By Dan St. Yves
I’m probably opening a can of worms with this column, but there are many birds that would find that quite an ideal scenario – so let’s just say this one is for the birds!
Over the 11 years I spent as a Realtor, so many of them were smooth and unremarkable. Months, sometimes even an entire year would go by without any sort of drama. Then there would be those days seemingly out of nowhere, where you just had to mutter in the silence of your private office, “How is this even possible?”
One such occasion occurred with a client that had somewhat softened on his enthusiasm for my efforts. Four whole weeks into trying to sell his home, the phone calls ramped up to the point where a visit in person was obviously necessary to hopefully defuse and/or reassure him every reasonable effort was being made.
Sure, I had been making weekly updates, such as they were given the quiet market at the time, but the frequent jovialities he had exchanged were swerving from “buddy”, “pal” and “my friend” to “Mr. Leisure Time”, “Putz” and “I want to wring your scrawny neck!”
At his home, the time I had spent earlier in the office researching comparable sales in the area was dismissed as entirely irrelevant to his own property, which we had tilted towards the higher end of the market. Plus about $83,000.
After casually glancing around the kitchen at his startling assortment of displayed meat preparation tools, I cleared my throat and suggested that perhaps, rather than reduce the price based on my considerations, I might be able to invite a fellow Realtor over to glean their unique perspective. If that individual felt we were off-base, we would invite he or she on board as a co-list.
Indicating that it was far too early to be considering drastic measures to “give his home away”, the client at least felt this course of action might break my incompetence regarding activity. I felt like this was a step forward and accidentally gave an audible sigh of relief, having spent too much time years ago watching TV’s Tony Soprano persuade hapless individuals to his way of thinking.
Later that week when we arrived at the listed home, the fellow Realtor I had approached to assist me gave a spirited update on sales in the area and presented a 30-page full-colour high-gloss booklet of his marketing avenues, along with references from numerous happy clients.
He also made an off-handed comment about cleaning off the refrigerator door of all the cluttery children’s artwork and magnets, so as to have it appear more like a show suite. I’m not sure if that was the nail in the coffin, but by the time he was driving down the block, I had shortened my listing to 60 days instead of 90 and UPPED the list price by $37,000. The fellow agent was not invited on board as a co-list.
Here’s where things get wacky. Despite having already hosted several open houses, I had been invited to play a round of golf one Saturday morning, so I informed my client that on this particular weekend, I would be unable to do another open house.
Did I mention earlier that his home backed onto a golf course? The very course that I was going to be golfing on that weekend?
As our foursome rounded the corner onto the fairway that ran behind his home, I was first startled to notice him out on the balcony, as if psychic or tipped off by a competitor hoping to get the cancelled listing.
Startled as I may have been at that sight, what propelled me into open sprinting forthwith was the moment he leapt from his balcony onto the stone fence bordering the fairway and ran towards me, brandishing either a barbecue brush, or the freshly severed arm of a lawn chair. I did not stick around to find out which it might have been.
We agreed to part ways and my future golf overtures were spent driving to another nearby province. Yes, mostly uneventful this business of selling real estate, but every once in a while…