I was on a listing presentation recently and it was going good.  The sellers wanted to list me with me but they had one final question.

Would I give them a guarantee to sell their home in x number of days and if I didn’t, would I buy their home?  Wait…What?

After some probing, I learned that the sellers saw an ad online where agents were offering this type of guarantee.  Over the years, I’ve heard some variations on this type of bait and switch, and honestly almost fell for it myself…seemed like a great way to market and get an edge up on the competition.  But, like I always try to do, I did my research.   Here is what I learned and why you will never see me offer this type of guarantee.

Not surprisingly, this “gimmick” as originally started many years ago by ERA Real Estate.  Since then there have been other individuals and agent you have copied various forms of the program.

Wikipedia defines a gimmick as a unique or quirky feature that makes something stand out. The special feature however, is typically thought to be of little relevance or use. Real Estate agents who use this marketing tactic are doing just that – trying to stand out from the crowd.

While I am not against offering guarantees in some forms, (I offer one for buyers), I am against these deceptive, misleading ones that take money out of the pocket of the client.

When you see these ads or on agents websites, they do disclose that restrictions apply, but they don’t put them out there for everyone to see….you have to sign up and set an listing appointment to get the information, by then, for most, it’s too late.  The agent has his foot in the door and will revert to the training they received by the industry….don’t take no for answer!  So, what happens, the client ends up listing with that agent and most times not under the buy your home program…why?

Because of the hoops you have to jump through to use the program….here are just a few of them and believe when I say there are many hoops”

You must agree to buy one of the agent’s other listings.   What does that mean?  You are restricted to buying only their listings.  Why would anyone restrict themselves to a handful of listings?  Instead of being able to choose from thousands of listings, you are reduced to a few….ummmm NO!

In most cases, you must also agree to list the home 10-15% below market value.  Don’t forget you are still paying a commission to this agent too. In my research of these program, the average agent was collection 7% commission.

You must agree to a pre-determined series of price reductions.  Huh?  You are already listing the home 10-15% below asking price. Well you might say, the agent said sell in 30 days or less so he has to buy it before the 1st price reduction.  Wrong!  Here’s the fine print.  All closings dates are 90 days after the signed 30 day guarantee (agents explain that this allows them enough  time to fund escrow to buy your home).  So, in other words, for that 90 days, you will be reducing your price, usually by around $10,00 every 30 days.

There are several other restrictions, but the last one states:  Property qualification requirements are at the sole discretion of the real estate agent.   So, if still think this is a great deal and sign up and meet all their requirements, you could still be disqualified from participating. 

This guarantee program touted by, you guessed it, how to get rich sales trainers( go ahead and google Guaranteed Sale Program), is just one of the many examples of why Real Estate Agents are listed as one of the lowest trusted professions. It’s because most agents are taught by the industry to act like salesmen and/or telemarketers; cold calling, be pushy, not taking no for an answer, call your sphere until they die, etc.    When, reality, we should be thinking of ourselves as entrepreneurs .

I personally hate cold calling, I hate getting them, so why in the world would I be on the other end?  You should see my block caller list on my Iphone, it’s huge…but they keep calling don’t they….why?

I mean come on, have you been to the mall in Palm Desert lately.  You can’t walk the mall without getting hit at least twice by pushy salespeople using bait and switch, offering a sample, and once you extend your hand, they drag you into the store and “sell” you $400.00 worth of products that you don’t need and don’t work.

Here’s another one….door knocking.  I tried this for a while…when I was new agent.  Hated it.  Got chased by a dog and even received a marriage proposal.  Nope, not for me either.  Who needs doors slammed in their face anyways?

A final note about this type of program.  Agents are encouraged to modify the “terms and condition” of this program to their exact liking.  I don’t know about you, but I am not a lawyer, and I would think that’s one way to get yourself into some legal trouble quick!

So, in conclusion, these types of guarantee fall into the category, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.    My opinion of this type of marketing is; they are misleading, deceiving and just downright unethical.

I run my business on honestly, commutation and “the proof in the in the pudding”.    If I say I will do something, I do it and I don’t do it by hiding behind a bunch of “restrictions apply” that are impossible to meet.

So I must end this of course by saying  “If you are thinking about selling or buying a home, please think of me” !

Make it a great life, you only get to do it once……I think!

Want to learn more about Laura Lake….Visit www.LauraLakeRealEstate.com