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Business Marketing

Silent But Deadly – And This Is Not About Gas

After I had been in real estate for a couple years, I had enjoyed some success and gained some confidence – just enough in fact, to get me into a little trouble.

The Call

I had received a call from someone in my market area that was interested in talking to me about selling their home.  Love those calls!  He was very nice, very chatty, and easy to connect with.  They were going to interview a few people but were very interested in using us based on our local reputation.  Perfect.  I set the appointment with Mr. Seller and felt great about the connection.

The Appointment

Mr. Seller answered the door and greeted me warmly.  We immediately toured the home and he was very gregarious and very enthusiastic about their home and their upcoming plans.  We moved into the kitchen and I was introduced to Mrs. Seller who was pleasant, if a little quiet.  We finished the tour and sat at the kitchen table. Mr. Seller was responsive to all the questions, engaged, and was openly impressed with our plan to sell their home.  Even as we wrapped up, he said he would call us the following day after their next appointment so that they could get the ball rolling with us.  I left feeling good – and foolishly confident.

The Listing Goes To….

As most of you have guessed, I didn’t get this listing.  I’m sure you savvy folks probably know why. Mr. Talkative, Gregarious Seller really wasn’t the one making the decision here.  Quiet, Pleasant Mrs. Seller had this particular bull by the horns and if I had the painful experience of having that listing presentation on tape, I suspect you would see me directing most of the eye contact, most of the responses to the questions, and my market analysis to the guy doing the talking – not to the one making the decision.

Well Duh!

When Mr. Seller called to tell me that they had awarded the listing to another agent he said, ‘my wife just felt so comfortable with her.’  Well Duh.

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Even today, when I am tempted to start yuckin’ it up with the Mr. or Mrs. that is doing the talking, I remember this listing appointment. It’s the one that is sitting there silently, that may in fact be deadly if you don’t make the connection.

Written By

Linsey Planeta is the Broker Owner of Belterra Fine Homes in Orange County, California. Linsey rants regularly on her blog, OC Real Estate Voice. She also provides sellers with tips on how to get their home sold on Why Didn't My Home Sell? She has been an active Real Estate Coach and Instructor and loves working with agents so that they may look at their business with fresh eyes, renewed purpose, and defined systems. Linsey can be found in her office or you can also find her on Twitter@Linsey.



  1. Julie Fuelling

    March 3, 2009 at 9:42 am

    Having learned the same painful lesson, I now seat the spouses next to each other. No more me in the middle. Easier to show them the materials, too.

  2. Ken Brand

    March 3, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    No kidding right. Great stuff. If you don’t mind, I’m going to link to your post here in my Friday AG blog post. The title will be “How To Know If Your Marketing Sucks or Shines”.

    Welcome and thank you very much:-)

  3. Ken Brand

    March 3, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    Doh….my bad.

    Two things, this is great advice and I miss spoke about the link, I’m referring to the MLS pictures post. My bad. And of course “welcome” is wrong, you’ve been sharing great stuff for some time. I’m a dope.

  4. Paula Henry

    March 4, 2009 at 9:44 am

    Linsey – This exact thing happened to me last year when we were selling our home. No details, but my husband was the one who felt more confortable with one agent over the other. Coincidentally, he is the quiet thinker of the two of us.

  5. Barry Wolfert

    March 4, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    I ask my clients to complete a questionnaire before we meet. This accomplishes several things: 1) it gets them thinking about the questions I’m going to ask; 2) if they do it, I know they’re for real and will be good clients. If they don’t do it, it tells me there most likely either winging it or have made a decision; 3) I ask them on the form if they are meeting with someone else.

    It’s hard to know why we lose clients when they don’t tell us why. We’ve all been there. All they had to do was tell you they were leaning towards someone for these reasons. Then you could have presented your points and they could compare you.

    Good post and a reminder that we need to listen more and talk less.

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