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How buying furniture and selling your home are similar

OK, I know you are asking, "Todd, you are joking right? Where are you taking this?"

Well, here it goes.

Have you ever heard that when you buy furniture you should always take it home with you right from the store and never have it delivered?
If you haven't you had better start doing it that way! The reason why is a lot of furniture stores go out of business all the time and did you know that if you order the furniture, pay for it and they file bankruptcy they have no obligation to deliver it, even though they have your money!

Now, let us look at selling your home. Most agents do all the work up front, then hope to get paid and the only way to do that is if your home sells. If they stop working, then they more than likely, won't get paid, even if they file for bankruptcy. But, recently I've seen agents asking for a retainer like lawyers do and they use that for their advertising and overhead and then get paid the remainder at close. In some cases, I've even seen the whole commission paid up front.

So, what does that do for you if they go bankrupt or leave the business? It leaves you without your furniture home sold and out a lot of money with no recourse. When I list a home, I spend a lot of money marketing it and I expect to get paid for a job well done. That is why I don't take every listing that is offered to me by
sellers, if I can't sell it, I won't list it! Why would I spend thousands of dollars to list your home, so I won't get paid?

So don't hire a furniture salesman, hire a professional that won't get paid unless you do!

Respect Realty LLC (Expect More)


At Respect Realty, LLC our agents believe in 100% dedication to client satisfaction.  We specialize in property and land acquisition around the Portland Metro and Vancouver, WA area. We delight in working with first time home buyers and sellers to guide them from start to finish. Our doors are always open and we are always happy to assist you with your real estate questions.


Reach out today, we look forward to talking with you!


Todd Clark and Seraina Aguayo (Owners of Respect Realty)

Respect Realty LLC (Expect More)



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Comment balloon 12 commentsRespect Realty LLC • March 29 2008 10:29AM


Amen Todd!  I agree that we shouldn't list homes that can't possibly sell.  If you factor advertising costs times the many, many months that it sits on the market, it is probably a net loss!  Great post....
Posted by Greg Steffens (Mountain Country Realty) about 11 years ago
Great post, and interesting comparison!  So many agents just take overpriced listings 'just' to get the listing.... What a waste of time and $$!
Posted by Jonelle Simons (Windermere Real Estate) about 11 years ago
Time is just as valuable as money as well. Not only is it a waste of money to take an overpriced listing, but lots of time too!
Posted by Matt Yogerst, Metro Milwaukee Real Estate (RE/MAX Realty 100) about 11 years ago
Todd, that was a great post. I never looked at it that way. Thanks, Royal..
Posted by Royal Goodman, "We Treat You Like a King" (Royalty Home Solutions) about 11 years ago

Todd, we suggest a 1% retainer on listings that have a pricing channel that is too small.  I doorknocked a neighborhood for an agent yesterday.  List price was $220,000 and last week it dropped to $185,000.  Just based on the feedback from doorknocking, I've recommended seriously thinking about dropping the price another $10,000 next week.

What happens to the agents on other homes in this area that put work into doing everything possible to move their clients' listing when we are bringing our price down to market based on a new market?  Those agents, if they gave the right pricing channel to their clients, will probably end up below the "lowest" acceptable offer and lose their listing.  Especially since I've picked up another potential lister at below $200,000.

I'm just asking and not forcing the issue.  Your insight has and will be appreciated.

Posted by Mark Organek, On a journey to accomplish one huge goal. (And the United States of America) about 11 years ago

Todd - I saw your comment on my 'million dollar' blog - and wanted to thank you ...........What a cool do the RV and different campsite - think - that would be the trip of a lifetime for your family wouldn't it?  :-) I also checked out your website.......and was touched by its uniqueness and its pesonal quality.........very nice!  

Also a retainer?  Wow now isn't that a great concept......I was wondering how long it would take for us as realtors to work so extensively with no compensation, so much of the time........hmmmm.......thats something to think about!  

Posted by Liz Moras Migic, Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor about 11 years ago
Todd, next to buying a car I hate buying furniture.  I will make sure to not order it in the future.  Great tip.
Posted by Jimmy McCall, The Ex-Mortgage Consultant ( about 11 years ago
Todd, it somehow never occurred to me to collect a retainer up front.  I'm wondering what happens when an agent moves from one brokerage firm to another in that situation.  
Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) about 11 years ago

Greg - I have yet to find someone who hasn't shown me it wasn't a net loss on the sale itself, yet they say they pick up buyers to make it up... Not sure if that is a great business model.

Jonelle - They think it isn't, but I would rather have my good name than take an overpriced listing!

Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) about 10 years ago

Matt - I agree 100%

Royal -
I'm glad I could change your way of thinking about it.

Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) about 10 years ago

Mark - Lowering the price based on door knocking the nieghborhood, I love it! What a great way to show yourself as the neighborhood expert also.

Liz - If they want me to take the listing, I need to get paid something or I will be out of the business.

Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) about 10 years ago

Jimmy - Most people don't realize that if you don't get it and they go out of business, you will lose all your money you put toward it.

Patricia - I think the previous brokerage keeps the money unless it has already been given out.

Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) about 10 years ago

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