Everyone's Edgy Now

By Dave Fratello | October 28th, 2007
We talk a lot here about buyers' perspectives and sellers' motivations and actions.

Leave it to the LA Times today to bring us the realtors' perspective on a slowing market: They're fed up with "fusspot buyers" and "stubborn sellers," and they're not going to take it anymore.

The article is overstated in a Fox News (or Stephen Colbert) kind of way, but there's something real to it.
Here's the realization that some agents and brokers are taking to heart: They have neither the time nor the money to waste on a lot of us.
You're a buyer and you want to see a lot of homes and take your time? Sorry. If you have one of the agents quoted in the story representing you, you'll see a selection of the homes on market when you start your search, then you're shunted off to email updates. Call when you're ready to move.

It makes sense. "Sales-coaching guru" Walter Sanford says:
Buyers take longer to make decisions, they 'nibble' more, and they will actually eradicate your net profit if you continue to work buyers as a major part of your income flow.
Sanford subjects potential buyer clients to a 35-question inquisition meant to measure how serious they are. Endearing.

Other agents are fed up with unrealistic, "cement-head sellers." We're told that agents refuse one-third of listings due to unrealistic seller expectations. (Don't those sellers end up somewhere – probably with their inflated prices?)

Of course, it's not cost-free to take a listing, and that is the problem. You can't nurse along a deadwood listing for a year or more. The advertising costs, the fliers, and the... well, we guess, blow to reputation, will all do you in. Says one agent:
It all adds up to a big zero if the house doesn't sell.
A big zero is no fun.

It seems widely acknowledged that the profession is slowly ditching some of the less-committed, less-successful and/or newer agents. The impatience portrayed here among those who remain is another measure of the shifting winds.

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