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“Guaranteed Sale” Trade-Up Programs – What’s the catch?

You may have seen the bus stop advertisements, “I’ll sell your home in 90 days or I’ll buy it!!”


Sounds like an incredible deal, doesn’t it?  You can hire an agent who will guarantee you the sale of your home in any market! But what’s the catch?  There’s gotta be one, right?


Here are the ‘finer points’ of these teaser programs:


  • You will be required to buy another one of the listing agent’s listings (dual agency situation where (s)he will get the entire commission)
  • The sale price to the agent will be ‘fair market value’ for current market conditions, minus a certain percentage ‘guaranteed sale fee.’  Naturally, the agent receives the entire commission on the sale, or a portion of the commission and a reduction in price.
  • Most agents only offer the program for properties valued under $500,000.


Most people won’t qualify for this type of a program, or won’t want to, once they understand how it works.  So why is it preached by arguably the leading trainer and salesman in the country?


It’s simple: It instills enough hope in the minds of motivated sellers to secure the interview!  Logically, they know there must be a catch.  Still, it’s so tempting that it’s worth a closer look.  Once a skilled agent lands an interview, they stand a very good chance of securing the listing.  Like 80% or higher.


Agents who are successful with this approach think others are ignorant not to use the same approach.  It opens doors for them — literally.


I agree that the approach is completely legitimate.  In and of itself it is not altogether unfair or deceptive.  Still, the idea of dangling what for 99.9% of sellers is false hope in order to meet with them, doesn’t sit well with me. 


I’m sure my business loses many sales each year because we’re not willing to embrace these types of programs, but I believe the Phoenix real estate market and Scottsdale real estate market has plenty of prospective sellers who appreciate a more transparent approach to business development and self-promotion.


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