An Agent Told Us She Had a Buyer So We Listed Our Home With her ... We've Never Seen The Buyer!
We recently received a call from a property owner in our community who had an unpleasant situation occur with another local agent. The agent told the property owners that she had a buyer for their property but needed to have a listing to protect herself before she actually showed the home to the potential purchaser.
Our response ... You are likely the victim of one of real estate's oldest and cheapest tricks. An unscrupulous agent will use this ploy to get you to list your property. An agent with a serious Buyer that has an interest in your home will either have a Buyer's Broker Agreement with the Buyer, or will ask you for a One Party Listing for protection, but an extended Exclusive Right to Sell Listing need not, and should not, be a condition precedent for such a showing.
Understand, too, that such a showing does not mean you must list with that agent. You should evaluate your listing agent in the conventional manner - considering their production, the type of property you have and the type of property the agents sell, the agents' willingness to provide customer references from recent transactions, how you generally feel about the agents and their business morals, values and practices, and these days ... are they full time agents?
Another old trick is to list at a high price, higher than all the other agents said they could get you, and then beat you up week after week for a price reduction. Between their incessant pressure, the lapse of time from the listing date with no offers, and your increasing frustration and motivation to sell, you will begrudgingly accede to the reality of the market value of your home and reduce your price by either a listing price reduction or accepting a lower offer. In the interim you lose time and experience unnecessary frustration. You are truly a victim in this situation and you'll never know it.
Our Advice: This is a challenging market that needs competent professional services from professional real estate agents, not cheap trickery. With many Sellers under pressure to sell, these unbelievable gutter tricks have resurfaced lately.
One agent recently called the Sellers of a property that we have listed ... properly listed with a sign, with brochures, in MLS, in our ad, and has been on the MLS tour! ... and told them she had a Buyer for their home but needed a listing. She was actually so bold as to leave a message on the Seller's work phone at his office. The seller called her back, reminded her it was listed, and even offered to pay her a bonus to bring her "Buyer" to boot! He asked her to call us and arrange a showing ... we are still (two weeks later) waiting for the call.
If its time for you to sell be sure you work with one of the many great professional agents in the area, not one using old "tricks". If they trick you now to get your listing for their benefit ... what do you think they'll do when it comes time to sign a sales agreement ... when it's your money on the line?! We believe they'll "trick" you then too, not always considering your interest in the consequences of your selling decisions, rather only thinking of their gain in the situation. Most agents will treat you courteously and professionally, but it is important to be aware of the predators and their ploys - "forewarned is forearmed".
An agent approaching you with a Buyer - whether you are a FSBO, or it is unsolicited - can be a good thing. Pay attention to their approach and the representation of the parties. Are you being properly represented? It can and should be just fine - just be aware. When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs ... Experience is Priceless! Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781- 5472. firstname.lastname@example.org, www.carsonvalleyland.com