Call Me the Rainmaker

It’s a rainy day here in the Valley of the … um … Sun. Not nearly as dramatic as last week’s brief flirtation with snow (other areas actually had accumulations on the ground and not just the hair) but grey and dreary nevertheless.

A virtual tour photo shoot was scheduled for one of my listings this afternoon but almost certainly will be postponed. One of the truths of selling real estate in Phoenix is it helps if the pictures don’t make the home look like it’s in Seattle. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

Fortunately, in this case I have an understanding seller who realizes I’m not responsible for the weather. In other circumstances, I’ve not been as fortunate …

  • The seller upset first at the lack of showings and then, once an agent shows the home, upset that the agent and buyer stayed only a minute before leaving (the floor plan wasn’t what the buyer wanted)
  • The seller frustrated that the water stain on the living room ceiling killed a deal, even after they’d been advised to get the now-cosmetic damage fixed
  • The seller frustrated that the buyer didn’t close on time because the lender didn’t have the loan docs to title on time (legitimate, but the seller’s only recourse was to cancel – not an option for someone already driving a moving truck)
  • The seller upset that an agent knocked first, then started using the key in the lockbox only to find the seller really was home

All are legitimate frustrations but all are in some way out of a listing’s agent control. And they will remain so, at least until I perfect the Jedi mind trick.

The RealtyBaron recently posted Are All Realtors Liars and Cheats?, a creative hook to an article describing one agent’s customer service survey results. Though the article went a different direction, there likely were folks who saw the title and screamed “hell yeah!”

Many of them likely were members of the REBC – Real Estate Bubble Complex. (Trademark pending … if I’m going to be lumped in the REIC, dammit, they’re getting lumped too.)
Others, though, were simply folks who had a bad experience with their agent. Or at least perceived they did. Yes, there absolutely are some terrible examples of what an agent can and has done wrong in “assisting” their client. But perception often is colored by a buyer or sellers’ own expectations, right or wrong.

I once had a buyer who had a home inspection completed on a property but declined to ask for any repairs. After the close, he wanted the evaporative cooler to be fixed. The home warranty company declined. Why? There was a bird’s nest in the unit – this one had not been working for a very, very long time.

In this respect, real estate is like parenting. We can advise and share our experience but we can’t force a client to listen. We can’t even send them to their rooms or make them stand in a corner.

Of course, I haven’t tried it so maybe we can …

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at