Tuesday, March 28, 2006

New Realtors Ad

The Realtors are out with a new TV advertisement telling people to use a Realtor when selling their home.

As spring approaches, home buyers’ and sellers’ thoughts turn to the real estate market. Today, with the premiere of television advertising spots titled, “Don’t Try This at Home,” the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® encourages home sellers to protect what could be their largest investment by enlisting the help of a professional.

“Selling a home is like climbing Mount Everest,” said Thomas M. Stevens, NAR president and senior vice president of NRT Inc., from Vienna, Va. “If you don’t prepare correctly, you’ll never achieve your goal. Getting a signed contract is like reaching the peak, but that’s only half the journey. Many things can happen on the way back down the mountain. Savvy sellers know to hire a REALTOR® to protect their interests and guide them through.”

Home owners who try to sell their home without professional help must overcome a number of hurdles,

"Selling a home is like climbing Mount Everest" Really?

You missed the peak. Should have sold last summer in the bubble markets as one would have recieved a very high price. It is downhill from there for awhile.


  1. "Selling a home is like climbing Mt. Everest"?

    And here I thought all you had to do was put up a sign and then field multiple above listing price offers the next day. That's what all my friends here in Northern Virgina did last summer? Oh, things are different now?! I thought real estate never went down!

    Climbing Mt. Everest is pretty hard. Are they saying it's hard to sell a house right now, too? Is this an acknowledgement that it's now a buyers market?

  2. The NAR campaign could be an example of bad adverstising.

    Calling attention to the still out-of-the-mainstream FSBO movement is a mistake on the part of NAR. By delegitimizing it, they could be legitimizing in the minds of some. Rather than telling us how diffiuclit selling on our own is, maybe they should tell us how great NAR is.

    Of course, I hope FSBO really cuts broker commissions over time.


  3. "Selling a home is like climbing Mt. Everest."

    I love it. It is actually very appropriate, but probably not in the way they mean it.

    When someone sets out to climb Mt. Everest they first have to save a lot of money. The fee that is charged (think down payment) by Nepal is around $75,000. Then you have another $25,000 in gear, guides and travel. Next you prepare! Training and experience count for a lot! Remember, you are going into what is called "the Death Zone"(above 25,000 ft). There is very little oxygen up there and you will not be thinking clearly at all. Let's say you get $100,000 together and then you train for 2 years by running 5 miles a day and climbing other safer and smaller peaks. You hire a guide. You get to base camp. You spent $100,000 on a guide to get you to the top of Mt. Everest. The guide knows that their future business is contingent on getting all their customers to the top of Everest. You are at base camp and waiting for a break in the weather. Usually around May 10th this occurs. There is a very short window of a few weeks that allow for the safest time to go up between storms. Everyone agrees that for safety reasons there will be a turnaround time. Since a majority of deaths on Everest occur while people are coming down and the storms usually come up in the afternoon or evening, everyone on the mountain will start their descent at 3 PM. No exceptions. If you did not make it to the top you will turn around and start down immediately from wherever you are. While you are waiting for your turn to climb the mountain a young kid (around 20) does a solo ascent, but is 300 ft (15 minutes or so) short of the top when his turnaround time comes. He turns around and comes down without reaching the summit. 300 ft short of the top! And this kid turns around. Everyone is praising this kid. It is agreed that this is great judgement and he did the right thing (although everyone is probably thinking, "NO WAY would I have turned around! I paid $100,000 to be here." Two days later your guided group sets out at 1 AM to attempt the top! Come 3 pm your group is spread out all over the mountain. You are still at least 1 hour from the summit. Do you turn around and start coming down? No. Your entire group continues pressing on for the top, encouraged by you guide. At 5 pm you reach the summit. You see what look to be pretty, puffy clouds in the distance, but in your oxygen deprived state you and your experienced guides don't even think about them. You start your descent. The storm hits in the next few hours bringing 50+ mile per hour wind and blinding snow. Your guides are nowhere to be seen, as they are fighting for their own lives at this point. You, your guides and a bunch of your fellow climbers all die on the side of Everest because you forgot to follow the fundamental rules of climbing Everest. First, that you needed to be coming down at 3 pm. Your guides did not follow this rule either and encouraged everyone to continue pressing on to the top because the guides knew that their future business depended on all their customers reaching the summit. They died in the attempt as well.

    So NAR using the Everest idea fits quite well with the situation in the real estate business now.

    I based this story on actual events on Everest presented in the Krakauer book "Into Thin Air". You can read a more detail version in his book.



  4. Eric - Great analogy!

    NAR should rather reduce RE agent's commission to 1-2%,like the rest of the world. 6% is atrocious - especially for people in/below the middle income range. They could charge more for selling those Mcmansions though in the 20% range :-)

  5. Mentioning the FSBO technique in their ad could have another unintended consequence. It could give some sellers an idea that they hadn't thought of before.

  6. EricinDC-
    I read that Krakauer book about a year ago. Fascinating read. There's actually a guy at my gym who climbed Mt. Everest a year or ago, Sean Birch. Dude's in phenomenal shape. Maybe I should ask him, if someone told you that selling your house would be like climbing Mt. Everest what would your reaction be?

    dc gal-
    My first reaction to that is, nah people aren't that stupid that they wouldn't even know the option of going FSBO exists. But, actually, I think you're probably right. Kind of sad...

  7. I don't think they read "Into Thin Air" over at NAR.

    I would love to hear your friend's comments about comparing Everest to buying a home.

    Have fun!


  8. NAR welcomes all members who are interested and motivated to participate in REALTOR® political activities. Perhaps you ran for office or are a current office holder in your local community, or you have expertise in running political campaigns? If so, we want to hear from us.
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