Dear Zuess,

Help! I am feeling under a lot of pressure and stress. My clients are in a really bad situation.   I listed their house for sale nearly two weeks ago.  We thought it would sell in the first few days with multiple offers and while we had a lot of showings, we had no offers.  Now, the showings have trickled off to almost nothing and my clients (and me) are going nuts with the pressure.  We don’t know what to do.  The market here in the east side of central Toronto has been so incredibly strong all spring and they bought a property in multiple offers 4 weeks ago.  They paid a lot and the closing is at the end of July.  It’s coming up soon.  I wish I could just solve this – the stress is so bad I don’t even care about my commission at this point.

Do you have any tips for real estate agents in a bind like me?



Dear Denise,

Yuck!  I hate that feeling.  I think every experienced agent has been there at some point in their career.  Consider it a rite of passage, but you can’t do that until you get your client out of this rotten situation.

My first tip for real estate agents in a bind like you is to do everything you can to get them out of this situation.  Ignoring the problem or walking away is the cowardly route and won’t lead you to a successful future.

Solving any complicated problem begins with clearly identifying the problem and examining the options available.  This will require leadership, focus, and the ability to understand the emotional and psychological perspective of your clients and other stakeholders.

Begin with your own mindset and beliefs.  If you are distraught, scared, or stressed you won’t be able to show your client a sense of confidence.  You then need to discover what options are available; determine some important information:


I call this situation being across the market because your clients bought in one market condition and are trying to sell in a different market condition.  This can happen at any time, but is more common during the transition from the spring market to the summer market and from the fall market into the December holiday time.  It can also happen if there is an unexpected event that affects the real estate market like a jump in interest rates or a terrorist attack on New York City.

Savvy agents help their clients choose between the risky options of buy first or sell first.  In many markets, it is possible and even common to buy a home conditional on the sale of the existing home, but in a strong sellers’ market it’s rare that sellers would accept that condition.  Watch for a blog post with tips for real estate agents on buying first or selling first.


Columnist, The Nature of Real Estate


Dear Zuess is a column dedicated to offering tips for real estate agents that want to create lasting connections with their clients. Do you have any real estate binds you’ve been in lately? Drop Zuess a line at