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Are you kidding? Are you on drugs? Taking over priced listings?

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Click On this image to watch the video. You'll die laughing, or get angry, or think. Warning: There are a couple of fleeting F-bombs, if you're sensitive, don't watch the video, just read the post. Otherwise, watch the video, then read. Or just watch the video. Click on the image now.


We should avoid overpriced listings at all costs. When our gut, our heart, and our brains tell us it’s a, No-Go situation, we should gracefully bow-out.  I know, it’s hard to decline business, “What if”, right?

The truth is, when a seller insists on overpricing their property, and a usually-rational real estate agent agrees, everyone involved goes down in tangled flames of bitter disappointment. When we concede to the irrational, we aren’t doing any favors for the seller, the market, our families, our colleges, or ourselves.  When we concede to the irrational, we rob our futures.  We waste time, money, energy, and emotion.  Everyone loses, every time.

When You Know It’s A No-Go.  Walk Away.

After you’ve presented your detailed market analysis, and the seller is adamant about pricing their property above your recommendation, walk away.  Be polite, be professional, be firm.  I’d say something like this.

“Thank you for the opportunity.  In my professional opinion, based on research, the data I’ve shared with you, and experience, listing this property for sale, above X-Dollars would be irresponsible.  I feel I’d be doing you a disservice by leading you to believe it was possible to find a buyer who would pay this price, the agent representing them will provide them with the same research, and data, I’ve shared with you.

I respect your desire to list higher, and I wish you the very best.  Thanks for the opportunity to meet with you.  Good luck.  Good by.”

While every situation has unique circumstances, the bottom line is, nobody is served by attempting the irrational, the irresponsible, and the impossible.

How Do You Handle These Situations?

What have you experienced in this area?   It’d be great to hear how you handle(d) it.  If you would be kind enough to share it in the comments, we could all benefit.  We could learn more about how to, educate and council the seller, how to hold our ground and believe in ourselves, and how to gracefully decline over priced listings.  Respectfully.

Thanks for reading.

PS.  About the video.  I was sorta torn about broadcasting the video.  Personally, I laughed to tears.  Because it’s so real.  I’ve been there, I’ve felt it, and seen it, and done it.  Then there’s the language, which some might find offensive, hence the warning below the image.  Anyway, my intention isn’t to criticize, poke fun of, or in anyway disrespect real estate agents, or sellers.  My intention is shine a few shades of light, on a practice that benefits no one.  In fact, it’s a practice that actually harms people, both agents, and sellers.

Ken Brand - Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors. I’ve proudly worn a Realtor tattoo for over 10,957+ days, practicing our craft in San Diego, Austin, Aspen and now, The Woodlands, TX. As a life long learner, I’ve studied, read, written, taught, observed and participated in spectacular face plant failures and giddy inducing triumphs. I invite you to read my blog posts here at Agent Genius and BrandCandid.com. On the lighter side, you can follow my folly on Twitter and Facebook. Of course, you’re always to welcome to take the shortcut and call: 832-797-1779.

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64 Comments

64 Comments

  1. Fred Romano

    August 23, 2010 at 7:25 am

    Its a great video, I’ve had it posted on my site since it was released in July. I hope the producer makes a followup!

    • Ken Brand

      August 23, 2010 at 12:12 pm

      It’s a keeper Fred. Thanks.

  2. Sheila Rasak

    August 23, 2010 at 8:18 am

    I wish there was a place in our code of ethics that addressed this subject! Too often I see the same Realtors taking overpriced listings and I avoid showing their listings (no matter the price point) in assumption that they’ve done it again.

    • Ken Brand

      August 23, 2010 at 12:13 pm

      I hear you, over priced listings happen for lots of different reasons, in the end, and the middle, and at the beginning, nobody wins. Everyone wants it so “bad”, but reality doesn’t cooperate, it punishes. Thanks for your comment:-)

  3. BawldGuy

    August 23, 2010 at 11:22 am

    New agents should take this advice and run with it. Follow it verbatim.

    If the sellers are nice people, my last arrow in the quiver is to show them all the like kind props priced how they’d prefer. I then point to the average days on the market, which is almost always triple digits. If that doesn’t do it, I give them the ‘Ken Brand’ speech and gracefully bow out.

    If they’re rude and cynical? I refer them to an agent I think would be a good personality match. It’s often entertaining to observe from afar. 🙂

    • Ken Brand

      August 23, 2010 at 12:14 pm

      Thanks Jeff. And you’re right, a referral to a like-minded agent is sometimes a beautiful thing to behold. 😉

  4. Liz Benitez

    August 23, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Love the video, shared it on my FB 🙂

    Looking for insight on like subject – I have a listing right now that is priced decent but in no ways to sell quickly. On my first meeting with he clients we toured the house, talked a little about there expectations, and made an appointment to go over the CMA and listing docs. At the time they were adamant that the house be prices were they wanted it. At our second appointment when presented with he CMA they agreed with the list price, how ever they want it sold in two month, now one month away, we have only had 3 showing. They will not budge on the price to make it sale faster. At this point I am ready to let the agreement run its course and move on.

    • Ken Brand

      August 23, 2010 at 8:18 pm

      I hear you, every situation is different, with it’s own sticky wicket part.

      The thing is, there are many angles of logic, sometime you use a couple, some times a fistful. While the logic, data, and facts, are patently obvious, we’re sharing this information with people who fully invested in the emotional blender of moving, fears, inconvenience, lost equity, etc. The better we present the information, the more often we’ll succeed. Sometimes, the emotional density overwhelms the dead-bang logical. Nothing you can do about it. You do your best, fight to keep it, if they don’t relist, you move on, no regrets

  5. Anthony Rueda

    August 23, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    I have a different perspective on how to handle a seller who initially refuses to lower their asking price. Have you ever had a listing where the seller refuses to drop his price and your listing expires, then you see another agent list and sell it for a lower price? How did that agent convince the seller to drop his price? For some sellers, it’s difficult to convince in an hour or two (during a listing presentation) to drop their price. Some sellers just need to be shown and not told. If you reject the listing, you’ve lost your opportunity. If you accept the listing, you have until the listing agreement expires to improve your communication skills with difficult clients. How can you improve your communication skills with difficult clients if you avoid working with them?

    • Ken Brand

      August 23, 2010 at 8:35 pm

      Great points Anthony. The short blog post can’t really dive into some the interesting circumstances the swirl around the CMA discussion, and over priced listings. For the circumstance you describe, and we’ve been on both sides, the victim, and the beneficiary, the SWAG (sophisticated wild ass guess) method would come into play. Specifically, If I believe that the seller was motivated enough, as in, I know they have to sell because she’s been transfered to China, and they agreed to listing period long enough, and I liked them enough, and I thought they would eventually reduce the price to salable figure, then I would take the listing. I would be making a calculated risk. If they got bored, and began to blame me, then fired me, and relisted with another, then it would have been a bad call for me. Or it it turns out they are loud, and persistant whiners, and they complain about me to their friends, the I would regret the time, and energy I’m investing for the commission, that would be bad call too. And so on. You only know if you made the right decision when it’s all over.

      So, you’re right, in certain circumstances, taking an initially over priced listing, might work out. Bu,t most every other over priced listing circumstance, run like the wind

  6. Alex Cortez

    August 24, 2010 at 5:00 am

    Sure, nobody likes to see overpriced listings on the market, but in reality these listings help sell the ones that are priced accordingly by being on the high end of the measuring stick. By the wayn sweet video, I hadn’t laughed that hard in a while.

    • Ken Brand

      August 24, 2010 at 7:05 am

      Alex – For sure the over priced listing is a silver linning benefit for the competitively price. It’s hard for the over priced listing agent, and seller to get a clue, when their property is show frequently, as you’ve described, agents are including the over priced listings in their showings to demonstrate contrast. Good call. Thanks for commenting.

  7. Scott Harris

    August 24, 2010 at 6:25 am

    That was so funny.

    I did something similar a few months ago to attempt to motivate (shame) a local contractor / friend / buyer to get started with social media plus doing a few other things on line to promote his business such as Google maps. He’s a great guy, but he says his phone doesn’t ring anymore and he wonders why no one looks him up in the yellow pages these days. He also once complained that his residential tenants don’t even take the yellow pages inside their apartments anymore, but instead leave them by the entrance gate.

    youtube.com/watch?v=qcOQY8AxVj8

    Now true, he’s bought a bunch of properties from me and I work real close with him to solve problems, but he’s way too reliant on me when it comes to anything regarding computers. He prefers to keep it pre-1962 or so. I share many of his hobbies including the old cars, but I like to move everyone forward a bit and show them that there is life after 1962. We’d gone around and around for months about his marketing so I put this one together thinking maybe some famous people could tell him the same thing I had been telling him. I won.

    • Ken Brand

      August 24, 2010 at 3:41 pm

      That’s the crazy thing these days Scott. There are new ways to open eyes, wake the dead, and drag zombies into the 2010s. Cheers to your creativity, everyone wins.

  8. Joe Loomer

    August 24, 2010 at 7:09 am

    Laughed pretty hard at the video, Ken!

    Scripts and dialogues help, nothing trumps market data, and Jeff’s recommendation is spot-on – take them to see homes at the price point they wish to be at and point out the differences in their property with those comparables.

    What I didn’t hear is any talk of adressing the appraisal issues in the unlikely event you actually get that “buyer from Pluto.”

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

    • Ken Brand

      August 24, 2010 at 3:42 pm

      Yep, yep, and more yep, until those dumb ass Pluto buyers show up. Cheers Joe.

  9. Stacie Wells

    August 24, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Wow. Brilliant, as usual 🙂 Where was this script when I needed it last month?

    1) Seller thinks their house is a gold mine and could care less about market statistics
    2) They interview a 2nd agent who tells them it’s worth way more than the outrageous amount that they think it’s worth.
    3) When it doesn’t sell, it’s the agent’s fault because they’re not “working hard enough”.

    Really?? The only thing that the agent should be faulted with is taking the overpriced listing. I’ve always said that the very best and most important piece of marketing is pricing it right. No sense in telling millions of people how over-priced it is, right? 🙂

    • Ken Brand

      August 25, 2010 at 3:23 pm

      Yeah, it’s sort of a jungle out there. If it sells fast, you underpriced it, if it never sells, it has nothing to do with the price, it’s because you suck. Back in the day, I sold new homes, when sales were slow, the mangers told us we were weak, it was our fault, we didn’t know how to sell. When sales boomed, we were luck, the houses were so magnificent, they sold them on their own, we were order takers. In the long wrong, I guess that’s why we make the medium money. Cheers. Stacie.

  10. Diana Hoyt

    August 25, 2010 at 9:34 am

    I laughed so hard and am not sure if it was because it was so funny or that there was so much truth in it! Both I suspect. That said, I would LOVE to post this on my FaceBook and on Twitter but again, the language is prohibiting me from doing so. The “F” word and the “retard” remarks are not appropriate, but your message is PERFECT for sellers to see and for all agents to consider. Is it possible for you to remake this without the offensive language? You have a great talent here and I would love to use it! Thanks for making my day a bit better!

    • Ken Brand

      August 25, 2010 at 3:24 pm

      I did the same the same. Sadly, I can’t take credit for the video. I had the same issue with language, but I wanted to post share, so I wrote a blog post around it, to sorta soften it up. The things is without the language, it’s lose some of its hammer. Thanks for commenting. Cheers.

  11. Tim Domanski

    August 25, 2010 at 11:09 am

    One of the things that my partner and I do to help avoid this is to not ask the seller what they are looking to get as a sale price. We present the market data and offer our opinion. We find it is easier for the seller to agree with our price opinion when they don’t have to try to save face because they offered a higher number as opposed to them giving us their number, which they try to defend.

    • Ken Brand

      August 26, 2010 at 8:05 am

      Smart advice Tim, like you’ve shared, once someone takes a position, it’s a challenge to get them to change their mind, or admit they were wrong. Good point.

  12. white bear lake mn homes for sale

    August 25, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    I also like the approach of “working with the seller” at the start to target what they want for sales price. Then I’ll tell them how close we can come to that after I do a quantitative CMA. By including them in the systematic, and data-driven process of pricing their home, I found it to be much easier reach an agreeable listing price. Great post!

    • Ken Brand

      August 26, 2010 at 8:09 am

      Thanks. Keys to success = make the discussion conversational, non confrontational, reassuring body language (relaxed and friendly vs tense and tight), tone of voice, and of course, if we’ve really done our homework, confidence. Cheers and good luck out there.

  13. Naples Real Estate

    August 25, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    The video is both hilarious and sadly true. IMHO, when dealing with emotional/ignorant people in this industry it is essential to take a stand, control the situation, and not let yourself get sucked into one of these situations no matter how tough the times are. Great post.

  14. Janie Coffey

    August 26, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Man Ken YOU ARE The MAN! This reminds me of your post several months ago about fix it or kick it to the curb. So 100% right on target! I love your posts!

  15. Nick Nymark

    September 10, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Great Article, I like the response in the grey box above under “When You Know It’s A No-Go. Walk Away.”

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Business Marketing

Amazon attracts advertisers from Facebook after Apple privacy alterations

(MARKETING) After Apple’s privacy features unveil, Amazon adapts by taking a unique approach to targeting, disrupting revenue for the ad giant Facebook.

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Two African American women work at their desks, one viewing Amazon's advertising landing page.

As a de facto search engine of its own persuasion, Amazon has been poaching ad revenue from Google for some time. However, disrupting the revenue stream from their most recent victim – Facebook – is going to turn some heads.

According to Bloomberg, Apple’s recent privacy additions to products such as iPhones are largely responsible for the shift in ad spending. While platforms like Facebook and Instagram were originally goldmines for advertisers, these privacy features prevent tracking for targeting – a crucial aspect in any marketing campaign.

Internet privacy has been featured heavily in tech conversations for the last several years, and with Chrome phasing out third-party cookies, along with Safari and Firefox introducing roughly analogous policies, social media advertising is bound to become less useful as tracking strategies struggle to keep up with the aforementioned changes.

However, Amazon’s wide user base and separate categorization from social media companies makes it a clear alternative to the Facebook family, which is perhaps why Facebook advertisers are starting to jump ship in an effort to preserve their profits.

This is the premise behind the decision to reduce the Facebook ad spending of Vanity Planet by 22%, a home spa vendor, while facilitating a transition to Amazon. “We have inventory…and the biggest place we are growing is Amazon,” says Alex Dastmalchi, the entrepreneur who runs Vanity Planet.

That gap will only widen with Apple’s new privacy features. Bloomberg reports that when asked in June if they would consent to having their internet activity tracked, only one in four iPhone users did so; this makes it substantially harder for the ad campaigns unique to Facebook to target prospective buyers.

It also means that Amazon, having demonstrated a profound effectiveness in targeting individuals both pre- and post-purchase, stands to gain more than its fair share of sellers flocking to promote their products.

Jens Nicolaysen, co-founder of Shinesty (an eccentric underwear company), affirms the value that Amazon holds for sellers while acknowledging that it isn’t a perfect substitute for social media. While Nicolaysen laments the loss of the somewhat random introduction charm inherent on Instagram, he also believes in the power of brand loyalty, especially on a platform as high-profile as Amazon. “The bigger you are, the more you lose by not having any presence on Amazon,” he explains.

As privacy restrictions continue to ramp up in the coming months, it will be interesting to see how social media advertising evolves to keep up with this trend; it seems naive to assume that Amazon will replace Facebook’s ads entirely, tracking or no tracking.

Apple's privacy landing page showing iPhone users ability to shut off location services and a desktop image of a user's ability to control how their data is managed.

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Business Marketing

How many hours of the work week are actually efficient?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Working more for that paycheck, more hours each week, on the weekends, on holidays can actually hurt productivity. So don’t do that, stay efficient.

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Clock pointed to 5:50 on a plain white wall, well tracked during the week.

Social media is always flooded with promises to get in shape, eat healthier and… hustle?

In hustle culture, it seems as though there’s no such thing as too much work. Nights, weekends and holidays are really just more time to be pushing towards your dreams and hobbies are just side hustles waiting to be monetized. Plus, with freelancing on the rise, there really is nothing stopping someone from making the most out of their 24 hours.

Hustle culture will have you believe that a full-time job isn’t enough. Is that true?

Although it’s a bit outdated, Gallup’s 2014 report on full-time US workers gives us an alarming glimpse into the effects of the hustle. For starters, 50% of full-time workers reported working over 40 hours a week – in fact, the average weekly hours for salaried employees was up to 49 hours.

So, what’s the deal with 40 hours anyway? The 40 hour work-week actually started with labor rights activists in the 1800s pushing for an 8 hour workday. In 1817, Robert Owen, a Welsh activist, reasoned this workday provided: “eight hours labor, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest.”

If you do the math, that’s a whopping 66% of the day devoted to personal needs, rather than labor!

Of course, it’s only natural to be skeptical of logic from two centuries ago coloring the way we do business in the 21st century. For starters, there’s plenty of labor to be done outside of the labor you’re paid to do. Meal prep, house cleaning, child care… that’s all work that needs to be done. It’s also all work that some of your favorite influencers are paying to get done while they pursue the “hustle.” For the average human, that would all be additional work to fall in the ‘recreation’ category.

But I digress. Is 40 hours a week really enough in the modern age? After all, average hours in the United States have increased.

Well… probably not. In fact, when hours are reduced (France, for instance, limited maximum hours to 35 hours a week, instead of 40), workers are not only more likely to be healthier and happier, but more efficient and less likely to miss work!

So, instead of following through with the goal to work more this year, maybe consider slowing the hustle. It might actually be more effective in the long run!

This story was first published in January 2020.

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Business Marketing

Jack of all trades vs. specialized expert – which are you?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) It may feel tough to decide if you want to be a jack of all trades or have an area of expertise at work. There are reasons to decide either route.

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jack of all trades learning

When mulling over your career trajectory, you might ask yourself if you should be a jack of all trades or a specific expert. Well, it’s important to think about where you started. When you were eight years old, what did you want to be when you grew up? Teacher? Doctor? Lawyer? Video Game Developer? Those are common answers when you are eight years old as they are based on professionals that you probably interact with regularly (ok, maybe not lawyers but you may have watched LA Law, Law & Order or Suits and maybe played some video games – nod to Atari, Nintendo and Sega).

We eventually chose what areas of work to gain skills in and/or what major to pursue in college. To shed some light on what has changed in the last couple of decades:

Business, Engineering, Healthcare and Technology job titles have grown immensely in the last 20 years. For example, here are 9 job titles that didn’t exist 20 years ago in Business:

  1. Online Community Manager
  2. Virtual Assistant
  3. Digital Marketing Expert
  4. SEO Specialist
  5. App Developer
  6. Web Analyst
  7. Blogger
  8. Social Media Manager
  9. UX Designer

We know that job opportunities have grown to include new technologies, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, consumer-generated content, instant gratification, gig economy and freelance, as well as many super-secret products and services that may be focused on the B2B market, government and/or military that we average consumers may not know about.

According to the 2019 Bureau of Labor Statistics after doing a survey of baby boomers, the average number of jobs in a lifetime is 12. That number is likely on the rise with generations after the Baby Boomers. Many people are moving away from hometowns and cousins they have grown up with.

The Balance Careers suggests that our careers and number of jobs we hold also vary throughout our lifetimes and our race is even a factor. “A worker’s age impacted the number of jobs that they held in any period. Workers held an average of 5.7 jobs during the six-year period when they were 18 to 24 years old. However, the number of jobs held declined with age. Workers had an average of 4.5 jobs when they were 25 to 34 years old, and 2.9 jobs when they were 35 to 44 years old. During the most established phase of many workers’ careers, ages 45 to 52, they held only an average of 1.9 jobs.”

In order to decide what you want to be, may we suggest asking yourself these questions:

  • Should you work to be an expert or a jack of all trades?
  • Where are you are at in your career and how have your skills progressed?
  • Are you happy focusing in on one area or do you find yourself bored easily?
  • What are your largest priorities today (Work? Family? Health? Caring for an aging parent or young children?)

If you take the Gallup CliftonStrengths test and are able to read the details about your top five strengths, Gallup suggests that it’s better to double down and grown your strengths versus trying to overcompensate on your weaknesses.

The thing is, usually if you work at a startup, small business or new division, you are often wearing many hats and it can force you to be a jack of all trades. If you are at a larger organization which equals more resources, there may be clearer lines of your job roles and responsibilities versus “the other departments”. This is where it seems there are skills that none of us can avoid. According to LinkedIn Learning, the top five soft skills in demand from 2020 are:

  1. Creativity
  2. Persuasion
  3. Collaboration
  4. Adaptability
  5. Emotional Intelligence

The top 10 hard skills are:

  1. Blockchain
  2. Cloud Computing
  3. Analytical Reasoning
  4. Artificial Intelligence
  5. UX Design
  6. Business Analysis
  7. Affiliate Marketing
  8. Sales
  9. Scientific Computing
  10. Video Production

There will be some folks that dive deep into certain areas that are super fascinating to them and they want to know everything about – as well as the excitement of becoming an “expert”. There are some folks that like to constantly evolve and try new things but not dig too deep and have a brief awareness of more areas. It looks safe to say that we all need to be flexible and adaptable.

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