Sorry, I don’t do toilets…

On the Powersites blog, they posted the question “Can a Realtor do too much?”  At issue was a marketing piece done by an Atlanta real estate agent showing her doing dishes, making the beds, and yes…scrubbing the toilets for her sellers in order to sell a house.  You can see the short video for yourself.

Selling a home in Salem Oregon is insanely difficult these days.  Inventory is high and lending is still difficult and transactions fail more often than before.  I get that what this agent is going for is that she will go above and beyond for her clients, but I’m interested to see what you all, the consumers, think of this.  Would you hire an agent that advertises themselves this way?

Me…I don’t clean windows…leaf blowing…dishes…you get the idea.

What do I do, since I don’t offer maid services as part of my real estate services?

  1. Study the market data like a crazy agent to help a seller price the house for the current market. I mean if a market sector has a 5 year inventory of homes, then I’ll want to take a different pricing strategy than a market sector that has 4 months of inventory. If I spend all my time mowing lawns, I won’t have time to study the data and then my CMA is useless, but I might know how to get rid of that crabgrass that plagues us this time of year.  Crabgrass killer extraordinaire vs. Proper home pricing?  You decide.
  2. Tour homes on the market weekly so that I’m familiar with what kinds of homes are selling and why. If I haven’t been in ANY of the homes that are in current competition with yours because I’m busy doing dishes for a seller, then my real estate expertise is useless, because that is why people hire agents…for real estate expertise…right?  OR are you just looking for someone that can make your dishes squeaky clean?
  3. Read studies about how buyers find real estate information and make sure my listings are where buyers are. If the  crux of your real estate marketing plan is the Homes and Land Book and making your beds so it looks good for the non-existent people that actually read those real estate books, then maybe making beds for a living is in the future of that real estate agent.  Who needs online photos anyway?
  4. Know how to get listings ready for market. If all I have to offer is that I can clean a toilet really well, then seriously…you need to not hire me.  My job is to know what is selling, why it is selling, and how to get your home in selling condition.   If that isn’t the point of a real estate agent, then I think I need to put my house on the market and get some free maid service for 6 months…Hmmm….I think I’m onto something here.

So for you sellers looking for a agents that knows the market, look no further, we are it.  If you are looking for a personal servant…just mosey on, ’cause I’m not the right person for you. 

Sorry…I don’t do toilets.

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4 Comments on “Sorry, I don’t do toilets…”

  • Margaret Oscilia May 16th, 2010 7:18 am

    Frequently I’ve asked agents what their most important job is when selling a home. Marketing, Negotiating, knowing the market are always top answers. By being “all things” to your clients you dilute your worth. Since I’ve worked with you personally, I do know that you work hard to have a good network of referrals so when there is cleaning, repairs and updating to be done you are ready to help your client in the most professional way. This real estate agent has missed the boat on what services she needs to provide for her clients. Let’s see, do I want my cleaning person to market my home or a professional who is busy researching, marketing or negotiating . . .

  • Melina Tomson May 16th, 2010 2:46 pm

    Margaret agents that use you understand what our role is. I am just wondering what segment of the population would hire an agent whose sole marketing consists of cleaning toilets and making your bed.

  • Mel Wagner May 16th, 2010 7:30 pm

    Melina-you do find the most interesting things to blog about. I’m going to be interested to see what the consumer has to say about this also. I agree with you, our sellers are best served by knowing the market. If you do find that agent that does windows and toilets, will you let me know? I may be interested in listing my home also 😉 Thanks for the laughs!

  • Melina Tomson May 16th, 2010 7:38 pm

    Mel I think you and I need to move to Atlanta and list our houses. Free maid service sounds really good to me!