When A Real Estate Client Wants To Make A Change


Real Estate staging is important

Real Estate Clients change their minds

Changes happen in San Francisco Real Estate, especially when there is so much hype on how great the real estate market is.

Was I disappointed when “Reginald” Bratt, my Real Estate Seller, called me and told me that he wanted to make a few changes on our signed real estate listing agreement?  Yes and no. (Please see previous blog dated March 4 2015).

Reginald had called on several occasions the previous week, asking a multitude  of questions: Should he reface the kitchen cabinets? Should he get rid of his humongous by-gone era television set? We had suggested some plants.  What types of plants would best weather his windy backyard? And should he approach his neighbors to re-paint the outside of their house, which also had peeling paint? Etc. etc. I answered all his questions plus gave him referrals for a house cleaner, hauler, floor re-finisher and gardener.

Real Estate Staging Has a Big Premium

However, now Reginald wanted more money for his San Francisco home, even though the asking price I had given him the week before was based on his making his house presentable. Plus, he wanted me to lower my already reduced 5% real estate commission to 4%. And if you read the previous blog, my real estate company had agreed to front him all the money for improvements!

So what could I do but respond with: Thanks but No Thanks.  Getting his San Francisco house ready would take a lot of my emotional energy, plus the number he now had in mind to get for his house was too high.  And, frankly, I do not work for less than 5%. I have thirty five years of real estate experience behind me and am not willing to have anyone take my expertise lightly. He would have to find someone else. I felt like I had just dodged a bullet.

New Real Estate Opportunities Coming

I firmly believe that once a piece of business vanishes another one will arrive its place. I also had two other real estate listings coming on the market in a few weeks which would have coincided with the timing of Reginald’s home. I know that most Real Estate Sellers’ expectations are that I be the one who holds the first Open House and Brokers’ Tour and not my assistant or some other agent in my office. But I certainly could not be in two places at once. Now there would be no conflict.

So was I surprised then when another Real Estate Seller, we’ll call “Fanny Jean”, wanted to cancel her real estate agreement? Again Yes and No.  This particular real estate client had a Real Estate Power of Attorney for her parents and had signed the real estate listing papers months ago as we got the property ready for sale.  Her South San Francisco Condominium–which was not in the center of the prestigious parts of San Francisco I specialized in–was not particularly appealing to me, but she was a friend and at the time I was looking for some business. I had been at the Condo at least six times over the last few months on various inspections, because of some mold issues. Since I had a lot of time and energy already invested, I asked–in as neutral voice as I could muster-Why?

Fanny Jean’s answer: Her parents decided to choose a real estate agent with whom they had done business with before. I could have pushed back, but took a moment to think this all through. This real estate client had a lot of drama going on with her family which I had to suffer through. I had been wondering if I even wanted to keep this listing. Selling “Antoine Court” would be a difficult and trying process. I decided to let this transaction go as well and signed the real estate listing cancellation papers. I have not regretted my decision one iota since.

Shortly thereafter I closed on the other San Francisco listing which was worth twice the amount of the other two for at a full 6 % with half the headaches. Plus, I had Real Estate Sellers, who really appreciated my real estate advice, which made for an easy real estate transaction. I made an excellent decision to let go and had been monetarily as well as emotionally rewarded.


Be aware that any clients names have been changed to protect their privacy. Furthermore, Paula Pagano does not accept any liability for the content of any Blogs and this Website or for any actions you take or resultant consequences of actions taken based on the information provided in this communication. Any advice is my opinion after being a 35 year experienced real estate agent in San Francisco.

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