Several years ago, I met a professor in the Psychology Dept. at the University of Michigan. She had found me on the Internet and wanted me to preview her lake house to sell.
The house was a cute cottage on the Horseshoe Chain of Lakes. We walked around the cottage, it was only about 30 feet to the water. Really cute cottage.
As we continued to walked around the house, she told me that the air conditioning unit was encroaching on the house next door and she asked me if she should move it?
My response was, “What is your relationship to the neighbors next door?”
Lake cottages are notorious for being close together and it is not uncommon for there to be some encroachment into the next person’s property with a side-walk to the beach etc…
The seller informed me that the relationship was not great as her neighbor’s brother had wanted to purchase her cottage and they did not sell because he only wanted to pay $200,000. for the lake house.
We went inside and sat down. I had already pulled some comparables before I met with them so I had a rough idea of what she could get based on the square footage and lake frontage.
At that point, I was honest with her and said, “Listen the cottage is worth about $220,000.
If you decide to list with me, by the time you pay the commission, transfer tax, title insurance you are really close to netting only $200,000. which is the amount your neighbors brother offered you.
I suggested to her: “go back and tell them you would like to reconsider the brother’s offer”. “If he doesn’t want to purchase then I will list the lake cottage and we will probably need to have the air-conditioner moved to the other side.”
Did I say she was shocked?
A few weeks later, I ran into her at the Lexus Dealership and she was so excited, she ran up to me and said that the brother did indeed, accept her reconsideration of the offer of $200.000.
A month later, I received a call from a couple from Iowa, who told me, they were moving here to teach in the, ( guess where ) Psychology Dept at the University of Michigan and Dr. XXX had told them to work with me.
How exciting is that?
Well, it gets better….
We found the couple from Iowa a home in May of 2005, a wonderful family who attended my Client Appreciation Party and we have stayed in touch the past 3 years.
Over the holidays this year, I got a call that baby number 3 was on the way and they needed a larger home.
We were able to find them the perfect home within walking distance to the University of Michigan. (only looked at two) We just closed on their new home in Ann Arbor this month and I am listing their original home the first of March.
Let’s see, that is FOUR transactions all because I told the seller of the cottage to not list with me but try to work it out with her neighbors.
I believe you really can’t out-give to anyone, it will always come back to you 100 fold.
Honesty is always the best policy.
It's not about the money, but about doing what is right?
If you are looking for someone who will be honest with you, even though it means no commission, please call:
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