Back in the day on the Bozo The Clown Show, he’d have this huge bucket of prizes. If you were a contestant on the show and you won, you got the whole bucket. And it was filled with some really awesome toys.
But if you didn’t win, he gave you a giant Tootsie Roll. It was practically as big as the children receiving it.
Anyhow, nobody liked or wanted the giant Tootsie Roll. First of all, it wasn’t the grand prize bucket full of awesomeness. Second of all…a giant Tootsie Roll?! Let’s leave it at that…
What’s that got to do with real estate?
You interviewed a few real estate agents to list your home for sale. You decided upon one of them. Let’s call that one the winner. (Because he or she is…)
Now you have to break the news to the other real estate agents, and tell them that you decided to list your house with someone else.
You don’t want to hurt their feelings. You wish you could have hired the agent, but the other agent just sounded better, or sold you on themself, or their company, or whatever. Doesn’t matter. You chose someone else. You’ve gotta say something to the agent(s) you didn’t hire…
But what do you say?
Apparently, there’s a handbook somewhere that homeowners can reference for just this occasion. Because so many homeowners go to the agent(s) they didn’t hire and say the exact same thing.
“Sorry, we decided to go with agent blah, blah, blah… But, hey, you can still sell my house. Go find a buyer and you can still get paid.” (Or something along those lines.)
For a real estate agent, that’s the equivalent of being given a giant Tootsie Roll.
That’s not how this works…
This sounds good and hopeful. And, let’s face it, nobody’s saying it with anything but kindness. It’s probably just something to say in the moment.
And it’s true enough…
The agent who didn’t get the listing could still make as much as the listing agent does…if they have, or find an appropriate buyer for the house. It sounds like a win-win situation… “I get my house sold, and you still get paid!”
But listing a house, and having a buyer for a house are two separate things.
If you get the listing for a house, there’s a pretty good chance you’re getting paid. You are representing the house, and the owner. And all the buyers out there will come to see the house with the agents they’re working with. Maybe one here and there will come directly through the listing agent, but not necessarily, and maybe even unlikely. But, since you are listing the house, a buyer who is unrepresented may very well call you and buy the house…and, bingo, you get both sides. Because the house was the magnet for the buyer. The listing agent didn’t necessarily just have, or “find” the buyer…the buyer found the house.
The chances that the agent who didn’t get the listing just happens to have a buyer for your house, or comes across one, are pretty slim. If it did play out that way, it’d be great. Just highly unlikely.
So, what’s the point?
Take this as a lighthearted public service announcement…and a bit of a tip.
It’s hard to break that news to an agent you have interviewed.
But, if you find yourself in the position of having to tell a real estate agent that you decided to list your house with another agent, maybe you can break the ice by giving them a giant Tootsie Roll and a copy of this article.
It’s better than giving them that old line about finding the buyer for the house so they can still get paid.