Blog Sellers My Neighbor Got Wind I’m Selling My Home. Should I cut Out My Agent?

My Neighbor Got Wind I’m Selling My Home. Should I cut Out My Agent?

By Tracy Dau, September 4, 2020

The phone conversation:

“Oh, my gosh guys. Guess what? My neighbor got wind that I’m selling my house –I think they noticed you over at the house meeting with painters and contractors, and now they have expressed interest. They told me that we can avoid paying real estate fees if we work a deal privately. Ugh! What should I do? I mean, I know we had a plan to go to market and you are making the house look so nice, I mean that mural you are painting on my fence looks incredible, but I could save commissions. I feel stuck.”


**** The above scenario has happened to me twice this week. Twice. That’s how crazy hot the Portland market is right now. It’s cut-throat. I’ve been in these situations so many times over my lengthy real estate career. The first time it happened, I wished to hit my client over the head with a frying pan and listen to the sound reverberate like it does in the cartoons. But I have learned to pause and explain my worth – see below ****


My answer:

People are always eager for an opportunity to save money, but you’ve got to ask yourself what benefit the potential buyer gets, and what’s in it for you.
In my experience, it’s usually one of two situations.
In the first, and most likely, the neighbor is likely trying to get a deal by paying less than market value. Note that it couldn’t be that they expect to save paying real estate fees themselves as the buyer doesn’t typically pay the fees, the seller does (though of course most sellers do factor in fees when determining their bottom line).
In the second situation; they simply aren’t serious. They’re testing the waters, and that’s a lot easier to do without a motivated real estate agent working to complicate things for them. If you put your plans to list on the market on hold and they then change their minds, you’re left holding the bag. If you have a potential buyer like this, tell them to make an offer when your property is listed on the market. It’ll make life easier for both of you.
Last month, we were preparing to list a home in close-in SE Portland. Just before we went to market, a friend to my seller approached her to try and work out a deal. One that would put agents aside and be potentially headache free. My sellers loved the idea of selling their home to their long-lost friend. We talked about the options, whether they could do their own paper work, was the buyer really serious, did they understand disclosures etc… Ultimately, our clients offered the home to their friend for $580,000 a tad less than what we were going to put it on the market for. The friend balked at the price. They had never broached what the price would letting their enthusiasm overtake the ‘business side’ of the transaction. The buyer-friend was hoping to get the home for much less. Imagine the emotion involved when the high-fives didn’t get thrown around.

We then took the house to market, worked the property quite hard and received 6 offers. The house is selling for $48,000 over asking. Far higher than our clients would ever have dreamed it could sell for.
It comes down to this: Work equals value, and skilled work equals higher value. A real estate agent is working for you, bringing their skill, experience and reputation to the transaction.


Tracy Dau

Broker | Earth Advantage


When you meet Tracy Dau, it doesn’t take long to realize where her true passions lie.  She loves houses and loves matching her clients with the place that’s perfect for them.  Ask her clients and they’ll tell you she’s a whirlwind of energy, a juggler of projects, a creative force, a good listener and a tireless advocate.  She comes to the job with a vision for what’s possible and the background to make that happen. Maybe it’s because she grew up in the breathtaking town of Juneau Alaska, where it rains 250 days a year.  It’s the kind of place where you either give into gloomy weather or dig deep and find the will to preserve. Maybe it’s because her folks instilled in her the drive to succeed. For the past sixteen years she has gutted and restored many houses, using any opportunity to work with her hands. Blending her formal training as a fine artist and designer with her experience as a builder, these old-house remodels have become her creative canvas. Her time as a product developer and architectural consultant at Rejuvenation House Parts introduced her to a community of like-minded folks who encouraged her to become a REALTOR®. She is drawn to vintage homes. The artist in her is drawn to their detail, the builder in her to their craftsmanship. Their charm and imperfections make them all the more fascinating and soulful. That’s what drew her to her first home. Stripped of all her painted-lady features, she sat sadly on a corner lot in SE Portland waiting to be loved and cared for. She had a yard full of shopping carts, a tree that had grown through her facade, motor-oil soaked mattresses and a basement full of the neighbor’s missing car parts, and yet, in spite of this her husband Nate and Tracy bought and fixed her up. This renovation lead to the next house-love-affair, followed by another and another. It only made sense to apply this knowledge and the valuable lessons learned along the way to help others looking to buy or improve their own homes. Which brings me to why she became a REALTOR®. Tracy chose this job because she is passionate about houses and loves the chance to develop relationships with her clients. When you choose to work with Tracy, she will advocate for your best interests, guide you through the home buying process and protect you from the stressful moments as they inevitably arise. She will advise you every step of the way to enable you to make good decisions, stay centered and reach your goals. Even after your  transaction has come to an end, Tracy is still available to answer your questions and help with your home projects. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and being outdoors. Her hobbies include teaching her children, Lander and Olivia, about nature, hunting for sea creatures, spotting birds, drinking bourbon in the winter and gin in the summer, eating chocolate and traveling to warm destinations.
Read More
  • T: 971-275-0387

You might also enjoy

Probates and Real Property

Stacy Stokes

If you end as a personal representative for an estate, you will likely be taking on...

Upscale Eats + Friendly Faces + Tasty Beverages = Interurban

Kevin Salisbury

Interurban is one of the most popular upscale stops along Mississippi. It’s rustic aesthetic pairs well...

Just Sold: N Portland Diamond-In-The-Rough

Zayda Maguire

7916 N Hereford Ave, Portland, OR 97203 Great little cottage, a diamond in the rough. This...

Artsy Fartsy

Nichole Connelly

A referral from two of my favorite people = yes please! I was so excited to...