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Disappointed with our realtor

Posted by Ted3 (My Page) on
Mon, Jan 17, 11 at 3:02

I am really disappointed with the job our realtor has done. I'm not sure what to think, but I would appreciate any opinions that any of you might have.

Since the realtor who sold us our home had moved, we needed to find a new one. Four months ago, we interviewed several local realtors. We weren't really impressed with any of them. They either seemed unprepared, sloppy, or chronically late.

We finally settled on one, even though the smell of nicotine on this lady almost made my wife leave the room. At least she appeared to be prepared.

Well, that was about 15 weeks ago. It took her 3 weeks to get the "For Sale" sign up in the yard. It took 8 weeks to get the "arrow" signs up on nearby roads so people could find the house. Not to worry though, since only 1 buyer has come to look, and they were brought by a different company.

Neither she, nor any realtor from her office has brought a single client out to see our home. She has contacted us only 3 times, by email, to tell us she is "advertising our home". It turns out that the advertising is with a free magazine that her company puts out. No newspapers, or anything else.

One thing that really upset us was that she never even contacted the realtor who did bring a client through to get any feedback... We are here months later and have no idea how our house was viewed.
Something that is really annoying, and has my wife furious, is that this lady wanted quite a few things changed when she first came out to list the house. Just an example - At her urging, a lot of pictures, cabinets and decorative pieces were removed. My wife is absolutely convinced that the home now looks much worse than if it had been left as it was. Her friends all agree with her on that, saying it looks like a "rental unit" now.

In the past two months, we've had a bathroom repainted and retiled at a friend's suggestion. We've also done some landscaping upgrades. We had already priced our home below the lower end of her estimates to start with. So I feel like we are holding up our end trying to make the place as easy as possible to sell.

In the meantime, I asked our realtor two weeks ago to let me know what she was doing to try and sell our home. Aside from telling me she would "speak to other realtors", she has not come up with any ideas.

This isn't the first time we've sold a home, and we remember our previous realtors as being a lot more active and in touch. I realize that this is a tougher market than we are used to, but it seems like thst means that a realtor should be trying harder, not less. My wife wanted to fire her last month, because she says for an $11,000 commission she would like to see a little effort. She wants to go FSBO.

I have insisted on letting the realtor keep the listing the last few weeks until her contract runs out, even though we do have the right to drop her. I was hoping after the holidays she might get busy - but nothing.

Since none of the other realtors seemed any more impressive, I am wondering whether to try a different realtor? Go FSBO? Possibly go FSBO and lower the price?

I really don't feel like we have any idea what to do, since this realtor has brought us so few leads. Any thoughts would be appreciated.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Disappointed with our realtor

Ted3, Below is a list of some of the marketing that I do for my listings. Maybe it will give you some ideas to ask your agent about...

I will sign a Unconditional Cancellation Guarantee... If you believe I am not performing as promised, simply let me know.
I never miss a Buyer lead with my call capture technology
Your property will be fed into more than 80 IDX sites across the internet
A beautiful Visual Tour, not a slide show, will be created with software that generates 5 times more exposure than other Virtual Tours than the other 10 competitors combined
Color brochures will be placed outside the home with just enough information to entice the buyer to call my cell phone or text me
Color brochure of a Featured Lender that will show off the maximum financing flexibility for the property
I offer a 35 page booklet on How To Stage A Home, in order to show you how to beat the competition
I leave nothing to chance, so I place marketing placards throughout the home so that buyer agents and their clients do not miss any features of the home
I periodically will send an E - Flyer of your property to all 6000 local agents. After all, they are the ones that are working with 98% of all the buyers
I periodically send my sellers "Buyer Activity Reports" in order to understand what the buyers are doing during our listing phase
I personally call every showing agent for feedback, if they have not done so after 24 hours. It is imperative that we track how the buyers are reacting to your property
Your property will be on Realtor.com, Trulia.com, LakeHomesUSA.Com & Craigslist.com as an upgraded listing�This allows for upgraded pictures and the Visual Tour to be seen. It also highlights your home to encourage more click - throughs.
Your property will have its own dedicated web site that can be accessed by buyer's cell phones as they are sitting in front of the home

Your home's Visual Tour will be on my Facebook page for all to view, and I will send you a one step link that allows you to add the tour to your Facebook page!
Your homes Visual Tour will be seen on You Tube� the Country's second largest search engine, second only to Google!
Your home will be adveretised in the Real Estate Book, along with its companion web site


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RE: Disappointed with our realtor

Awesome list, ncrealestateguy!

Ted, it IS on mls? As a potential buyer, I don't interact with agents at all, but spend a lot of time viewing mls listings. If you post the link, you'll get feedback on that part of your sale. (Your agent is right that clearing out personal stuff is the way to go.)


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RE: Disappointed with our realtor

I would seriously try to find someone like "ncrealestateguy"!
When dh and I sold our home in '08 the economy was tanking and we had to lower our price a couple times. Other than that our agents ( a gal I knew from church and her business partner) did almost everything "nc" listed. Whenever we had someone go through the house our agents notified us by email on the reaction of the people who came through. If I didn't hear from them even for a few days I would contact them by phone or email and ask them "what's up?" It took us 4 months to sell but I think out agents really worked hard for us! Find someone else who is enthusiastic, you may have to look outside your immediate area.
Good Luck!


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RE: Disappointed with our realtor

"Well, that was about 15 weeks ago. It took her 3 weeks to get the "For Sale" sign up in the yard. It took 8 weeks to get the "arrow" signs up on nearby roads so people could find the house. Not to worry though, since only 1 buyer has come to look, and they were brought by a different company."

Wow. That is very little action for this much time on the market. I'd be upset too.

You are the one paying the mortgage, taxes, insurance, utilities, etc on this property while she takes her sweet time even putting up a For sale sign. With what little she is doing, it seems as if you might as well be selling FSBO.

Do you have a flyer box out front? Is it possible that you have had offers but just haven't heard about them because your realtor doesn't want to tell you about lowball offers that might cut into her commission?

I'd put my cell phone number on the listing sheets in the flyer box and ask people to call you first and THEN refer them to your realtor. If you don't want to post your regular cell no, then buy a tracfone or get an answering service.

See how much feedback you get then. Don't forget to check the box twice a day to make sure its stocked (or not tampered with).

If that doesn't work, might as well go FSBO and use a real estate attorney for the closing. What do you have to lose?


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RE: Disappointed with our realtor

"Is it possible that you have had offers but just haven't heard about them because your realtor doesn't want to tell you about lowball offers that might cut into her commission?"

Not a likel;y scenario at all... first, an agent would lose their license if caught, and second, in this market, even lowball offers are nice to see come in. At least it is a place to make a counter offer on. I have done this for 10 years, and never heard of an agent doing this.


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RE: Disappointed with our realtor

Talk to their broker and either ask for another agent, or fire her/him. I had an agent like that, in fact two. Found out from the third one that the people who did buy the house, had been looking in the area for 6 months and our agents refused to tell her agent. It was a rural area and bad agents were advertising in big cities. Needless to say, after we sold certain people were told some information they did not like to hear.


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RE: Disappointed with our realtor

Sounds lke ncrealestateguy really earns his commission! Good going.

We've had the house on the market for 1-1/2 weeks, and had two showings. Today the RA came by to put flyers outside, and brought some for us to put on the counter for whenever the next showing takes place.
The feed back has been kind of as expected. Even with updates, the house IS older. I wonder why people even bother, if they only want granite counters, or stainless steel appliances, etc. The pictures obviously don't show that.
The agents tell us a showing will be between this and that time. (one to two hours.) We picked up everything, and loaded our heavy dog into the car, and proceeded to drive around for an hour. When we asked our realtor if there was a better way, he just suggested we stay until the prospects and agents arrive, then leave. Duh....we hadn't though of that. We'll catch on eventually.


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RE: Disappointed with our realtor

""Is it possible that you have had offers but just haven't heard about them because your realtor doesn't want to tell you about lowball offers that might cut into her commission?"

Not a likel;y scenario at all... first, an agent would lose their license if caught, and second, in this market, even lowball offers are nice to see come in."

ncrealestateguy, you don't sound like you are the type of agent who would do this, but there are agents who do this.

Thank you marie-ndcal for showing an example.


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RE: Disappointed with our realtor

"Found out from the third one that the people who did buy the house, had been looking in the area for 6 months and our agents refused to tell her agent."
I must be missing something... See if I hear you correctly... Your home was in the MLS, an agent had a buyer for 6 months and for some reason was boycotting your listing. And then you hired another listing agent and then the buyers called her?
Is this the scenario? Thanks.


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RE: Disappointed with our realtor

Ted3 -- I think some of your complaints are valid and others aren't.

The agent should certainly get the for sale sign up and get the flyers done ASAP. Is there a box with flyers outside the house? Those are really important for people just driving around who see your house.

Is the house listed in MLS? How does the listing look? Does it have good pictures and a good, accurate description?

What about places like trulia or realtor.com?

Is there a virtual tour? And where is it posted?

If the agent isn't doing at least all that then I do see a problem there.

On the other hand...it is not unusual at all that your selling agent hasn't brought any buyers to see your house. Your agent will only be doing that if your agent happens to have a buyer client who is looking for a house where yours would turn up. Most of the time the selling agent doesn't have such a client and so wouldn't show the house to a buyer.

Around here showings are scheduling through a showing service and getting feedback is automated and emailed directly to the seller. I did ask my agent at times to get more feedback. If you don't have a showing service getting the feedback, your agent should do that.

Staging generally advises take out pictures, clutter and making the house more about the house rather than your decor.

All of that said....assuming your house is listed in MLS...if it has had 1 showing in 4 months you do have to consider that it may be priced too high. It may have been an OK price 4 months ago but not know. Have you looked on MLS to see your competition? Do you have competition from new homes?

What do completed sales tell you? 1 showing in 4 months -- even in the winter -- is not a lot so that does suggest price may be an issue. On the other hand, sometimes the entire market is just dead.

One thing my agent did (we never did sell and the listing expired and we will soon relist) was an agent open house early on. It was this open house that was such an eye opener to us. A lot of the feedback was contradictory and price ranges were all over the place. But we still got a lot of valuable information from it.


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RE: Disappointed with our realtor

Sorry about the confusion, but the first two agents did not use the local MLS listings, but the MLS in Los Angeles which was way out of the area a good two hours plus mountain roads. I did not realize there were "zones" or whatever it is called for MLS areas. Sorry about the misunderstanding. 3rd agent contacted local agents who knew the area but she knew many of them over the years.


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RE: Disappointed with our realtor

Not to kick on someone who's a bit down, but much of what the agent is supposed to do should be agreed to before you sign a contract with the agent -- and it sounds like this was not clarified or any expectations set.

For the house we're selling, our agent told us she'd be holding agent open houses (and when), advertised public open houses (and when), when she would be advertising in the paper, when we should expect to see "the sign guy", ... and we signed the papers.

If you have a contract with this agent, what are the provisions for ending the contract? What are the (real) options for finding another agent you feel can represent your home? Unless your contract ends within a week or two, I would call your agent's supervisor and see what can be done to get your agent moving. And, if you do go with another agent, I would spell out very clearly what you expect from him/her and when, before you agree to representation.


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RE: Disappointed with our realtor

Thanks everyone for all the feedback. The contract ends ins in two weeks, and yes, we did have a cancellation clause. I just did not see the logic in changing agents around the holidays.

As far as what this agent agreed to do, it covered most of the things that have been mentioned. Also, there are flyers out front, and the price is already lower by $20,000 than the nearest competition.

As I said, I have sold homes before, and never ran ito such a lackadaisical effort. I wanted to get some input though, because I thought that with everything being so web-based now, we might have been looking at the wrong things. I still think, reading all the comments, that the effort and follow up just have not been there.


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RE: Disappointed with our realtor

I'm sorry your Realtor is such a disappointment. I have to say that the smoke smell alone would have turned me off as a potential buyer if I had to spend much time with her. (No way would I drive there with her. I don't know if people still drive with the Realtor sometimes or not.) And if she hosts an open house for you, will she stand outside and smoke? That doesn't look so good.

So if she has bad breath or whatever that turns away her own clients, and she's not calling other Realtors or advertising to get them to bring in their clients... yeah, you can do better.


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RE: Disappointed with our realtor

Also, there are flyers out front, and the price is already lower by $20,000 than the nearest competition.

This doesn't necessarily mean that your price is low enough to get showings or offers. We were priced lower than our competition and didn't get offers. You need to be looking at closed recent sales not at the prices of other houses which haven't sold. One of the things I learned while our house was on the market is that buyers are often just not buying. They won't necessarily pick the best out of the houses out there...they often just will hold off buying altogether.


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RE: Disappointed with our realtor

Hi kats,

I should have been clearer. We priced $20,000 less than the nearest comparable home that sold in the last three months of our listing. - there was only one sale that the realtors really considered comparable to our place. As far as buyers just not buying, that is a possibility, but she isn't even getting us showings.

I think the thing that really upsets us is that without any feedback after nearly three months, we are no closer to knowing what to do to try and sell our home.

I talked to a neighbor today, listed by the same company,but a different realtor. They have had two showings - it is a much smaller home - but their agent updates them every week, and got them feedback both times. (In their case, the buyers did not like the layout or the inground pool, according to their agent.)


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RE: Disappointed with our realtor

BTW, I do agree that your agent sounds lacking. We had our house listed for months, didn't sell and will likely relist with a different agent.

I don't really think that the agent can guarantee showings, particularly in a slow market if the agent is doing the primary things to get activity which mine did do (I did have a goodly number of showings though).

What I didn't like was that she just didn't give us much advice on pricing or much else so I felt I was on my own in deciding what to do.

If your agent is listing your house on MLS though and you aren't getting showings it is still possible that the price may be high enough that it doesn't attract people to look.


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RE: Disappointed with our realtor

"I think the thing that really upsets us is that without any feedback after nearly three months, we are no closer to knowing what to do to try and sell our home."

Bingo... no homeowner should be in the dark w/o communication after 3 months of selling.


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RE: Disappointed with our realtor

Drop your current agent and get your neighbor's agent. This may send some message to your current agent and her/his company.

Anna


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