Got an offer

Ted3February 18, 2011

Sorry - this is a long post.

3 weeks ago our contract with our old agent ran out. The day before the listing expired we got an email from her telling us - "I am sure you realize how bad the market is, and how hard I have worked to try and sell your home".

It was the first communication from her in a nearly a month, after we had seen only one looker in 3 months of listing with her.

After replying that we were not going to renew with her, we got a phone call from her - first time we'd spoken since we listed with her. She had a littany of excuses - including "people don't like the neighborhood, community, and county", "The house is too old to be new, and too new to be quaint", and our favorite, "no one is selling anywhere".

Honestly, if she had shown that kind of effort while the listing was in force, I think we would have been gone already...

We were so discouraged by all the negative stuff we'd been told, and so little interest in the house, that we decided not to list again until May or June, if at all.

The day after the listing expired we got calls from 4 realtors, all of whom wanted to list the house. We told them thanks, but we wanted to wait and take a breather from having the house on constant stand by and getting no interest.

One of persisted, and asked if she could swing by the house on her way home, saying she didn't care if was "picked up or a sty - I just want to see if I think I have interested clients".

Well, we gave in and let her come. Since it was warm here, we had started doing the early spring yard work, and the place was a mess, I mean AWFUL.

When she came, she said the house was very nice and should have sold already. Naturally, we've all heard that from realtors who are looking for a listing, so we took it with a grain of salt, and told her we might call her in a few months if we decided to list again.

She called us the next day and told us she was sure she could sell the house - would we list with her if she agreed the listing could be cancelled at any time? Then she told us our home was nicer, and better kept than 90% of the homes in our area that she has shown and she was surprised it has not sold because the price was attractive.

Honestly, we wanted to tell her no. I know it was only on the market 3 months, but we had heard so many negative things - bad market, undesirable area, too far in the country, price needs to be lower - you name it, that we just wanted to let it go for a while. But we told her OK, we will try it for a month.

We're glad we did. Whatever she is doing, it works. We have had 8 visitors in just 17 days, and we just got an offer. It is lower than we wanted, but close enough that we are going to counter it.

We realize now that we let our old agent discourage us both with her lack of effort and her excuses. Even though we thought we did a thorough job interviewing agents the first time, we obviously didn't. The sad thing is, the new agent tells us the house was already priced at the low end of its value, and should have been priced higher to leave us more negotiating room. Too late for that now.

So the message here is - hang in there. And be damn sure you get a good realtor who doesn't make excuses.

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Congrats on the offer; hopefully it will work out because it isn't over until you have the check in your hand. We had a small bidding war; we picked the one with the better loan but things ended up falling through; thankfully the other buyer still wanted it but it still almost didn't happen. He got pissed that we turned the utilities off; guess he thought we'd leave everything on for them. Great relative/agent they had; guess they didn't remind him to have the utilities turned on.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 7:33PM
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Good deal on the offer. Negativity breeds negativity. However, playinf devil's advocate, she did have the listing for only 3 months, and during the slowest marketing period of the year.

I offer all of my sellers a Cancellation Gaurantee...If they think I am not doing what I told them I was going to do, they can tell me to pack my bags. I do require that I have 72 hours to follow up on any buyers that may be interested, and after that we are through. I have had only one taker so far...

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 8:15PM
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"He got pissed that we turned the utilities off; guess he thought we'd leave everything on for them."

Usually the buyer has everything transferred to their name effective on the date of closing.

The POCO and other metered utilities then simply read their meters on that date.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 9:13AM
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"So the message here is - hang in there. And be damn sure you get a good realtor who doesn't make excuses."

The last agent we used tried to trick us into signing on with her for another YEAR! This was after we'd had to hire our own attorney to get out of the deal she screwed up.

Really pays to have a realtor who will let you out when you aren't happy.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 9:54AM
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In your opinion, what has your new agent done that your old one didn't?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 10:12AM
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weedyacres; could be nothing different; could just be that the market is picking up. That's how my state is in February with it dying down in March

    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 2:58PM
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That new agent sure has great skills to pull an offer out of someone and also to get someone off the fence and come look at a home. Heck, she got you to agree to show the home to her and then got the listing, when you already made up your mind that you would not list yet.

These are great realtor skills for a realtor to have. She sounds like an excellent realtor. Congrats on the offer and I bet your new realtor will be working hard to make sure everything comes to fruition. Sounds like she will not drop the ball and will be on top of everything before it becomes an issue. And she will be following up with all parties, you can be sure of that.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 3:59PM
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Hello Weedyacres -

In response to your question, "In your opinion, what has your new agent done that your old one didn't?"

I guess it starts right at the beginning. Our new agent put the sign up the day we listed, and she did it correctly. It didn't fall over the first time the wind blew like the first agent's did.

She took the video for the virtual tour the next afternoon, and it was up two days later. The first agent had sold us on her company's "professional state of the art virtual tours", and how great our home would look presented to interested buyers that way. Then she never got the virtual tour video done in the three months we were with her. Never. Nothing.

The new agent brought a photographer with her to take pictures of the house. He took a bunch of photos. They put up twenty pictures with the listing, and they looked great. The first agent took 5 shots with her point and shoot, and they were basically nondescript and washed out. One of them wasn't level, but she said that didn't matter when I pointed it out to her.

The new agent told us she called at least a dozen other real estate offices to let agents she has worked with know about the listing the first few days it was active. The buyer supposedly has been looking since December 1, and never was told about it previously.

The old agent told us she sent out an "email alert" to other agents once a month to remind them of the listing. You have to draw your own conclusions on this one. I don't know why the email apparently did not get the same response. I can only guess the new agent talked up the house to encourage visits.

The new agent was already planning an open house ( and wanted to do them every six weeks, if we agreed)because she says we are off the beaten path, and she wants to be sure people know about us. The previous agent told us she was not going to do an open house, because we are too far out in the country and it would waste her time... Again, draw your own conclusions.

I'm sure I'm missing a bunch of things, but those are the ones that stick out in my mind.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 12:36PM
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A question, based on Ted's latest post, to the REAs on this board:

When other agents call or email you about properties, do you really pay attention and do something different with your buyers? It would seem to me like you'd be bombarded with this kind of stuff constantly, to the point that you'd be thinking "it's just Sally again, over-promoting her listings." Does a personal call or email really make you consider a property rather than just relying on the MLS?

Similarly, if you've got a bunch of listings, do you really have time to call a bunch of people every time you get a new one? Do they respond (as opposed to just using the MLS)?

Don't mean to hijack, Ted, just continuing to try and learn about what effective agents do and what works.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 7:44PM
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