Question about listing agent duties/NYC

tklnApril 5, 2009

Hi everyone...I apologize in advance if this is a stupid question...we just listed our house in Queens, NY with a local agent, and one who sells a lot of homes in our area.

I've never sold a house before so not sure of the protocol. I was under the impression that when another broker comes with their buyer, my agent should meet them at the house and show them around, especially if the buyer's broker has never been here before.

We've had a few showings this past week that were with buyers and their brokers, and my agent did not show up. The broker came early and I was there to show them around, and then they showed their client around when they arrived a few minutes later.

This seems a bit backwards to me. My dad was a broker years ago and I asked my mom if he showed his listings to other brokers/buyers and she said no. But yet when my fiancé and I have looked at homes in another state (VT), the listing agent met us and our broker at every home we looked at.

Does this differ by state? What's standard protocol? I feel like I'm doing my brokers job, but I guess if it's standard, I shouldn't get too uptight about it...


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Its not customary for your listing agent to be there for showings. (at least in NY) Its his/her job to market your home so other agents show it. (of course she could show it to her own buyer too, that gets a little more complicated). Everything the buyers agent needs to know is on the MLS form, on a flyer left by your agent or is self explanatory. Disappear when they show your house. You dont need to be showing the agents your house. Unless your house is something very unusual (and if thats the case your agent would probably be there to accompany)stay out of the way. In fact, don't be home when the house is being shown. You're only making the buyers uncomfortable and they can't feel like they can really look at your house. You want them to feel like this is "home". When you are there, they feel like its "your home".

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 11:15AM
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I agree with Linda. Leave the house when you have a showing!

I think the SA being there is either regional or something that used to happen years ago. Don't worry about it. Be happy you're getting showings.

Whatever you do, get out of the house when there is a showing! You're making the potential buyer extremely uncomfortable and hindering the sale of your home.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 11:34AM
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I have been leaving the house when the buyers come but my agent says I should show the buyers agent around when they come first....I guess that's why I feel like I'm doing their job.

In fact, one appointment today had an issue when the buyers agent had car trouble...they called my agent and asked if I could show their buyers around!!!???

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 12:05PM
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If I was a buyer, I would resent the homeowner being around. I know customs vary city to city, but your being there is a huge turnoff.

I also would not worry that your agent isn't there. She's just one step removed from you....a turnoff to a buyer. If they have questions, they'll ask.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 1:04PM
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In fact, one appointment today had an issue when the buyers agent had car trouble...they called my agent and asked if I could show their buyers around!!!???

You arent needed. If the buyer was standing there waiting for their agent and got a call that she had broken down, of course they are going to say, "can the homeowner show us, she's home". All they care about is seeing the house. It doesnt matter who shows it to them. Sellers talk too much about stuff buyers dont want to hear. 9 times out of 10 you're talking yourself right out of a sale. Let the agent who you are paying do their job, let the buyers agent do their job. Don't be home, let them use the lock box. You shouldnt be involved in this process at all.

You asked if you were doing your agents job by default, now you're doing both agents job on purpose. Get out of the house during showings! If you want to show your house, do a FSBO.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 1:50PM
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As I said in the post above, I have been leaving the house when the buyers come. My agent is requesting that I be there to show the buyers agent the home prior to the buyers arrival.

The agent who had car trouble had an appointment to show the house at 12:30. My agent called me at 10am to ask if I could show the buyers the house. This was not a last minute thing, which would be a different situation.

I asked about what my agents job is because I DON'T want to be doing their job on purpose. I DON'T want to be showing my house, or else yes, I would've done a FSBO. That's why I wanted to know what the protocol was.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 2:10PM
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Is there something unusual about your home? I had to stay home when we sold our in CA, but was in a very rural area and had several things in the house our #1& 2 agent were not familiar with. They would not/could not understand some things. # 3 agent completly different use to rural area and understood the house. We built it ourselves. Personally if a agent called and requested me to be there at the time they arrived, I would want to know why?
Oh yes, do make sure all papers (legal), valuables, and meds are under lock and key. Why is your agent requesting you to be there? Talk to the broker of your agent to find out what is going on.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 5:33PM
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Ditto on all said above. Your broker should be doing the legwork here- no need for you to meet a buyer's broker. Use the Lock box (or whatever is standard in NYC). Lock away all valuable and don't ever be home during a showing. Let your broker meet the other agents. Maybe if this doesn't feel right, when your agreement is up, find another broker you feel more comfortable with.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 9:53AM
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Actually, until very recently, it WAS the listing broker who showed the home in NYC; there was very little MLS activity, and buyers didn't get their own broker. They went to several brokers in the neighborhood they were looking, and those brokers showed the homes that were listed exclusively with them. Or, they'd call their competitors/colleagues, and show the house together (having worked out a commission split between them).

That is changing, however, as the MLS is getting more powerful. That probably accounts for the change you have seen.

I live in a co-op apartment, and when I was trying to sell, it was a requirement that my listing agent be the one to show the apartment. He is the only one w/ a contractual agreement with me.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 9:52PM
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When we sold in NYC 10 years ago, our listing REA never showed the house. The office would call to schedule an appointment for buyers to come with their agent.

The agents did not know anything about the house outside of what was listed on the MLS; two main items were incorrect in the listing (listed as a wasn't..listed with an incorrect and less desirable school distict). After the first few showings, I designed a hand out (I have professional marketing experience) and gave it to whomever showed.

I was never quite sure exactly what the listing agent did to deserve half of the commission, other than putting the listing on the MLS..which was not even correct.

I was there for all the showings, as I didn't/don't trust the lock box scenario; I know of all too many home inspectors who were given the code to retrieve radon canisters unaccompanied by the agent because the REA's were too busy to meet them at the house; therefore I feel that the code is not as well guarded as represented. In addition, we have a dog, and I did not want to subject her to strangers without family being home.

In the end, we sold within 2 weeks.

That said, IMO, I think this is pretty much the SOP of many REA's in both NY and NJ.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 12:48AM
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