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Why You Can’t Trust Real Estate Agents When Selling A House

Check out the first part of this series “Why You Can’t Trust Real Estate Agents When Buying A House“.

Yesterday, we discussed how your agent and you will have similar goals when starting a house search but your interests will diverge the closer you get to a deal. When selling a house, the same phenomenon happens but usually a lot quicker.

In the beginning: buddies

Usually when you agree to list your house with an agent they will make you sign a contract with them which ensures that you don’t turn around and sell the house with another agent after they have done some work. In my experience, the agent will pull various comparable houses in the area and together you will figure out an asking price. Another step that normally takes place is for the agent to do a walk through and advise the client of possible improvements they can do to the house to make it sell easier.

The asking price is usually the first potential source of conflict – the seller wants a high price and is often unrealistic about what their house is worth. The agent knows that if the house is listed too high that it will sit for a while and any effort the agent makes to sell the house will be a waste of time. Agents make more money by selling more houses rather than getting a high price for each house so they want to make sure that the house is listed at a reasonable market value or lower. This is why pricing a house low for auction is so popular because it’s the best situation for the agent. Another situation is if a client wants to price the house high – then the agent has to bide their time and work on the client to lower their price so it will move.

Thinking about accepting an offer – Trust no one!

Things that your agent might say (and you should ignore) when you are selling a house:

  • “Since I get paid on commission – the more you get for your house, the more I get paid so we both want the same thing”. This is one of the biggest lies in real estate. Yes, mathematically an agent will get more commission if your house is sold for a higher price but the problem is the amount of time it might take to get that higher price is not worth the extra commission. For example if your house has a market value of $400,000 then your agent’s cut might be 2.5% or $10,000. If you are patient and wait for someone to come along who will pay $410,000 then the agent will make $10,250 for an extra $250. To get this $250 they might have to do several open houses and wait quite a while. Clearly they are better off just selling the house for $400k (or even less) and taking their $10,000. The problem is that the difference in selling price to the agent is pocket change but the difference to the homeowner is huge since we are talking about a $10k difference.

Negotiation – don’t listen to a word your agent has to say.

At this point you are potentially pretty close to selling your house. You want to sell the house at the highest price, the buyer wants to buy the house at the lowest price and your agent just wants you to sell the house and doesn’t care at all what price you sell it for because they just want the deal done right now. Since selling at a lower price will get the deal done quicker a lot of agents will encourage you to counter lower which basically means that you are negotiating against them as well as the seller.

Things that your agent might say (and you should ignore) when you are negotiating are:

  • “Don’t counter offer too high or the buyer might walk”. If the buyer has put in an offer then it’s up to the seller to accept the offer or reject it with a counter offer. It’s true that a high counter offer might scare off the buyer but isn’t that part of the negotiation?
  • “Your first offer is often the best offer”. Another way an agent might phrase this one is “We have an offer which means if I can get you to accept it by any means possible then I get paid very soon”.
  • “Dual-agency means there is no conflict of interest even though I represent both parties”. The “dual-agency” scam is where a selling party has a real estate agent and a buyer comes along who doesn’t have their own agent. The selling agent will offer to “act” as both the selling agent and buying agent and of course collect double the commission. Even though this is such an obvious scam, I actually don’t think this one is a big deal since real estate agents are basically working against you anyways at negotiation time so adding more conflicts probably doesn’t really matter.
  • “Are you willing to lose this deal for $2,000?” (or $5k, $8k) This is a tough one – on the one hand it seems silly to not close the deal and be only a half of a percent away from a deal but on the other hand shouldn’t your agent be asking this question to the buyer? Ie – “we are going to walk, do you really want to lose this deal for $2k?”
  • “Are you willing to lose this deal for $12 a month?” This is part two of the previous point which is applied if you don’t bite on the first attempt. It’s also a more useful gambit if the “separation” is a bit greater. If you and the buyer are $12,000 apart then that sounds pretty significant but what if you are only $75 a month apart (for 25 years) or even better what if you are only $63/month apart (over 40 years).

Conclusion (pretty much the same as yesterday)

The more you educate yourself about the real estate market you are looking in and how real estate agents operate then the better off you will be when selling a house. Real estate agents are quite useful when selling a house because most people won’t buy from a private seller and because they have access to MLS.

Whatever you do, never forget that they get paid when the deal gets done and only then. They don’t get paid for having extra open houses or walking away from close deals.

Do you have any good “lines” that you were told when selling a house?

Check out another perspective on real estate agents.

171 replies on “Why You Can’t Trust Real Estate Agents When Selling A House”

I will also say there are an abundancy of agents that really dont care, and really do not do what they should be. At the end of the day the clients are handing over alot of money.

To James (and I realize a long time has passed and he condemned the author as “not a credible source…” and he won’t (or as James wrote “wont” continue reading this site).

The house we found and bought (no thanks to our real estate agent) is my fourth (and still final) house. Our last agent was thoughtless and sent us on one too many goose chases. She was knew and catered mainly to a very specific clientele. She was a marketing agent before this job.

You can’t find credibility in this website because if enough people read it and believed it, you’d be out of a job. Of course it makes you mad (I realize, of course, I may be typing to myself). We’re not a stupid crowd out here and know the 6% doesn’t all go to the agents. But, if the business wasn’t kind enough to you, especially during this recession, you would not still be in business (and perhaps you’re not).

I believe I’m in the throes of selling my last house ON MY OWN. I had one too many arguments with real estate agents. If you know the market, you can do without one. I know how to market and stage well enough. So long live this blog. I’m tired of slimy agents. I know they’re not all bad, that would be stupid or ignorant to say. But after over 30 years of buying my first house, it’s just time to live without agents.

Deal g0ne bad.
We saw a *rural property * forsale, contacted our agent went and looked at the property. We met with the agents *mortgage broker* …in November, checked our credit, said I can work with this, I see no problem. We made a down payment on the property with an amendment* upon the sale of our house we will purchase the property*. Our house went up forsale in December, it was sold in Feb, we had an amendment * based on us getting a mortgage approval* the buyer asked that we remove it, the agent contacted the mortgage broker, who in turned said everything is ok. It was removed.
Closing date: March 30th. On March 21st, we were told by the mortgage broker, the deal is hard and my agent give it to someone else to take care of, also the bank is asking for an appraisal on the property.
Appraisal was done on March 30th, we now down to a private lender, the bank needs more time, both parties are requesting compansation. The property vulue is 440,000.00. Asking price for the property is 550,000.00.
The agent is now avoiding us, the lawyer who is a personal friend of his, is sending threatening emails, that we need to do the closing of our house, we were even advised by the lawyer, to give up our keys and not vocate the property until our deal for the other house is closed. We are still in house.

A house recently came on the market for one price. After 3 days and countless requests to show the house, and two valid offers, the listing agent raised the price $50K. Is the legal?

DS: In response to your question…
“A house recently came on the market for one price. After 3 days and countless requests to show the house, and two valid offers, the listing agent raised the price $50K. Is the legal?”

As long as the Seller is on board with it, then it is perfectly legal. In my opinion, the Realtor did what was right. If the house sells near the increased price, the Seller will be ecstatic!

Peace.

Wow, I must say that was aimed at raking every Realtor over the coals as if they are all one and the same like some kind of a brood of blood sucking vampires.

I’m a firm believer that each is entitled to their opinion in our society. I will say also that not every Realtor it that of what you are portraying. Personally I have gone on listing appointments to meet clients that wanted to sell their home due to financial stress and after a two or three hour conversation and a few phone calls, they were able to meet with lenders that got them back on track and kept them in their home where they wanted to be. I’ve actually done this on four occassions.

Not every Realtor is motivated by money. Some actually come from contribution and genuinely want to help their clients achieve their goals. Getting paid is merely a product of that. Kind of like a sports athlete making ridiculous amounts of money to do what they love. The average Realtor in Canada makes about $40K / year so that’s obviously not the case here.

If you or anyone else who reads this believe’s that Realtors don’t earn their income, then I would encourage you to take the courses, spend all the upfront time and money required to get your license. Then jump into the pond head first and see how long it takes you to catch a fish. Especially when you’re new, nobody knows you and you have zero credentials from experience. Not to mention blogs like this that really help to get the wind into our sails (pardon the pun).

There’s an interesting artice out there (you’ll have to look it up) about the big chief of For Sale By Owner in the States who couldn’t sell his own home and eventually had to hire a Realtor who got it done quickly for him.

I was just going to say that ‘everyone is a critic’ but I know that’s not the case.

Peace.

How I wish I had read this before selling my former house.

We got screwed big time.

Our agents seemed to take great delight in keeping us as much in the dark as possible, and moving our house as quickly as possible. They knew the speech about looking out for our interests as much as possible, by heart. Unfortunately their sincerity was obviously lacking. Now our lives are currently in complete shambles and we came out of the deal a great deal poorer because of it.

I’m new to the game but, I have to say that I know that I am an honest person, Usually it’s me that is getting screwed over. I just had my first listing and we (the seller and I) came to the conclusion that we would take the house off the market and rent it instead. This ended up being me and another friend of mine. Not only am I going to take great care of her house, I also happen to be handy and are going to fix some thing here. I have helped clean the yard up and even done painting to this place before she put it on the market because she had no money to hire anyone. There are good and bad people in any profession. You need to go with your instincs just as you do with anything else in life.

This article is worthless. It might be interesting if it were dated but I have a hard time believing it was written in the last 5 years. There is no way someone would give this kind of advice in the market we have been through. I have repeatedly watched as uninformed sellers who think their home is special have chased a down market always staying 10-15% above market. I have watched as they have lost as much as $150,000, sometimes more. I have watched as this painful scenario has played out consecutively for them for 2-3 years. Then they blame it on the market. The reality is if your home is not priced at or below market, buyers are not interested. They have way too many choices. And if as this article states you feel the buyer should be scared about losing a deal over $2000 you are clueless. I am sure there are always a few scoundrals out there but I have worked in real estate for 20 years and I can say that the majority of the agents I work with, 90% are honest and good at what they do. It is not all about them. If it is they have no long term relationships and that is what builds a business with a strong and honorable reputation. So be smart. Don’t listen to lousy agents and don’t listen to lousy wannabe journalists who don’t know what they are talking about.

It’s not clear when this article was written, but it does appear to have kicked up a storm. I think a large part of being an informed adult is understanding the various principal-agent relationships that exist within the modern economy. It’s not just real estate agents who are supposed to work on your behalf but may act out of self interest (doctor, lawyer, dentist, financial advisor, auto mechanic, home repair, etc….).

It’s useful to know what the agent’s economic interest is, and what they would be expected to say if they were taking care of themselves, and not you. In an efficient market, agents will be able to communicate their honesty, and untrustworthy ones will not be hired. This is not the case in the real world, there is always a degree of ambiguity.

I would hope that almost everyone knows that Realtors profit off of volume (and sale speed) more than maximizing their client’s economic situation, especially if the client leaves the transaction happy, not knowing what their opportunity cost was. It’s the result from basic economic incentives, it’s the famous empirical result published in Freakonomics, and it should be the basis for skepticism that Realtors must overcome in order to earn your business.

I was feeling frustrated with my agent tonight and googled this article. It pretty much sums up what I’ve been feeling. I’ve had a great relationship with this agent for about 5 years. She sold my last house in a great market and I was happy with her services. I’ve sent her numerous clients. However, I was quite insulted when I recieved an offer of $30K less than asking (asking price is significantly lower than what I paid for it, but I do understand the market) and my realtor refers to it as a “GREAT OFFER!!!!!!!!!!”. Even the sellers agent said she advised her client on a more aggressive entry offer and was scared that it may be insulting. (Note to realtors reading this, don’t send your client the email chain if you want to negotiate against your client.) The house has only been on the market for 2 weeks, tons of activity so I know I’m in a decent price point.

I am currently having huge problems with my realtor. First of all we are moving out of “lost in time” America. The realtor, we just found out, does not list on MLS, anywhere. He says because our town is so small and there are only 3 realtors, so they all pretty much have each others backs. Let’s just forget about the rest of the world then shall we?!

We have a beautiful old farmhouse that is 100 + years and looks like a Thomas Kincaid picture. The only thing is that it has 2 bedrooms and 1 bath, although the house has 1600 + roomy square feet. So we decided to add a 3rd bedroom to raise the value. The realtor with his cronie appraiser (the only one in town) said that it would increase interest in the house, but not the value. Funny thing is they told us at the beginning that it was valued so low because it only had 2 bedrooms!

So, we go ahead and list it for 79,500. Immediatly we get an offer, at 72,500. We wondered why someone would come in so low and found out that they were told we were selling it for 75,000. Which by the way was what the realtor said it was worth and that we should counter for 75,000. We ignored him.

Then we looked at the web site and guess what. It was listed for 75,000!!!! He said he saw the mistake a few days before and was going to get it fixed, it has now been 6 days and still no change.

To top everything off this interesting thing happened yesterday. I am getting out of the shower and my 9 year old son comes in and says some people just walked in the door and he doesn’t know who they are. I told him to tell them to wait outside and I would be out in a moment. It was another realtor that was told by my realtor that I was out of town and that they should just go on in! To top off that embarrassment I had to correct them on the price!! They thought it was $75k. and up to that point the couple was very interested and excited about the house. I haven’t heard back from them.

What can I do? Can I get out of my contract?

Today is 9/12/12. Last night I accepted an offer on the place I have for sale. I bought it 5 years ago at $255K. The final offer last night was $215K. I big loss. This will leave me so cash strapped that I will not be able to afford any more money repairs on the house. Inspections are still pending.

My agent told me to put in new carpet, paint (not bad walls to start with) a new front door and have the house staged – this cost me well over $8K. She initially listed it at $239,900 and told me this is what the comps showed. After 5 weeks I finally got a set of comps out of her.

I worked my butt off to get this place in showroom condition. I am also a single mom and work full time. I am Mrs. Clean and Perfect personality type.

I have already purchased another home and am ready to move.

Last night I was talking to another agent. They told me that my area is equalizing and it won’t long be a buyers market.

I can easily afford both homes. I can rent out the one I just got the offer on. Demand for rentals is very high in my area. The house I just got a contract on to sell is very nice and in very good condition. It has many upgrades that I paid for over the years and came with a brand new, professional kitchen in 2007 when I bought it.

I could have easily afforded to make payments on both houses, absorb the increase in homeowners insurance on the empty place, and let my principle fall on the house I am selling. It is a 10 yr conventional loan and the principle is dropping like a rock.

I told my listing agent all this. She wanted to sell the house anyway – to her advantage and not mine.

I have known this agent for five years also and always had a good relationship with her. I also referred sellers to her in the past. No more. I will not deal with her again.

Beppy, get a new realtor. And read your contract carefully – does it say it will be listed on the MLS? Is the price clearly on the contract? If there are things in the contract that aren’t happening, he could be in breach and you may have a way out. I’d recommend you speak to a lawyer. This infuriates me – I’m a realtor and people like this give those of us who actually try to do right by our clients a bad name. I must say, there are more of the good kind than the kind this author is talking about.

I’m a realtor, and I have to say, I don’t trust many of them either. It’s really, really sad, although I don’t believe most agents say those things above, I wholly agree with some.
Re: Commission. Price isn’t a big deal to us, but getting your home sold is, and the higher the better. We thrive on referrals, so the better you do, the better chance we have of getting a referral. I actually ask about your savings, etc, so I know that you’ll be OK after closing costs. But, it’s our job to SHOW you facts & figures. Same goes with buyers. Ask for figures up front & you won’t be put in a position to believe everything your agent says, like Mike apparently did. Now you know, Mike.

“Don’t counter offer too high or the buyer might walk”
This sounds, well, stupid. It’s not our job to tell you what to do, it’s our job to give you the options you have, and what could happen with each, and you decide. It’s your sale.

“Your first offer is often the best offer” – – No agent would say this. Often, the first couple of offers are low ball offers.

“Dual-agency means there is no conflict of interest even though I represent both parties” – – I don’t trust dual agents either. there’s no way you can represent both parties fully. How do you save one side money, while trying to get the most money for the other? Unless you’re constantly have 3-way conversations, it’s a huge conflict of interest.

“Are you willing to lose this deal for $2,000?” – – There are more graceful ways of approaching this, like, “Three things can happen, they can counter back, they can walk, or they can agree.” It’s up to YOU to make that decision, it’s your sale.
“Are you willing to lose this deal for $12 a month?” – – Again, very stupid, I think you made this up, or researched agents, and still got the worst one possible, or you didn’t research agents at all maybe?

To whom it may regard, I am a Realtor and in my profession, I rarely find professionals that consider their commission before the financial well being of their clients. It’s unfortunate that you should be so ill informed about our motivation. All to often we run across buyers and sellings who are willing to compromise our commission while we work endless hours for their benefit. I am disappointed in your representation of our profession.

This article is aimed at ALL Realtors/Agents with ZERO respect for the ones who are, like myself, very hard-working, ethical, honest, compassionate, and just plain good people. This rather told me a lot about the ignorance, spitefulness and just out-right lies that this writer is feeding people! As someone else pointed out, this could be true for some doctors, lawyers, financial advisers.. and the list goes on. Just because this writer of this thing perhaps had a bad experience with a realtor, does not mean we are all bad people. What a shame! As a realtor, I am here to tell you ALL that thank god, most of us are good agents who are looking out for our clients’ best interest first! I know I am! To ALL, just know that there are great people/agents out there and there are also bad people with ill intentions like in ALL other professions.

I have had dealings with four realtors in my lifetime. Each one of them were deceitful and misled me. Anyone reading this, do your homework. Your realtor’s goal is to get a commission. Don’t think for one second the realtor is looking out for your best interests.

Hey, I feel the same, I have been using the same agent for years, as my family also did, referred her many times, to start out with, she stated 90% she would sell my home so the commission would be 2.5%, then we had a full offer , cash deal, off course fell threw, the next day a realtor wanted to buy, came and looked, wanted to come back following day, stayed an hour, he knew we had a clean inspection already, then it was war, they where against me, my realator did not have my back, I stayed firm, but can’t tell you the stress, to topit all off, with listed, took her a week to get it on MLS, 2 weeks to get a sign for my community( she knew ahead I was listing) listed me to be contact on MLS to set up apps so I didn’t mind, I confronted her early on, how can you sell it if you have no sign up, no advers with your name, many realtors where showing I tod her I could not pay to commissions , she stated if you don’t want to pay me anything you don’t have to, and we will talk about it after we get a contract, she hadno intentions on giving in on the commission !
I tell you it’s a ickening thing, I had put 30,000 in my home updating it, she wanted to lst it lower than we did, then she said, we need to relist it at a higher price after this, I stuck to my guns and much surprise at her actions, with the buyer being a realator, he wanted to bid me low, and get his commission , neither one did a damn thing, it was only after I sent her a email that I wanted her to get the papers together that I wanted to cancel my listing with her, then I got a call they both would reduce their commission to get to my price( take home amount) we will see ? I go in to look at contract tomorrow, I will be looking very hard for number games, I hate feeling I can’t trust someone, I am too trusting, my advice, it’s your house be careful, no one is looking out for you when it coes to money but you, and yours, be careful! Definetly will not be using her to buy my ew hoe as we planned.
Disalusioned

Give me a break.

Anybody who is anybody knows that Open Houses are for the agents, not the seller. Homes are sold through Open Houses only 1-2% of the time. The fact that you suggest that an agent “has” to do more Open Houses to sell the home shows how little you know about the industry.

Homes sell because they are priced competitively (not low, not high), they are in good condition (don’t have to be perfect), and buyers are willing to pay their hard-earned money for it. The listing price is a suggested price. True market value is what someone is willing to pay for it.

Clients who are upset with their REALTOR are upset because of a conflict in expectations. The two parties didn’t effectively communicate what their expectations were and now somebody is mad.

Pay attention to what they say and whether or not what they said is reflected in the WRITTEN listing agreement (it is an agreement, not a contract). You can fire an agent at any time if they are not performing.

I love it when a client has a whole list of things that went wrong in their transaction from the get go, but at no time did they ever confront the agent for their poor performance, and they have a million excuses as to why they didn’t take them to task.

I work by referral. And dissatisfied clients don’t refer bad agents to their friends, family or co-workers…Satisfied clients on the other hand never write blogs about how great their agent was. It’s boring.

We are about to get rid of our 3rd realtor in 2 years. 2 different agencies. They all encouraged us to list low. The 2nd realtor gave us bogus comparables and was so sure she could push us to accept $15000 for our $40000 home based on the facts she gave my daughter, that our listing agreement was only for 3 months! Offered us verbal $15000 telling us that’s all we could get with 2 week close and no contingency to find a place to stay!

We are african-american women with disabilities not real estate agents but we are forced to research to figure all this out.

We complained to the broker who assigned us our current agent. Our contract ends in 4 weeks. New deal $22000 4 week close. No deal especially now that we know what our house is worth.

I think it’s criminal what realtors are allowed to get away with. No wonder there are so many laws to regulate them but if the are not enforced or loopholed…what is the point?

In a bad market I was told by a Top 1% agent I could expect $220,000 for my house. I sold it Privately for $270,000 plus $25,000 of interest on a $50,000 second mortgage! How did this work. I took back a second mortgage at 10% for five years. The buyer, a lawyer, got in for no money down. A little riskier deal but for $75,000!!! more, well worth it. Agents are massively overpaid house “flippers”. Five years later he paid off the second mortgage.

It’s nice to have this information (which I already figured all of this out myself years ago), but it doesn’t do you any good. You are at their mercy mostly because you can’t talk to the buyers or even the buyers agent yourself. My parents always said that real estate people are one step above car dealers and it’s a very small step.

Also, I don’t know how many times me and my girlfriend walked into an open house and the selling agent ‘working’ there asked if we had an agent and basically told us that they had other better houses available than the one they were showing. How disgusting is that? It’s disgraceful. A couple of times I questioned their ethics on this and they just talked in circles as they usually do. There really is no need for real estate agents in today’s world. Most people spend more than a half years salary just to sell their house. EG: a person that makes $50,000 a yr and lives in a $500,000 house will spend $30,000 just on the agents 6%.

I live in southern California, so that’s why I came up with the highly inflated number of ten times your yearly income. That’s basically what it is on my street and in my neighborhood. And that’s net income. After taxes.

You people have no clue about the amount of unpaid work an agent does for unrealistic clients who think their house is the most precious thing in the area. Who compare on their own, their tiny little apples to oranges and expect the same big bucks. No but we are the crooks. No amount of marketing and work an agent does will sell an overpriced home. We spend hours traveling and are independent contractors who have a code of ethics who invest hundreds of dollars of our own money getting our time wasted by clients every frickin day. We are worth every penny for the amount of work we have to do behind the scenes while also dealing with clients personal problems like we are counselors. Yeah, but it’s not in our best interests to sell your home for the best possible price. Get real! After time and expenses, we make peanuts.

My home is a total rennovation initially listed for 257,500K. I am now in my 3rd month and reduced the price to 249,900K to be in comp w/other similar homes that lowered their price. My first offer was a low-ball @227K and the buyer also wanted me to buy a home owners warranty and pay all of the title/transfer fees. My realtor wanted me to accept their offer and we got into a heated argument, esp when he started “crunching” the numbers and throwing insults to me when I told him he was wasting my time w/low-ball BS offers. I told him I was willing to pay half of title/transfer fees and a warranty if the buyer offered 250K. The buyer countered w/235K and my realtor did not inform me at all of a counter offer. This further infuriated me especially since I asked them to lower the price to 249,900K. I have the right to change my mind on counter-offers but was left in the dark. I would have countered w/245 or even 240K depending on the deal. I also have about 8K in conveyances (antiques) that go w/the house. I have asked this realtor 3 times to put fliers in my info box. I have seen people get out of the car to get fliers only to walk away empty handed. Now, my realtor has listed my neighbors house who came to my open house and just put their sign up in their yard and listed their house for 149K (a fixer upper). I feel like I am in a losing situation and that my realtor is lacking in their fiduciary duties. I wish now I had gone to “Mr. Lister”. My house is clean and immaculate for showing. Yet here I sit in the 3rd month. I guess I will have to ride out the other 3 months. I am not happy at all w/this realtor.

I signed papers with an agent last week – (Wednesday) she never even saw my place. We met at our neighbor’s..she said it would be 2.5 commission – she said she would work with me – didn’t have my glasses and she convientantly had her arm covering the part of what percentage would be – after a day or so I looked at it and found out I had signed at 5%. On Friday, she had finally put the house on MLS and had a sign in the front yard. Still had not seen the house or taken pics. To my surprise on the Monday she had been saying since 9 am she was on her way to take pics – she didn’t get there til 5pm to do this. She wasted and entire day getting there. A friend of ours came and advised me of the numbers game to which my agent had left out of any conversation and my friend took her to task and she kept saying I will work with her but by the end of the night and after issue with the commission percentage, listing without seeing the place, no pics, not reliable or punctual and what confused me more was her boyfriend was listed as the agent on MLS but I had signed with her and the front lawn sign had her name – several neighbor’s came to me asked me about name difference I had told the listing agent to put my sale on hold and let it fall off the market. I cant sign with a new agent right now which is fine – I think for some reason this agent thought I HAD to sell for financial reason. What she never knew what that I just WANTED to sell so I was in control and not her. She started crying at the door which I thought was unprofessional and kept thinking to myself ‘she must of been counting on this commission’ because she did let it out that the reason she couldn’t come on Saturday or Sunday was because she was the casino. She was a friend of my neighbor’s mother who was out of town when this all happened and when she came back and she said – I would have never referred you to her…

I have bought or sold about 20 homes, mostly through agents. Agents work for themselves, and you have to respect them for this. After all, if they come up short, you won’t be around to front them some cash.

Real estate is my single biggest investment. I know comp sales, commissions, days on the market, regional pricing trends before the agent steps inside. I have a pre-approved mortgage to help him/her do their job when I am buying. I am familiar with construction and don’t dick around with sellers over nickel and dime imperfections – it shows a lack of respect.
Speaking of which, I bring slippers when viewing.

My best agents understand that I do not care about how a potential buyer must get the down payment, or why they want me to pay for their new kitchen. I will go weeks at a time without hearing anything other than showings. All I want are offers. If they don’t confidence with the price we honestly and sincerely agreed to, I would delist it. This is a business first. With best practice players, they deliver – every time.

My least favorite agent showed my suite while I was showering. She also screamed at me when I turned down an offer (I do that a lot). She did’nt know I have PTSD.

My favorite two – Cory at Coldwell in Guelph, and Steve P at Metropolitan Urban in Toronto – are sincere, honest, kind, intelligent, and hardworking. They have commitments which I respect, and we work very well together.

I do not need an agent to sell my real estate,i have a good escrow company that handles everything.escrow companies handles everthing.agent only trow the listing in the MLS and pray for a buyer,i can do that also for 500 bucks.i got 3 sells going on right now without an agent.every day I have to fight off their solicitation….the most important thing is,,,,i don’t sign any of their stubid contracts witch trap you.if they should bring a buyer I like,i only will sign a commission agreement in escrow,after that they can go home,i do not need them any more,anothe thing ,,,,I do not allow them to tell ,me the selling prize of my home,,,,the comps are all on the web,if I should need them….
I cold the best agent in my area to give me a list prize,,,,it was 200k lower than I got,,,,and she was the selling agent,,,not listing agent,,,,with that person I would have lost 200k…..that opened my eyes.now I’m telling the husslers to get lost,,,i do my own

It’s funny that the people disagreeing with article are realtors. My house has been on the market for 5 weeks and I agree with the article 100%.

I came across this blog serendipitously. As a Realtor, I can definitely say this article may apply at a glance, however you owe it to yourselves to listen to the other side as well. If you interview Realtors AND ask for references to speak with other sellers, then you will make an informed decision when selecting who will help you sell your home. The right Realtor will care about the seller, will have strong morals, will have experience and knowledge of the market, the process, all the steps that are crucial not only up to entering into a contract, but actually from contract to settlement. I offer a seller seminar just to explain the process and ease concerns. I will give one example here as to why the article is not entirely accurate and them would be happy to answer any questions via e-mail.

The next step after entering into a ratified contract is for the buyer (unless it is a cash offer) to apply for a loan. In order for the lender to approve the loan, THE PROPERTY HAS TO APPRAISE. The bank will not approve a loan on a property priced above market. Unless the property is incredibly desirable (see a property that receives 20 offers the fist day it is on the market which happens occasionally in our area), buyers will not supply the difference out of pocket because it means they will be “under” the minute they take ownership. Pricing the property correctly is not for the purpose of the Realtor making a quick commission, but for selling at the best price. There are several reasons for this that can be found on my blog and can be discussed further.

I had a very interesting scam recently happen and I hope this serves as more good advice against unethical real estate agents for this site.
We were selling a rental property. The agent met our renters, signed THEM up and found them a home leaving us with less than 30 days to sell our home. No disclosure of their newly developed business relationship. Agent has not committed an illegal act, says she did not cause anyone harm. The tenants were not getting possession of their new home until after our lease with them expired. The agent gave us advice to allow the tenants to stay beyond their lease and lied and said if not they would become difficult and not allow agents into our home for showings. This info was given to us prior to finding out she was representing them. Now you must also know that she also tried to low ball the value and grew angry with us when we didn’t agree. The deal was terminated with the agent AND we kicked the renters out at the end of their contract with us. Snake agent. So my advice to people with rentals they are selling: fight back and ask the agent to sign a document/commissioned stating they are not allowed to build any type of relationship with your renters until after your home sells or it will be construed as a conflict of interest. I would also build in a clause that states: should the agent engage the tenant anyway, they must govern themselves against a law suit in case the market drops due to their sabotaging the time frame to sell the home. Hope this helps.

TOTALLY TRUE 2014! Any posts disagreeing were probably by Realtors trying to defend an outdated sales model. Why would I pay $35,000 to someone who puts in maybe 10 hours of work into selling my house? That assumes they take the photos, writes & posts the MLS listing, designs and prints fliers at their expense and sits in Open Houses for 2 hours at least twice. Assuming they share the commission they are making $1,750/hour! And they don’t even have to go to college to learn how to do the job. People hate lawyers who have 7 years of education and charge less per hour. This is an industry whose time has gone by. With access to multiple online listing services clients make their own decisions and are no longer subject to the whims of their Realtor. Instead of a commission they should be paid a reasonable fair market hourly rate based upon their education, skills and experience. $100/hour seems more than fair. And don’t trust any of them.

The name of my article is: “Why You Should Not Trust On-line Articles About Real Estate Agents.” There are good practitioners and bad practitioners in every field including doctors, lawyers and car mechanics to name a few. In any field, if you feel like the person you are talking to is acting more like a sales person, rather than an experienced professional, run the other way. This article does a great disservice to agents and home sellers alike by lumping all agents together as distrustful. The bottom line is that you should do your homework and find an agent that you trust. The livelihood of Real Estate Agents depends upon repeat business and referrals. That means that agents that “get it” are going to put their client’s best interest first! There are so many subjective things to consider in a Real Estate deal that blanket statements, such as what is in this article, do not apply to most. This is why you need the help of a professional. Believe me, we are better at our business than you are. I am a Realtor and I can tell you first hand that I always put my client’s best interest first, even if it’s to my own detriment. The undisclosed person who wrote this article obviously has no experience in the world of Real Estate.

You all sound ridiculous. I have one question for non realtors, do you work for nothing? When you go to work, do you want to get paid? Actually that’s two questions. I have been a realtor for 24 years and yes you will not please everybody. You have the ones that purchased in a high market, the ones who did a no income verification loan and couldn’t afford their homes to begin with you have the buyers who thought it was great while the market was great. Then when it all comes crashing down, it’s our fault. The market is the market, we can’t predict the market we do not have a crystal ball. Maybe, just maybe some of the blame should be on you. If you are trying to sell a home for $450,000 in a market where it is valued at $400,000 that is not the realtors fault. We bring you the facts, and you can either list or not. I will not take an overpriced listing as I am not interested in wasting your time my time or a potential buyers time. And yes when it comes to the offer, it’s your decision. I never make a decision for my sellers if they ask my opinion, I show them the comps for the prior 4 months. Everyone has bad e period cels with professionals but no everyone is the same as most of you have indicated.

I think this is a great article and I wish I had found it before I listed with an agent. It has been a very disappointing experience. I know not all realtors should be painted with the same brush and I’m sure there are some very good ones out there. I personally have not ever found one I would consider stellar, but I’m sure there are some who exist somewhere! Mine commanded a 6% commission but did an amount that might justify 1%. It seemed like we were off to a good start initially– very much the “buddies” stage the author describes. She said and did all the right things to get my listing and she was highly recommended to me by several connections I trust. We had three showings scheduled within the first two weeks and I had a good sense of confidence. Ugh. None of the “prospective buyers” were serious, qualified buyers. Just time wasters not sure if they were interested in buying a home at all! After those showings, nothing. Just tumbleweeds rolling by. She said she would do a broker’s open with free coffee and bagels for other agents but never did. (Frankly, I’m not sure that would have made any difference anyway.) Next came the obligatory pressure to slash and burn. Reduce the price dramatically and have a fire sale. When I would ask questions or check in for a status update, it would take a couple of days to hear even a one sentence response. Perhaps the people who referred her to me had great experiences but I did not. When I am ready to try again, I believe I will attempt for sale by owner. This experience left a sour taste in my mouth.

This article is totally true!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I recently sold a pristine property in a very desirable area in southern Indiana. The realtor was a con man from day one . After researching the events that transpired during the selling process, I learned that this realtor (who is now suspended, along with his wife) shopped for a buyer for our place. We had hired him as a “sellers agent only.” He did a “pocket listing” on the place then allowed it to be viewed online on MLS “after” he had a buyer in place (so he could get two commissions.). Part of our agreement was that he would attend EVERY showing because we ran a business inside the home and our valuables are everywhere. He did not attend 1 single showing. He rigged the Ekey box so that we would not get the email alerts letting us know there were showings . The first 48 hours there were people there, nonstop. He sent us a “low ball offer” with a phony buyers agent typed on the top of the doc. Then he wanted to send in someone to immediately get into our crawlspace to inspect “for the buyer,” his idea) The crawlspace inspector was actually his lackie who got a few bucks in kickbacks while the realtor charged several hundred. I said “NO way, nothing wrong with the house.” Then he wanted us to pump out the septic, just because it was a “nice thing to do.” Then he wanted all of our furniture and belongings OUT of the house, before we even had a firm commitment on the house. Then he wanted to have possession of the house the day of closing, but up to the day of closing, he wouldn’t confirm that the buyers were going to close. He had another realtor with his firm, put a mechanics lien on our house the week of closing for bogus lawncare. Then he called my attorney and told him that if I fired him, he would sue me for cancelling the sale. During the appraisal, he gave someone the key to our house. This man burst into our house at 8am, with my K-9 dog frothing at the mouth, holding him up against the kitchen door. I came out to see what was going on and this weirdo, said I wasn’t supposed to “be there.” I told him to “get out of my house.” Instead he stuttered and stammered and ran through my house with a laser light pretending to measure rooms. He was done in 45 seconds. I started to call police I was so horrified. The guy was about 6’5″ and was not wearing any kind of uniform and came in an unmarked car. (I was later charged $450 at closing for this fine appraisal). My realtor arranged the home inspection “for the buyer!” His inspector of course falsified and presented a laundry list of nonsense to the tune of $3500 in needless repairs. I balked so the realtor said “I need to send this estimate to the buyer.” I asked Why are you getting repair estimates for the buyer?!” I began to feel that a “straw buyer ” was being used and by looking at the estimate of closing costs, realized they were trying to get my place cheap, in order to flip it. (I later learned that this same realtor “inspected” a neighbors home and told them it was full of mold. His buddy, a house flipper, got the house for $100,000.00 under appraised value. While I was away from the house, I got an errant email alert from the Ekey box that someone was in my home. Since we were already working with an offer, I went home to see WHO was there. Someone had been in the crawlspace and in the rest of the house. There was a half smoked cigar butt in the driveway. When I got in the house, the K-9 had destroyed the trim around the window, trying to get to the intruder. He clearly had been under the house because she tore up the floor where she sleeps, while trying to get to him. I went into the garage and the furnace unit had been opened. There was also a big wad of moldy insulation laying in the laundry room by the floor vent. I called the broker to voice my concerns and she took over but for the most part threw me under the bus. At closing, the Broker handled the sale. I had until 5PM to remove a few more items from my home. I drove directly to the house after the closing and “the fired realtor” was there, in my house, stealing my personal items. He had them all loaded into a truck. I threatened to call police and he then put it all back in the house. The broker didn’t even give a shit but she did suspend him and his wife. The events listed above are just the tip of the ice berg. In the end, these con artists cost me $15,000.00 at closing for fraudulent fees, etc by threatening to sue me if I did not follow through on the sale. This was in addition to the commissions they got of $15,000.00 I later learned that this brokerage employs a convicted serial rapist after he had served 7 years of his sentence. I wish everyone could know what crooks realtors are. Each and every one of them ran a phony construction business, lawncare business, etc, on the side. That’s how they bilk buyers and sellers. DO NOT TRUST THEM, EVER ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE A LOT OF EQUITY IN YOUR HOME. THEY WANT A BIG CHUNK OF IT!!!!

As a Realtor®, I take pride in helping my clients get the most money they possibly can. It greatly bothers me by how negative some are towards my profession. Realtors® provide a service that helps take some of the stress of home buying and home selling off their clients plate. We help our clients get more money in their pockets than they might get by selling it alone; and we help them do it faster. Research the facts and you will find that statistically this is true time and time again on both fronts. Of course there are agents out there who have their own interest in mind before their clients, but the majority of them are honest, hard working and dependable. Like every profession there is good and bad. You cannot group everyone into one category and say they are all bad. That would be like saying ALL secretaries are bad, or ALL mechanics are bad, ALL lawyers are bad, ALL Doctors are bad, ALL teachers are bad, or how about ALL Service Professionals!…you get my point? Quite honestly, the behavior of downing every real estate agent as bad, just to push your own agenda, in my opinion, is BAD…

While I appreciate articles that warn people about whatever consumer service I don’t find this scare mongering terribly helpful. Frankly it’s offensive to a large group of people who work in real estate for a living, some do what they are supposed to do: act in their client’s best interest. Some do not.

I’ve had crappy car mechanics and those who go the extra step, I fired my lawyer a few years ago because I couldn’t tolerate his demeaning attitude (for his several hundred dollars per hour), I’ve had good doctors and not….that’s life. You can DIY most things now, I would still rather use a professional to draft my will, sell my house, fix my car.

By all means offer ‘what to look for, what not to do’ advice but the tone of this article paints all realtors as shysters. If that’s really been your experience maybe you need to sharpen your assessment skills before working with someone.

hi

i signed an offer to purchase and did alot of running around for this 1 property but now the seller decides to back out and says they dont want to sell . is this legal ?

Kim
I don’t know how old your detail is, but to my knowledge you can stop a listing agreement anytime without penalty. There is usually a clause that for
90 days after, anyone that came to your home that wants to still buy will earn a commission for the old agent. We had a 6 month listing, stopped at 5 months, lowered the price 10K which was her 3 pct, and re listed with a flat rate MLS listing. Now in the first month, one low offer. Open house today.
I have to pay 3pct to a buyers agent. Thats fine. That seems to be the most active one in this whole scenario.
12/7/14

I definitely agree with the sellers, who worked with unethical dishonest real estate agents. My real estate agent listed my unit with the incorrect assessment and parking costs and listed it as if it had an outdoor spot. I continually asked to see the listing, but he declined stating he had already sent it. ( I had to call the supervisor to actually get my OWN listing).He never attended a single showing, printed a flyer or postcard with information. Additionally, about 90 % of time he would not even answer the phone. Not sure what he did with his time, but entering information correctly into the MLS database was too much to ask. When I started requesting a flyer/postings, correct MLS information he forwarded me a e-mail (from his colleague) criticizing my home included with an offer 30K below list price. There was no option counter offer and he seemed to think that the nasty e-mail would result in a deal. Word to the wise, don’t sign a 6 month agreement! Start with a for sale by owner listing and obtain your own lawyer. It this doesn’t work, interview several agents for a 3 month contract. Make sure that you know the conditions to terminate the contract. The real estate agents can make all sorts of promises during the initial meeting, have tons of strong recommendations (he probably wrote most of them himself) , and still do sloppy work.

Our property is almost a full acre, a wooded private lot in the middle of town. We also upgraded our small wood deck to a 65′ long brick patio that has a built in stainless grill, sink, & stove. Awhile back I asked a neighborhood realtor to stop by to offer her opinion of the value of the home.
First let me say that when other people see the back yard for the first time they actually GASP, saying things like, “WOW, your view & privacy is AMAZING!!”. This realtor on the other hand waved her hand as if to dismiss it, saying “oh people care less about that!”. She was also quick to point out every flaw on the interior, which made me wonder if her motives were to keep the selling price low.

Can’t generalize! People know when they are being SOLD on something. Go with your gut feeling. Can’t win, if you price it right, get multiple offers, your realtor list it too low. If your realtors listens to you and price it high and no comes in, then its your realtors fault. Either-way you get a sale by positive attraction and the right attitude both client and realtor.

I own a house that is estimated value of 265,000. I built the house 10 years ago. It is a beautiful 3000 sq feet home. 3 bedroom 3 bath. My husband and I decided to sell because our children are grown and its just to big for us. We dont need this big of house. We hired a local realtor and it was a nightmare from the beginning. He had us price the house starting at 239,000. I hated the idea but he swore the house would sell faster and it the fare market value in the area. We had quite a few showings but no offers. Most people just wanted to look but could not afford that price. Every single day I got an email from him stating day 25, next day 26 , next day 27. on day 28 he sent me an email saying your house has been on the market with no offers and we need to drop the price by 10,000 to get people interested. We argued and it really didnt make sense, we lowered the price again as we bit our tongue got mad. etc. Just hated the idea. so at 229,000. we had a few more showing but the realtor came back that people that viewed it had questions , They thought our house had a mold problem because they had heard a house in the subdivision or in the area was rumored to have mold. I said I swear we have never ever had mold, So I agreed to pay 350.00 to have the house inspected. The inspection found no mold. of course a few things need changed like siding that was lifted and rain or insects might get in there. and caulking around a garage window was cracked but nothing out of the norm of normal wear. OK we got that out of the way but of course the person who brought up the mold was not interested anyway.
A few days later the emails start day 45 , day 46 day 47 and ta da… It has been 48 days and we really need to reduce the house again. lets take it down to 209,000. I of course had to hold myself back.and refused. the realtor got so mad he went to my bank and demanded to know what we owe on the house and of course the bank refused to give him information.The bank called and asked why we are selling and I told them and they said something is wrong with the way he is handling this. Its our house and we sell it for what we want.
At this point I started to get very suspicious. I left it on the market with this realtor but didnt lower the price any more. A few days went by and we had another showing. The realtor was sure we was going to get an offer. blah blah blah. I got an email 2 days later and it had a review from the buyer and they had a few questions. and again the mold question was brought up because it was brought up by my own realtor to the people that just came for the viewing. I got furious. He made me buy the inspection, it was unfounded and He WHO AM I TO ARGUE WITH THE BUYER>. In the same conversation he said we should Lower the house to 185,00. I said no way. I owe the bank that much. I am not giving my house away. NEVER. He said the house has a few issues, like caulking and little wear in carpet, and and and. He could not come up with anything else. He said very rude. Ohhhh thats what you owe the bank. Well you never expected to walk away with any money from the sale did you? WTF. I told him to get his sign out of my yard TODAY.

Later that day I got another call from the bank that he again was at the bank wanting my loan information because he couldnt believe that I got so mad with lowering the price to 185,000 because it was on market for 42 days. I could not believe how rude and pushy he became. I still wonder to this day if he wanted me to keep lowering the price so fast for a sale to a friend or family member of his.

What ever happened to We are the owners, Its our home and yes it needs to be in the fare market value but we decide on selling price. .

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