Should I look for a new Realtor?

janjan212November 18, 2008

We listed our home in April after finding a new construction home we loved. The builder accepted a 6 month contingency offer. The time has come and gone and the offer has been rescinded since we have not sold our house. After getting over the initial disappointment we decided to keep our current house listed and continue searching for a new home. As time goes on, I'm starting to wonder if it has anything to do with my agent. With our contract coming to an end, I want to be sure we're not misdirectioning our frustration. Are we unhappy with the agent, or just upset that our house hasn't sold? This is the first time we've tried to sell a home (lousy timing we know) but We need to decide what to do next. We used this agent when we purchaced our home 7 years ago and had a very friendly relationship even periodically staying in touch after the sale so at this point it feels awkward.

Here are some pros and cons I've thought of, can you please offer your more objective opinion as to what you would do, Renew with this agent or end the relationship and look for a new set of eyes?


Answers his phone 99% of the time, returns call within minutes.

Makes himself available at our conveinence

Set up Virtual Tour and Professional photos

Top 25 Realtors in our County

Many Years experience

Has his own website with his listings on it.

Seeks and shares feedback after every showing


No Offers in nearly 8 months

Personally has never shown the house

Arrives for open houses right as they open.

No planning ahead on open houses, never see an ad in the paper

Suggests pricing then states it might be too high a week or 2 later as though WE came up with the price out of the air.

I will add more when I think of them but essentially we have followed all the professional advice he has given us from improvements to pricing to staging. Not one offer has come in. So now I question the pricing strategy, wonder about the marketing (or lack of, but maybe things like the newspaper isn't a good way to market a home anymore)and wonder if he shouldn't be doing an agent tour (or is that only on RE shows on HGTV?) What about maketing the open houses??

I feel like he did the essentials with photos, the interent listing, MLS, Craigslist and is sitting back waiting for someone else to sell it.

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Are you to a point you can take it off until after the holidays? Did you discuss ads for open house? What are other homes in area priced. Who show the house? Anyone from his office?

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 6:02PM
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Is your house not advertised on MLS (or some more local version of it)? It's the way 90% of people look these days. Have you discussed any of the cons with him to see what he says? Considering the way things are today, blaming the agent for the lack of an offer may not be totally fair - how are other places in your area doing? Have you considered staging?

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 6:45PM
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Since we've missed the deadline for the contingency, there is no real urgency to sell. So we COULD take it off the market.

I did ask him about advertising and was told (the first time) that Yes, he advertises them, so I left it at that. I didnt see it in the paper, on his or his companies websites, craigslist or the MLS site however. The next open house I specifically asked where he would be advertising it and was told it would be on both the Co & his website, the local paper and craigslist. Again, if they were there, I didn't see them. I should have asked him to show me but it just felt too awkward, like I was accusing him of lying, but my gut feeling was that he didn't advertise it. I don't know why not on Craigslist though, since it's free. ??

It seems we are pretty much in line price-wise with the other homes in the area with similar sq ft... sans short sales/foreclosures.

I explained from the get-go that I wanted to be totally realistic on pricing since so much was at stake. I wanted to get a fair price, but didnt expect in this market and under the circumstances to "make a killing". He did a CMA & said we'd be within 5K of our initial asking price. He stated I needed my house to look better than the competetion so I went great lengths to make it shine. New carpets, new tile entry, new kitchen flooring, (all picked by an interior designer so they coordinated) professional landscape maintenance to manicure front & back, new barkdust, professional window cleaners and paint. Even replaced a couple dated light fixtures, the dishwasher & micro-hood. We decluttered and staged based on suggestions from the designer. We have a cleaning lady that comes evey 2 weeks but have increased it to weekly so it's always looking great for showings while we are working full time.

He told us after a month or so that we should reduced it by 8K, that the first price was too high. I told him I would discuss it over the weekend with DH and when I went back to him 2 days later and said he agreed to the 8K reduction, he stated it would not be enough, that we needed to reduced it at least 12K. ?? Like WE thought of the 8K reduction when it was his suggestion. I was frustrated but we went ahead on the 12K reduction. He said that it was "exactly" the price it needed to be to bring offers.... then 6 weeks later he again said we were priced too high then pulled the same trick first saying to reduce it by another 6K then changing it to 8, again citing we were too high for the market at the previous price, the one he was sure was "exact" before. We've gotten complete positive feedback from all people and even a couple people that almost made offers but they all ended up choosing another house in the end, or decided to wait for the ecomomy to improve to buy. It's been about a month since our last showing so I feel we need to lower it but am losing faith that he is doing little more than pulling numbers out of the air (or somewhere else) I'm losing what confidence I had in his advise.

We have had showings from other agents and one from his company, but based on the clients request to see it as my agent wasn't even familar with the Agent.

By the way, the home is absolutely listed in the MLS, there is a virtual tour and professional pictures. All the standard things have been done. Maybe some of them are above "standard", like the virtual tour. I'm not sure about that, it seems he does them above a certain price point. Our home isn't fancy-schmancy. I'm not suggesting that he isn't doing anything, or that it's all his fault there have been no offers. It's just that I am coming up on an opportunity to make a change and not sure if I should get more opinions and maybe see if someone else might be more aggressive or stay loyal to this agent and see what happens in the market. I do feel I have some valid concerns.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 7:00PM
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First I'd like to say that I don't like to answer these types of questions because the general response is "you said that because you're a realtor.". That being said, Im going to give my two cents anyway. It is easy to blame the realtor with the market being the way it is and I commend you for at least recognizing that. The problem that I see is that he continuously has said, "this is the price that is going to get it sold" (in his words). In the market we are in, there is "no price" that any of us can predict that will get it sold. The comps arent helping because they are all over the board. Some homes are selling very quickly, some are taking longer. Homes with bigger square footages and amenities can sell for less than homes that offer less. Its a crazy market with nothing really making sense except the things that seem to be selling are the steals. If you are not one of those "steals" you can linger with no real answers. Homes that arent steals are selling, but they are taking a very long time. (at least in my area). It sounds to me like he's doing all the right things, marketing on the web (newspapers are a waste of advertising money except maybe for open houses), open houses, periodic price reductions, recommendations for staging, etc.

Him not showing your house isnt a reason to get rid of him, for most realtors, that is the icing on the cake, it doesnt happen all that often.

It sounds to me as if you may be chasing the market. Have him do another market anaylsis, then if you are serious about selling, price it lower than the best comp. You want to be ahead of the curve, not behind it, which seems to be where you have been.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 12:39PM
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Thanks Linda..I appreciate your professional perspective.

I asked him last night to do another anaylsis and will see if we are comfortable pricing below the lowest or if it no longer makes sense to sell. The comps HAVE been all over the place.

I also agree that he has come across overly confident that each price reduction will be exactly what gets us sold, leaving us frustrated and losing faith. Maybe he is just trying to be positive and we need realistic.

It's difficult for the average seller when you are pricing fairly and you have to compete with builders that are practically giving away property! While we've been told we are priced competetively by showing agents, when you see a home that's over 1000 sq ft larger priced a few thousand from yours it's frustrating

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 1:32PM
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Hi, after reading your long post about what's happened and how he handled everything, I have to say I might want to talk to someone else, possibly even change agents, as I think you've done all you can (and good for you!) but he does not seem to be very sure at all how to deal with your listing both from the pricing and marketing viewpoints. And I certainly don't get "Him not showing your house isnt a reason to get rid of him, for most realtors, that is the icing on the cake, it doesnt happen all that often." from the other poster - is he trying to say that a realtor showing a house doesn't happen often? How ridiculous! That's his job, not icing!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 4:07PM
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lucy - a listing agent is often NOT the one that ends up showing the property to a buyer, unless that buyer doesn't have an agent - then it might happen, but it is much rarer than the other way around. I wouldn't drop a realtor based on that at all. It is icing because it is rare that it happens and for a realtor that often means more pay depending on the contract as well as a realtor that is very familiar with the house.

If the realtor has been holding open houses then he has shown the property himself. Just not in the traditional sense of having a customer interested in the house and calling him to set up a separate showing. Also there is no way my agent could make me go look at any of his listings unless I had an interest in seeing them.

It does sound though like he's not the best at figuring out a good price and/or advertising your open houses. That he shows up just right at the time for the open house may be because he also has other engagements and as long as he is on time I think that is what matters for that part.

I would if I were you interview a couple of other realtors too and see what they say and then compare and decide from there if you want to switch.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 6:12PM
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I think you need some fresh expertise with your listing if you decide to relist. The indecisiveness with the price reductions would be enough for me to want to change realtors.

As Linda said, you are chasing the market down based on his advice. You need to get ahead of that chase.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 10:52PM
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Lylia - If you meant that any realtor can show someone else's listings - of course! But the way your first note was worded, it came across to me that you felt an agent's job was somehow to do something else and not show houses himself. Have bought and sold plenty of houses, so do know how it all works.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 6:16AM
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Lucy, what was meant is that most listing agents don't get many opportunities to show their own listings. When they do and when they get to sell "their own listings" it is the icing on the cake. Just because the OP's listing agent isnt showing her house, doesnt mean he/she isnt working for her.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 8:04AM
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lucy - I didn't do the first note, you must mean Linda and I was just trying to clarify what Linda ment. I would have thought you'd figure it out too with knowing how it works before jumping on somebody about it.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 9:17AM
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Lucy - I'm sorry if that came across as harsh. Wish I could delete it. After reading Dave's post and being 6 months pregnant I just snapped.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 9:19AM
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Lyfia, snap away, who cares (in light of what you mentioned). Too horrible to contemplate (and I can't believe he took the time to tell us!). Will this year ever end?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 5:56PM
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