I caught a great "Buy Me" show on HGTV today that was shot in Chicago. It was very interesting because one of the owners was a long-time veteran real estate agent that had her REALTOR® son list the home.
It was a very unique, custom styled 3-story and although the home owners seemed to acknowledge that they were looking for that special (needle-in-a-haystack) buyer, they were not cooperating with their son about staging the home and pricing it correctly. And it kind of bothered me that as a real estate agent, the wife was one of the most difficult to convince.
She had a difficult time de-cluttering and kept items that her son tried to get her to store away. And she wanted to try a very high price even after her son showed her comparables and tried explaining that they were wasting time at such a high price. But she wouldn't budge or acknowlege his factual data. As a real estate agent, whether retired or active, in my opinion, she should have known better!
The husband seemed to be more realistic - in the beginning. The son told him that the price was too high and at one point the husband said that his wife needed to face reality. Yet in the end, it was the husband that pulled the plug, although that was probably a planned television edit.
They admitted they were greedy
In the beginning of the show they stated that they were as greedy as any other buyer or seller out there. Their reason for selling was to downsize and retire early. But in order for that plan to work, they needed to get a certain amount of money for their home.
Since the agent was their son, he had to do some hands-on de-clutteirng for his parents. It was a funny battle. He was packing things while Mom was looking through old photos. I felt sorry for him as he seemed to be doing everything right.
He held a broker's open and the comments were too much stuff (after de-cluttering) and too high a price. It's like these comments went through one ear and out the other with these stubborn sellers.
And time went by
I believe it was on the market for around 4 months. They held open houses and there were showings. But buyers felt the place was outdated and would require too much money to fix it up, they felt it was overpriced, bedrooms were too small, it only had one bathroom, it had a weird floor plan, etc. Bottom line, it was not priced correctly and the son knew it and simply could not convince his parents.
He was fired
They set up a cutesy scene where the son/agent goes for a visit to discuss lowering the price. Prior to this scene the veteran agent/wife/mom actually admits they're priced too high and states that they won't sell until they reduce. But then when son visits, Dad is the one to drop the bomb that they are going to stay in the home and that his son is fired. His son is shown alone where he states something about a house not selling if it's priced too high.
All in all, this was a tough one. If your parents or any other family member wants to list their house you're most likely not going to refer them to someone else. In fact, when the son was first explaining to his parents what the house should be priced at and could see their displeasure, he reminded them that he's their son and he's telling them the truth.
But working with family and friends is something some of us would almost prefer to avoid. It can cause bad feelings on both sides. In this case, the son was working hard and getting nowhere. These two were the kind of sellers an agent doesn't want!
I tried searching for the listing
I searched through the Chicago MLS to try to find this property, but using different methods I could not find it. I figured at some point it showed as an expired or canceled listing but maybe because of the notoriety created by the show they were able to remove it. I thought it was a Chicago address but nothing came up. Maybe the show alters some things like price and people's names (all they showed was the first name of the listing agent son and the first names of the sellers). It never showed the full house address and I have no idea what street it was on.
So I don't know if they ever sold the property, but with the continuous market decline it would be worth less now than it was then and they weren't happy about the price at that time. That's another thing that bothers me about this scenario. They wanted to downsize as the property was too big for them. But they had an unrealistic price in mind. So instead of downsizing and probably saving money in the long-run, they stayed in the too large home because they couldn't get their price. That kind of thinking just doesn't make sense to me.
But then I guess I'm not the typical seller. As an experienced REALTOR®, I price my property at the low end of the range. I de-clutter and stage my properties to show their best. I am not emotional and treat it as a financial transaction and am realistic about the market. When I want to sell I have made that decision and I'm not just trying it out like many sellers seem to do.
This was a great show for sellers to watch
This was a TV program I suggested sellers watch before and during the sale of their property, although I don't think it's on any longer. Although I feel most of these shows are scripted and staged, it also seems to be pretty realistic. It shows sellers upset with the lack of progress and it shows them blaming their agent when it's easy to see that they're being unrealistic. It also shows how agents get frustrated with these sellers that won't face facts. Some of the homes sell, many don't, so it's not always a feel-good story with a happy ending. It's real real estate stories.
I don't sell too much in the city of Chicago, but if you're looking for Orland Park homes give Judy Orr a call at 708-536-8200 or fill out the Automated Home Finder Form to get listings sent directly to your e-mail.