Real Estate is an Illogical Profession

Commence minor venting/

There are some things in real estate that make little sense, the kind of things that bode well for inexperienced agents and make more experienced agents shake their head in complete wonderment.

Back when I first started, I was hoping like hell no one would ask me how many homes I had sold because, frankly, the number was embarrassing. I was brand new, mind you, so without a ton of low-hanging fruit there was no way to have a high number, but still … I was inexperienced and I couldn’t escape that fact except through pure hustle and chutzpah.

Now on the other side of things, I sometimes wonder what people are thinking when they select the agents they do.

For instance, if you have a quarter-million dollar property, are you really comfortable placing the marketing in the hands of someone who has listed and sold two homes this year and exactly zero in 2010 or 2011 combined? Does someone with 58 total transactions in a 12-year career – that’s one less than one every other month for the past 144 months – strike you as a hard-hitting go-getter who’ll get the job done?

Yet that’s what I find today as I go to write a note to past client with whom I’ve kept in contact for several years. His chosen agent has closed fewer transactions this year than I did in one month, yet that’s the person entrusted to sell this home.

Will it sell? Stranger things have happened, though my comps show it to be worth about 15 percent less than list price … no matter the upgrades, and there are many, 2,300 square feet and change and without a pool doesn’t compare well with over 3,000 square feet with a pool for the same price.

Thank goodness the listing agent listed the home on Zillow, where the Zestimate is a mere $60,000 lower than the list price.

And perhaps that’s why this particular agent was hired. It’s easy to find an agent who will tell you whatever price you want to hear and plant a stick in your front yard even if there’s virtually no chance of a sale. Finding an agent with the experience and backbone to say no and demand the right price? That’s more difficult and less palatable.

/end venting

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