

I politely ask and answer questions so I can understand what you want. I’m going to listen with both ears and wait for my turn to talk. Then talk to the point so you know I’m answering your question with an answer, not with some blab that I want you to hear. I hate when people do that to me so I’m not going to do that to you.


For example:


I met with a charming couple who owned several rental properties and had contacted me about selling a few. We walked through a pair of small cottages and a multi-unit property. I listened intently to their story of acquiring these properties, renting them and fixing them when something broke. They had owned these properties for some time and now it was time to cash in and move to a big city.


After 45 July afternoon in Key West minutes we returned to their home.

Decisions. Decisions.

We sat in their kitchen, guzzled a glass of water and got down to the real deal – how much and how soon. Yet, from walking around I already knew it wasn’t going to work out. Their rents were not under market, their properties were. There were no code violations because they hadn’t had any code inspections. Their unpermitted work would ultimately have to be permitted and I could tell they wouldn’t spend for that.


One half of the couple drove the bus, the other was a willing passenger. They saw their properties solely as sellers – not at all as buyers. They saw no cost in consequences when in truth the consequences of their actions were plenty costly. We talked sales price and I answered their questions one by one.


We talked sales price some more. I wrapped my strategy around what they had told me about moving away and beginning a new life. Eventually I told the deal maker I wasn’t going to take their listing. She couldn’t believe it.

A Realtor NOT taking a listing!?! NOT taking MY listing!?!

I explained:


  • It wouldn’t be fair to them for me to claim to be able to sell their property at the price they wanted.
  • It wouldn’t be fair to them to promise the probability of a sale when I knew flat out it wouldn’t happen.
  • It wouldn’t be fair to them for me to ask, month after month, to reduce the price, knowing that even with a price reduction we’d only be chasing a falling market.
  • It wouldn’t be fair to their tenants, friends of theirs one and all, for me to impose on their schedules to show the property to buyers who wouldn’t return my calls for feedback.


I gave them my best “It’s not you, it’s me” bit. George Castanza would have been proud.


After this, I asked them as quietly and as unassumingly as I could:

“Where would you like to go from here?”

After a few seconds we all stood up, shook hands, wished each other “Good Luck” and I left. Another Realtor willingly took their listings. That was 21 months ago. They’re still haven’t gone to the big city.


If you have any comments, please contact me here.