Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: Pick a Market- Stick to your Market- Don't Take Listings 3 Hours Away!

Pick a Market- Stick to your Market- Don't Take Listings 3 Hours Away!

There's a show I like to watch as it tortures me. It's one of those shows where you want to yell back through the screen and hope they hear you. I have a few of those. The one I'm referencing in this situation is Million Dollar Listing: Los Angeles.

million dollar listing los angeles

Why am I puling my hair out with this show this time?  One of the main characters, Josh Flagg, was given the opportunity to list his parents' financial advisor's house... almost 3 hours away!!  And the advice from his grandmother, which is usually bad advice? To take the listing because it's not good to turn away business and also made the comment about how he "needs" the money.  

3 hours away!! Josh's first reaction was that he wasn't going to do it. He kept saying things like, "You expect me to drive 3 hours each time a buyer wants to view it?" And the grandmother is like, "You're young, what's 3 hours?"  (paraphrased and not exact verbiage from the show) Josh should have listened to his gut.

What's 3 hours?  First of all, it's not just 3 hours because he has to drive back, so double it and add time for the showing.  That's about 7 hours for 1 showing.

Second of all, it's 3 hours away!!  That's a completely different market!  That's like me, here in Austin, deciding that I am still going to work in Dallas in addition to my Austin business.  Seriously? I wouldn't even work in Waco which is just over 1 1/2 hours away.  Why? Because, and I can't stress this enough, they're completely different markets!!

Different things drive these markets. Relocation, jobs, inventory on the market, foreclosures, short sales, etc...  You can't be an expert in every market out there.

I think Million Dollar Listing: Los Angeles did an extremely poor job at portraying the reality of the real estate business.  What's even worse is he priced it over $1M too high!

Pick a market, stick to your market, sell your market.  Don't stray into someone else's market and pretend you know what you're doing.

**graphic courtesy of Million Dollar Listing: Los Angeles' website.

**Are You Packed Yet?**

donna harris Realtor Austin TX blog

Donna Harris, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Austin Skyline

Austin TX Real Estate and the surrounding areas of Lakeway, Bee Cave, West Lake Hills, CedarPark, Round Rock, Spicewood, Circle-C, Steiner Ranch, and everywhere in between... Hill Country Austin TX Real Estate and beyond. Whether you're buying or selling an Austin home, I'll be with you every step of the way. 

For real time Austin TX listings,click here.

** Multi-Million Dollar Producer Year after Year **
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Copyright© 2012 By Donna Harris, All Rights Reserved. You may re-blog with links back to this post.
* Pick a Market- Stick to your Market- Don't Take Listings 3 Hours Away! 
* was first published on

Comment balloon 12 commentsDonna Harris • August 09 2012 03:28PM


Love agents that will take a listing anywhere.

In the old days (before MLS) agents from the 'big city' would take listings here and on the way out of town after the listing appointment they would stop at our office, give us a key and say, "Sell it! I don't want to come back until closing." (We are talking a 20 minute drive each way.

Posted by Than Maynard, Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862 (Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma) almost 8 years ago

Hi Donna. I completely agree with you on this one. I won't even take a listing in New Braunfels or San Marcos, and that's only about 45 minute drive from San Antonio. It is a very different market.

Posted by Jerry Newman, Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation (Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, almost 8 years ago

Good lord, Donna, that one is making my eyeballs bleed... I haven't watched that show, but I think it makes us look like buffoons, being portrayed that way.  The only time I will ever take listing that's 3 hours away is.... Oh wait... NEVER!

Posted by Jennifer Prestwich, Madison & Co Properties (Henderson, Thornton, Broomfield and Westminster) almost 8 years ago

Very good points, Donna. All Real Estate is local. In some remote and sparsely populated areas, 3 hours could be the limit, but for most other areas, how could an agent provide any service, let alone be an expert in each locale?  What a coincidence, I just blogged about this today! Real Estate has many unusual situations. It's more important than ever to use an agent with local expertise.

Posted by George Fanucci, Internet - Technology - Business - Solutions ( almost 8 years ago
Great advise. If you don't know the area, STAY OUT. Better to get a referral than a headache. I just sold my mothers house after she passed away. It was in a different market only 30 minutes away from where I do real estate. I listed it with an agent familiar with that market! That agent sold it in no time.
Posted by John Dotson, The experience to get you to the other side! (Preferred Properties of Highlands, Inc. - Highlands, NC) almost 8 years ago

The 3 hour drive isn't the real killer, because most potential buyers are going to have an agent in that area that can show them the property. The killer is that he overpriced it by 1 million dollars, so even if it was 20 minutes away, he would still be wasting everyones time.

Posted by Jeff Pearl, Full Service Full Time Realtor (RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA) almost 8 years ago

Good evening Donna. I 100% agree about keeping your listings close to you. Not sure how an agent can feel they are giving their client the best representation that far away. That's why we have referrals.

Posted by Randy Ostrander, Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI (Lake and Lodge Realty LLC ) almost 8 years ago

Than, 20 minutes away? That's funny!

Jerry, Very!

Jennifer, It's an addiicting show... seasonal finalle next week!

George, I can't even imagine doing it in sparce areas...

John, In my area, 30 minutes isn't very far so I would still do a listing that "far" out.

Jeff, In CA, it's an issue because the brokers are there for every single showing... unless that's just the way they do it for the show.

Randy, Exactly!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 8 years ago

Great post Donna, it drives me crazy when agents out of the area take listings in oyr town.  It seems that as the market was declining in other areas more and more agents were willing to drive greater distances to do business.  I believe they are doing their clients a huge diservice by doing this.

Posted by Donny Carter, Mountain Maryland Real Estate Expert (Carter & Roque Real Estate) almost 8 years ago


 A listing 3 hours away is called a referral.

 Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) almost 8 years ago

Good advice in real estate. 


Lou, I fully see your point.


Love and light,



Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) almost 8 years ago

And I also don't show homes 3 hours away...different side of that same coin. 

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) almost 8 years ago