The Blind Leading The Blind

So I walk into an open house the other day and after I browse around a little while the agent asks me what I think about the price.

“I think it’s high” I say. (Honestly…I think it’s about $200,000 too high!)

“Ya, me too” she replies. She then proceeds to tell me the story. Seems the seller hates Realtors, thinks they can’t be trusted and told her that over dinner a few months ago (They’re friendly acquaintances…YIKES!) Naturally, the seller ultimately calls and informs her that she’s going to get the listing…but the seller wants no advice of any kind on any topic! No opinions are to be expressed about staging or decoration, marketing, timing or advice about inspections…etc. Naturally, the seller doesn’t want any opinion expressed about the price of the house either! All the seller wants is an agent to put a sign in the yard and do open houses. (Why this person just doesn’t do a For Sale By Owner or use Help U Sell or Redfin is beyond me!)

Ultimately, the agent here is going to spend a whole lot of time resenting the seller and feeling like she’s wasting alot of time with this listing. You know what? She is!

Imagine doing this in any other area of life. You go to your Dentist and tell him/her that you don’t want any opinion expressed at all about anything…you just want your root canal done under your specific instruction following something you might have read after doing a Google search. Or how about this…you go to a restaurant and inform the waiter that you hate restaurant people and insist on going back to the kitchen yourself to supervise how your meal is prepared and then served. You name the business, imagine taking control of it cause you don’t trust the folks working there. How much experience do you suppose this seller really has with selling a house? 95% of the really experienced sellers I’ve known in the 20 years I’ve been a Realtor have bought or sold 4 or 5 houses in their lives. I sold 4 or 5 houses in June.

Clearly, there’s idiot realtors out there. In my experience though, the vast majority of folks I know in this business are really honest, hard working and committed people. Not wanting advice from one as in the story above is simply amazing to me. Of course, it sort of goes without saying here…if an agent agrees to take a listing this way it really will amount to the blind leading the blind. I guess they deserve each other!


  1. Catherine Ulrey says:

    They do deserve each other, but in the end, the seller will dislike Realtors even more, and blame the agent for the house not selling.

  2. Gloria Valvasori says:

    They do deserve one another by the sounds of it, and as Catherine pointed out she will like realtors even less when her home doesn’t sell and the agent getrw the blame! Not sure if I would take this listing…perhaps a referral to another agent to keep the lsiting and the acqutinance relationship at arms length..

  3. Fred Griffin says:

    Real Estate Agents who take over-priced listings are not doing any favors for anyone.

    BTW, Love the Pic!

  4. Judith Parker says:

    Hi Jim….it is much better to be honest and walk a way from a listing then to get into a situation like that. Good post!

  5. Deborah Byron Leffler says:

    Oh so true…I think it does a disservice to the agent, seller, and the whole real estate industry when we take listings that are so grossly over priced!

  6. Just a quick question. Are all of the above are realtors too ?
    I agree hating realtors or any group says the seller is ignorant.
    I dont agree on comparing with blind leads blind. In fact blind people are much smarter than than the one with vision and are not ignorant. There are many that has good eyes and still ignorant.

  7. Jim Minkey says:

    I’m not quite clear Guru…are you saying that you would agree to hating Realtors if we say this particular seller is ignorant? In my mind at least, this seller is ignorant. There…I said it.

    As for blind people…I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m sorry if I offended anyone who is sightless. “Blind” is a relative term and the expression “The blind leading the blind” is merely an attempt to illustrate the point that an agent and a seller who refuse to even kind of look at realty are not going to accomplish a whole lot. They’re metaphorically “blind” to reality in that sense.

  8. ah. my sentence there yes little confusing.
    Here’s how I should have worded that.
    I agree, hating realtors or any group, says the seller is ignorant.
    Maybe better:
    I agree that seller is ignorant by hating realtors or any group.

  9. LOVE the article! I had to giggle at myself when reading it – I’m sorry – I know I shouldn’t! It’s unfortunate for both parties – but as everyone seems to agree – they do deserve each other!

  10. Could not resist. Blind leading blind. I have seen couple of times a blind leading blind. If 2 blind people are walking one will put hand on other shoulder who will in turn will lead the two.

    As far as hating the realtor as group. No one is perfact. There are good folks and bad folks. Any one trying to out smart you is not goining to be liked by many.

    Most realtors, yes should not generalize but true, are out there for a fast buck with low efforts. of course no one will like them. On the other hand there are folks that put in hard work and make every effort to ensure there worth.

    For my own ground rule if 3% of your commission translate into 1000$+ per hour bonus for realtor you were duped. If it translate into under 100$ per hour, I have sympathy with realtor. All the other numbers, you can decide

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