Tim Maitski brings us the answer to a question I've wondered about for years: How can agents guarantee to sell a house and promise to buy it if it doesn't sell?
It turns out to be easy, if you're a bit on the shady side and willing to use bait and switch.
The Guarantee That Lures Them In
- I learned the details of the "Guaranteed Sale Program"
- You attract business with the guarantee but never give out the guarantee
- You make enough restrictions so no one qualifies
- You sell them instead on your regular program
Have you ever wondered how some agents can guarantee to buy your home if it doesn't sell?
I had always been curious about that. I figured that agents who offer such a guarantee must be pretty good so I wanted to learn what they did that they were willing put their money on the line.
The other year a big name real estate training guru was coming to town who was offering a seminar for agents on the “guaranteed sale system”. He promised to make me a millionaire agent if I followed his step by step program. The price was right, free, so I signed up and attended the full day seminar.
Here’s what I found.
It’s nothing new. This gimmick has been around for 30 years. Thousands of agents are using it. Part of the seminar that I attended had a panel of agent superstars from across the country who were successfully using this guaranteed sales system.
During the question and answer session, I stood up and asked one of the superstar agents a question. “How many of your listings didn’t sell last year?”
He seemed to be honest. He said “Like other agents, about 20– 30% of my listings didn’t sell last year.”
I said “Wow!!! How many did you have to buy?”
He said, “zero”
I asked, “How can that be? Didn’t you guarantee to buy them if they didn’t sell? What’s the catch?”
He was so smug and proud of the ingenious system that he used to get listings. He simply answered that none of his listings were under his guaranteed program.
Say what? You promote your business on the guarantee but none of your listings actually have the guarantee? Are you kidding me?
You see, they use the guarantee to attract business but they make sure that they never actually give out the guarantee. Therefore, they’re never on the hook to buy a home.
That’s it in a nutshell.
They never have to buy a home because sellers never sign up for the guarantee. Let that sink in.
These agents never say that every home, or even any home, they list actually has the guarantee. You just make that assumption by yourself.
So what’s the point of promoting the guarantee? The whole point of the guarantee is to have a shiny lure to get appointments. People are curious. It gets the phone to ring. It's "bait and switch". You call on the guarantee and they switch you to their regular program.
A big part of the seminar spelled out how to intentionally set up the guarantee with a laundry list of “certain restrictions” so that no one will qualify for the program.
Just in case someone might actually end up qualifying for the guarantee, we were told to make sure the price you guarantee to buy it at is a price that you would be certain that it would sell for. You don't say you will buy it at the list price or fair market value or at the appraised price. You pick a price where you know without a doubt it will sell so that there's really no risk for the agent.
If you can't get them to agree to a low enough price, just don't give them a guarantee.
The trainer said to try to get it guaranteed at about 80% of the fair market value. Deducted from that low price is the 6 or 7% commission. So for a $500,000 home, as a seller, you’ll be lucky to net out $370,000.
Let's be real. If you mark down the price of a $500,000 home to $400,000, anyone is going to be able to get it sold.
I really feel embarrassed for agents who have to explain this system with a straight face.
I felt so disappointed when I learned all of the details. What a joke. It's no wonder that real estate agents have a bad reputation.
Wouldn't it be great if they could just tell you the truth and not play word games?
The one guarantee that I make to all my clients is that I will always tell them the truth.
About the Author: Tim Maitski has been a full time Realtor since 1999. He has sold several hundreds of homes in areas around metro Atlanta. Tim started with RE/MAX Greater Atlanta and is now with Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage.
His proprietary "Maitski Line Reports" chart out the absorption rates over the past 14 years in 37 different market areas. Know when it's a good time to buy or a good time to sell.
His online Property Tax Calculator allows you to compare property taxes in many counties and cities around the Atlanta area. He provides the Atlanta MLS Power Search Tool that allows searches of homes using over 35 specific criteria.
Over the years, Tim has optimized his business so that he now can offer a huge 50% commission rebate to his buyers. The more experience one gets, the easier the job becomes.
Tim also has a "Five Days to Sold" System that uses an intensive marketing blitz to create a showing frenzy that creates urgency and offers.
Tim is always looking to LinkIn with anyone who is interested in building their social network.