What more can a Realtor do?

echobellyFebruary 26, 2014

I've just sold a property in Boston, bought one in FL, and am in the process of selling the one I currently live in on the gulf coast of FL. This area was hit bad by the housing boom, but is starting to show some life. The realtors I've used for selling have had an open house, listed it on MLS sites, but that's the extent of it. They seem to just wait for other realtors to contact them and show it. Is there more they could be doing to facilitate a sale? The realtor we used to purchase was very active in every step of the way, advising us on negotiating and how much to offer, etc. I mentioned this to our realtor asking why there seems to be little interest in even viewing our house, which is in move in condition at a very good price. He just said there's nothing he can do if no one contacts him. Someone mentioned offering him a signing bonus if it sells with a designated time. Would this light a fire under him?

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Am going through a related decision-making process... see my recent post.

My feeling is that the buyer's realtor (such as the one you've used already) does more work, especially with a picky buyer. Our guy, who we befriended over the years (!) drove us a lot, and spent a lot of time, and although he did not do a lot for the specific house that we bought, we still feel he earned it overall.

Now he is retired with an illness and we are selling, so are considering flat-fee or FSBO.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 1:07PM
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If the selling realtor can't convince his client to lower the price enough to generate activity, no amount of marketing can overcome that.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 1:22PM
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Our realtor actually wanted to price it higher than we did. I made him drop it down quite a bit. Hadn't heard from him in two weeks, just got an email wondering if I have any leads for him. Not a good sign.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 4:02PM
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Is your house on the gulf? Until the feds get the homeowner's/flood insurance problems settled it may be awhile before your property sells.

Post the MLS link here, if you are willing to read some honest opinions.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 4:46PM
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Buyers who are able, ready and willing know where to look for homes when the time is right.. The internet. Then they go hire a buyers agent.
If you can do a search with your home's property criteria, and if it comes up in all the searches, then it is being exposed properly. And if this is the case, then it is telling you that this is not the reason why you have no lookers.

In General...
no showings, no offers.... priced way above market value
a few showings and no offers... priced near market value, but still too high to induce offers.
lots of showings, but no offers, close, but no cigar. This is usually the case when a homeowner always comes in second place with the buyers.
lots of showings and at least one offer... Right On!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 6:47AM
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Your listing agents job is not to "sell your house" it is to "get it sold". We all would love to sell our own listings but that is usually just icing on the cake. His/her job is to get you the most exposure as possible. I will admit, your agent sounds a bit lazy. I wouldnt dream of calling one of my sellers and asking if they had any leads for me. He should be creating his own leads. Since he is not, I have to wonder if he is not creating the right exposure on your house either. Your house should be "blitzed" all over the internet. If it is not, he is doing something wrong. This is where a good listing agent is worth their money. If it is all over the internet and you are still not getting showings, then "what ncrealestateguy" said :) Best of luck !

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 7:39AM
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Thanks for all your advice!
@maddielee:The house is not close enough to the ocean to be affected by the Biggers-Waters Act which is greatly increasing flood insurance in some areas (we were greatly aware of this as we were looking for a new home near the ocean).
Here is a link to the listing: http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/19240-Ethel-Dr_North-Fort-Myers_FL_33917_M67057-70476?row=3

I think one of the problems is this area was known a few years ago as a place you could get great bargains on houses. You could, if you could wait for a short sale and had cash. Everyone now wants a bargain. As the house is now priced, we're breaking even. I understand that has nothing to do with the selling price, but I think it's fairly priced for a house that was completely gutted and updated with high end finishes 3 years ago.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 11:45AM
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Sophie Wheeler

The pictures are atrocious. From the very first shot that shows a glimpse of what appears to be a forbidding property behind a barricade fence and what looks like overgrown foliage all the way through to no shots of the kitchen to speak of at all to the very last, very weird, shot of a cow? on the road? The pictures all show features of the rooms, not the rooms themselves. The only memorable pictures from the whole slideshow is the partial one of the bathroom with the marble, and the cage around the pool.

Better pictures are a must here.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 1:00PM
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I agree the realtor needs to fix the pictures. What is the one room that as stained concrete with a gray large splotch and some cabinets in the background.

The agent also needs to fix his/hers grammar, spelling or autocorrect issues in the copy text. What is "lash" tropical gardens - I assume lush is meant. Remove "Schedule your showing before is gone"

As for the pictures - they should show the rooms and the yard so you get an idea of what the layout looks like. No close ups of furniture. Buyers want to see the rooms they are buying not he furniture.

I would prefer to see what he house looks like on the exterior as well as kitchen, baths, master, dining, living, and how they relate to each other. There were only 3 pictures that found appealing and would help me decide to go see it. Pool and enclosure, although I think I'd like to see more of the pool since the shape looks narrow, Cabana, although I have no idea how it relates to anything else, the marble bath. The other 22 just gave me no info how the spaces relate to the house. Wider views are needed. Based on the photos I would just skip going to view the house unless there were short inventory.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 1:24PM
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What IS that blurry shot of an animal anyway? And WHY is it included? A new kitchen would presumably have several very good shots featured. The photos make the home seem unappealing. And there seems to be a much newer listing with more rooms and room listed for 10K cheaper just down the road.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 1:51PM
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I agree about the photos. I did most of them myself, and my camera doesn't zoom out enough to show the whole room. The realtor did take a lot of pictures, but they were even worse. They all had hot-spots from the flash in the center.
@ livewireoak: The other house you mentioned is actually across the street (they're good friends of ours). The house is newer, but the systems (elec., plumbing, A.C., roof, well) are older. The house is larger, but there is no pool or outbuildings. They did just drop the price last week.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 3:13PM
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Then have your realtor hire someone who can take better photos.

No one yet mentioned the shot of the kitchen with half a person in it. I agree, the write-up is so riddled with errors it makes me cringe.

At least your toilet seats are down. :-)

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 1:41PM
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Without even looking at the listing.....if the real estate agent can't communicate with proper grammar and spelling I would fire them immediately. A professional should be hired to take photos and the agent should be directing the photographer and should know about common sense things like toilet seats must be down.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 11:05AM
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Better pictures are a priority. Also possible add a floor plan drawing if possible. I can't figure out the floor plan or flow of the house from the pictures.

The outside shots of the road and random trees don't add much to the listing to me and feel unnecessary.

And the room with the 2 tiny round tables and nice benches? I am not sure what that room is. The full on shot with the large window is nice in balance, but the tables are too light and too small to me. The other shot with what looks like a large mattress (probably a dog bed) on the floor makes the home seem off scale. The tables are so tiny, and that mattress is very large.

Add a chair under your computer desk. Some larger furniture that would clearly show that "this is the living room, this is the dining space" would be helpful IMHO.

The pictures should make someone lust to see your property in person. It is too spare looking to me. I did like the pool-it looks inviting. But the rest of the home is so spartan that it looks like a first home/rental. I think it is both the camera and the MCM items with the white white paint.

I think it is a nice space that isn't being shown to its best advantage.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 12:09PM
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My last post was assuming that your agent is exposing your property in an advantageous manner. From the replies above, it sounds like he is not. I am sure that the pics are holding some buyers back.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 7:23AM
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"The pictures don't do justice to this beautiful customize (sic!) home set in lash (sic!) tropical gardens."

At least h/she is honest.

Google how to take photos for real estate listings.
Either ask your realtor to take proper pictures or hire someone, or take them yourself.
Ask your realtor to do an open house for other realtors.

Here is a link that might be useful: real estate pictures

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 2:56PM
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"The house is not close enough to the ocean to be affected by the Biggers-Waters Act which is greatly increasing flood insurance in some areas (we were greatly aware of this as we were looking for a new home near the ocean)"

Proximity to the ocean (or gulf or river or any water at all) has nothing to do with what flood zone FEMA has put your house in!
I have a close friend on waterfront Tampa Bay whose house is NOT in a flood zone (although his pool is), but many people in Pinellas County are MILES from the gulf and in flood zones.

That said, I put your address in the FEMA quick calculator thing and it says you are in a high-risk zone, so you need to check your flood map ASAP.

Also, for anybody else, just because you are not in a flood zone today doesn't mean you might not be in one tomorrow or whenever FEMA updates your maps! That is why the amendment to Biggert-Waters was so important.
Our homes that were built to the old code, before the maps were changed, will now be grandfathered, since the President signed the law. This includes new buyers for your homes, although flood insurance will need to be factored into their purchase.
Now only commercial properties are suffering because the fix left them out.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 2:23PM
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