Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

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Goodman60
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Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by Goodman60 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:51 pm

My home has been listed since January. There have been very few showings in spite of lowering the price 5% then another 5% from where the listing agent suggested we start. I remembered that when I sold my prior home, 25 years ago, the selling agent insisted that she be there to show the property when a buyer came with an agent. She said that she sold many more houses this way than just taking the listing and letting the chips fall where they may. So I suggested to my current agent that she should be here for every showing. After about a month of this, she is clearly not happy and always has some excuse why she can't be here. And she says the world is different than 25 years ago (AGREED!) and it doesn't work that way any more.

It just seems that the game is to get the listing, do the initial leg work to get the property onto the multi-list, then stand back, do nothing, and hope for the best.

Maybe I'm wrong here. Do I just let it work that way? Perhaps less IS more...getting it onto the multi-list and standing back might be the best move. Any advice is appreciated.

pshonore
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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by pshonore » Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:57 pm

If your agent knows the property, can answer questions from a buyer, and can get feedback form other agents showing the property, then I see no compelling reason why she has to be present at showings. Has she done an Open House? That usually does not result in a sale but can sometime provide meaningful comments.

staythecourse
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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by staythecourse » Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:13 pm

I was 15 years old 25 years ago so can't comment if it was better or not. What I can say is selling/ buying a house or whatever is REALLY easy. The process is rather efficient now AND consumers are much more savvy about learning then trusting what is told to them by the professionals.

Real estate all comes down to price and location (schools, safety, easy commuting options, green space, etc...). That's it. No more and no less. Most folks don't fall in love with a property. The take a calculated approach to buy or sell. All the necessary info. is at the tips of your hands via internet.

For example, I sold our last property on my own in less then 1 week for a solid price just last year. The old next door neighbors are now listing there's at over 12% more. The market is about the same as last year overall in my area. What do you think the chances are they will sell at that price? Not much.

If you haven't sold the issue is location or price. You can't do much about location so lower the price. It is that simple. Not simple to hear, but simple to execute.

In relation to the agent...they should be showing your house. If they aren't why even have them around? Just cut them out and then lower the price of the house 2.5% lower (the amount saved on the selling agent commission) then the other comps in the area.

Good luck.

p.s. If the agent is not showing the house who is? It shouldn't be you. Is it the other agent? Man what a sweet gig the agent makes money without doing any work.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

cherijoh
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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by cherijoh » Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:15 pm

Goodman60 wrote:My home has been listed since January. There have been very few showings in spite of lowering the price 5% then another 5% from where the listing agent suggested we start. I remembered that when I sold my prior home, 25 years ago, the selling agent insisted that she be there to show the property when a buyer came with an agent. She said that she sold many more houses this way than just taking the listing and letting the chips fall where they may. So I suggested to my current agent that she should be here for every showing. After about a month of this, she is clearly not happy and always has some excuse why she can't be here. And she says the world is different than 25 years ago (AGREED!) and it doesn't work that way any more.

It just seems that the game is to get the listing, do the initial leg work to get the property onto the multi-list, then stand back, do nothing, and hope for the best.

Maybe I'm wrong here. Do I just let it work that way? Perhaps less IS more...getting it onto the multi-list and standing back might be the best move. Any advice is appreciated.
Did you get several real estate agents to give you a comparative analysis of your home before you chose your current agent? If so, what were their suggested listing prices? Sometimes agents suggest unreasonable listing prices just to get the listing figuring if it doesn't sell the price can always be reduced. Once a house has been on the market a while that discourages people from viewing the home - e.g., buyers think there must be something wrong with it.

What is "temperature" of the market in your area? I wouldn't trust Zillow (or its competitors) to get an accurate value on the home, but I think it does a good job of allowing you to see how many similar houses are on the market in your neighborhood. You need to figure out if it the market conditions or if it is something specific to your home. I tried to sell a condo before I moved into my home. IIRC there were 16 units with identical floor plans in the complex up for sale at the same time. Four years later I had done some upgrades (i.e., replacing the carpet), but I think the fact that there were only two units for sale made the difference and netted me an offer in less than a week when listed 15% higher than I tried the first time around.

Did you do any sprucing up before putting it on the market? Did you declutter and depersonalize it? With all the HGTV shows I think everyone expects a house to be perfectly staged and in move-in-ready condition. Do you have any pets? A friend was having trouble selling her house - I wasn't surprised since there was a pervasive odor of wet dog (she had three large dogs). I'm pretty sure she could no longer smell it.

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Watty
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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by Watty » Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:15 pm

Goodman60 wrote:Maybe I'm wrong here.
You are.

I have never looked at a house where that was a requirement.

Except at a open house I would assume that the selling agent wanting to be there was because there were issues with the house that they wanted to steer me away from. There being there would also inhibit me talking with my agent about the house. It would be very unusual and feel creepy.

Even if she is fully cooperative you are likely losing showings because potential buyers will see that requirement and skip your house.

Any valuables should have been removed from the house before it was listed so that should not be an issue.

It is is something like a ten million dollar mansion then the situation might be a bit different.

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midareff
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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by midareff » Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:27 pm

I have seen times when a listing agent not only won't show for a prospective buyer with another realtor but actually discourages the showings so they can concentrate on them being the exclusive agent (both sides of the commission) via direct contacts from the web and multiple services. If a realtor can't show up to point out the best features of your listing I can't imagine why you would want them.

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White Coat Investor
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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by White Coat Investor » Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:28 pm

Selling real estate is a bit of a racket ripe for disruption. Hasn't happened yet though. Like Wall Street, the fewer transactions the better. Serial house buying and selling has a serious effect on your ability to accumulate wealth.

I agree with the others. The selling agent shouldn't be there when the buyer comes. That's the buyer's agent's job (who also works for you, by the way.)

The main value of a selling agent is:

# 1 Get you on the MLS (70% of the value)
# 2 Make sure you priced it right (20%)
# 3 Give you a few tips on staging it right (9%)
# 4 Other marketing (1%)
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

stan1
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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by stan1 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:20 pm

If the house hasn't sold after 4 months on the market it is almost certainly overpriced unless it really is in a small market niche. How many buyers have walked through the house? There should be no need for the listing agent to be present. In fact requiring her be present discourages buyers because it makes it harder to see the house. Have you cleaned out the house of most of the furniture and belongings so it looks spacious? Do you have a lock box on the door? Do you have any other restrictions on showings? Do the photos on the internet websites make the house look old/dated? Is there a problem with the location (such as near industrial buildings, highway, airport)? All of these can make it harder to sell a house. Are other houses in the area selling? The house will sell at a price a buyer is willing to pay, not at the price the seller wants to receive. My observation is that houses sitting on the market for 6 or 12 months are usually taken off the market or sell for much less than the seller wants. If you have a truly unique property maybe the right buyer will come along eventually without lowering the price but that might take awhile.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:39 pm

I have never had my selling agent require that they be at the house for a showing. You want any agent who happens to drive by with a client to feel free to show the house. Not slow down the process by setting up an appointment with someone else so everyone can come at the same time.

I can tell you about one house hunting trip that my wife and I took. We flew into town Saturday specifically to find a house or rental. We looked Saturday afternoon with an agent. They supposedly showed us everything. We called another agent and went out Sunday. When they supposedly showed us everything, we called yet another agent to start Monday morning. They showed us several houses including one that had just hit the market. Offer in....accepted and Tuesday we were heading off to pretend we were on vacation until our flight home at the end of the week.

Also....your price is too high. Period. Drop it 10% tomorrow.
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fishmonger
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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by fishmonger » Sat Apr 22, 2017 3:23 pm

I may be the lone wolf here, but if your agent is not attending showings regularly, I would fire her immediately. Many realtors do very little actual work to earn their commissions once photos are done and the listing is on the MLS.

Sorry to hear about the price reductions. But if you have not had an offer in 4 months, your house is still overpriced. Rule of thumb, in a functioning housing market, if your place goes 30 days without an offer the price is too high

Goodman60
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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by Goodman60 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:09 pm

I'm the OP. The house is in good cosmetic and mechanical shape.
The lot isn't great; it's a cul de sac that opens into a townhouse complex. That being said, it's in a great school district and is a good neighborhood. I'll take what I can get but it's not clear how far to cut the price and how fast. I am committed to selling at whatever the market will bring. The realtor doesn't think I should cut more now, but she was the one who thought it was worth $540K (now at $475).

I'm in Pittsburgh and even prime properties move slower here than in go-go areas

staythecourse
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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by staythecourse » Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:48 pm

Goodman60 wrote:I'm the OP. The house is in good cosmetic and mechanical shape.
The lot isn't great; it's a cul de sac that opens into a townhouse complex. That being said, it's in a great school district and is a good neighborhood. I'll take what I can get but it's not clear how far to cut the price and how fast. I am committed to selling at whatever the market will bring. The realtor doesn't think I should cut more now, but she was the one who thought it was worth $540K (now at $475).

I'm in Pittsburgh and even prime properties move slower here than in go-go areas
That is easy. Find local comps that recently sold and put it 5% less. If others still sell before yours then there is something wrong with your property. Having rose colored glasses on is what I see WAY TOO OFTEN from home sellers. Your property is not as nice as you think otherwise it would be sold if the price is right. Simple as that.

Good luck.
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Goodman60
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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by Goodman60 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:51 pm

staythecourse wrote:
Goodman60 wrote:I'm the OP. The house is in good cosmetic and mechanical shape.
The lot isn't great; it's a cul de sac that opens into a townhouse complex. That being said, it's in a great school district and is a good neighborhood. I'll take what I can get but it's not clear how far to cut the price and how fast. I am committed to selling at whatever the market will bring. The realtor doesn't think I should cut more now, but she was the one who thought it was worth $540K (now at $475).

I'm in Pittsburgh and even prime properties move slower here than in go-go areas
That is easy. Find local comps that recently sold and put it 5% less. If others still sell before yours then there is something wrong with your property. Having rose colored glasses on is what I see WAY TOO OFTEN from home sellers. Your property is not as nice as you think otherwise it would be sold if the price is right. Simple as that.

Good luck.

I'm willing to accept that maybe I have rose colored glasses. And it's hard to find comps exactly like mine. But I'm willing to cut the price to what Mr. Market gives me. So how much should I cut how fast?

staythecourse
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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by staythecourse » Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:14 pm

Goodman60 wrote:
staythecourse wrote:
Goodman60 wrote:I'm the OP. The house is in good cosmetic and mechanical shape.
The lot isn't great; it's a cul de sac that opens into a townhouse complex. That being said, it's in a great school district and is a good neighborhood. I'll take what I can get but it's not clear how far to cut the price and how fast. I am committed to selling at whatever the market will bring. The realtor doesn't think I should cut more now, but she was the one who thought it was worth $540K (now at $475).

I'm in Pittsburgh and even prime properties move slower here than in go-go areas
That is easy. Find local comps that recently sold and put it 5% less. If others still sell before yours then there is something wrong with your property. Having rose colored glasses on is what I see WAY TOO OFTEN from home sellers. Your property is not as nice as you think otherwise it would be sold if the price is right. Simple as that.

Good luck.

I'm willing to accept that maybe I have rose colored glasses. And it's hard to find comps exactly like mine. But I'm willing to cut the price to what Mr. Market gives me. So how much should I cut how fast?
I'm no expert, but would start by going on redfin or zillow and look at recent sales in your area that has the same square footage, lot size, number of bedrooms, number of baths, year it was built, etc... That will give you an idea of reasonable comps. If yours doesn't fit in that low end range then adjust. If it does then there is something that is turning off the prospective buyers. Why else would they choose another property over yours if everything else is the same and price was the same. In reality, price is usually not the same and/ or it is not a reasonable comp.

My advice for most (not helpful for you) is to put in a low price in at that beginning and let it get bid up in price by competition. That prevents the property being stagnant on the market and everyone starts to wonder, "What is wrong with that house". At this point I may take it off the market for a month and figure out the right price and re-market it at the new price.


Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

stan1
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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by stan1 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:27 pm

Goodman60 wrote:I'm the OP. The house is in good cosmetic and mechanical shape.
The lot isn't great; it's a cul de sac that opens into a townhouse complex. That being said, it's in a great school district and is a good neighborhood. I'll take what I can get but it's not clear how far to cut the price and how fast. I am committed to selling at whatever the market will bring. The realtor doesn't think I should cut more now, but she was the one who thought it was worth $540K (now at $475).

I'm in Pittsburgh and even prime properties move slower here than in go-go areas
Spend an hour on Zillow looking at comparables for recent SOLD houses (so you know what the buyer paid) as well as whats on the market now (your immediate competition). My guess is you'll make some observations. Some townhouses look like nice homes and others look like an apartment complex.

Does your realtor sell a lot of houses? I would only work with a realtor who sells about 30 or more houses per year. Very successful realtors sell 100 or more per year. That's enough to make a living and anyone working that hard is getting a thrill out of the adrenaline that comes with these transactions. Someone selling less than that unless dealing with million dollar estates is not making a viable living when expenses are deducted.

adamthesmythe
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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by adamthesmythe » Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:48 pm

> I suggested to my current agent that she should be here for every showing. After about a month of this, she is clearly not happy and always has some excuse why she can't be here. And she says the world is different than 25 years ago

I am familiar with your area and your price range. I have never heard of a selling agent attending showings. Even 25 years ago.

Also- in that market in prime areas- selling in a few weeks has been typical.

As to what your agent does- he(she) should have given advice on preparing the house to show. An agent may also help you find workmen to do urgent repairs and removals. And help with negotiation. And pricing.

I am somewhat suspicious of an agent that misprices and would agree to peculiar conditions.

stan1
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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by stan1 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:54 pm

One thing your realtor SHOULD be doing is calling every other realtor who has showed the house to a potential buyer and asking for feedback. Why didn't the buyer like the house? Did the potential buyer think the location was bad? Interior or exterior did not show well? Dated and needs too much updating? Didn't like floor plan? Feedback will give you information on what you might be able to do to negate those concerns (or lower the price further if its something you are unable or unwilling to fix). No matter what the interior of the house looks like there are low cost ways to make it look more current. Your realtor should be helping you with that. Builder grade oak cabinets and laminate or 4x4 counter tiles are still out of style and I wouldn't replace to sell but brass is coming back in style right now. Remove window coverings. If the rooms are painted dark consider repainting at least some of them in an off white color. Remove most of your furniture from the house (usually OK to put in the garage or basement) along with personal items such as photos, trophies, or mementos. Your realtor should be telling you all this, but sometimes they try to be "nice" and not offend a client when what's needed is some "tough love". I

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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by Carefreeap » Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:01 pm

I suspect your property is "shop worn". You put an over-priced property on the market in January and it has now sat for months. When agents think about your house it's "oh the townhouse house".

If you need to sell, you need to price it aggressively. If you don't need to sell ASAP, pull it off the market for 30 days, change agents and go through the remarketing process; e.g. broker's caravan, open houses, new photos, et cetera. If you don't have an offer within 30 days it's over priced.

Good luck!

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JonnyDVM
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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by JonnyDVM » Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:55 pm

We just bought a house last year and when we were looking it was weird when the listing agent was there. You feel like you can't really express your true feelings about the property while they are following you around. One of the houses we looked at, the listing agent insisted on being there and then showed up 15 minutes late. Super annoying for both us and our realtor.

The house we bought- we never met the listing agent in person. Not one time. Not even at closing. Didn't affect us buying the house.

Now maybe there is some other reason you're having trouble. Does your internet listing have nice professional photos? Is your price point appropriate? Is your house set up to show its best? Those are responsibilities that fall on the listing agent.
Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. -Dr. Seuss

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unclescrooge
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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by unclescrooge » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:33 pm

Unless you live in a custom house with a lot of unique features I don't see the point of having her show the house.

The buyers agent will be with any potential buyers and usually they visit the property and talk with the listing agent before showing the house.

Hopefully you interviewed several agents before listing. But if you're unhappy you can either fire her, out just let the listing run out.

I sold my house earlier this year. I interviewed several agents.

One agent was super confident he could sell way above what I thought was a reasonable price and within 30 days. I offered to split the excess 50-50 in addition to his regular commission, but the listing agreement was to be 45 only days.

He agreed, was unsuccessful, and I just let the listing expire.

The next agent I hired took amazing photos, recommended professional staging and dropped the price substantially. We quickly got a few offers and accepted one of them.

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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by BolderBoy » Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:20 am

Carefreeap wrote:If you don't need to sell ASAP, pull it off the market for 30 days, change agents and go through the remarketing process
My sister and I are in the process of selling an estate home. We thoroughly interviewed 4 realtors to include reading every line of their offered contracts. Each contract included language that if the property is delisted for any reason before the term is up, the full commission based on the listing price is due and payable immediately. Any attempt at shortening the term resulted in a higher commission demand. This is in Virginia.

So... tell me, how does one "pulls it off the market for 30 days" without suffering the above consequence?

(PS - none of these realtors "liked" the notion of being interviewed)
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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by Carefreeap » Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:41 am

There's usually a clause in the listing agreement about the agent using "Due Diligence". If the price is too high based on the agent's recommendation and there aren't showings then the agent missed the mark.( BTW I'll add that often the seller is a big part of the problem.)

Most brokers do not want unhappy clients. Sometimes there's just not a good fit. They will often cancel to avoid having their reputation tarnished.

What most brokers are concerned about is a situation where a seller meets a buyer and they jointly try to screw over the broker to avoid paying the commission, hence the 30 or 60 clause. And they have to list to whom they have shown the property to in writing. But check the language of the listing contract carefully. There's generally a provision that says if you re-list with another agent you don't owe a commission to the prior agent.

How long is your listing agreement? Have you communicated your concerns to your agent? What are they saying is the problem?

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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by Oblivious » Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:33 am

Did some home shopping a couple of years ago. Probably toured 20-25 properties. Only twice was the seller's agent there. One was for an open house. I agree where it was kind of weird when they were there too. Usually I didn't want to think that I had to hold back on giving the selling agent insight of if I was really interested or not.

Didn't realize that it used to be the norm.

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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by Goodman60 » Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:48 am

Again I'm the OP with some answers to follow up questions here.
The listing was for 4 months, expiring in about 30 more days. The agent is a "big Gun" and my $475K property is in the "average" price range of what she usually sells. She'll let me go now if I want. She had good, professional photos taken. The home was painted and carpeted 2 years ago w a kitchen "refresh" including granite. It shows well. The main bathroom is original 1979 yellow, but everything else has been updated and in "move in" condition. The problem is the busy cul de sac. I get it. It's been a great place to live for 25 years but was a terrible investment. Fortunately, mostly thanks to Boglehead investing and resisting the urge to panic in 2008-9, my "real" investments have done well and the home is just a small part of my net worth. While it irritates me to see homes that have quadrupled in value since I bought this in 1991, (I paid $325K and am now on the market for $475k before commission and closing costs) I accept my fate on this small piece of my net worth as losing after inflation. Most Pgh homes have appreciated about the inflation rate of 2% per year...still way above my underachiever. I just want out. But it's not clear how to cut the price how fast to prevent the perception of it being a distressed property with something "more wrong" other than the traffic thru the cul de sac...which truly is all that sets it apart from similar homes in my very upper middle class to wealthy neighborhood with highly rated public schools.

EagertoLearnMore
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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by EagertoLearnMore » Sun Apr 23, 2017 11:47 am

Is it your house or the economy in Pittsburgh? Westinghouse bankruptcy, Heinz and Kraft merger, other things affecting your sale? What does your current realtor tell you about the economy if she is one of the top agents?

Goodman60
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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by Goodman60 » Sun Apr 23, 2017 12:13 pm

EagertoLearnMore wrote:Is it your house or the economy in Pittsburgh? Westinghouse bankruptcy, Heinz and Kraft merger, other things affecting your sale? What does your current realtor tell you about the economy if she is one of the top agents?
Naah. Despite those local speed bumps, medicine and Google/Carnegie Mellon have created a mini-rust-belt boom

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JonnyDVM
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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by JonnyDVM » Sun Apr 23, 2017 12:21 pm

I'm envisioning the 1979 yellow needs to go. Neutral neutral, neutral. A fresh coat of paint is $50 and an afternoon. If it helps get an offer, it's def worth it. Not saying that's your biggest problem, but I'm guessing its not helping.
Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. -Dr. Seuss

Goodman60
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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by Goodman60 » Sun Apr 23, 2017 12:34 pm

JonnyDVM wrote:I'm envisioning the 1979 yellow needs to go. Neutral neutral, neutral. A fresh coat of paint is $50 and an afternoon. If it helps get an offer, it's def worth it. Not saying that's your biggest problem, but I'm guessing its not helping.
What about the yellow fixtures and yellow tile floor? I can't imagine the cost of a new bathroom (which is what it would take to change the fixtures and floor...not much left really) will be less than just cutting the price to reflect the problem. And the rest of the house is in top shape.

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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by RudyS » Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:41 pm

My theory is that for a modest priced house, it is better to have a lower price than to sink money into carpeting, kitchen remodel, bath remodel, etc. Buyer can put in what he/she prefers. As a buyer I hated it when the prospective seller put in new dark counter tops and we wanted light, etc.,etc. A coat of paint is a different story. Not much money there. Higher-end houses may be different - buyer might perfer "ready to move in" for that amount of money.
We actually plan to sell as part of a downsize to a condo, and will appreciate your views on this. Am I right? Smallish city in midwest, 2188 sq ft 2 story house, built 1963. Probably $150 - $190 price range.

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OAG
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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by OAG » Sun Apr 23, 2017 2:32 pm

I suggest you come up with the lowest amount you would accept (tempered on some market research). Suggest to your agent that she cancel the listing (MLS) modify your sales contract then RELIST the property and schedule a OPEN HOUSE after another look at decluttering etc,. Nothing wrong with this and it will make it look like a NEW listing. Good Luck.
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Pajamas
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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by Pajamas » Sun Apr 23, 2017 3:00 pm

OAG wrote:I suggest you come up with the lowest amount you would accept (tempered on some market research). Suggest to your agent that she cancel the listing (MLS) modify your sales contract then RELIST the property and schedule a OPEN HOUSE after another look at decluttering etc,. Nothing wrong with this and it will make it look like a NEW listing. Good Luck.
I agree with this. Death by a thousand 5% cuts is NOT a good way to sell a house, especially in a slow market. A 5% reduction in price is not going to entice anyone who has already considered your house. They would have just made an offer below the ask previously. At best someone would wait for your next few 5% cuts. Read up a little on pricing and marketing your house.

Yank the listing, repaint the outside of your house in a nice neutral color, plant some flowers and spiffy up the outside, do a deep declutter so that your closets are half empty, make sure the inside is spotless and smells good, make sure the entryway makes a great first impression. Get some fresh eyeballs to come in and tell you if there are any problems. No mold in the bathroom grout, no pets or evidence of pets around, clean filter over the stove, no old furniture that you will throw out before you move, closets and cabinets spotless, etc. Buyers open doors and look under things. Then price your house competitively and re-list.

You might even consider paying an appraiser. "Zestimates" and similar are not accurate. Pricing has to do with the state of the local market and the custom in the local market. In some places owners list houses high expecting to have to bargain down, some places they list them low to attract multiple bidders, some places it's pretty much take it or leave it on the pricing.

Your other option is to slash the price and put "OWNER NEEDS A QUICK SALE" in the listings if you don't want the expense and trouble of fixing it up.

Real estate agents around here do everything yours did, plus send out postcards to potential buyers such as other shareholders in the building, schedule and host open houses, and actively market the house to other brokers and agents. Having nice photos taken, coming up with a price higher than your house is actually worth, and putting it in the MLS is not enough to get it sold OR to earn the commission.

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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by mortfree » Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:21 pm

Goodman60 wrote:
JonnyDVM wrote:I'm envisioning the 1979 yellow needs to go. Neutral neutral, neutral. A fresh coat of paint is $50 and an afternoon. If it helps get an offer, it's def worth it. Not saying that's your biggest problem, but I'm guessing its not helping.
What about the yellow fixtures and yellow tile floor? I can't imagine the cost of a new bathroom (which is what it would take to change the fixtures and floor...not much left really) will be less than just cutting the price to reflect the problem. And the rest of the house is in top shape.
So if you think the bath (and cul-de-sac) are an issue, can you at least update the listing to note the future price will include a $x,000 (?) credit to upgrade the bathroom? or something along those lines...

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Watty
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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by Watty » Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:29 pm

BolderBoy wrote:
Carefreeap wrote:If you don't need to sell ASAP, pull it off the market for 30 days, change agents and go through the remarketing process
My sister and I are in the process of selling an estate home. We thoroughly interviewed 4 realtors to include reading every line of their offered contracts. Each contract included language that if the property is delisted for any reason before the term is up, the full commission based on the listing price is due and payable immediately. Any attempt at shortening the term resulted in a higher commission demand. This is in Virginia.

So... tell me, how does one "pulls it off the market for 30 days" without suffering the above consequence?

(PS - none of these realtors "liked" the notion of being interviewed)
I'm not sure about the contract language but I would suspect that few real estate agents would object to mutually cancelling the agreement in situations like this. They really don't want bad reviews that say they threatened to sue a client. It isn't like the house is likely to sell soon anyway.

As far as the realtors not liking the interview process you should have kept looking for a good agent. An interview is basically a sales presentation and you want an agent that is a good sales person. If they can't "sell" themselves to you I would have little confidence in them being able to handle a touchy potential buyer.

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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by Kiter » Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:53 pm

The commission of the listing and sale are split multiple ways. Example : a $ 100k house will have lets say a past standard of 6% commission $6000.00. I have seen listing agents get 10% of that $600.00 ,the remaining $5400.00 is split with listing office and selling agent 50/50 or more for agents who are big producers. If the selling agent is with another office there is another split with their office, terms of that office . OFFER 5% to the selling agent above their split .. THAT would wake them up and put your house on the TOP of their list of homes . MONEY talks with RE agents

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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by spectec » Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:02 pm

BolderBoy wrote:
Carefreeap wrote:If you don't need to sell ASAP, pull it off the market for 30 days, change agents and go through the remarketing process
My sister and I are in the process of selling an estate home. We thoroughly interviewed 4 realtors to include reading every line of their offered contracts. Each contract included language that if the property is delisted for any reason before the term is up, the full commission based on the listing price is due and payable immediately. Any attempt at shortening the term resulted in a higher commission demand. This is in Virginia.

So... tell me, how does one "pulls it off the market for 30 days" without suffering the above consequence?

(PS - none of these realtors "liked" the notion of being interviewed)
Sounds like you have some more interviews to do. Who cares whether the last 4 didn't "like" being interviewed? For me, that's a disqualifier in choosing someone to represent you.

Insofar as the language in the contract is concerned, tell them it need to be modified. If they refuse, the interview is over and it's in to the next candidate. And don't let them snow you with nonsense about their contract being some sort of standard agreement that can't be changed. So-called "standard" contracts are changed all the time. I'll guarantee you that if there were something unique about your situation that reqiured them to modify it to their advantage, they'd figure out how to do that right fast.

Your problem may be that this is an inherited property. In some markets, inherited properties rank just slightly above foreclosures in difficulty to sell. They attract bottom feeders, investors, and lowball offers that waste a lot of the agent's time. So maybe none of theose whom you've interviewed are all that eager to list unless they get the listing on their terms.
Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it. - Will Rogers

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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by JonnyDVM » Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:35 pm

mortfree wrote:
Goodman60 wrote:
JonnyDVM wrote:I'm envisioning the 1979 yellow needs to go. Neutral neutral, neutral. A fresh coat of paint is $50 and an afternoon. If it helps get an offer, it's def worth it. Not saying that's your biggest problem, but I'm guessing its not helping.
What about the yellow fixtures and yellow tile floor? I can't imagine the cost of a new bathroom (which is what it would take to change the fixtures and floor...not much left really) will be less than just cutting the price to reflect the problem. And the rest of the house is in top shape.
So if you think the bath (and cul-de-sac) are an issue, can you at least update the listing to note the future price will include a $x,000 (?) credit to upgrade the bathroom? or something along those lines...
I think that's a very good idea
Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. -Dr. Seuss

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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by JaneyLH » Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:45 pm

Look at the price per square foot of all recent sales in your area. Add/subtract for the things you know are different between your property and the others. That should give you a realistic price. Agree that you should take the property off the market, do any sprucing up/decluttering that is needed, and put it back on the market at that realistic price. Prices that go down, down, down in small increments are not effective.

Let me emphasize the decluttering. When I sold my last home I rented a storage space and removed half of my furniture/stuff. Amazing difference and very small cost involved.

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deanbrew
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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by deanbrew » Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:13 pm

I'm confused. Cul-de-sacs are usually preferred because there is LESS traffic, not more. How can there be lots of traffic in a cul-de-sac?

$475k is not really a low or modest price in Pittsburgh, especially for a townhouse. How many townhouses are in your development/community/neighborhood? What have the five most recent sale prices been?

If you don't mind, what is the address or zillow link? It might be useful for all of us to see the details and pictures.

But I agree that it is not necessary, customary or even preferable to have the listing agent come to show the house. It should be as easy as possible for potential buyers to come look at the property. Including on short notice.
My sister and I are in the process of selling an estate home. We thoroughly interviewed 4 realtors to include reading every line of their offered contracts. Each contract included language that if the property is delisted for any reason before the term is up, the full commission based on the listing price is due and payable immediately. Any attempt at shortening the term resulted in a higher commission demand. This is in Virginia.
It sounds like you are in a seller's market and the agents have gotten lazy and complacent. I would never sing a listing agreement that had the clause you mention.
As far as the realtors not liking the interview process you should have kept looking for a good agent. An interview is basically a sales presentation and you want an agent that is a good sales person. If they can't "sell" themselves to you I would have little confidence in them being able to handle a touchy potential buyer.
Agree completely. It's been 15 years since I sold a house, but when I did I interviewed three different agents to get their pricing advice, marketing/staging advice and talk about the listing and commission process. Every single one wanted us to sign a listing agreement at the first interview. Well, too bad. We were interviewing them to choose who would list our house, not the other way around. In the end, we chose the one who was most professional, seemed to know the market best, and was willing to work with us.
"The course of history shows that as the government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson

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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by Goodman60 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:24 pm

I am the OP replying to the last post. First of all, I think you're replying to multiple folks here. My home is a 4 bedroom, single family home in an upscale suburb of Pittsburgh with an excellent, "highly desirable" school district. The cul-de-sac issue is as follows: The house was built in the 1970s and was originally a cul-de-sac. Not too long before we bought the house in 1991, they "opened" the cul-de-sac, to the dismay of the current residents, and built a 50 unit townhouse complex. That complex is completely different than our 19 single family home street, but you do have to drive up and down our street to get in and out of the townhouses. It's the only entrance/exit for them. We knew this when we bought the house and obtained a substantial discount on the house versus what a similar home would cost without the traffic/townhouses. The fact is that what I saved has earned about 6% compounded in my 60/40 Boglehead portfolio (now 55/45), as I paid cash for the house and would have paid "more cash" for the same house on a better street.

I am looking for a similar buyer. Someone willing to accept the traffic in return for a premium house in a premium school district at a big discount to most similar homes on better lots. Perhaps I was wrong to buy this home in the first place; perhaps not. Until I see my final number and add the huge gain/6% compounded on the original savings, I won't know. All of that being said, I now need to sell the house for non-financial reasons and will take whatever Mister Market gives me. It's just a matter of figuring out how to price it. There have been lots of comments about decluttering and painting etc. Other than the bathroom, it's in perfect shape. Newer roof, HVAC, driveway, in and out paint, carpet, countertops. Sure, I could put in a new bathroom and perhaps add $10,000 worth of gardening, but overall the house seems to be at the peak of the yield curve as to condition versus what else might be done. Another plus for a potential buyer is that the property taxes are about $3000/year less than the same house elsewhere, because of the lot. Not a huge thing but another bonus. As mentioned earlier, the house is a small part of my net worth. I just want to move on and will accept any reasonable offer short of "giving it away".
Last edited by Goodman60 on Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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deanbrew
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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by deanbrew » Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:32 pm

Ok. Thanks for the clarification. I better understand the street issue now. Have any of the 19 similar detached homes sold recently?
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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by Goodman60 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:36 pm

deanbrew wrote:Ok. Thanks for the clarification. I better understand the street issue now. Have any of the 19 similar detached homes sold recently?
3 over the past 5 years...because they were the only ones for sale (a very stable neighborhood). Mine, however, is right against the entrance to the townhouses, so it's perceived as a "worser" problem for me.

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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by Goodman60 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:45 pm

One other relevant tidbit: I told the realtor at the beginning that I wanted a 5% commission listing, to which she agreed. When I complained recently about the lack of traffic, she said that "maybe' some realtors are shying away from the 5% commission, generally reserved for homes $1M and over. Frankly I think she's full of baloney. Or maybe not? Am I wrong? She pointed out that realtors would make 25% less than if the commission was 6%. To me, 6% on a $400-$500 house seems high.

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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by deanbrew » Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:50 pm

How is that 5 percent split? I hope the listing side isn't keeping 3 and giving 2 to the selling side. It should be closer to 2 for the listing agent and 3 for the selling agent.
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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by carguyny » Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:51 pm

I hate to be blunt, but I think you're trying to justify your price to yourself rather than accept market feedback. As others have mentioned you need to reset your market expectations and if you think you have the yeild curve perfect consider renting it out for a period.

When my wife and I purchased our last house we never once went to an open house nor a house where the Sellers agent was present. Everything was scheduled on our time with our agent doing the leg work. She made sure we saw some places before they were on the MLS etc - it seems very much to be the buyers agent who does the work these days.

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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by Goodman60 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:53 pm

carguyny wrote:I hate to be blunt, but I think you're trying to justify your price to yourself rather than accept market feedback. As others have mentioned you need to reset your market expectations and if you think you have the yeild curve perfect consider renting it out for a period.

When my wife and I purchased our last house we never once went to an open house nor a house where the Sellers agent was present. Everything was scheduled on our time with our agent doing the leg work. She made sure we saw some places before they were on the MLS etc - it seems very much to be the buyers agent who does the work these days.
No. I'll take ANY semi-reasonable offer. I'm trying to understand what it takes to get one. How fast to cut and how much.

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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by Bertie » Mon Apr 24, 2017 5:34 pm

If you’re not getting traffic, there’s something wrong with your house. Usually it’s the price (you know you have a location problem, but at the right price that problem disappears). But maybe not so much in your case – your realtor, who sounds experienced, seems to think the price is OK.

She might be right about the 5% commission. If all the competitive listings are 6%, that has to be a turn off to other agents. Remember, most realtors have limited time with their clients. If they’re showing them, say, 8 houses in an afternoon, why select your house as one of them when the location is a bit difficult so the buyer may need extra hand-holding to be talked into buying it, and the agent isn’t going to get as much of a commission? If I were an agent, I’d want to show the easier, more lucrative listings.

Rather than cut the price of your house, I’d add that extra 1% commission as a bonus payable to the agent who brings you a buyer at full price (or maybe at $470K – your agent will know how to structure this). This might be faster and cheaper than cutting the price of your house by $10 or $15K. If it doesn’t work, you’re out of the contract with this realtor in another month anyway, and can try something else with your next listing agent.

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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by Ketawa » Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:35 pm

You can negotiate the commission, but I would stick to offering full commission to the buyer's agent and only negotiating on the listing agent's commission. I am a first time home seller and I just listed my home, so take this with a grain of salt, but I was able to negotiate a 1.5% commission to the listing agent and 3% to the buyer. My agent was extremely professional in the interview process and does 90-100 deals a year; time will tell how good he actually is, but I have no doubts so far. I interviewed multiple agents and 3/4 advised me not to reduce the buyer's agent commission in my market. The fourth was going to offer 2.5% to the buyer's agent.

I wanted to sell with Redfin, but there weren't any actual Redfin agents operating in my ZIP code. Redfin referred me to an agent in their partner agent program who was ok, but would not have been my first choice. I called a local agency that does a lot of business in my neighborhood, but they said their commission was not negotiable during the interview process. I researched all the other Redfin partner agents (you can see their statistics & reviews on Redfin and find them on Zillow), and hand-picked one who looked like a good option. His interview was great, and he said his commission was negotiable, although we did not talk specifics. I put my home on HungryAgents.com and had one agent offer to cut his commission to 1.5%; his interview was good enough that I would have been happy with hiring him. I offered my hand-picked agent the opportunity to match and he did.

If you are having trouble because of a reduced commission to the buyer's agent, maybe you need to end this listing agreement, take 30 days like others have recommended, make sure you check every possible box so your previous agent has no legal claim to a commission, and find a new agent at a reduced commission while offering full commission to the buyer's agent.

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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by crit » Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:57 pm

You mentioned clutter a few times. In my albeit limited experience as a landlord and a seller, humans are just incredibly bad at imaging or seeing past anything directly in front of them.

Empty is best, and next best is looking like things are missing. Blank spots on walls, where a painting should be, so that a visitor thinks to themselves about which of their paintings should go there. Empty places in rooms, where they will think 'there should really be a chair there ... What about my green chair?'. Absolutely NOTHING on counters, tables, even tv stands. Create emptiness that looks painful to you.

Hire someone if this is at all hard for you, if you hem and haw over each item. I did this for a friend once; I was ruthless about taking her art, pictures, things, life away; she didn't talk to me for weeks, and the house sold the next day. (She forgave me, and knew I was being tough because I loved her)

And get the cheap gauzy white curtains from ikea and put them in every room .... they say 'light, airy' even if it isn't.

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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by pshonore » Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:31 am

Ketawa wrote:You can negotiate the commission, but I would stick to offering full commission to the buyer's agent and only negotiating on the listing agent's commission. I am a first time home seller and I just listed my home, so take this with a grain of salt, but I was able to negotiate a 1.5% commission to the listing agent and 3% to the buyer. My agent was extremely professional in the interview process and does 90-100 deals a year; time will tell how good he actually is, but I have no doubts so far. I interviewed multiple agents and 3/4 advised me not to reduce the buyer's agent commission in my market. The fourth was going to offer 2.5% to the buyer's agent.

I wanted to sell with Redfin, but there weren't any actual Redfin agents operating in my ZIP code. Redfin referred me to an agent in their partner agent program who was ok, but would not have been my first choice. I called a local agency that does a lot of business in my neighborhood, but they said their commission was not negotiable during the interview process. I researched all the other Redfin partner agents (you can see their statistics & reviews on Redfin and find them on Zillow), and hand-picked one who looked like a good option. His interview was great, and he said his commission was negotiable, although we did not talk specifics. I put my home on HungryAgents.com and had one agent offer to cut his commission to 1.5%; his interview was good enough that I would have been happy with hiring him. I offered my hand-picked agent the opportunity to match and he did.

If you are having trouble because of a reduced commission to the buyer's agent, maybe you need to end this listing agreement, take 30 days like others have recommended, make sure you check every possible box so your previous agent has no legal claim to a commission, and find a new agent at a reduced commission while offering full commission to the buyer's agent.
A couple of points:
Any agent who does not split commission 50/50 with a co-broke will soon find less "co-operation" in the future from co-brokes. Thats not a good way to do business

As a former agent, I would rather get than 25% of a 5% commission than 0% of a 6% commission. However, I might first show 6% listings or in-house listings where I would get 35% of the total commission (2.1%). In the end though if you don't show every house that a given buyer might like, you won't be in business long.

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Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

Post by pshonore » Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:39 am

carguyny wrote:I hate to be blunt, but I think you're trying to justify your price to yourself rather than accept market feedback. As others have mentioned you need to reset your market expectations and if you think you have the yeild curve perfect consider renting it out for a period.

When my wife and I purchased our last house we never once went to an open house nor a house where the Sellers agent was present. Everything was scheduled on our time with our agent doing the leg work. She made sure we saw some places before they were on the MLS etc - it seems very much to be the buyers agent who does the work these days.
Was your agent clairvoyant? In most places agents are supposed to enter listings into MLS with 24-48 hours of a signed listing agreement. And how did your agent about know about listings from other brokers if they weren't in MLS.

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