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More Agent Issues

Posted by bleigh (My Page) on
Sat, Feb 5, 11 at 15:46

Ok, sorry to be bringing my agent issues here again. I'm once again stumped and would appreciate some input. When my contract was up with my agent/friend I listed with another reputable agent. He laid out all the marketing tools that he utilizes including a postcard to be sent out within a certain radius of our home and fliers that are to be put in the front yard and inside the home. I do not believe the postcard was ever sent out and after 60 days we still do not have any fliers. Even though the current photos include my Christmas decor (taken early December) I'm thinking we should have had the fliers put out...he said recently he wanted to wait until we got non-Christmas photos before putting fliers up. Since Christmas I've been out of town for over three weeks and we spent about three weeks cycling the flu in my house. SO, taking new photos has not happened yet.

Also, we've had only one showing since he took over the listing. That showing actually came from my first agent. He has not made any contact with me in this 60 days to check on things or to discuss any options.

Am I being too sensitive? What should I do being that two of his promised marketing tools have not been utilized? How would any of you feel about having an agent that makes no effort to contact you since listing? Honestly I feel like I'm potentially paying him thousands of dollars for putting up some pictures on the MLS. Thanks again for any perspective.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: More Agent Issues

Have you called him? I'd be on the phone with him to see what his plans are. Don't sit around waiting for him to call, 'the squeaky wheel gets the grease.'

Jane


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RE: More Agent Issues

I can't imagine they are soooo busy now, that your agent can't find the time to promote your house. However, you do have to get new pictures taken asap. I'd keep calling too.


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I would set up a schedule with the realtor to get the pictures taken and the postcards sent and fliers created. And I would keep on him to make sure there is progress and if there isn't I would get rid of him before the spring season starts. I agree about not putting Christmas photos in fliers or postcards. I don't know where you are, but even with a pretty decent market here no one is looking at houses...everyone is busy shoveling.


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I would have him get it done too. Showings in my area have been picking this last three or weeks. There are people out there looking to buy now. Your real estate market may be different, but you don't need your agent holding back the saleof your house.


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RE: More Agent Issues

I also agree about not putting photos with Christmas decorations on postcards and flyers. It just dates the property.
You really need to make time to get the house in show ready condition and get the agent in to take pictures for the marketing materials.

It sounds like it has been mainly your decision to not have the agent in your home since Christmas, so I think this is actually your own 'fault' (not trying to be mean).

Believe me you do not want flyers with your Christmas decorations in them, they would do you no favors in selling any time after about a week past Christmas.

Good luck!


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I'm having the new photos taken this week and will expect all the marketing tools to be in place by next week. While I don't agree with everyone on Christmas decor being a distraction during the month of December and even until early February, I do agree that it's time for the new photos to be provided. My gripe was that no fliers were supplied during the months of December/January. The postcard photo of the exterior was taken before any Christmas decor was up so that should have been sent out regardless.

Hoboken, I decorate (and undecorate) houses for Christmas and had out of town jobs that kept me gone for two weeks (one week away was with family for Christmas). My DH was home and he does not make the bed so my agent wanted to make sure I was here to have things perfect for the photos. I had scheduled my agent to come the day before I left for my out of town work, but he had an emergency and could not make it. And, I certainly would not want anyone in my home when my children and I (and DH) were suffering ALL the horrors of the flu. I wouldn't drag my asthma suffering, flu ridden child out of the house for a showing so I guess it's my fault photos weren't taken during that time. Hey, if that's where I must put the blame then I'm ok with it.

I also understand that I need to be a squeaky wheel and that I need to be on top of making sure this agent does his job. I guess I'm just really irritated that I do my jobs as promised and that I go above and beyond what I promise without my clients having to be on top of me. I schedule certain things to happen at certain times and I know what's been completed and what needs to get done. Seems that someone who has the potential to make thousands of dollars would be on top of their own job they were hired to do. I hired this agent during my busy season when I needed to depend on him to do what he promised. I guess I'm just irritated and needed to vent...


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My DH was home and he does not make the bed

Really? Not even when he wants to get his house sold?


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I think I understand not wanting the husband to be the one making the bed. My dh has similar issues. His idea of a clean and show worthy house is not up to level of other people. My dh thought I was being nit picky by cleaning windows and repainting the dinged trim. On the first house we sold, I spent days with a harsh chemical trying to remove the moldy caulk from the tub so I could recaulk. After all of that work, my husband decided that I was taking too long so he recaulked it himself. You know that bead of caulk that you run your finger along so it smoothes out... well my not so dear husband didn't. I had to restrip the thing and do it again. DH was supposed to mow the yard and weedeat so the realtors could take pictures of the house. He didn't. The pictures were taken with a foot of weeds along the fencelines.

Every time we move, I get the stress of dealing with the house. I've already informed dh that if we move this year, I'm not up to it. I will be hiring people to do all of the work for me.


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My DH is a major neat freak, but bed making is not one of his "gifts." I iron the pillowcases and make sure nothing is out of place on the bed before photos...DH isn't going to do that when he's facing an up to two hour commute. I don't mind a Christmas tree in a photo in the month of March, but a funky made bed makes me cringe.

Adella, sounds like we're in similar situations. DH just doesn't have the time at home to get some things done and I usually end up taking care of most of the preparations. I see how stressful it can be. This is our first house to sell and it's been very overwhelming. I don't blame you at all for hiring out some help : ) .


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Bleigh, I'm not saying that you didn't have very good reasons for not being able to have your home photographed and it's unfortunate that your agent missed the one opportunity he had since Christmas to photograph your home. Were you expecting him to supply two sets of flyers, one with decorations and another without?

Would you have been able to accommodate showings these past weeks while people have had flu and you've been away?

If not I'm not sure that you have lost anything.

I do think that blaming your agent is a bit steep given that your house has either been unavailable or not show ready for whatever reason.

Selling a house IS frustrating and I feel your pain, but getting all riled up at your agent for something that really is as much or more your responsibility is only going to make things worse.

I would suggest talking to your agent and letting him know that you recognize that there have been delays from your side, but that you now want to hit the ground running and more forward as aggressively as possible. Remember you will do much better if you work as a team. You're already frustrated and placing blame for something that's not his fault! He can't force his way into your home to take pictures. I'm not sure what you can really be expecting of him. I'm sure he is expecting you to call him to let him know when you are ready to take the photos. I think that's fair.

Good luck with it - hope the photo taking goes well!


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Hobo, it was discussed that photos would be regularly updated as the seasons change. I knew having photos taken to replace the ones with Christmas decor would be done. That is what my agent does automatically without my insistence.

YES, my house has been available for showings except for when people were throwing up, having diarrhea, chills, fever and constant breathing treatments. I guess, it's fortunate for me that no one has scheduled a showing. Like I said, if any blame needs to be placed on me for not being available during major illness...then by all means, HEAP IT ON!!

The whole making the bed thing was for the photos. DH is plenty neat enough that while I'm gone everything else is in tip top shape. SO, the house is always prepared for showings. I don't worry too much about his side of the bed being unmade for a showing. I've looked at plenty homes with an unmade bed and it's not bothersome, but to see unmade beds in photos just looks like no one cares (agent included).

AND, you keep MISSING THE POINT anyway. I AM NOT upset that he has not come back to take more photos. I was perfectly fine to use the Christmas photos until Feb/March. I'm upset that he failed to put the fliers in the yard and in the house after the first round of photos were taken at listing time. I'm upset that he did not send out the postcard right after listing (the house was not decorated at the time this photo was taken) and that he really makes no effort to be in contact. These were all things he laid out in his presentation to me as a part of his customer service and marketing plan. IF I present a client with a decorating plan and leave out decorating the tree, it's not their fault I neglected to do what I promised, it's mine. AND they would have a right to be riled up at me for dropping the ball and neglecting to do my job. I work my behind off decorating some of these houses and I don't get paid what my agent will for not much effort. So, he had an assistant key in my info and he took some photos to put on the internet??? He's not delivering what HE SAID HE WAS GOING TO DELIVER. I should be getting the service regardless of what photos are being used...after all he's not delivered in 60 days.

I'm not a complete idiot. I'm NOT complaining that my poor agent has not forced his way into my home to take photos. I'm not that ignorant to assume this poor, poor agent must work some sort of magic to make something happen on my end.
I only want what I signed for and not have to beg and handhold for it. Why is this so hard to understand?

Thank you for the suggestion to contact my agent. I happily did that and asked him where my fliers were. He said he forgot to bring them and promptly brought them out yesterday morning. He did not answer my question about the postcard. He also made no customer service inquiry. I'm not begging for that.


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Bleigh, good luck selling your home. I'm sorry my comments seem to have upset you so much. Selling a house is a stressful thing and I'm sorry it is getting to you so much. You sound very upset and angry. I hope your agent starts living up to your expectations.

I wish you all the best.


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It is stressful. I'm sorry I sound angry...guess it's really starting to get to me (deep breathing needed). My husband has pretty much lost his eyesight over the last couple of years and the contacts that give him great vision are rejected by his eyes. I'm having to watch him suffer with the very long commute each and every day. Some days his eyes are so irritated he can barely keep them open to drive home. He's also close to using up sick leave and vacation time due to his condition. Bottom line, for his safety we need to move closer to his work.

I'm feeling very trapped with this house and there just seems to be no silver lining. I was really hoping to have an agent who would not let us fall through the cracks. Seems I should have kept looking. Checked out the fliers a few minutes ago and our address is wrong!! Not going to be mad about it...just going to give him the opportunity to fix it. I don't really know what to think or do at this point.


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It sounds like you have a lot on your plate!

Ok, here are some suggestions.

Ask to meet with your agent.
Without being accusatory, tell him that you have had a lot going on and that you want to now get things rolling as much as possible.

Tell him that lack of communication makes you nervous. Ask him if he thinks a weekly or bi-weekly call is reasonable.

Discuss your expectations and ask for his input so that you know for sure that you are on the same page. For example - will your agent be holding open houses? What advertising does he think will work best for your home and when and how often will he be doing it? Will he be doing a broker's open house? What time frame is reasonable for you to expect the postcards to go out?

Let him know what you expect from him while at the same time keeping him involved and asking for his suggestions and advice.

Different clients have such different requirements and needs - some hate to be bothered, others love updates, some like calls, others only want emails, etc, etc.

Let him know what you would like and how often you would like it.

Try and get on the same team if you can. Having the wrong address on the flyers is annoying. That he didn't proof read them is more annoying.

Ask him what you can do to facilitate things, and then try and do it.

If the worst comes to the worst, contact his broker and ask for their help and advice.

Good luck!


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Hang in there. Treat is like a business transaction. Follow-up with agent as needed with any questions/issues you have. Stay calm even when you have every reason to be angry. Treat it(working with the agent) like someone you are working with at your job. Make sure you get enough flyers to be able to refill when the box goes empty. Plan for this before the box goes empty else it could be days while you are waiting for more flyers.

Let's hope the agent is fielding phone calls about the home properly. Not very good that agent is not following up with you during the 60 days. Maybe follow-up is not his forte, and that should be one of the most important skills of a realtor.

Maybe your listing expires soon and find another agency(different firm alltogether, just to chance it up and start fresh)? But make the best of it and hopefully you sell soon with the current agent.

I am not so sure those postcards market the home as much as they market the agent. Maybe I am wrong.

Just hang in there. You have a lot on your plate.


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RE: More Agent Issues

Bleigh,

Don't wait for your listing to expire. You should be able to exit your listing without an issue. Talk to the agent's manager. Tell him/her why you are dissatisfied and that you are not interested in pursuing the relationship further. Ask friends for a referral and tell them what you are looking for. Tell agents you interview what your expectations are and that you have fired 2 other realtors and why. Ask them about their experience and qualifications. What other listings they have? It's a job interview for them, so don't be shy.

Best of luck.


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RE: More Agent Issues

"Ok, here are some suggestions.
Ask to meet with your agent.
Without being accusatory, tell him that you have had a lot going on and that you want to now get things rolling as much as possible.
Tell him that lack of communication makes you nervous. Ask him if he thinks a weekly or bi-weekly call is reasonable."

Good suggestions. If this were me I'd be documenting what he is doing for you. Get a notebook and start keeping track of when you contact each other. Date, who called who, what was discussed and what results (if any) were achieved.

This will be useful to have in case you have to contact the office manager for help or to switch agents.


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When our house was listed I wanted emails. I expected feedback from every showing. I would email my agent from work, home, the road if necessary. We stayed in touch almost daily. I would never tolerate what is happening in your case.

Follow the above advice but remember it is your job to keep on top of your agent. You can not sit and wait for them to come to you. Either set up an email, phone calls, etc. way of staying in contact. You want to move on with your life and you need to take charge of this.

Good luck, and I feel for you

Jane


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RE: More Agent Issues

RE agents do not impress me, at all.
I'd go the auction route.
Also research and hire home cleaners/stagers/preppers and take a break.
Buying/selling a house is very similar to the same with automobiles. And the agents/dealers are much the same.
I have been looking for 5 years now and plan to sell this house myself, the way I bought it..


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If you have been looking for 5 years, then no agent would want you as a client...


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It's been a while since I was here; saw the title of your post & had to read.

All of our photos were pretty much taken by me with both of our agents. Sad that my camera takes better pics then theirs. We were locked into our current house in August 2007; we knew we had to get it sold by March 2008 & let me tell you; I did what I had to do. Got rid of our agent; got a new ones who made the flier- problem was; the flier sucked. I took it upon myself to make a new one- thought I had print screens of both pages but don't see the 2nd page in my album. Below is the 1st page. I still have the template if you want it- send me an email. I originally got the template off of the Microsoft Office template site & adjusted it a lot.

I decided that I was going to have pro pics taken; if the agent wouldn't pay for them; I would; he agreed. You can go online to find real estate photographers that include a package; think it was about $250. They even added the "photo tour" on their site. Did it help? No because we'd just gotten an offer right before everything went online. I honestly feel my fliers did the job because I listed a lot more then what was in our listing. We did lot of work in the last few years that the agent didn't seem to care about because it wasn't "new; new"

Please excuse the green lines- not sure I realized they were there when I did the print screen lol

From Laundry Room


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I guess I'd have to see your on line photos but I see photos of that quality or better all the time in RE magazines. The ones your agent took must have been real bad. Not that yours are bad, they're nice, it's just I see a lot of really good photos on line in listings.

I think far too many people are in too big of a hurry to bash real estate agents. There seems to be the mindset they are making too much money for what they do. While it's true there are many things you can do yourself a GOOD agent is worth every penny you pay them. I've never had a bad one so maybe if I did I'd have a different opinion.


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orv; if you're talking to me; it's a non issue because there are no online pics- it was 3 years ago. The photos in that album don't go with the flier or the pics I used if thats what you're talking about.

So much for trying to help the OP.


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"ncrealestateguy-If you have been looking for 5 years, then no agent would want you as a client..."

Maybe they wouldn't in your neck of the woods, but they sure do where I live.

I've been looking longer than that. Each time I Iook at a house I always get a sales pitch from the seller's agent BEGGING me to use a buyer's agent from their company even after I explain that I already have representation, my real estate lawyer.

I'd rather pay him to help with a purchase that may (or may not) go through, than trust my luck with someone who only gets paid if/when they get THE SALE.


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I decided to take my own photos too. I actually bought my camera before Christmas because of my frustration with with taking photos of the interior. Figured my pics might just come out better than my agent's and I think they do. I'm only operating with basic equipment and know I need external flash and a better lens (and lots of DSLR skills). BUT, I think these photos are fine (except I just noticed I need to straighten a few of them). For some reason, my agent's photos in his other listings are much better than the ones he took of my house. Another thing that's irking me. I'm not going to let that get to me...but the fact that he's not contacted me back since Wednesday does : ( .

I'll post a link to some of my photos and my agent's.

Here is a link that might be useful: My photos


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His photos

Here is a link that might be useful: Agent's Photos


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I think your photos are better too.


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Bleigh, when we were looking we always liked to see the outside of the house, front and back. You might consider adding some of those.

Your photos are framed better than the agents.


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Also, make sure the outside photos are updated seasonally. Nothing says "This house has been on the market for a while and the owners might be desperate to sell" like snow-covered exterior shots in May. For some reason, that was a turn off when we were buying....


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Oh, I have more photos (interior and exterior) than the ones in my album. Took some pretty decent outside shots yesterday evening. Definitely agree about seasonally changing the pics. Thanks for the comments!


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dreamgarden,
Next time an agent BEGS you to let them represent you, just let them know that you are a buyer that has been looking for over 5 years. I assure you, they will then leave you alone.
Is it just coincidence that the two people that refuse to use a buyers agent have taken over 5 years to find a home?


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"dreamgarden,
Next time an agent BEGS you to let them represent you, just let them know that you are a buyer that has been looking for over 5 years. I assure you, they will then leave you alone.

Is it just coincidence that the two people that refuse to use a buyers agent have taken over 5 years to find a home?"

I've told several agents how long we have been looking and wish they would leave us alone, but they don't!

As for taking so long to buy, 5 years ago the real estate market was going crazy. We made an offer on a house (was accepted) but are grateful it didn't pan out. We would have ended up paying 40k more than the place is worth now. Plus, the neighborhood is going downhill.

Sometimes things happen for a reason.

Please realize that I'm not trying to diss all agents across the board. If you are a successful agent it is probably because your clients are happy with the service you are giving them. I wish we could find someone like this.


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Roselover, your sales brochure is excellent, IMO, and far,far better than the usual RE crap.
I believe you are a professional in this field, or that you should be.
RE is in need of reform.
First off, they could be less "dog eat dog"..an expression from another agent..
Far better to buy privately, IMO.
Twice I was lucky enough to do this...


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I also like your pictures better - and not just because they don't have Christmas decorations in them.

You COULD send them to your agent and ask him to use your photos. Do you have an appointment for him to come out yet? Have you had a chance to discuss expectations with him yet?

It sounds like he really needs to pull his finger out & you need to convey your eagerness to him. Either that or make an appointment with the broker and let them know that you are not happy with your communication levels.

I suspect your agent may have put you on the back burner because he didn't have to do anything for the first month. This is completely unacceptable - shake him up!

Good luck!!
Oh and I love your house - it's so inviting looking! : )


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Dreamgarden wrote...
"Please realize that I'm not trying to diss all agents across the board. If you are a successful agent it is probably because your clients are happy with the service you are giving them. I wish we could find someone like this."

I can handle this. Thanks for being rational.


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Hobokenkitchen has the right idea. When an agent's pictures miss the mark, what's wrong with either taking your own, or hiring a professional? Since about 90% of property searches start online now, photos are what will draw buyers in or turn them off.

Whatever effort or expense it takes, terrific pictures will pay for themselves. I see nothing wrong with requesting that an agent substitute some or all of her substandard photos for photos the seller supplies.

When I didn't think the pictures for our last house sale did the house justice, I took my own. Most realtors aren't going to fluff every pillow and adjust every curtain, or take the each shot from six slightly different angles to edit down to the best ones. But I did. And it made an immediate difference in the number of viewings.

Sellers have to be proactive. A good agent won't be put off.

Here is a link that might be useful: DIY Home Staging Tips


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I think you've gotten some good advice regarding the photos. Yours are much better than your agent's, and you could touch them up just a bit to reduce the glare (very fast & easy to fix in Picasa, which you can download for free). Your MLS photos are what are going to bring most buyers to see your house. Get your agent to showcase your house! (I hope there are exterior photos as well, or else it looks like you're hiding something)

Surprisingly nobody has mentioned price here. I hate to say this, but it is a good possibility that your house is priced incorrectly for the market.

If barely any houses in your neighborhood are selling, it might just be that the market is just dead and you'll have to seriously underprice the house if you really need to get it sold. (Case in point: my neighborhood, two houses similar to mine have sold in the past 6 months; 4 in the past 12 months. That's dead. Everybody else expired or withdrew. Most of the sold houses were estates, where the heirs just kept dropping the price until it sold, because they have no equity to lose, therefore dropping everyone else's property values even further.) I don't know where you are located, but I'm assuming that you don't live where houses sell seasonally (i.e. mountain homes don't sell during the winter much).

If your market is moving, and your house isn't showing, then something is wrong. Check your MLS listing to ensure everything is correct - #BR, #BA, #garage, etc. - because it seems like your current agent isn't a stickler for details (flier address wrong? yikes!) and perhaps your MLS doesn't auto-fill from public records, or public records are wrong.

Have your agent do another CMA for you and compare to the current listing price. Hopefully he/she will pay more attention to details when choosing comps. Around here (Florida), practically everyone is dropping their listing prices monthly to keep up with the dropping values. It's awful. (My most recent appraiser subtracted 5% per month from each sale over the past year to arrive at "current value".)

Think about the type of search a buyer will do. What I mean is, dropping a listing price from $325K to $310K isn't going to pick up on any new searches, even with a shocking $15K reduction. You'll have to drop to $299K to get the buyers who are searching in the "$250-300K" range. Hope this makes sense. I'm only putting this out there for consideration - I hope you won't have to do anything this drastic. But these are the type of things that your agent should be thinking about.

Your agent is a professional. You should be able to express your concerns and get good answers. It takes more than "marketing" to sell a home. A good agent doesn't just send out postcards and place ads and sit back and wait for buyers to come to the door. You can do that yourself. You are paying good money for expertise, and if you're not getting it, talk to your agent's broker (boss), and if you're still not happy, you can break your agreement for lack of performance. A professional will not take it personally. Some customers are not a good match. Move on.

Disclaimer: I am a Realtor.


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Adjusting 5% for every month that goes by? That would be 60% lost value in one year. I know Florida's market is bad, but it is not losing 5% per month. I would have called him on this.


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c9pilot, that you for the response. I do have exterior photos and more of the interior as well. I just had a few that I uploaded on photobucket for comparison. Definitely don't have anything to hide and will max out on photos for online use.

My agent and I have had quite a bit more contact lately. We are going to reduce by 5% and see if that brings in more activity. I am going to give him a little more time to see if he continues to improve or if this is just a short lived burst of activity. Won't take long to figure it out.

The two houses that have sold quickly in my neighborhood within the last year have basements. The one that is currently under contract is a short sale. While I'm not certain of the final price, I do know it's going to be painful for the rest of us. We are in the metro Atlanta area. Lots of foreclosures, short sales and desperate sellers. We are definitely not alone.


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Well, yesterday I requested a termination release form. I've been waiting since Thursday morning to get the paperwork to lower our price. Spoke with my agent Friday morning and he said he was so "slammed" he couldn't get back to me. Promised the paperwork Friday afternoon and I haven't heard from him since. Will probably speak with his broker tomorrow about releasing us from our contract. This is the second time he has said he was too "slammed" with other clients to get back to me. He also said that people have called the info line and their concerns were pricing....HE NEVER TOLD ME THIS AND NEVER SUGGESTED LOWERING SOONER!! Ugh, just makes me livid that people have actually told him their concern was the price and not once did he make the effort to let me know. He still has not figured up what our lowest list price could be based on our payoff amount either...so, I'm not sure how aggressive we can be with pricing. Isn't that part of an agent's job...to figure out the bottom line? AND, I told him when we signed his contract that we are prepared to go as low as possible to sell regardless of the fact we're losing lots of money. Add in the wrong address on our fliers and lack of communication on his part for two months and it's obvious he does not care about my property. I can understand being busy, but to be told he's too "slammed" to deal with me (on more than one occasion) is proof my house is not on his list of priorities. Hopefully we'll be able to move on without alot of difficulty.


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My 1st agent did the same to me; what I did was faxed a letter to the broker saying I wanted an immediate termination and that it needed to be done by this date & time; think I gave them 24 hours. It was very effective


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Bleigh, I don't blame you. You gave him the opportunity and he blew it.

Good luck finding a new agent. Take your time and discuss how you want to communicate with the new agent so you (and they) know what to expect up front.

Keep us informed!


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Bleigh-
Your listing agent should have given you a "net sheet" during your listing presentation (when you signed the listing agreement). Ask for one ASAP. If he's too "slammed", his broker (with whom you actually signed the contract and who actually gets the commission) can assign another agent from his brokerage, or terminate and get one from your new agent.
The net sheet will break down all your sellers' costs and give you the (rough) bottom line of what you will clear, taking into account payoff, taxes, fees, commissions, insurance, warranties, etc.
I'm worried that if your agent is so "slammed" that he's not eager to get you under contract, that you're going to have troubles while you are under contract, if you ever get there. Even if the buyer's agent is on top of things, it takes the combined effort and communication between both agents to keep everything on track - inspections, results, repairs or adjustments, and lender requirements if the sale is financed, disclosures, documents, etc.
If you decide to interview new agents, tell them you want to see a current CMA and net sheet (if you give them your payoff amount) when they give their listing presentations.

ncrealestateguy - I definitely asked for redress on the appraisal based on several specific items, but the request was rejected. See posting under "appraisal" thread for more details. She didn't do a linear drop - that was how she described it.


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