Insanity: Doing The Same Thing Over and Over and Expecting Different Results

Albert Einstein was ahead of his time, he said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Albert died in 1955 and in my book, this quote is brilliant and describes perfectly the glut of listings sitting on the market right now in 2007! A true visionary that Einstein.

Einstein1Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard the news, “the real estate sky is falling”, and they’re selling lots of advertising yapping about it on the TV, radio and in newspapers.

But I’m here in the trenches selling real estate every single day and I think Einstein is the brilliant one and the blue suits selling advertising are spinning the reality to fit their needs. I don’t buy their hype for one little second. Sure the housing market has changed, and yes prices have dropped, but here is the information that they’re not telling you on the nightly news. My news isn’t so dramatic, and in fact a little dry, but it is what’s happening in my little corner of California.

It takes work and knowledge to sell a home these days! Hmm, now that doesn’t sound very dramatic does it? It actually sounds kind of boring, but this is the real news, and this is the kind of news that will get a home sold.

And if you’d like to know how I know this, read on. I’ve changed the details to protect my fellow agents, but the gist of this story is very true.

The big news is that sellers are frustrated, fed up and looking for alternatives. Sellers are cancelling their listing agreements and hiring Agents that actually will work to sell their home.

Cancellation of a listing agreement is a sticky situation but one that has come up often lately.

As a Realtor, I am not allowed to solicit a homeowner that has their home listed with another broker. Twice this month, I have been contacted directly by a seller who has their home listed with another broker and both times, the seller wanted me to list their home. I am allowed to talk to a seller if they contact me, in fact, I can even give them information on my marketing plan and how to cancel their current listing agreement if they ask me.

Both of the sellers that contacted me wanted out of their current listings agreements because they wanted to list with me. Their reasons are another blog entirely so I won’t go in to that here. It is important to remember that most agents don’t want to be in a listing agreement with a seller that wants out. Every agent that I’ve talked to about this scenario has agreed that they would let the seller out of the listing if the seller asked. Many agents even tell you this when they sign the listing agreement in the beginning. In any event, it’s fairly easy to cancel a listing by just asking your agent.

Here in CA we have standardized forms called WINForms for real estate. There is a CA form called a “Cancellation of Listing” fondly referred to as the COL. Below is a sample of this form. As in anything real estate, EVERYTHING is negotiable. If you are considering cancelling your listing agreement, it is important that you read this form thoroughly and make sure that you understand exactly what you are agreeing to. This is a one page form, but very powerful. By simply checking the wrong box on this form you could be agreeing to compensate your original listing agent in addition to your new listing agent. Checking box 4 is the only box that states that there is no compensation to your original Broker. If any other box is checked or any other information is completed, it’s important that you seek legal advice before you sign this form.

Check back for part two of this story. I’ll explain why these sellers are switching agents and how we’re marketing these homes that have already been on the market for sometime.

My sellers have 30% less stressful days on the market than other home sellers in the area (that’s 9 days less for each month on the market)! Call me to find out how. If you would like more information on the Cancellation of Listing form or how to sell your home in this challenging market, please contact me at (818) 652-2937 or [email protected].