Should I get a new agent?

gmarielMarch 26, 2010

I have had my home on the market for 7.5 months now. We are in a townhome that most people in this area would consider a first time home buyer's home. I interviewed 3 agents before selecting one. I chose this agent based on a referral, familiarity with our neighborhood, she sold other homes in our subdivision, she had the shortest contract, the lowest commission and was up-front about the cost of selling a home.

Since the time we have listed I do not believe I have had more than 1 contact that was not initiated by me. Each time we speak she tells me, "I was just about to call you." We have only had about 20 showings in this time period and most of the feedback is positive, naturally there are those that don't like the layout, or location. There have been no offers. The agent thinks our price is right, we are priced tha lowest in our subdivision (aside from a water damaged forclosure) and nothing has sold since last August and that home sold in 6 weeks, and she was the listing agent.

When we signed she told me that we would speak 1-2 times per week and that I would be getting reports on how my listing was doing. I have not received any of these weekly check in calls and I just received my first report last month. I was suppose to meet with her this week and discuss painting my white walls another color (her suggestion) and she was a no call/no show.

As we near April 30th I can't help but wonder if I should switch agents. One last piece of information: I only signed a 3 month contract which expired in November, but she never asked me to re-sign.

I have never sold a home before so I could really use another perspective.

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I have never sold a home either, so I'm not sure how valid my opinion will be. That being said, I think a new agent sounds like a great idea. Your agent doesn't seem to be looking out for your best intrests. She also doesn't really seem to be doing much marketing, from what you have told us. If it were my house, I may consider adding a bit of neutral color variation (if all the walls are white) and then listing with another agent. Have all new pictures taken, also. If you have any seasonal flowers in bloom, definately take another picture of the front of your house. This is what I would do, but I'm no expert.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 8:15AM
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If you aren't comfortable with your agent, find a new one. It isn't that complicated.

However, a properly priced home will sell. If multiple homes all aren't selling, then you guys are all overvaluing your property. You have had 20 buyers come through, and all of them told you the same thing.... your house looks nice, but we aren't willing to pay what you are asking.

If you decide to stick with this agent, have her pull a list of recent comparable sales in your area. You'll probably be surprised about the price points houses are selling at.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 8:32AM
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This is what I would do, but I'm no expert.

Well I am an expert and I would give the same advice. If you only signed a three month contract, one of two things are going on. 1. Either you are off the market (check the internet, see if you can find your listing), if you can then 2. She illegally extended your contract without your signature.

Find a copy of your contract, see what the expiration date is, and call another agent. If that agent tells you she cannot list your home because it is in MLS, show your contract. Let them handle the business of having MLS remove it.

7.5 months with 1 contact from her in unacceptable, 7.5 months with no offers and no suggestions or price changes is unacceptable. Making an appointment with you and then not showing up and not calling is unacceptable. Get rid of her!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 8:39AM
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We are still on the MLS. After about the 6th week she suggested a price drop. We did drop the price, but only half as much as she suggested and when I told her my rational she agreed that half would be just fine and she hasn't brought it us since.

So now I wonder is this my fault we are not under contract because I didn't lower the price enough? I think bill1 makes a good point in regards to all the showings and the price. That's something I'll have to think about.

My last feedback was, "the best we've looked at so far!" I immediately tried to get in contact with my agent. After several messages she called back and I told her that she could offer a lower price and a painting credit. As of now, almost 3 weeks she says she hasn't been able to get ahold of the buyer's agent.

I called my second choice from when I interviewed realtors and she is out of town. I may be meeting with the agent covering for her this weekend-she wants me to come to their office, and it's a bit far. Should I be interviewing 3 more agents?

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 10:12AM
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she wants me to come to their office, and it's a bit far. Should I be interviewing 3 more agents?

Forget that one, YOU shouldnt be going to her, she should be coming to you. In the first place, SHE hasnt even seen your home, how can she sit and discuss it with you? In the second place, if its a bit far, it is possibly out of her service area? Interview some more agents and absolutely, let them come to you.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 1:42PM
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Your competition is not just in your subdivision.

What will your sales price buy in the surrounding area? If other houses with more to offer are selling for the same price, they will go first.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 8:53AM
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gmariel what did you end up doing? Linda117 was correct in everything she wrote!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 5:17PM
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We went through a similar situation with a realtor who just didn't communicate much and didn't give us any new ideas about selling our home. When our contract neared its end, I interviewed a different agent who met us at our house as soon as we were able to do so and gave us very concrete advice, including lowering the price by quite a bit. After almost a year on the market and no offers, we got a very good offer within days of listing with her. So I say, lower the price - as others have pointed out, buyers will say it's a lovely home but the kitchen is too small or there is too much wallpaper. What they mean is, they could live with that if the house were a better bargain. Once we made it a bargain it sold. We closed last week.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 10:03PM
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I think marybelle_2009 is right on target. A neighbor of mine went through 3 different agents. While I don't think she and her husband's complaints about the first two agents were off-base, their place quickly sold after they drastically lowered the price.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 10:24PM
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Sorry I didn't repost sooner, I didn't know anyone was still interested.

I quickly interviewed 3 new agents, including one from my fist round and ended up choosing her. I sent an email to the realor and told her I was going to go a new route and gave her the new agent's info. She canceled immediately but mentioned that I was still under contract since I dropped the price a few months earlier. I think she had me confused with someone else because her dates were off, but I was a bit concerened because since when does a phone call to drop a price trigger a new contract with new terms that the seller is not made aware of?

I have dropped the price a bit more with the new lising. The realtors I interviewed seemed to think we were priced well; but, I agree with everone's assessment of the situation: If the house isn't selling and everyone thinks it's nice, it must be the the price.

I did have an interested buyer last weekend, but no offer yet...maybe I will have the realtor call his agent with a price drop or an offer to pay for closing costs.

I suppose I am just having trouble accepting how much our home's value has dropped.

I going to work on getting over it.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 10:46PM
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Here's a little post script to my previous posting - we too had a really hard time dealing with our lovely home's value in today's market. Before the real estate bubble burst we had assumed we'd be making a nice piece of change when we sold. In fact, the first realtor we ever interviewed gave us the cold hard facts, and although we liked her, we ended up going with the guy who told us what we wanted to hear - and our house sat for 11 months with no offers at all. When we finally accepted that we needed a new realtor, we would have gone with the first gal but she was in the same office as our guy, so we switched to a different agency and really listened to our new person's advice.

It was hard to see the pay-out we ended up getting at our closing (we dropped our price by almost 20,000), but it was a lot harder to realize that had we listened to the first realtor - the one we didn't hire -, we probably would have sold much more quickly and would not have ended up paying the mortgage and utilities on that empty house for an extra 8-9 months. It took me a few days to fume and fuss, but now that it's over and we don't have to pay the extra mortgage anymore, we're really relieved.

And, it IS hard to get over it because for such a long time, people were making so much money on their homes. It helps me a bit to think about how lucky we are as a family on the whole compared to what other folks are going through in these tough times. But give yourself permission to be bummed out too - it's understandable.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 10:29AM
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