My family was very concerned that Ms. Garcia might again have unsupervised and free access to the house. We concluded that Ms. Bishop had to have accompanied Ms. Garcia on any showing of the house. Ms. Bishop’s failure to even mention Ms. Garcia in her telephone message or in subsequent e-mails was viewed with great suspicion.
In the listing agreement Weichert asked for permission to use a drop-box or lock-box at the property. The use of this devise would allow other brokers to retrieve the keys and show their clients the property. Of course if the box was illegally open, the house could be vandalized or worst. The listing agreement also required the sellers to hold harmless Weichert and its agents for any damage to the property or claims made by people who entered it. Consequently, it was imperative that Weichert take every step possible to protect the 530 Mrytle Ave. and the sellers from potential civil liability. In order to protect the Sellers’ interest Ms. Bishop had to have accompanied Ms. Garcia during the showing, if there was any. It turns out that she did not. Apparently the showing took place on April 3rd and, from what I deduce; Ms. Bishop did nothing to follow up with Ms. Garcia until she received my April 10th e-mail.
Regardless of my differences with our former sales agent, I admired Ms. Garcia for her aggressiveness and determination as salesperson. Ms. Garcia knows how to sell a piece of property. She generated a great deal of interest in the sale of 530 Myrtle Ave. How she did this I do not really know, I can only surmise. What is clear is that Ms. Garcia efforts were not diminished or negatively impacted by any of the impediments that Ms. Bishop claims are preventing her from bringing about a sale. If Ms. Bishop was truly interested in servicing the needs of the Sellers, she would have met with Ms. Garcia and exchanged ideas about selling the property. Maybe between the two of them a qualified buyer could have been quickly found.
The sellers entrusted their property to Wiechert to sell. The giant real estate company and Ms. Bishop were under a legal obligation to take all steps reasonably necessary to protect the property and avoid unnecessarily exposing the Sellers to civil liability. It was negligence on the part of Weichert and Ms. Bishop to allow Ms. Garcia and her client to enter 530 Myrtle Ave. without an escort.
Furthermore I believe that Weichert is taking an unnecessary risk with the Sellers’ property by leaving the keys in a drop-box when it has never been used them to show the property. Under all of the circumstances the drop-box should be removed and the keys secured in Weichert’s offices.
What prompted me to write the April 10th e-mail to Ms. Bishop was a consultation that I had with a client of mine. The client is a licensed real estate agent associated with Exit Realty. She told me that about her having used a drop-box to sell a property. Unfortunately the property had generated much interest among the local real estate offices. It seems like the property and drop-box had came to the attention of a criminal element. The drop-box was removed and opened. The thieves remove almost everything of value from the house, which was unoccupied. Exit Realty at no cost to the owner fixed up the property It could not have come as a surprise that their relationship with the seller came to an end.
We were discussing her options when I realized the similarities of her sale to that of 530 Myrtle Ave. I asked her if there was not much interest in the property why she had not removed the keys for safekeeping in her office. Her answered surprised me; she never imagined that the property would be broken into. Then and there I realized that a strategy was needed to safeguard 530 Myrtle Ave.
What Was Needed Was An Adjustment in Selling Strategy
Michigan and Louisville met in the NCAA Men’s Basketball final. The teams played a competitive and exciting game. My alma mater, Michigan, took the court with the will and talent to win the game. For about 35 minutes Michigan outplayed a very good Louisville team. Yet, Louisville’s coach, the tactical and flexible thinking Rick Pitino, made in game adjustments to how his team was playing. Coach Pitino understood that Michigan was not going lose the game; they had to be beaten. When the game ended Pitino’s adjustments had worked; Louisville captured another National Basketball Championship.
The point that is being made is that Weichert needed to make changes its strategy for selling 530 Myrtle Avenue and it didn’t. Clearly its way had not produced any positive results. The sellers could have offered their opinions as to how best to market the property and do we have some ideas. We could have pointed out what it was Weichert was doing wrong. There is over 130 years of solid business experience between us. Ms. Bishop should have considered some form of collaborative selling with us. Our network of contacts is extensive. Yet, Weichert plodded along aimlessly while the sale grew stale and our patience worn thin.
Ms. Bishop championed her reliance on the Internet as her main tool for servicing the sellers’ real estate needs. However, a very successful real estate company cautions against depending on the Internet to drive a sale. This company points out that anyone can point and click a mouse. Real estate brokers have to use their education, training and creativity to devise a strategy to sell a particular property to a specific set of buyers. I am surprised that Ms. Bishop did not try to sell my family’s property using this model as a guide, especially when it is Weichert’s sales pitch to prospective franchise owners. “While today’s more sophisticated buyers have access to sellers’ listings at the click of a mouse, the basic elements of real estate – recruiting, training, service and systems – are what still matter the most!”
Ms. Bishop suggested that interest in the property could be manufactured if the selling price was dropped $20,000-$50,000. A seller only wants to reduce the listing price when it is absolutely necessary to move the property. In the case of 530 Myrtle Avenue Ms. Bishop never received an offer to purchase the property for less than the listing amount; though I do not believe that she received any offer to purchase the property. A prospective buyer who is interested in the house can always try to negotiate a better price. Based upon my experience buyers as a purchasing tactic often offer to purchase at a price less than the listing.
More than once she said that the lack of interest buying 530 Myrtle Ave was due to its state of disrepair and environmental issues. This point of view contradicts her initial comments that the property was in much better condition than other properties in her listing portfolio. Since she did not show the house to anyone and had no feedback on what a buyer might or might not like about the sellers’ property, there was no logical basis for her to offer these reasons for the sale’s stagnation. In my opinion Ms. Bishop was incapable of considering the possibility that maybe she was doing something wrong in trying to sell the property.