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I apoligize if I asked this before- regarding realtor advertising

Posted by ilmbg (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 19, 09 at 4:14

Hello- I am sorry if I have asked this question here- I couldn't find it, and I forgot where I asked it! Cheesebrain...

I will be putting my home back on the market. This is a very small rural town- northern Wyoming. So far, I have found the realtors about like the medical here- about 15 years behind times....ahhh.

The realtors I have talked to- there are not very many- do not believe in advertising in the newspapers- they say 'nobody reads a newspaper anymore'. I then asked several people what they thought about this, and they replied that when they looked for a house/property the first place they DID look was the local newspaper!
I am wondering if the realtor is right, or just too cheap to put an ad in the paper??
Also, it seems that I know of more internet sites for real estate than the local realtors do. Sad.
The realtor I had last year wanted 7%, advertised 1 time in the local paper, in the 'area' MLS and the 'national' MLS. At the end of 6 months she finally advertised in the local 'Real Estate Guide'. She didn't even put a 'For Sale' sign up until I insisted. This is supposed to be one of the 'better' agents..:( I also asked to be notified weekly about what they were doing to promote the house- after 3 months of not hearing from her, I called and asked why not. The response was; 'Well, what do you want me to tell you- it is listed in MLS and our own website- what else do you expect?'. I was in shock/pissed/flabbergasted!
I have the feeling that these guys/gals just want the commission to fall into their laps without doing any work. I think the idea that they 'are working for me', just isn't there.
I don't want to make a mistake again with a realtor- but they all seem to be pretty lazy...
What exactly should I expect of a realtor? My home was recently appraised at $300-325,000. I could see not spending much money if it were only worth $70,000-150,000- ... None of them believe in an Open House, either. That might be realistic, though, as this is a small, rural town- not a bunch of Sunday lookers I would imagine.
I also have an issue with the last realtor- due to my very severe asthma/COPD, I asked for 'no shoes- or use provided shoe covers'- due to the fact that when someone comes in from outside they bring in dust/pollen/mold- something that can send me into the Emergency Room/Intensive Care Unit easily. To a lesser extent I also want shoe covers because my house is on 20 acres of ranchland- meaning dirt and mud. The last realtor did not do this even though it is listed in the realtor papers, and they walked outside/in the barn before coming into the house and literally 'ground in' a large amount of soil into the white master bedroom carpet. That room is closed off because I really can't go into a carpeted room due to the asthma/COPD, and didn't look at the room for several days after they showed it- it has been cleaned 2 times professionally since- but I can still see marks... If I redo the floor with new wood florring, it would have ground in dirt and scratched new wood flooring- I feel like I'm 'damned if I do, damned if I don't'.
I have also asked for letters of pre-qualification (I don't need to see them, they are just for the realtor, so both she and myself are not wasting time). She said she does that with everyone, then I found out that none of the other realtors do it- so I am wondering if she really does or not... If I ask this of the next realtor- how do I know my request is being followed by the other realtors not from her office? (I am disabled- it is pretty hard/painful for me to have the house absolutely perfect for a showing, and I DO want it perfect when it is shown- I don't want to be making it PERFECT for a' Looky-Loo', who can only qualify for a $150,000-200,000 house).
Please tell me what I can reasonally expect from a realtor.

Also- a post from earlier was about the seller moving out before closing- I certainly would not move out before closing as there have been many 'last minute' buyer back-out that I am aware of. When my neighbor sold a few years ago, the buyer backed out 3 days before closing- they were screwed! It will be about $10,000 for my furniture to be moved to my winter house- I certainly am not going to pay that, then find out a buyer backs out and have to spend another $10,000 to have my furniture moved BACK!! I asked the realtor about a large non refundable deposit/earnest money- she said $1,000-2,000 is about all I will get for earnest money because people just can't afford any more than that. That makes no sense to me- if they can't afford $10,000-20,000 down on a $300,000 home- how can they afford to buy? Maybe I don't understand the deposit/earnest money. I paid for this house when I bought it. The winter condo- much, much smaller- $100,000- I had to put down $4,000 earnest money. Up here they say $500 is normal.
Please let me know what I should be able to expect from a good realtor up here!
Thank you all.
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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: I apoligize if I asked this before- regarding realtor adverti

Could you talk to others who have sold in your area? RE agents in some states in rural areas are sometimes difficult. I had that problem in CA until I got one who lived in the area. Is there any large ones like Prudental? Do you have a United office--they specilize in farm properties and have a good website and catalog . As to your allergies, could you replace the carpet with vinyl that looks like wood? As to keeping it perfect, I would not worry about that--clean and decluttered is good, but nothing is ever perfect. As to moving furniture and other items, do you need to move everyting? Could some furniture be moved and left there? Do you really need everything you think you do. If we to move again, very little would go. Hopefully some agents from smaller rural areas will be able to offer some advice. It does take a special person both to sell and buy in rural areas.


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RE: I apoligize if I asked this before- regarding realtor adverti

Hello- I am sorry if I have asked this question here- I couldn't find it, and I forgot where I asked it! Cheesebrain...

ilmbg, I think you posted it too. Go to the end of the posts then in the search box, put your user name, all the posts that you made will come up.


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2: I apoligize if I asked this before- regarding realtor adverti

BTW, the easiest way to remember where you posted something is to click on clip this post, it will save it to your profile clippings.


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RE: I apoligize if I asked this before- regarding realtor adverti

mariend- I don't know if there is a United rep here or not- I wouldn't move 'part' of my belongings- yes I need/want what I have- furniture is bought/designed specifically for each room- it wouldn't look very nice to have some items gone- I may put a wood floor in the master, no I would not consider vinyl anywhere. One of the reasons that the house must be spotless is due to my severe asthma- and my style of living- so yes, it has to be like I want it.

Thanks for letting me know how to find a post-

Thanks!


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RE: I apoligize if I asked this before- regarding realtor adverti

"in shock/pissed/flabbergasted"

don't blame you...

I think all your concerns/requests are reasonable.

Given the value of the home, I my own self, as a listing agent, would certainly do some advertising or open houses or *something*, & socks or shoe covers are just good manners.

Newspapers don't work well here, either (when buyers say they looked in the paper, take it with a grain of salt-if they managed to buy a house, they looked a lot of other places too), but we do advertise in magazines, we often have Realtor luncheons or tours & we always try to keep flyers in the boxes on the signs, as well as using the web.

If Realtors are having trouble remembering about the shoes, have your listing agent put a note inside the keybox, on the chain with the key, reminding them, & put a brightly-colored card or sign or flyer on the front door saying the same thing.

A friend has this on her front door:
"We observe the Japanese custom here.
Please remove your shoes before entering.
Thank you."

Seller of more expensive homes often require pre-qualification letters before allowing potential buyers inside their homes, & it's a good idea.

Not only do "nice" homes attract opportunists who may be checking out the electronics, silverware, & security systems, but you aren't holding a HGTV home tour, you're *selling* your home.

There's no reason to let anyone in the door if he/she/they can't buy it.

It helps the Realtors, too, since they can say, "*Seller* requires PQ letter" to a buyer who may be a little prickly about giving their mortgage info to the Realtor otherwise.

Best luck!


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RE: I apoligize if I asked this before- regarding realtor adverti

Just remember than a Pre-Qual letter might as well be written on toliet paper for all it's worth! There is no underwriting performed to receive the much spoken of Pre-Qual form. At most, a credit check was obtained. The lender is relying on just the info provided by the proposed borrower that may, or may not, be accurate. So, don't get too hyped up over that Pre Qual thing.

DH & I, as example, flat refuse to provide such a letter. It's never deterred us from purchasing a home.

/tricia


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RE: I apoligize if I asked this before- regarding realtor adverti

I'm not a pro, but my experience with realtors has been about the same as yours. They charge thousands of dollars to put up a 1 page post on the web. Have you checked out flat fee realtors? They don't really do anything except put up a sign and put you on the MLS, but it sounds like that is all your "full price" realtor is doing anyway. We did that with the home we just sold and spent $500 instead of 6%. We had to pay a buyers agent 2.4%, but still came out thousands ahead.

As for expectations for behavior in your home - forget about it. Selling your home requires a bunch of strangers to stampede through. A portion will show no respect for your property. Your realtor has nothing to do with that. In fact, your realtor probably will never show your home unless the buyers don't have an agent of their own.

As for your "stuff" - if you want to live in your home, keep all your stuff around. If you want to sell your home, box up as much as possible and pare down the furniture to something minimalist. I'm sure you think you have the perfect piece for every spot, but taste is a matter of personal preference. Your house will sell faster and for more money if you stage it with only enough furniture to clearly indicate the purpose of the room.

As for newspapers/open houses - I'm not sure how effective either will be for you. I would think that if you have a small town newspaper, that would be a good advertising spot since it is hyper-local. I live in a larger metro area, so the newspaper is more expensive and less targeted. I ran an add for an open house and got 2 people to come. I sat outside with some cookies and juice and generated more traffic that way.


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RE: I apoligize if I asked this before- regarding realtor adverti

Save these links to your favorites -
Clippings page - if anyone else wants their clippings page, replace the user name at the end of the URL to your own. When you clip a post, you are able to make it public or private


trying to sell- fsbo or agent?
All help appreciated- a bit long.

I did the search for your post, looks like it's gone. I guess something happened in it and it was deleted. I usually save any email notifications to my original posts as well as have copied my post into an email then emailed it to myself along with a url link to my post; so I'm able to save it that way.

I asked for 'no shoes- or use provided shoe covers'

If you are providing shoe covers they should use them. Since it appears you're home for the showings, is it possible to steer them into the house 1st, hand them the shoe covers then excuse yourself?

I understand why you want a prequal letter. I think if you do find another agent, you should explain what happened to you about someone posing as an agent so that they do what they can to check who is coming into your house.


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RE: I apoligize if I asked this before- regarding realtor adverti

just curious, tricia, why would you refuse to provide a commitment letter?

I like to have them, even if they are full of conditions, since it shows that the buyers have talked to somebody somewhere who has inquired about their income & credit.

story:

Years ago, an agent in an office where I worked was showing expensive houses to a couple who told him that they'd be paying cash.

They had been severely injured in a motorcycle accident, their lawyer was handling the case on a contingency basis (he got paid when they got paid), & they were expecting buckets of money.

The lawyer was so positive of their "victory" that he loaned them money for rent (couldn't work because of their injuries) & incidentals.

Doug showed them tons of houses, & they didn't seem any closer to making a choice.

One day, a homeowner, whose home was listed with another firm, dropped into the office & asked Doug why he was showing those people his house.

turned out the homeowner's church had helped the couple for years with donations of food, money for utilities, etc.

Doug was mortified.

He called the couple & told them that he needed a letter from the attorney, since they were looking at, as he phrased it, "some of them high-dollar properties" & the owners were understandably persnickety.

They couldn't get a letter & they wouldn't give Doug the name of their attorney.

Their situation was tragic, & they were entitled to sympathy, but...they were fantasizing.

Several months later, they called Doug & asked him to help them find a rental;
by the time their medical & legal fees were paid, they ended up with something like $6,000, they had no transportation & no jobs, & their credit was shot.

If Doug had asked for a letter from a lawyer or lender at the outset, he could have sold 3 or 4 homes in the time he spent with that couple.


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RE: I apoligize if I asked this before- regarding realtor adverti

sylviatexas,

Because DH is part of executive management & heads all lending at a well known financial institution operating in the area we would be purchasing & we don't need the realtors knowing anything about our finances. The loan originators, underwriters, etc. that the realtors work with are part of DH's staff. We surely don't need the realtors & DH's staff gossiping about our income. We never borrow from DH's bank either...for the same reasons. Plus, any loan granted to DH would require Board of Director approval as per fed regulations...way too invasive personally & a PITA as well. It's much cleaner to take our personal banking business elsewhere. It also keeps DH from ever being associated with any potentially 'less than arm's length' transactions or some type of suspected collusion. It's just good policy to stay well clear of any conflicts of interest. Despite what you're hearing on the news every night...most senior bankers do the same thing...avoid mixing their personal finances with the institutions they manage.

/tricia


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RE: I apoligize if I asked this before- regarding realtor adverti

Thanks everybody- you had some interesting things to say!

Roselvr- When I was writing my prioe post, it was about 6 weeks ago. I was very distracted due to getting a positive mammo and maybe didn't even finish.....
Oh- I love the idea about the little sign about following Japanese tradition!! Love, love it!! I can have a tasteful artsy one made- plaster it to the front door!

Bill- Yep- sounds like you and I have gotten the 'bottom of the barrell' of REA! I know there are wonderful one out there because I have had great experiences in the past. Yes- I have pared down my furnishings- it makes the rooms look bigger I think, and I do not have a single statue/keepsake type of item out due to my asthma- they collect dust/pollen which can send me to the hospital. I have only been there once for a showing- I stayed in the garage, 'doing a project'. My home is pretty minimalist, the older I get the less 'things' mean to me! I am going to find out about a 'flat-fee' agent- I hope because this is such a small town that the only way they will list is for full fee...

Sylviatx- I had a wonderful experience when I bought my condo in San Antonio- and I had talked to a few before settling on one. I didn't get past the secretary without a conformation letter of funds available from the bank! I would think every REA would want one- it would weed out who is serious and who is dreaming. I also don't want someone inside who is checking out what they can steal-and I don't want the lookie-loo's! I have heard several horror stories in San Antonio...Sylvia it sounds pretty scary for a female there- I would be wanting ID, letter of intent, etc just for security reasons!! Be careful.

triciae- If anyone is that interested in what you had to borrow for your house, it is public record- your income isn't there, but other info is. A letter of intent doesn't say what your income, credit, etc is- all it says is that ' Joe and Mary Smith have been qualified to purchase a home up to XX amount of dollars'. It does not give out information that anybody would be interested in.

Well, I know I am not asking too much from a RA now- I guess I am just going to have to put my foot down-STOMP- STOMP!!


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RE: I apoligize if I asked this before- regarding realtor adverti

ilmbg,

Thank you for letting me know the content of a Pre-Qual letter.

" It does not give out information that anybody would be interested in."

LOL Yeah, whatever you say.

/t


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RE: I apoligize if I asked this before- regarding realtor adverti

we don't need the realtors knowing anything about our finances.

Tricia Im surprised that you feel this way considering I thought you had something to do with bank foreclosures and most banks require a pre approval letter to submit an offer on a foreclosure.If they arent worth anything and might as well be written on toilet paper, why would they bother requiring them? Pre approval letters don't allow the agent to know anything about your finances, but you know this, not sure why you would make that comment.

While I agree that "most" pre qual letters might as well be written on toilet paper, realtors in any given area know good pre approval letters from reputable banks are worth their weight in gold.

I can't tell you how many instances I didnt waste my time because the people couldnt qualify for a mortgage by simply having them call "my guy at a reputable bank" to get a letter. That also means they didnt get into perhaps dozens of houses, wasting sellers time preparing a house for a buyer who couldnt buy.

Its pretty standard in my area for a good agent to require a pre approval letter to take people out, its also getting pretty common with the turn in the economy for sellers to request only pre approved buyers, appointments to view their homes.


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Breton Bay Leonardtown, MD home

I have a beautiful waterfront home for sale on the protected Breton Bay in Leonardtown, MD. We are being transferred. We have had a beautiful garden and have been landscaping it since we bought it. It has everything from a gourmet kitchen with granite counters to a Jacuzzi tub & oversized shower in the master bath and a private boat dock with a 12,500 boat lift and 2 jet ski lifts. 5 bedrooms, 3.5 baths. Stainless appliances, hardwood floors with ceramic tile in kitchen and baths. Professionally landscaped with in-ground sprinkler system. Large deck with screened gazebo. We are being transferred.
Easy commute to DC/Northern VA and Annapolis. Minutes to NAS Patuxent River, shopping, restaurants and hospital.

We tried to sell 'by owner' but have not had but one offer so far. We interviewed a number of realtors and found one who is just wonderful! Her information follow:

Barbara Bruce at 800-294-7303/301-751-4841 or Jan Sampson at 240-278-6820 or email at barbarabruce@longandfoster.com or jansampson@longandfoster.com.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Home


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RE: I apoligize if I asked this before- regarding realtor adverti

royceanne, I'm thinking you're probably new on the forum, but there's a rule against advertising here.

(You'll sometimes see limited info on the posts, but it's to illustrate the poster's question or comment).

tricia, I can see why you wouldn't want to supply detailed information, but the commitment letters don't have that;
they just say, typically, that the loan officer has talked to the potential buyer about income & bills & has looked at a credit report.

The vast majority of us are not in a position like yours, & if we were to refuse to provide a commitment letter, our offers would almost certainly be rejected.

& I can go further than Linda;

here, the MLS listing narrative for lender-owned properties almost always has wording similar to this *at the seller's instructions*:

"Contract offers submitted without commitment letter or proof of funds will be discarded."

& more & more often, the commitment letter has to be on the form provided by the property's corporate owner.


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RE: I apoligize if I asked this before- regarding realtor adverti

The subject of pre-qualification letter seems to have gotten off track. The original issue was if a seller should request one before allowing a viewing.
My own opinion is never, I've never been asked nor would I supply one before viewing a house. I will also not go to the work of obtaining a pre-approval letter to view a house, but since I've never been asked I'm not concerned at this time. This issue may be regional. As a seller, I wouldn't do anything to shrink my market.
Now the recent posts are discussing submitting an offer, very different matters. I have submitted a pre-qualification letter with an offer, not much work (2 minute phone call to a loan broker), but as said, it isn't worth much. I also requested and received proof of funds when negotiating an offer.
When I want to see a house I don't know until I've seen it if I am a buyer or not, I don't want to spend my time "getting a loan" if I'm not buying anything.


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RE: I apoligize if I asked this before- regarding realtor adverti

"When I want to see a house I don't know until I've seen it if I am a buyer or not, I don't want to spend my time "getting a loan" if I'm not buying anything."

but you can certainly understand the original poster's not wanting to prepare her home for viewing by a potential buyer only to discover the person couldn't possibly be a buyer, just someone using her home as entertainment.

(& if I had my very nice upscale home on the market & my agent told me that the person who wanted to see it had said the exact words you used, I'd decline the showing rather than "spend my time" preparing the home for someone who "didn't know if he was buying anything".)


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RE: I apoligize if I asked this before- regarding realtor adverti

but you can certainly understand the original poster's not wanting to prepare her home for viewing by a potential buyer only to discover the person couldn't possibly be a buyer, just someone using her home as entertainment.

(& if I had my very nice upscale home on the market & my agent told me that the person who wanted to see it had said the exact words you used, I'd decline the showing rather than "spend my time" preparing the home for someone who "didn't know if he was buying anything".)
Yes, I certainly see the sellers POV, only clarifying the seller with those restrictions may lose a buyer. I wonder why a seller wants to take that chance in this market.
When I had my "very nice upscale home on the market" I never prescreened any showing. I left that to the agent who was spending more time showing than I was preparing. As the owner, one can always decline a showing but IMHO it is foolish to be too selective.
Doesn't everyone not know if they are a buyer when they view a house, if ones knows beforehand, why bother viewing the house? Am I missing something here? But, as I said, I've never been declined a viewing or even asked to submit a letter before viewing. I usually go directly to the listing agent to view a property and never ask an agent to drive me around, just meet me at the front door to open it.
I've never contacted an agent to view a house as entertainment, too much work for me. I can get my viewing entertainment at Open Houses, but lately I don't even go to those.


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RE: I apoligize if I asked this before- regarding realtor adverti

Maybe I should clarify my wording- I probably used the wrong term.
If 'pre-qualification' means going through the whole lending process, then I used the wrong word.
Maybe 'proof of funds', or 'commitment' would have been a better word- I am not the realtor. I prefer medical terms...
What I was referring to was a letter from someone stating that this person has 'such and such amount of money at their availability- does not matter if it is cash, loan, amount that they have been approved for'.
I had to have a letter of this type when bidding on a foreclosure on the County Courthouse steps- they would not take a bid without one- so it certainly must 'be worth the toilet paper it was printed on'!
Linda and Sylvia seems to understand exactly what I am talking about.
Maybe needing a letter is left to the wish of either realtor or seller- maybe it is an unsaid 'law' in particular areas- in my case, it is my wish, as I do not need to sell this home- I only want to because it is too large. In my physical condition, I do not need to be making sure the house is absolutely spotless, leave the premises so someone who can afford a $150,000 home. Or worse yet, check out the antiques.
I would be relatively certain a real estate agent would not like to be wasting their time showing houses to someone who would not qualify- most agents are pretty darned busy- they could be spending time with another buyer who really does qualify. Maybe not all agents are busy and want to take lookers around.


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RE: I apoligize if I asked this before- regarding realtor adverti

The pre qual letter is a double edged sword. On the one hand, it is great for the seller to see. However, if I am representing a buyer, the last thing I want is for the seller to see how much money my buyer could have available. My broker will white out the amount so that it just shows that a bank has confidence in the buyer.
Jo


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RE: I apoligize if I asked this before- regarding realtor adverti

ilmbg, I do understand your concern that a viewer of your house is qualified to buy it. I'm only giving you some thought about the issue, that is, you may be limiting potential buyers. If that is not a concern for you, then by all means insist on some type of documentation. How you can be certain every agent showing our house has done this is especially difficult unless you have each one send the documentation to your agent for review. Again, more limiting, other agents may avoid your house, seeing you as too difficult to work with, when they have other houses to show. I am surrounded by multi-million dollar houses that are thrown open each weekend without all the screening.
My concern is still your limitation of potential buyers, but it is your house, you can make any rules you want and are comfortable with. I wish you the best in your endeavor.


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one more thing

I forgot to add..
Having an open house would certainly increase your chances of unqualified lookers in their shoes tramping through your house, in your case I would drop that off the wish list.


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RE: I apoligize if I asked this before- regarding realtor adverti

Every lender I know will show that the buyer qualifies for the exact amount the buyer is offering.

They can email or fax the very same letter with whatever amount the buyer offers on any contract.


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RE: I apoligize if I asked this before- regarding realtor adverti

But Sylvia, that doesn't cover the "letter required to view" situation. Why should I provide a letter saying I'm approved to purchase a home for $XXX if I am looking at a range of homes? I don't want a listing agent to see a letter saying I'm approved for the asking price or even quite a bit more. And I don't think my lender would want to provide a dozen different letters with different amounts on them so I can look at different houses.


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RE: I apoligize if I asked this before- regarding realtor adverti

I can't believe San Antonio is the only city that requires a letter from the bank....unless it was just the particular real estate office I used required it.??

cmarlin- I, myself don't need to see the letter- my selling agent should be taking care of that- that is why I hired him/her- to do the work.


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RE: I apoligize if I asked this before- regarding realtor adverti

I've left a call for a loan officer to get the wording, but I would imagine that it would run along the lines of "qualified to buy a home in the price range".

will post when I find out.


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RE: I apoligize if I asked this before- regarding realtor adverti

cmarlin- I, myself don't need to see the letter- my selling agent should be taking care of that- that is why I hired him/her- to do the work.
Yes, I know that, but how do you expect your listing agent to screen potential buyers before another agent can bring a buyer to view your house? Are you requiring that the letter be emailed to the LA for review? Again, I'm only telling you that you may be cutting off your market, but you can make that choice.


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