Q: I don’t have a question, just a comment. I just heard you talking on NPR’s “Sound Money” just now and you were talking about how real estate agents do a comparative marketing analysis for free.

I wanted to share with you the fact that there is at least one “stinker” real estate organization out there that charges for market analysis.

I sold my home by myself last summer in Indiana and moved to Tennessee. Of the agents I asked for the analysis, one who is new to the community would only give it free IF I agreed to sell with them!

So I found others who weren’t so greedy and got the analyses I needed to do the job.

I must have prepped the place pretty well for viewing, because one of the real estate agents who did the analysis even thought she might want to buy the property for herself!

Just wanted you to know, however, there is at least one firm out there that doesn’t believe in the time-honored free analysis.

A: It’s unfortunate that this real estate firm doesn’t recognize the value of spreading some good will in order to generate future business.

The reason real estate agents are normally happy to help you do a comparative marketing analysis is two-fold: First, they know that only about 15 percent of homeowners will end up selling by-owner. If you don’t sell by yourself, you’re much more likely to call one of the agents who helped you out and with whom you established a rapport.

Second, if you’re selling, you’re usually buying and they want the buyer business.

I’m guessing this agent who wanted to charge you will either find himself out of business soon, or will change his tune. In the meantime, by being tenacious, you got what you needed and completed your sale.

Jan. 19, 2009.