Lifestyle: communication, part 0

Self-tutoring about the “less is more” communication style.

(Many?) years ago I saw a real estate show about people who couldn’t sell their houses. It was set in Britain and may have been “The Unsellables.”

The way the show worked was that its own consultants would arrive to help the owner sell a home that had been on the market some time. They would talk to the realtor about why the home wouldn’t sell.

That particular evening, I was tired and preoccupied, so didn’t intend to pay attention to the show; my wife was watching it. Yet, I got drawn in during the conversation with the realtor, and here’s why:

When asked why he thought the home wasn’t selling, the realtor pointed out some reasons. They were specific and sounded likely to be correct. Moreover, they were fixable.

The consultants followed up with the obvious question: “Have you told the clients about these impediments to a potential sale?”

“No,” the realtor replied. “We haven’t had that specific conversation.”

I almost fell off the couch with laughter. Recalling it now, I’m laughing again.

Let’s understand this particular premise:

  1. The owners want to sell the home. We know so, because they’ve engaged a realtor.
  2. The realtor wants to sell the home to earn a commission.
  3. The realtor, who seems quite experienced, apparently knows why the home isn’t selling.
  4. The realtor hasn’t told the owners why their home won’t sell. The reasons relate to decor, so would be relatively straightforward to fix.
  5. Because they are unaware of why their home isn’t selling, the owners can’t fix the problems in order to make it sellable.
  6. The owners’ distress grows (we assume) while the realtor waits for a commission which he seems comfortable knowing won’t come.

“Why doesn’t the realtor tell his clients why their home isn’t selling so they can fix those problems?” I asked myself. I was naive then, of course.

Naive, yet teachable. Today, I believe I know why the realtor hadn’t told the homeowners why their home wasn’t selling: he assumed they didn’t want to hear it. I suppose he used the following logic:

  1. If I tell them that perspective buyers don’t like the color of the trim, they’ll get mad at me.
  2. I’ll be fired because I offended them by telling them the truth.
  3. I’m best off to just hope the home will eventually sell to someone willing to change the trim themselves.
The realtor likely wasn’t naive, while I was.

I’ll be following up: there’s more road here:)


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Leave a Reply