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2 guys walk into a bar…Realtors the punchline



  • Dan Polimino’s  guest column.
  • Overheard conversation stirs angst.
  • Freakonomics got it wrong.

By Dan Polimino

Special to InsideRealEstateNews.com.

Dan Polimino

Dan Polimino

Two guys walk into a bar.

Well, it really wasn’t a bar; it was more like a lunch counter. I was sitting there waiting for my meal to arrive when I overheard these two guys talking about real estate.

Here is how the conversation went. We will call them Bill and Joe.

Joe: Hey, did you see Tom put his house on the market?

Bill: Yeah, I was surprised at how high the price was.

Joe: Yeah, I was too, but Tom thinks he can get it in this market.

Bill: You know, I was reading that book Freakonomics and they were talking about how Realtor would list their own personal homes at a higher price than they would list a client’s home.

Joe: You know that’s true. When it comes to a Realtor’s own home, they want top dollar; but when it comes to someone else’s home, they want to sell it for as cheap as possible. All they want to do is to sell it quick for whatever price, get their commission, and be done with you.

So there I was: an owner of a real estate firm, the operating principal of a real estate team, and a Realtor myself.

Should I say something, or should I keep my mouth shut? I decided on the latter and use the conversation as a teaching experience for my team.

It is always disturbing when people in the public perceive your profession in a bad way.

As usual, there are always a few bad apples in every industry that seem to spoil the reputation of others.

I can honestly tell you that in all of the years that I have been a Realtor, I have never thought of “how cheaply I could sell someone’s home.”

In fact, it has always been the exact opposite.

When I get ready to go on a listing appointment, my first order of business is to do the proper amount of homework on the individual’s house, neighborhood, and market. During that process, I can assure you that I am trying to find a way to get them the highest price possible in the current market conditions.

If I can do that and sell it quickly, then chances are, I will be a hero for that client. Most of the time, that turns into more business for me as that happy seller passes my name along to their friends and colleagues.

If I went into a listing appointment with the lowest number possible for the price of that home, chances are, I would never get the listing.

Moreover, I wouldn’t be in real estate very long.

I think this is true about any Realtor that hopes to last and thrive in this business.

So the authors of Freakonomnics  or anyone who believes that kind of practice by Realtors to be true, probably never worked in real estate.

Dan Polimino is a broker/owner with the Colorado Dream House Team, Keller Williams Realty DTC. Contact Dan at coloradodreamhouse.com.

Have a story idea or real estate tip? Contact John Rebchook at  JRCHOOK@gmail.com. InsideRealEstateNews.com is sponsored by Universal Lending, Land Title Guarantee and 8z Real Estate. To read more articles by John Rebchook, subscribe to the Colorado Real Estate Journal.