Is Your House For Sale Or Not? - Seller, Are You Being Represented By a 'Secret Agent'?

By
Real Estate Agent with Village Real Estate Services, Inc.

In working with a nice couple we came across a home that was listed in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) in Orange County, California. 

Here are a few highlights that were included in the listing:

  • One picture of the front of the house
  • Good price for the current market and size of the property
  • Listing Agent's telephone number that when called had an outgoing message that said, "the subscriber is not taking calls at this time".
  • Listing Broker's telephone number - "The number you have reached is not in service at this time."
  • Lockbox location - "see agent remarks"
  • Agent Remarks - blank
  • Currently listed for sale for 1 1/2 years

My clients have been looking at this house off and on for a period of a couple of years.  They first saw it when it was offered for sale by the builder at a much higher price.  When they saw it on MLS they asked me to check on it for them.  I was intrigued, so I drove by to take a look thinking maybe I could find a lockbox somewhere at this vacant property.  

Here's what I found when I got to the property:

  • No sign on the property (that's what it said in MLS, but I didn't really believe it-why would you not want to let people driving by know the house is for sale?)
  • Lawn and shrubs dying for lack of water 
  • Checked every door, hose bib, gas meter, everywhere I could think of...no lockbox

This is an absolutely lovely property that is scheduled for foreclosure in about 2 weeks.  I've emailed the listing agent to see how I can get inside the home to assess the condition before we make an offer...no reply. 

So, how does one make an offer on a property like this?  I wrote another post about this particular listing that will tell you how we are going to be handling making an offer.  Read it here. 

In this interesting market, Realtors® are having to do far more legwork than ever before.  Many homes have multiple offers, many buyers are having to make numerous offers before they actually get to buy a home.  If you or someone you know needs help navigating their way to buy or sell a home, I'm here to help.

Marlene Bridges, REALTOR®

800 777-1775 - Toll Free  ~ or ~  Text Me 714 745-2592

Orange County Real Estate Website

Orange County Seniors Lifestyles Blog

 SRES - Seniors Real Estate Specialist®

CRS-Certified Residential Specialist®

President - Laguna Hills/Laguna Woods Chamber of Commerce 2007-2009

President Elect - Southern California Chapter Certified Residential Specialists® 2008 - 2009

Marlene is a highly experienced and respected South Orange County CA REALTOR® specializing in residential Real Estate and the sale of Homes and Condos in South Orange County, California and Saddleback Valley cities of: Laguna Woods, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Beach, Rancho Santa Margarita, Lake Forest, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo.

  

 

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Topic:
Home Selling
Location:
California Orange County
Groups:
Southern California Real Estate Forum
California Short Sales, REO's, and Foreclosures
Orange County Real Estate
Adventures in Real Estate
Tags:
house for sale
foreclosures
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california short sales
short sales orange county california

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Rainmaker
1,940,274
Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459
Coldwell Banker - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD!

Marlene

It is Brokers like you that are always going that extra mile that make Sellers very happy. I have been trying to figure out why agents drop the ball in service, and become that secret agent. The no reply thing has me absolutely baffled.

All my best

Tom

Apr 14, 2009 03:53 AM #1
Rainmaker
238,029
Marlene Bridges
Village Real Estate Services, Inc. - Laguna Hills, CA
Laguna Homes|Laguna Condos|Laguna Real Estate

Hi Tom - The clients I'm working with are wonderful people.  The current market does require more effort on our part as Realtor®, but this situation sure has more layers to cut through than most.  Thanks for commenting, Tom.  And, a big thank you for your very nice compliment.

Apr 14, 2009 04:02 AM #2
Rainmaker
1,247,582
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Marlene,

Over and over I see that the foreclosure properties are the ones that are poorly represented either by the banks or the agents they choose to represent the property. They claim they want to unload the properties and then they make the whole thing as unappealing as is possible for a buyer....sometimes down to not even taking the time to have someone do a general cleaning. Pet urine in many foreclosures and spoiled carpets, holes in walls, broken tiles from hammers is common up here.

Apr 14, 2009 08:33 AM #3
Ambassador
489,906
Kristin Moran
Owner - RE/MAX Access - KristinMoran@Remax.net - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio,TX - Real Estate - 210-313-7397

What a shame that the sellers can't get better representation than that and are now facing foreclosure.  Makes me so mad!

Apr 14, 2009 08:59 AM #5
Rainmaker
238,029
Marlene Bridges
Village Real Estate Services, Inc. - Laguna Hills, CA
Laguna Homes|Laguna Condos|Laguna Real Estate

Hi Steve - Oh my Steve.  You are sure the person who knows first-hand what can happen when agents are not checking on the properties they represent.  Very sad.

Hi Kristen - It really makes me sad, too.  Unfortunately it's the bad agents out there who tarnish the reputations of all the good and even great agents out there in the trenches.

Apr 14, 2009 12:22 PM #6
Ambassador
1,091,430
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

Can you believe that?  I just shake my head marlene...

Apr 14, 2009 02:00 PM #7
Rainmaker
238,029
Marlene Bridges
Village Real Estate Services, Inc. - Laguna Hills, CA
Laguna Homes|Laguna Condos|Laguna Real Estate

Hi Sally - It just boggles the mind doesn't it?

Apr 14, 2009 02:03 PM #8
Rainmaker
334,644
Jeff R. Geoghan
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Lancaster, PA
REALTOR, Marketing Manager

These buyers sound like patient folk.  I don't think the deficiences and annoyances will deter them ultimately - am I right?

Apr 14, 2009 02:37 PM #9
Rainmaker
238,029
Marlene Bridges
Village Real Estate Services, Inc. - Laguna Hills, CA
Laguna Homes|Laguna Condos|Laguna Real Estate

Jeff - I believe you are right on this one.  They are lovely people who have a genuine interest in this property.  I'm certainly going to do all I can to see that they get this house if they decide they want to move forward.

Apr 14, 2009 03:24 PM #10
Rainmaker
552,167
Lynda Eisenmann
Preferred Home Brokers - Brea, CA
Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co

Marlene,

Ha, I really liked this one "the subscriber is not taking calls at this time".

Apr 14, 2009 04:36 PM #11
Rainmaker
238,029
Marlene Bridges
Village Real Estate Services, Inc. - Laguna Hills, CA
Laguna Homes|Laguna Condos|Laguna Real Estate

Hi Lynda - I thought that was a good one too!

Apr 15, 2009 02:27 AM #12
Rainmaker
933,054
Ann Hayden 636-399-7544
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties-St. Louis Missouri - Chesterfield, MO
SelectAnn.com

Marlene,

No broker to call?  Try your local board and then the state association.  See if the agent is still alive. 

Ann

Apr 16, 2009 01:51 AM #13
Rainmaker
525,252
Regina P. Brown
MBA Broker Consultants - Carlsbad, CA
M.B.A., Broker, Instructor

Marlene, that Secret Agent is hiding a Secret Property.  BUT should be representing his clients better!!!  I saw one like this today, doing a BPO.  No sign in the yard, only 1 bad photo on the MLS, and the agent didn't even bother to put the square footage in the MLS!

Apr 16, 2009 04:51 PM #14
Rainmaker
238,029
Marlene Bridges
Village Real Estate Services, Inc. - Laguna Hills, CA
Laguna Homes|Laguna Condos|Laguna Real Estate

Hi Ann- I actually did get to speak with the agent...once.  She returned my first call after three days.  My second call...about a week ago, stillwaiting.

Hi Regina - It's an interesting time we're living and working in isn't it?  You just never know what to expect anymore.

Apr 16, 2009 05:03 PM #15
Rainmaker
933,054
Ann Hayden 636-399-7544
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties-St. Louis Missouri - Chesterfield, MO
SelectAnn.com

Marlene,

WOW!  I wonder how people stay in business by not calling back???
Ann

Apr 20, 2009 07:09 AM #16
Rainmaker
238,029
Marlene Bridges
Village Real Estate Services, Inc. - Laguna Hills, CA
Laguna Homes|Laguna Condos|Laguna Real Estate

Hi Ann -  Makes me wonder if this agent is relly in business...?

Apr 20, 2009 07:17 AM #17
Rainmaker
933,054
Ann Hayden 636-399-7544
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties-St. Louis Missouri - Chesterfield, MO
SelectAnn.com

Marlene,

I can see where you could wonder...

Ann

Apr 20, 2009 03:17 PM #18
Rainmaker
161,942
Satar Naghshineh
Satar - Amiri Property and Financial Services Corp. - Irvine, CA

It must be a short sale listing that the lender didn't approve (or the approval was based on the temrs that the seller didn'tlike) and the listing agent thinks there is no reason to return your call as it is a waste of his and your time. Although I am guilty of this as well at times, there is no excuse why we don't call or update the listing.

 

Apr 22, 2009 05:10 PM #19
Rainmaker
238,029
Marlene Bridges
Village Real Estate Services, Inc. - Laguna Hills, CA
Laguna Homes|Laguna Condos|Laguna Real Estate

Hi Amiri - This is indeed a very frustrating market. 

Apr 22, 2009 05:20 PM #20
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