This is a short post about a home I did NOT list for sale in Country Club North, one of the neighborhoods in Fayetteville, NC in which I specialize. Country Club North is an established neighborhood of executive-style and single family homes in northwest Fayetteville, very near to Fort Bragg and very close to major shopping areas. Country Club North is a great neighborhood, featuring wide streets with bike lanes, gentle, rolling hills and lots of green spaces. Here is a Google map of the neighborhood.
For a few years, I marketed heavily to Country Club North, and had quite a bit of success there selling some wonderful homes. Recently, after a 2-3 year “sabbatical” in my business in which I had two very curly-headed baby girls, I resumed marketing and listing homes in Country Club North. Thankfully, sellers there remembered me, and I’ve been able to list a few homes.
The market in Country Club North has changed dramatically, however. While the homes there are still desirable, they can take some time to sell, with many remaining on the market for over a year. Competition is stiff among the homes for sale in Country Club North; The pricing and condition of the home must be excellent, and the marketing must be top-notch to generate the exposure that will get homes sold more quickly in the neighborhood.
And, I have been able to generate that kind of exposure for the homes I have listed for sale in Country Club North. My marketing is very heavily internet-based, although I also do direct mail marketing. My marketing has been effective–my listings have always sold more quickly than the absorption rates for the neighborhood.
So, toward the end of last week, I got a call from a seller in Country Club North who wanted to put his home on the market. “I’ve seen some of your stuff, and I thought I’d give you a call,” he explained. We made an appointment to meet on Friday evening, during which I would give him a listing presentation so that he could compare my marketing with other agents he was interviewing. I sent off a pre-listing packet to him, and started preparing for my listing presentation.
Unfortunately, trouble arose, and I had to meet to negotiate some repair issues on a listing that was scheduled to close. Of course, the only time that would work for my client and the buyer’s agent was Friday evening. I contacted the seller in Country Club North, explained the situation, and asked if we could reschedule.
“I definitely respect your priorities,” he said, “and would want the same from my agent.” I felt very good when he said that!
But, he had to leave town for a few days, and asked if I would send him some information, so that when we met on his return, he’d already be well-prepared. “I should be able to make a decision”, he said. “Again, I respect your priorities and work ethic.”
I love people who are so positive! They have a way of making you feel good, and professionally, they are a joy to work with. I was excited about the prospects for this listing, and was already formulating my marketing pieces!
Of course, as you’ve already guessed, the other shoe dropped!
Over the course of the weekend, I sent my clients and contacts in Country Club North some information about homes that were for sale in the neighborhood, and about a gorgeous home with a pool that had come back on the market after being under contract. As that particular home was just a few doors down from his, I sent the information to this seller, because the home would be stiff competition for his. I adjusted my listing presentation to account for this home, and asked the seller when we could meet after he got back into town.
Very kindly and professionally, the seller called me one day this week and explained. “You definitely have the best marketing of any agent I’ve interviewed,” he said. “But, we met with an agent and we just really liked her, and so we’ve decided to list our home with her. We feel very comfortable with her.”
That stung a little bit. I’m always a little disappointed when I don’t get a listing (I can be very competitive!) but I had hoped for this one, because I really like this seller! Still, you know, I feel pretty good about NOT getting it, because I know the agent he selected, I know he is in good hands with a capable agent and a company that has an excellent reputation.
I also know if I had been one of the agents he met with, I would have been the one he chose. But he would not have based his decision solely on my gee-whiz listing presentation.
Selling homes (or any other service business) is still about relationships, about connecting and trusting your agent, much more than it is about marketing.
I wish this seller the best in selling his home (and I’ll surely take any buyers I’m working with in that price range to see it); what a generous and kind person he was!