Real Estate by Debbie Reynolds: Wearing the Shoes of the Seller, Listen to Your Agent

Wearing the Shoes of the Seller, Listen to Your Agent

Decisions Had to Be Made

Sunset at the beach

Recently we decided it was time to sell our condo in Florida. The first step was to decide if the timing was right. That meant talking to a fellow neighbor and agent that has kept us up to date on what had been happening in our community for the last 10 years or so. We viewed her as an expert in our area and felt comfortable she would give us a fair assessment.

It wasn't an easy decision. We had made many memories there. Our kids were little when we first bought it and we had dozens of vacations, long weekend trips and couple get-aways there. Our adult children even took their families there. I quickly identified with other sellers and how difficult is can be for them to part with their homes and why they might drag their feet.

Another complication was the neighbor agent wasn't the only agent we knew in the area. I know and had met several other agents including two which are members of ActiveRain. I trusted the AR agents as well, but the fact that the neighbor agent owned in our complex and had kept us on a drip for so many years trumped the others. We would run into her every now and then and her husband served on the Board of Directors with my husband.

So we asked her to take a look at our unit and give us an honest opinion of value and if this was a good time to sell. As it turned out no other units in our complex was currently on the market. Values had risen and most units that had recently sold had sold "as-is" subject to inspection within days of going live. She said the timing was excellent for the fall investor season.

We knew our unit was in need of some updates and if we decided to keep it we would invest several thousand to make it fresh and current. However, everything is about timing and we felt like we needed to make a move now on selling it now rather than later. Who knows what will happen to interest rates after the mid-term elections? Who knows if financing restrictions will come into play on condos or second homes? The time to sell seemed right.

She told us to remove as much personalization as possible and to make it look airy and present it in the best light. We didn't want to buy new furniture and wanted to put as little into it as possible to sell it. We decided to sell it furnished, so we rearranged and staged, moved pictures, adding a few current and appropriate accessories, removed unnecessary items and scrubbed it sparkling clean and touched up the painting. This was all done in a spontaneous whirlwind day and a half trip and the unit was transformed to look market-ready. 

Our agent assured us it would compete well in the current market as presented. She had professional photography done and used social media marketing. Showings happened immediately and 2 offers came in. We finalized a full price offer and even were able to resolve past the home inspection contingency within a few days time.

Our agent was right. We made a good decision in our choice and 2 weeks after the quick decision to list we closed and had our proceeds wired directly to bank account. 

The moral to the story, listen to your agent. Use a local agent and do your part in getting the property ready for market. Being a real estate agent in another state doesn't mean you know the market everywhere. You have to trust the neighborhood expert in the area where your property is located. In my case it paid off.

 Centruy 21 Platinum Properties2130 Wilma Rudolph Blvd.

Clarksville, TN 37040

When you need Real Estate services in Clarksville TN

                  it would be my pleasure to assist you!                             

Debbie Reynolds
"The Real Debbie Reynolds"

Check out all Clarksville TN Real Estate on My Website

931-771-9070 Office | 931-320-6730 Cell

Clarksville TN Homes 


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Comment balloon 57 commentsDebbie Reynolds • August 21 2018 02:51AM


Debbie, I love the post. I agree we should listen to the agent. You did the right thing by hiring that agent .

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) about 2 years ago

Great news 2 weeks is certainly a speedy closing...we are all about visiting but not owning outside our backyard.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 2 years ago

what an amazing time line - congratulations to your agent and to you for listening! 

Posted by Lise Howe, Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC (Keller Williams Capital Properties) about 2 years ago

Good morning Debbie. You can't know it all! Results bear it out! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) about 2 years ago

Thanks, Debbie, for sharing this story. Congratulations on a successful transaction.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) about 2 years ago

Good morning Debbie - I often think about what we would do when we sell our house in Armonk, NY.  I will ask first before I spend any money.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) about 2 years ago

Debbie, you listened and your agent delivered. What a great story, congratulations on your sale! You'll keep the memories with you forever. 

Posted by Amanda S. Davidson, Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale (Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty) about 2 years ago

Good morning Debbie Reynolds,

You chose the local resident, expert agent you had a long term relationship which is usually the right choice. You listened and the agent delivered ...Congratulations on the sale..well done!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899) about 2 years ago

Good morning, Debbie Reynolds it's always a wise homeowner/condo owner who listens to the local authority's opinion and follows that agent's lead.... congrats for doing it properly..... 

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired ) about 2 years ago

Good morning Debbie.  Even an experienced agent like you knew that when it comes to selling in another area, the local expert is the one to listen to.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) about 2 years ago

Good morning Debbie. What a great story and wonderful outcome. Congratulations.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) about 2 years ago

Hi Debbie,
Being a real estate agent yourself you know how to go about making such decisions and did your homework.  This is good advice for those who may not be so in tune with the process.  "Listen to your agent." 

And, congratulations on the quick, full price, sale.

Posted by Carol Williams, Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager (Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals.) about 2 years ago

Wise words my friend and I am glad everything went so smoothly for you!  I am sure that the other agents respected your decision as well.

Posted by Brian England, MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ (Arizona Focus Realty) about 2 years ago

Debbie, I enjoyed reading your post you are right it pays to hire a professional; even if, you are one in another area. So happy for you!

Posted by Pat Champion, Call the "CHAMPION" for all your real estate needs (Coldwell Banker Camelot Realty) about 2 years ago

Hello Debbie --- doing the right thing can be fairly simple when we listen. 

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 about 2 years ago

Debbie, great advice, and definitely listen to your agent.   I found it the most difficult to be the seller.   All my normal advice was difficult to remember!

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) about 2 years ago

Debbie- excellent post. Every agent should sell or buy a house every decade or so. LOL  But really, no matter how many homes you've sold it's better to get a local agent and follow their advice. 

And good for you for recognizing how hard it is for many sellers to sell their homes. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 2 years ago

Debbie,  You already had a relationship established and you trusted the agent that lives in the community.  Congratulations on the successful sale. No doubt the decision to sell was packed with a lot of emotions and memories. 

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist, Probate Real Estate (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) about 2 years ago

What a wonderful story and I know it was a tough decision but, you certainly handled it exactly as one should, Debbie! Someone who KNOWS the local market, lives and breathes it is truly imperative for a successful sale, through and through.

Congratulations on a flawless sale - two weeks is absolutely fantastic!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, The right Charlotte REALTOR! ( | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) about 2 years ago

Debbie Reynolds great advice coming from a great Agent.  Being in our client's shoes can be an eye-opening experience.  Selling personal property... you were a perfect client!

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) about 2 years ago

Debbie, Good to practice what we write about.  Glad to hear all went well and quickly with an agent you trust. All the best on your new chapter without the condo.


Posted by Gloria Todor, & Doug Durren (484) 431-3686 in SE PA (Weichert Realtors) about 2 years ago

It was nice to read your success story, Debbie. The moral of trust your agent and follow her/his advice is wise. Congratulations.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) about 2 years ago

Wow - that was some whirlwind sale! Congratulations!

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) about 2 years ago

Wow, Debbie, quick listing and sale! Good for you. And great advice - sellers, take heed from an agent who knows!


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) about 2 years ago

Debbie, it is at times difficult to choose but long term relationships generally trump new friendships... well that is if you have a backbone, congratulations on your sale and your decision, Endre

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) about 2 years ago

Debbie,  You knew the right thing to do and it paid off well.  Congratulations on your sale and wish you all the best in the future!

Posted by Elyse Berman, PA, Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824 CRS, ABR, GRI,ePR (Best Connections Realty, Inc.) about 2 years ago

Yes, hire a good real estate professional, listen to what they say and then implement their suggestions! Then get ready for that check to be deposited!

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty) about 2 years ago

Oh wow.  What a great testament.  It absolutely pays to listen to the agent.  The agent's history in the market area is such an important factor in giving advice.

Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (eXp Realty) about 2 years ago

Congratulations on your sale Debbie Reynolds, such good advice and sometimes hard to listen too but easy to understand when you live it.  

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) about 2 years ago

You detail the selling process well in your post, thanks!

Posted by Fred Sweezer Sr., Certified Home Inspector (Hud Certified 203K Consultant) about 2 years ago

Never ceases to amaze me how people hire an agent, and refuse to pay attention to the advice they supposedly are buying.

Posted by Ron Barnes, "Most agents claim they're #1 - I THINK YOU'RE #1! (Associate Broker at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Georgia Properties) about 2 years ago

Doctors complain that pateints dont listen. Attorneys tell their clients that mum is the word & everyone is a Real Estate agent. Hire pros & agree. Results follow

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) about 2 years ago

Debbie Reynolds  Local agents do know the area . So glad everything worked out for you .Congrats

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) about 2 years ago

Debbie, Congratulations! I am glad you had the resources you needed and trusted in the community!

Posted by Marney Kirk, Towson, Maryland Real Estate (Cummings & Co. Realtors) about 2 years ago

It's written over and over again: Hiring & listening to a local professional is the best way to be successful. Congratulations and thanks for sharing your success story, Debbie Reynolds.

Posted by Bruce Kunz, REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale (C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100) about 2 years ago

We just sold my daughters home, which we had sold to her in 2008, so 30+ years in the family.  Not an easy decision, but it was time.  I took charge painting, updating, landscaping and putting in some new fixtures.  I basically took on the "project manager" position.  It sold in 2 days for list price and closed within 30 days.  Sometimes you just have to do it.  Oh, and I have a new respect for sellers!

Posted by Jeanne Gregory, The most important home I sell is YOURS! (RE/MAX Southwest) about 2 years ago

Debbie, you are so right - go local!  And congratulations on your quick sale!

Posted by Marie Story, Broker Associate, Pinecrest (Miami) Specialist (Coldwell Banker - Pinecrest (Miami)) about 2 years ago

Always pays to listen to an agent and sounds like you had a really great one if she'd kept you updated on conditions all that time.  Congrats on the sale and feature giving great advice

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) about 2 years ago

Debbie, congrats on selling your condo! I'm with you 100% regarding sellers listening to their agents. If you have hired the right agent they will have your best interests in mind. Have a good evening!

Posted by Matthew Klinowski, PA, Golf Community Real Estate Specialist (Downing-Frye) about 2 years ago

Congrats Debbie Reynolds , I'm sure it was not an easy decision to make but hiring a local agent is the way to go!

Posted by Eva B. Liland Century 21 Doug Anderson, Glad to be of Service 661-714-1643 (Century 21 Doug Anderson) about 2 years ago

For a second there I thought this was going to take a bad turn. But you did a great job of illustrating your point. Yes, someone who is in the trenches every day working an area does know the reality of the situation. It's even second nature to them. Nice article.

Posted by Robert Caston, Real estate market data & tools - Home Junction (Home Junction Inc.) about 2 years ago

Way too go Debbie!  Your professionalism in knowing to hire an agent in the local market paid off.  Wish more of my clients would recognize the value of a local agent.

Posted by Gordon Crawford, Your Morris County Specialist! (Gordon Crawford Home Selling Team) about 2 years ago

Sellers do benefit from our expertise, professionalism and experience, thanks for sharing Debbie.

Posted by Sybil Campbell, REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia (Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia) about 2 years ago

Debbie, great article! It's true that too many sellers think they can do it on their own when, in reality, they would have benefitted from hiring one of us to do the job for them. Plus, it's much less stress on the seller! 

Posted by Shawn Kriewaldt, Madison Neighborhoods (Keller Williams) about 2 years ago

Congratulations!  I just sold myslef!

Posted by Missy Banks, Exceptional Homes & Service (Allen Tate Real Estate | | about 2 years ago

We agents make the worst clients... It's so hard to release control.  Sounds as though you did a great job. Congrats!

Posted by Alan May, There's no place like home. (Jameson Sotheby's International Realty) about 2 years ago

You are so right,  Debbie.  Listen to the agent even if you are an agent.  In a different area, use the local expert.

Posted by Ricki Eichler McCallum, Broker,GRI,ABR, e-Pro, TAHS (CastNet Realty) about 2 years ago

Can't stress enough that sellers should listen to their agent, because they have done this before and will do it again.  Sellers can often think they know more about their home's worth, and that is never the case.  

Posted by Kevin Mackessy, Dedicated. Qualified. Local. (Blue Olive Properties, LLC) about 2 years ago

Excellent outcome - good for you!  That local agent knew the market, inventory, and timing to sell.  Great post!

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) about 2 years ago

I LOVE that picture, I'm longing to have that view... Out here in the Antelope Valley, the last affordable place to live, there's not even ONE drop of water :(



Posted by Eva B. Liland Century 21 Doug Anderson, Glad to be of Service 661-714-1643 (Century 21 Doug Anderson) about 2 years ago

Congratultions, Debbie, I'm sure it wasn't an easy decision. Smart you to follow the advice of your local expert-realtor. So many don't...

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) about 2 years ago

Hi Debbie: Wow! 2 weeks? That would never happen here with all the lawerly things like title search and other time consuming things that have to happen--30 days at least here and usually it is 45 days before closing...Congratulations on the quick sale!!

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 2 years ago

So important.  Many don't listen and some even think they can go without an Agent.  Best money spent!  A good agent can save you far more than what their fees might be.  Thanks for post.

Posted by Robin Wells, Giving Peace Of Mind One Chimney At A Time ( RAW Chimney Sweep and Inspections) about 2 years ago

Love this! It's an underestimated aspect of how fast a home will sell. 

Posted by Rae Hoffman, Real estate agent serving the Katy area (Roots & Wings Realty Group / Champions Real Estate Group) about 2 years ago

The right agent at the right time works wonders!  Actually any time is the right time if your agent has the exerience and you are willing to listen and do what is suggested.

Posted by Mary Ann Daniell Realtor, Delivering Successful Results Since 1999 (Coldwell Banker United, Realtors - Subsidiary of NRT LLC ) about 2 years ago

Hi Debbie

I came across this again and took another look. It's such a great example of the value of listening to someone who knows what's going on in the market and what needs to happen for a quick sale.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) about 2 years ago

Debbie, great story on how to prep and follow the agent's advice familiar with the area.  Good ending.

Posted by John Henry, Florida Architect, Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design (John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc.) about 2 years ago