Annapolis Md Homes and More: Selling Real Estate Is Not All About The Deal, Its About The People

Selling Real Estate Is Not All About The Deal, Its About The People

She called out of the blue. Nervous yet determined. She wants to move. Her reasons, which she shared, I will keep private here. I gently asked questions. She wants to sell her current home ($500,000 range) and buy another home ($900,000 range). She was anxious to get started. I made an appointment to meet her in person at her home.

She has lived in her current home for 22 years. It is paid in full. As we walked around she mentioned the other agents she had met with. 6 to be exact. I knew she had but not how many. She was so exasperated with how she was treated. Some just came, gave their spiel and never followed up. Others came, gave their spiel, stayed in contact a time or two and then disappeared. A few tried bullying her or so she felt. She said she felt she was a number to conquer not a person to help. 

She talked, I listened. I talked, she listened. I showed her, on paper, why her home should be priced here. No one else did that she said. I showed the estimated expenses she would have. No one did that either she said. I asked her wasn't a 5000 square foot home a tad large for just she and her son? We discussed back and forth and she thought a bit and agreed. No one had gone over that part with her before either.

She is a very smart lady. An introvert who needs someone she can trust to help her through all the craziness of buying and selling a home. Her husband was the one who did it for her 22 years ago. Now it was her turn.  

Meeting this lady has shown me once again that selling real estate is not about the deal but instead is all about the people. And when we come across these kind of people we need to slow the process down a bit. Instead of doing everything by the book or system we have in place we need to step back and take a deep breath. 





About the Author Martha Brown- As a third generation Annapolitan I love to write about my experiences in and out of the real estate market. Licensed since 1992 all with Long & Foster I am a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) and a Seller Representation Specialist (SRS) whose passion is homes in the Annapolis MD area and surrounding communities. My goal is to help my clients understand the real estate market and to then make sound real estate decisions. 


Martha can be reached  at 410-260-2800 ofc or

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Martha Brown of Long & Foster Real Estate.

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Comment balloon 29 commentsMartha Brown • January 02 2014 08:47AM


Yep soooo true - It is all about "people" in our business and always will be - great post Martha

Posted by Debbie Cook, Silver Spring and Takoma Park Maryland Real Estate (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc) about 5 years ago

Martha,  Sometimes it is best to listen to the story because everyone has one and they all want to share.  Good for you for being a true person instead of just a saleswoman.

Posted by Belinda Spillman, Colorado Living! (Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado) about 5 years ago

Martha, goes to show how important it is to be a great listener. Happy New Year!

Posted by Bette Gottwald, "Bet"on Central PA Real Estate! (UNITED REAL ESTATE | Central PA) about 5 years ago

Thanks for this post and reminder that selling of homes and real estate is about the people and listening for their wants and needs.

Happy New Year!

Posted by Harrison K. Long, REALTOR , GRI, Broker associate, Attorney (HomeSmart, Evergreen Realty) about 5 years ago

Martha - I agree with your approach 100%, since we need to be able to connect with clients on an individual basis and a cookie cutter approach doesn't work.

Posted by AJ Heidmann ~ CRS, YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert (McEnearney Associates, Inc.) about 5 years ago

It is not about sticks and is about all the different people we interact with. This smart lady knew to choose the right agent.

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) about 5 years ago

Sounds like you are a listener. Hopefully you got the listing at the price you determined was correct. Best house for the best price is the one that sells..

Posted by Bill Reddington, Destin Florida Real Estate (Re/max Southern Realty) about 5 years ago

Thanks Debbie- Must be why I could never be one of those that just cranks out the deals. Its not possible in my book.

Belinda- thanks so much. saleswoman has never sat well with me even though I know that is what we all do everyday even out of real estate. Still people first is where I am

Bette- It sure does. Listening is so crucial in our business

Harrison- Happy New Year to you too. And yes it is about the people

AJ- I have my systems like everyone does but sometimes I just need to put them aside and concentrate on the person with a bit more depth. And when I do it always ends up to be a very rewarding experience.

Thanks Margaret. Happy New Year to you my dear friend.

Bill- yes I am and yes I did. we are working our way to market.

Posted by Martha Brown, Your Homes Around Annapolis Agent (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Annapolis MD 21403) about 5 years ago

You did everything right. Good luck on the sale.

Posted by Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate (Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500) about 5 years ago

This is exactly who you are. I am happy for the seller that she waited for you.

Posted by Ellie McIntire, Luxury service in Howard County & Catonsville (Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate) about 5 years ago

Martha, No matter how many deals I do, I can't forget that this is the primary premise that drives my business. I don't close the most deals in my area but I have very happy clients at the end of the deal.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) about 5 years ago

This is the number one reason I don't have a listing presentation that goes on and on about how awesome I am.  I do what you did.  I converse with the person.  Ask some questions.  Answer all of theirs and give them current comps and how their home stacks up.  It's not about us, it's about them.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) about 5 years ago

thanks Jill


Tammie-Yes me too. That is why I was surprised that 6 agents before me thought differently.

Chris Ann- Exactly. It is all about them

Posted by Martha Brown, Your Homes Around Annapolis Agent (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Annapolis MD 21403) about 5 years ago

Love your post Martha! I am assuming she'll be listing with you! Please let me know when the open house is, I'll stop by!

It does leave me speechless a bit.. 6 agents and not one focused on her? So glad she called you, she'll be in the best hands!

Posted by Andrea Bedard, M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond (Thompson Company, REALTORS®) about 5 years ago
Trust truly is everything. Here's hoping for well formed business relationships in 2014! Laura
Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) about 5 years ago

Not doubt that real estate has and always will be about the relationships we have with the clients we assist.

Posted by Bruce Swedal, Denver Real Estate about 5 years ago

It sounds like she found the perfect match for her needs to make this life transition!

Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge about 5 years ago

I am in Real Estate for the people not the deal. Yes, the money is good if you do a good job but I have always said "Love what you do and the money will come" heard that before? I love people and helping others.

Posted by Sharon Kowitz, Cary, NC Relocation Specialist ~ Buying or Selling (CRS-SRES-ABR-GRI-E-Pro-CREN Fonville Morisey Cary, NC) about 5 years ago

Good for you, Martha. It's sad that she had to go through 6 agents to find you, but thankfully, she did. The best to you with that one.

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) about 5 years ago

Yes to this post. I have often said I am in the people business practicing Real Estate

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) about 5 years ago

Martha, I feel this way in any transaction … no matter what. A system and process only works when we have aligned with someone’s needs, get connected to those needs, and prepare to serve them!


Posted by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) about 5 years ago

Martha - It just proves the point the people do business with people that they trust.  Sounds like you built the relationship and established the trust.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) about 5 years ago

The best agents know that if you take good care of the relationships, there will always be deals. It doesn't always work the other way around! Well done!

Posted by Chris and Berna Sloan, Tooele UT (Group 1 Real Estate) about 5 years ago

Martha, I feel the same way.  It is good she found you. :)

Posted by Jennifer Green (Keller Williams Realty Phoenix) about 5 years ago

Martha - she sure is a smart lady as she knows who is telling the truth - and just not selling! True - it's about the people!

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) about 5 years ago

Well hello Martha and "Happy New Year"

Your words of customer service are wonderful and your title to your post hit home ...

Featured at the group:


VB ;o)

Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz, Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale (Realty ONE Group) about 5 years ago

Good for you in putting HER first!  That is clearly what she needed and what a great fit you are for her.

Posted by Susan Haughton, Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results. (Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545) about 5 years ago

The best realtors and lenders have learned what you know is true! Well done! Some days I feel like the majority of my job is providing counsel and a listening ear!  It's what makes the job meaningful!

I wish all involved a wonderful transaction!

Posted by Bridget "Mortgage Mama" McGee, Maryland Mortgage Mama NMLS#196068 (SWBC Mortgage 410-960-2061) about 5 years ago

Well said Martha, we are dealing with people first and foremost not just numbers.

Posted by Diane M. Phillips Realtor 443-286-4365, Specializing in Carroll Co., MD (Frankly Real Estate Inc.) about 5 years ago