Stubborn Puppies. Stubborn Sellers. - Echo Fine Properties Artboard 1? alert-icon? Artboard 1? ? ? delete-icon? edit-icon? email-icon hide-hover-icon? Artboard 1? login-icon-white Artboard 1? next-icon-left next-icon-right-left next-icon-left-ochre next-icon next-icon-right-grey next-icon-right-ochre plus-with-circle-iconP search-fw-icon? search-icon-ochre search-icon-white
16 MAY

Stubborn Puppies. Stubborn Sellers.

Stubborn Puppies. Stubborn Sellers.

If you’ve ever dealt with a stubborn puppy, I feel your pain. The following is a true story which I posted a few years back but is relevant right now. Since season is winding down and there are only 5-6 weeks left in the family market, my stubborn puppy story is a good reminder to help understand how a stubborn seller should react to this part of the season.

Sellers and Buyers can be like stubborn hound dogs when it comes to seasonality and real estate.  Sellers more so when it comes to understanding seasonality this time of the year. It’s critical to understand liquidity, carry costs, negotiations, expectations, and timing.  See our cost to carry a home worksheet.

For those of you who have owned a hound dog you’ll understand what I’m talking about. For those of you who do not, I’ll explain through a true tail that I learned the hard way. It all began in 2006 when my wife Veronica announced we were getting a “PBGV” which was short for a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen. Veronica said it so fast it just went in one ear and out the other. The kids were excited, so I went along.

We didn’t set out on a PBGV and I actually never even knew dog breeds had acronyms.  I think my Mom had this breeder of poodles who had switched to breed a new “designer dog” – the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen. It looked cute and the next thing I knew the breeder somehow talked my wife into getting this Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen. The breeder claimed this breed would be wonderful for our 3- and 8-year-old kids as well as be a new source of life for Savannah, our older golden retriever. I had no idea what a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen was. My only condition was it be named “Ozzie” for the White Sox crazy manager, Ozzie Guillen, since the dog was black and white – the colors of the White Sox.

Well Ozzie came and things got off to a rough start.  We figured it was just puppy stage, but it didn’t get any better.  The breeder/trainer had no luck in calming this dog down.  Ozzie was stubborn and didn’t listen. The kids really didn’t take to the dog.  Savannah, who was the nicest dog was thoroughly annoyed with us as Ozzie would keep nipping at her ears.  None of us were attached to the dog which made us feel awful.  We must be terrible unfeeling people!  We decided to be good humans and stick it out.  Soon after, Ozzie got out of the house and just ran.  I started to run after him as he disappeared around the corner.  Another terrible thought.  What if I just let him run?  Then the guilt came, and I chased him down.

Then an event happened that changed everything. Ozzie nipped our son by the lip. It was just a little nip but Sam thought he would be hideous forever and even the kids wanted him to move on. As all I had originally cared about was that I could name the dog Ozzie I decided to do some research which I guess I should have done before.  I googled Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen and basically, it’s a hound dog who likes to hunt rabbits and is very STUBBORN.

Luckily, I had a client who ran one of the pet shelters.  I called him up and he promised to find Ozzie an adult home.  I took Ozzie into my car (which was a new Porsche Cayenne that I was very proud of).  Going down Military Trail by Gardens Lakes Drive, I looked in the back and Ozzie was whizzing.

I pulled into the shopping center and opened the door and out ran Ozzie at full speed. It was summer in the 90’s. I was in a suit with fancy dress shoes. I sprinted and finally caught up to him. Thank goodness the Publix parking lot was near empty. I then took some paper towels to clean up his business.  To my horror the business evaporated into the little mesh holes seat holes.  Ozzie had his revenge.

Finally, I arrived to meet my client friend at the shelter.  I paid the $50 processing fee and said my goodbyes.  Any guilt went away with his revenge on the Porsche.

Grace who helped clean our house once a week found out that we gave Ozzie away and said her and her mom would take him.  So I paid the $50 processing fee and bailed Ozzie out.  All now was good in the universe and Ozzie would have a good home.

But a few weeks later Grace and her mom were at each other’s throats.  Ozzie kept yapping in a high pitch and her mom couldn’t take it. So, they gave Ozzie to another person they knew.  Still at least Ozzie had a home.

A month later, our house phone rang.  The lady on the other end told me they had Onyx.  I had no idea who this person was or what she was talking about. I said “who is Onyx?”  She said, “a dog”.  I said, “we don’t have a dog named Onyx”.  Apparently, Onyx had a chip and was left in a cardboard box that said, “Here is Onyx”. Ugh.  The lady must have had enough of Ozzie, who was renamed Onyx and just left him in a cardboard box.

Guilt again.

This time I had a friend I worked with named Travis. Travis had 3 hound dogs.  I told Travis that unless he took Ozzie, he would be destroyed, laying on the guilt thick as I was desperate.  My plan worked and Travis took Ozzie in.

I paid the $50 processing fee and gave Ozzie to Travis.  Problem was that his other three hounds got all of Ozzie’s bad habits. They now had a mind of their own and wouldn’t listen to Travis.  Finally, Travis called me one night and said “good news” – a couple just took Ozzie 20 minutes back. Then his doorbell rang, and Travis said he would call me back. He did 10 minutes later.  The couple couldn’t take it in the car and returned Ozzie…….

Finally, a few weeks later a man who fixed copy machines and had a big yard in Jupiter Farms agreed to take Ozzie.  This time, Ozzie was not returned. Years later Travis told me he saw the copy man.  His arms were all red and torn up.  The copy man threw away some leftover chicken and Ozzie, now named Fred, scratched up his arms trying to get the chicken.

This brings me back to seasonality and Sellers. Whenever we list homes this time of the year, I’m reminded of Ozzie because sellers can be like hound dogs with unrealistic expectations. Just stubborn in not wanting to understand the realities of seasonality.

Read How Seasonality Works in Florida

See, two thirds of the buying activity occurs when the seasonal renters are here (Jan 1 – March 31) and snowbirds are here (they leave in April with most of the last ones leaving last week on Mothers Day. )  The problem is that Sellers who wait must have more patience as the buyer pool is lessened.  The good news is that showings you get are more serious.  The looky-loos aren’t as prevalent, and competition is less because of less inventory. Plus, when you get a showing, it’s much more real.  Family buying is a bit different. It’s hot and heavy right now and will continue longer until the end of June.  July and August are the slow months. September is iffier as well because of hurricanes. Sellers don’t ever want to hear the realities of season when it’s not season as they just want to move the property.  When an offer comes in and especially if it’s vacant, it’s important to add in the cost to carry, taxes, insurance, usage of money, utilities, HOA costs, etc. Sometimes it’s better if a house is very seasonal to take an offer a bit less if there is a risk of holding it for a while.

Buyers catch the Ozzie’s once we hit October.  They think they have all day to wait on purchasing with less competition, and then activity picks up culminating in the frenzy of the new year.

Seasonality though isn’t as true to form as it was 10 or 20 years ago.  While the market has more inventory, the market still slightly favors Sellers.  In addition, we are less seasonal than we were as South Florida is more year-round today.

A King and famous singer once wrote, “Well, you ain’t never caught a rabbit and you ain’t no friend of mine.”  We certainly don’t want our clients cryin’ all the time.

So take it from me and from Elvis. Don’t be stubborn and make sure you understand seasonality of the market.

Find your next Florida home:

Search by popular community area

Search by lifestyle

Search by subdivision

Search by price

Search by rental

Search the commercial MLS

Jeff Lichtenstein, originally from Chicago, got his start in the home furnishings textile business where he traveled over 35 weeks a year selling fabrics. After the family business was sold, Jeff moved to Florida and became a real estate agent. Today he is the owner and broker of Echo Fine Properties, a luxury residential brokerage voted best brokerage of the year. Jeff manages a non-traditional model of real estate that mimics a traditional business model. Echo has 80 agents, an average of one million dollars per transaction and over 500 million in annual sales. Between traveling for work and annual family trips to national parks with his wife and 2 now adult children, Jeff has visited 49 states. He is also one of the few Chicago White Sox fans you’ll ever meet.  Some publications he has been quoted in.

Author of business & leadership book How Making a Sandwich Can Change Your World –  The Amazing Success of the PB&J Strategy – Available to Buy Now!

Feel free to ask him a question directly at [email protected] including a complementary  valuation of your home.

Posted in Open House Blog, Real Estate Tips on May 16, 2024 at 2:24 pm.


Celebrity Homes

from Beverley Hills
to Palm Beach

Never-before-seen-photos of your
favorite celebrity homes

View More Celebrity Homes

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your name and email address are required. Your personal information is strictly confidential and will not be shared with any outside organizations.

Ask Questions

Your Soulmate in Real Estate™

Looking for a Perfect Community to live?

Take our step by step quiz to find a best matching community for you*.

* Patent Pending