Does A Seller Get Direction From The Listing Agent or Buyer's Agent??

Managing Real Estate Broker with RE/MAX Executive Realty 104763

I just read a well written post titled “Feedback? I'll Give You Your Feedback!” and written by Chrissi Chapman Topoleski.  I thought I’d share my thoughts on this topic. When I was active in real estate, I was always a listing agent, and my thoughts on “feedback” are the same now as they were 38 years ago.

Feedback is an exercise that listing agents will implement to pacify the homeowner.  Feedback from a buyer’s agent to a listing agent can never be taken seriously.  Do you honestly think a well-versed buyer’s agents will compromise the position of their clients to satisfy the listing agent’s desire to satisfy his/her seller client? 

Is it reasonable for a seller and/or his/her listing agent to take direction from a buyer’s agent?  If a buyer had some interest in a home, is it reasonable to think that the buyer’s agent would share that information? 

If I were a buyer’s agent, I would ignore the phone calls from listing agents asking for feedback.  Any direction or advice that a homeowner should receive should come from their listing agent.  Homeowners who have confidence in their listing agent will follow the guidance provided by the agent who represents them not the agent representing the buyer. Feedback is not necessary unless the homeowner does not have full confidence in their listing agent.

Just my thoughts on this topic…..

Posted by


Barbara Todaro, sales manager of RE/MAX Executive Realty 

Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

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Franklin, MA 02038


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Sally K. & David L. Hanson
Keller Williams 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce - Short Sale

I respectfully disagree Barbara Todaro ...because in our market, if you do a listing feedback...Sellers who are accustomed to receiving it believe you are lazy. The feedback is thru our 3rd party appointment/showing company.  We have also learned things like.....the showing agent smelled gas....water here or there that we were not aware of...different strokes for different folks.   

Jan 18, 2016 02:28 AM #41
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Barbara Todaro  I work as both a buyer's agent and a listing agent. So I have a good understanding of what buyers want in our area. There are some sellers who think their house is worth more than the comps show. For example, I recently had a listing that was on a busy road. The sellers had lived in the house for 28 years. The busy road wasn't busy when they bought there. Their kids were long gone but the house was sized for a family with children. We knew buyers with children would be concerned. We knew the house wasn't going to sell unless it was priced UNDER market value. The sellers weren't having any of that. We were able to get them down some on their price but they wanted to see what feedback came in. We had feedback from agents that said, "Sorry, I can't give feedback. The buyers wouldn't even go into the house because of the busy road." We didn't get that from just one agent. We got that from seven different agents. After the first three, the sellers finally dropped the price. As we continued to get this same feedback, we kept dropping the price. We finally got to a price where it sold. My point--some sellers don't heed our advice. That's when feedback can be crucial to REINFORCE our recommendations. By the way, the buyer who bought the house was NOT one of the agents who had given us that feedback.

Jan 18, 2016 02:37 AM #42
Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

I love our showingtime software in the MLS which emails every buyer agent that showed your property and asks them for feedback.  About half the time you get a response from them.  It definitely helps with pricing and condition issues and can often convince sellers to correct something that they thought was no big deal.  

Jan 18, 2016 03:50 AM #43
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Barbara, you can predict that a buyers' agent will say the price is too high, at least if her buyers have any interest in the property.  Still, I do ask for feedback. I remember once an listing agent phoned to get mine, and during the call she shared information that resulted in my buyers deciding to make an offer. When I get feedback calls, I tend to ask more questions than I answer.

Jan 18, 2016 04:45 AM #44
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
PK Real Estate Utah South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

You make some very valid points here Barbara Todaro! If a Listing Agent asks for feedback when I show a home, I give it unless my clients are going to pursue an offer. As a Listing Agent, if my client requests feedback I will ask Buyer Agents but I do not give them a play-by-play accounting of all who walk through the door, it isn't necessary.

Jan 18, 2016 05:20 AM #45
Carla Muss-Jacobs, Principal Broker (503) 810-7192 | Portland Metro Exclusive Buyers Agent | 100% Buyer Representation ~ 100% of the Time - Portland, OR
Buyer Focused ~ Buyer Results

Thank you!  Now I don't have to write the counter-point.

My answer to a listing agent wanting feedback is:  hold a microphone up to a speaker . . . there's your feedback!

Agents should understand their fiduciary duty.

As a listing agent, they . . . and ALL agents in their brokerage . . . are agents of the seller.  The listing is the listing of the BROKERAGE (not the individual agent.)  When an "agent" of that brokerage calls me for my buyer feedback, they are asking me to breach my fiduciary duties to my client:  the buyer.

As real estate agents we have the duty -- DUTY -- of confidentiality.  And that includes "What does your client think of the property?" . . . It's confidential.

If the listing brokerage wants feedback . . . ask other agents in that brokerage.  Do not ask BUYERS AGENTS!  It's not our job to tell your client what they need to do in order to SELL THE PROPERTY!  That is another breach of fiduciary duty -- LOYALTY!

I have the fiduciary duty to my client of loyalty.

I do not have the fiduciary duty to YOUR client of loyalty.  Calling me to ask me what I thought, or what my buyers thoughts . . . how is that loyal? 

What if my clients want to put in an offer two weeks AFTER I gave the "feedback" and my clients -- the buyers -- got screwed??

Who was I LOYAL to in that situation of providing "feedback"?  Did I mention something that my buyer client had told me in confidentiality?!?

I don't practice with any conflicts of interest.  And I can't tell you how many times listing agents did not get it.  But, that's not my problem.  We are all "not in it together" working in the best interests of the seller to get their home sold.  

I have my client to represent with LOYALTY and CONFIDENTIALTY on matters we discuss.

I have no duty to the listing brokerage.  And what my professional opinion is of their listing is not fair to even ask me about either.  Since I toured the property, i.e., the listing, while representing buyers what I thought about regarding condition and price is also not something I am obligated to discuss with the listing agent.    

I am not touring a property to inspect, appraise, document condition, give a verbal account of how the home shows in the market compared to others (I am NOT giving a "verbal comp") or provide any information to the sellers to get their home sold.  

Jan 18, 2016 05:33 AM #46
S. Leanne Paynter ☼ Broward County, FL
United Realty Group, Inc. - Davie, FL
Davie, Plantation, Cooper City & Weston Specialist

Barbara, I completely agree with your thoughts on this topic.  I only provide feedback if I find a key missing, someone is already looking at the property but with no agent in sight, or there seems to be a security or safety issue the homeseller is likely not aware of.  Time is money and we don't get paid to provide feedback.

Jan 18, 2016 06:12 AM #47
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Feedback is the lack of offer or lack of traffic.  Any listing agent worth a hill of beans (oh no, I am sounding exactly like my mother) would be able to tell the seller why there is no offer or why there is no traffic.

Jan 18, 2016 06:21 AM #48
Jim West
Keller Williams Capital Partners - Marysville, OH
Our Passion Is Helping 1st Time Home Sellers

Barbara, I am also the listing agent on my team and will show homes on occasion when the buyer's agent isn't available on a "Hot" property. I never pursue any buyers agents on my listings for feedback because in my opinion, if they do not write an offer, guess what? They didn't like the house. I  find it so amusing when other agents will continue to call me looking for feedback on that one listing they were able to secure. If I were them, I would spend more time trying to find a buyer for the home themselves.  

Jan 18, 2016 06:28 AM #49
Jenna Dixon
DRA Homes | Cobb County Real Estate - Marietta, GA
Empowers You With a Better Real Estate Experience

Sellers here have been "trained" to expect feedback.  I burst that bubble from the start by letting them know, one, they are not likely to get comments from buyer's agents and two, I've already given them all the feedback that they're ever going to need.  It goes along with my philosophy on my business, you don't respect my professional opinions, go find someone else to NOT work with.

Jan 18, 2016 07:38 AM #50
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

I'm not giving it, either we are liked it and will write an offer, or we didn't like it and you, the listing agent and home owner, already know what the issues are.

Jan 18, 2016 09:43 AM #51
Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
AZuRE Team - Realty ONE Group - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

Right. Feedback (requested) is a disguised approach to find out if the buyer is interested in the house in advance that would result in a sale. The listing agent can always go fishing for it under the pretense of "feedback".

Any listing agent requesting feedback for the purposes of finding out what's wrong with the house or if the listing price is correct should quit the listing immediately and let another professional agent handle the sale. If you are a listing agent, you should have done your homework when taking the listing, know the condition of the house, the probable issues, the upcoming objections that you have to think about and how to handle, and the property market value and where the price should land at contract price.


Jan 18, 2016 11:32 AM #52
Claude Labbe
Real Living | At Home - Washington, DC
Realty for Your Busy Life

I responded to her post; essentially, I'm the silent type with feedback usually.

One point I didn't make was that if I didn't giv feedback to the 1st automated request, do you really think you'll get it if you send me the request another 3 times? Nope.

There is a way to get feedback as a listing agent. No showings, no offers is one form.  Another is your realtor buddies at the office.

But asking the hapless buyer agent who schlepped their people through 7 homes this weekend and have written 4 offers in the past few weeks isn't really the resource I want to depend on for working with my seller.

Jan 18, 2016 11:41 AM #53
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Barbara Todaro I always tell sellers - please do not interpret the feedback and do not take it on face value.

What if they want you to reduce the price hence this feedback?

Jan 18, 2016 02:06 PM #54
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

"Feedback from a buyer’s agent to a listing agent can never be taken seriously." That's likely one of the most accurate statements about feedback there is!

Jan 18, 2016 05:21 PM #55
Nancy Robinson Ranked #111 by Real Trends/Wall Street Journal
Century 21 Town and Country - Royal Oak, MI
#10 Century21 Realtor in the US, #16 in the World

Feedback supplies an opportunity for the showing agent to briefly let the listing agent know if  there is an impediment to writing an offer, or if  they have an interested buyer.   

On Showing Time you can gear your questions to the feedback you are looking for.  Overall its a good tool.  I have written my questions to ask  1. Are we getting an offer and  2.  If  not,  is there any thing we can do to get an offer?  3. Was this a good fit for your client at any price?




Jan 19, 2016 06:47 PM #56
Michael Jacobs
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393

Hi Barbara -- there are some post topics that are practically guarantted to receive a lot of comments --- I admit I didn't read all of them but here are my thoughts:

During the listing presentation, I discuss the concept of feedback in pretty simple terms ---- the feedback we want is an offer -- I know the downsides of a property and I share them with the seller when we discuss the listing price.   When a property is listed -- three things can happen ---

the property is shown and receives an offer that can be accepted.  Yeah.

the property is shown and no offers acceptable to the seller are presented while competing homes are selling.   We are likely priced incorrectly or the house is being "used" in order to sell another.

the property is not shown and there are no offers.  Not good.

Now, feedback when I represent a buyer:

I am amazed at what I hear from some listing agents simply by listening and asking questions --- I have heard the sellers' bottom line price(yeah, really) as well as other issues that shouldn't be discussed.    

My favorite feedback requests occur when I'm either in the house with my buyer clients or as we are driving to the next appointment.   You think that's a little desperate?  I do.  


Jan 20, 2016 02:57 AM #57
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
your real estate writer

In a perfect world, every seller would have complete confidence in his or her agent. However, some of them have been "stung" in the past - or have families who have conditioned them not to trust. And, some people are just not of a trusting nature. In those cases the agents do need some "backup" or reinforcement from other agents in order to convince the sellers to listen. 

Meanwhile... the graphic at the top of my message took me in a different direction. It made me think of my son, who tends to rant and rave about people not doing their jobs. 

Jan 21, 2016 05:23 AM #58
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

I totally agree with you, Barbara. This whole idea of "feedback" seems to have snowballed in recent years. I can see where sellers would like to know if there is an interest on the part of the potential buyer. Other than that, yes, it just helps the listing agent to show the seller they are doing their job. As a courtesy, I tend to get back to listing agents just to tell them that the house was not for my buyers, especially if my buyers had shown an interest in it initially. But I normally don't do that until my buyers have already found another house and are under contract. It keeps a good relationship going with that listing agent.

Jan 22, 2016 01:06 PM #59
Melissa Jackson
Riverside Homebuilders - Sales Consultant - Springtown, TX
Your New Home Sales Consultant in Parker County

 I also take time to give feedback when showing property.  I'm not asking the other agent to tell me it's priced too high or they didn't like some little something. Usually it's simple and the sellers receive this feedback also.  I don't use the feedback to run my business I do appreciate feedback, good or negative.

Jan 24, 2016 12:13 PM #60
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