Door to Door Versus Selling Your Door

I had a BawldGuy flashback yesterday afternoon.

My doorbell rang purposefully not once but twice, leading me to believe the kid from across the street was checking to see if my kids could place because she’s the only person I know who rings more than once. (It’s 2010, folks – not even the postman always rings twice.) Instead it was someone in a dress shirt and slacks in spite of the 100-plus degree temperatures and the impending dust storm.

“Hello, sir,” he said. “My name is Andy and I’m a real estate agent.”

“What a coincidence,” I said. “So am I.”

We quickly determined that I didn’t need the helpful little information sheet he’d brought me to tell me what’s been happening in the neighborhood I’ve lived in for the past seven years. I’m assuming he was bringing me recent sales … didn’t look like a recipe card … and half felt like telling him that I spent more than two years sending postcards with the same information and a clever beagle photo to little effect. But hey, thanks for playing.

Does door-to-door really work anymore? I have a hunch BawldGuy will tell me it still can and, hey, if you’re able to skin a cat doing it then more power to you. But I’m very, very hard pressed to believe that if you’re thinking of selling your house or know someone who is selling, either by choice or by virtual force as a short sale, you’d be more inclined to recommend an agent who you didn’t mean as they schvitzed all over your doorstep.

(Did you know that schvitz is in spell check on WordPress, at least in the past tense? Neither did I. Maybe I installed YidPress and didn’t know it.)

If you know someone who needs to sell their home via a short sale, you need an agent who knows the process – the paperwork involved, the process, how to price a short sale both to receive an offer and to sell (assuming there’s a cooperative bank) – and, yes, someone who knows whether it’s feasible.

If you’re selling in a place like Westbrook Village, why wouldn’t you start with the website that tops the Google rankings and attracts viewers from across the United States and Canada instead of the person going door-to-door like it’s real estate Halloween? My last listing there, incidentally, sold in just over three weeks to a buyer moving from Oklahoma. They’d registered on my site but contacted another agent before I could follow-up; no matter, the house still sold and my sellers were happy.

Sun City Grand? Vacation getaways have been notoriously slow to sell, except for my Sun City Grand listing – that casita sold in all of nine days. Nine.

Instead of debating the dubious merits of a statewide MLS, I wish the Arizona Regional MLS were discussing turning lose the sold data in full. There’s not much compelling reason to hold on to it and in fact would allow agents to add value on top of the third-party aggregators as, hopefully, our data would end up being more accurate coming through the source rather than the oft-muddled tax records.

Without that sold data, there’s not much to peddle when walking door-to-door except perhaps an agents’ own accomplishments. Imagine having to market oneself on what you’ve done, not what you were able to find that others had accomplished.

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


  • BawldGuy 8 years ago

    Not sure if I’m impressed with that agent, or wonder about his judgment. 🙂

    And for the record, yes, there are all kinds of doorknockin’ agents out there makin’ a pretty nice living, and doin’ their clients right.

    Just not in the freakin’ desert in freakin’ August. 🙂

  • Maui Realtor 8 years ago

    I’d question the sanity of ANY person door-to-door prospecting in the middle of the summer… in AZ!!!! Nonetheless, hopefully that kid figures out more efficient ways to prospect before becoming a heat casualty. Nice blog, Jonathan.

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