ALL REALTORS® ARE NOT CREATED EQUALLY!

By
Real Estate Agent with Florida Property Experts
Port Orange Real Estate Blog. Houses, Condos and Reports by Lisa Hill, "THE SMART CHOICE!"

SmokeriseI keep wondering, when I bring buyers to see a house, and compare the house itself, to the Daytona Beach MLS information, why I see not just discrepancies and mistakes, but sometimes what can only be defined as downright laziness on the part of the listing agent.

A couple of days ago, while showing several houses, I found

  • One that had no mention of the garage!?!
  • One that had only 3 photos of a gorgeous home, when The Daytona Beach area Multiple Listing Service holds 12.
  • One that had no mention of the pool ??
  • One that had no mention of the new granite counters, solar hot water heater, and place to store your boat behind the side-yard fence.

laughing smileyOne of my biggest issues is with lazy agents who don't write a thorough description of the property. I mean, I can understand if it's a REAL fixer-upper (like one of Rich Kruse's listings, yeah I went there) and the listing agent is having trouble finding some positive light to shed,  but these were upscale, beachside (meaning on the peninsula, or strip of land between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway) single family homes. Just walking through with my buyers, I found plenty of  things that should have been mentioned in the MLS descriptions. 

Why is it that some real estate agents are OK with providing sub-standard service to their sellers? Do they have so many listings that it just doesn't matter? As a professional, I consider these things to be the minimum level of service. I feel like I owe it to my clients to do EVERYTHING in my power to present their most valuable possession in the most positive light, in order to place them ahead of the competition. After all this is a buyer's market and we have unprecedented levels of listing inventory in our MLS right now.living room

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Rainmaker
334,644
Jeff R. Geoghan
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Lancaster, PA
REALTOR, Marketing Manager

I posted a while ago about my frustration over lame photos (or no photos) on the MLS.  This just gets me steamed again...I review all the ML input sheets and web printouts for my listings, scouring for errors or misstatements.  Again I ask, what ARE the sellers paying for if the agent can't even get the listing itself right?

Grrr. 

May 21, 2007 06:20 AM #19
Rainmaker
595,456
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate
Jeff- I'm in total agreement about the photos. That's why I included 2 in this post, that I took myself! I'm no professional, but I take my photos very seriously.
May 21, 2007 06:39 AM #20
Rainmaker
123,974
Nick and Joslyn Solomon
Century 21 Moline Realty - Cambridge, MN
The Solomon Team - Century 21 Moline Realty, Inc.

Holy cow I am! I went on a listing appointment recently where the seller wanted way more than I could comp it at.  I didn't take the listing.  Check the new listings this morning on MLS, there it was, listed with another agent.  I saw buckets of mistakes, lots of carelessness, and I was shocked.  How are you going to attract buyers in that price range if you can't spell?

I have seen lots of horrible pictures, details left out, mis-spellings, lack of remarks, and more. 

One thing I always know - I maximize the MLS.  I put everything in there I can fit.  I pride myself on that one little detail.  :)

May 21, 2007 07:20 AM #21
Rainmaker
35,581
Moisés "Moe" Pagán
Walnut Creek, CA

Lisa,

This is a hot button topic for me.  My office mates often chuckle as I go from MLS listing to MLS listing commenting out load that the clients are paying good money on a million dollar listing and there is either no photo or one that is taken with a camera phone.  Drives me nuts!

May 21, 2007 07:44 AM #22
Rainmaker
161,453
1SG (Ret.) David Kucic
Hawaii Military Realty, Inc. - Ewa Beach, HI
President and Owner
Lisa-The rating is given to the listing by the sellers agent when the listing agreement is taken.  The sellers agent is the one who rates the property and lists that condition on the MLS.  There is no input from the buyers agent as to what the condition of the property really is/was.
May 21, 2007 09:10 AM #23
Ambassador
4,125,173
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Oh yes, Lisa, it is rampant. Amazing, given the market, that so many agents do such a poor job of marketing and even using the tool we ALL use...the MLS.

But what also surprises me is that some do not see fit to return phone calls to answer questions or to confirm appts. to show. Guess they don't need to sell the house (but does their client know what kind of job they are doing?). Makes the rest of us look better.

Jeff

May 21, 2007 09:12 AM #24
Rainmaker
1,473,510
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
It also irritates me when someone says something like, "Completely Updated and Remodeled" but then they don't mention any of those upgrades or anything.  What was the point in saying anything if you're not going to say what they are?
May 21, 2007 10:21 AM #25
Rainer
100,192
Kaushik Sirkar
Call Realty, Inc. - Chandler, AZ
Fact is, there are lots of agents out there.  Some are excellent and some are downright awful.  Some listings do indeed do a horrible job presenting the home...
May 21, 2007 10:25 AM #26
Rainmaker
121,400
Vickie Arcuri
ONE Sotheby's International Realty - Fort Lauderdale, FL
South Florida Luxury Real Estate
Hey Lisa, this drives me nuts too!  I just don't understand it!  You would think they would want to be responsible to their Sellers, be professional and keep their word, but some are just simply too lazy....and, especially in a Buyer's Market, don't they realize what the competition is and understand that no one will readily show houses when there are no pics?  I feel that even the least expensive listing deserves careful attention to detail and effective marketing.  I e-mail my Sellers the link to their MLS listing online as well as Realtor.com and other links + I mail hard copies to them of the same + their property Brochure, "Just Listed" cards, etc.  I want them to see that I do provide all the things I said I would and that I'm working hard on their behalf.
May 21, 2007 10:56 AM #27
Rainmaker
289,259
Jay Beckingham
SWBC MOrtgage - Port St Lucie, FL
Seniors ROCK!
they learned to list properties like this by starting out representing buyers. they changed to listings because they couldn't/wouldn't fill out the contract properly
May 21, 2007 12:23 PM #28
Rainmaker
613,437
Sharon Simms
Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International - Saint Petersburg, FL
St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
We need to put ourselves in the shoes of the consumer. Underpromise and Overdeliver - it's the way to impress clients.
May 21, 2007 12:38 PM #29
Rainmaker
595,456
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

Donna- Great example! Why say it's completely remodeled, then not say what was done?

 

May 21, 2007 01:59 PM #30
Rainer
68,941
Paul Anyanwu
RE/MAX SOLUTIONS - West Orange, NJ
CRS, SFR, Broker-Salesperson, Sales West Orange,NJ
You are quite right ,sometimes agents wonder why they are not getting traffic on their listings when in fact they are not describing  all the great features, thanks for your posts .
May 21, 2007 02:04 PM #31
Rainmaker
46,093
Sarah Nopp
South Sound, WA

Hi Lisa,
Allow me to play the Devil's Advocate :)

There are a couple reasons an agent might not mention EVERY SINGLE neat item about the property in the MLS descriptions. I don't.

Why?
DISC.
Those are personality types. And different kinds of people want different kinds of information. And they won't read the same parts before going to the property, if ever.

Those long, eloquent paragraphs are read by people who want to know how the house will make them feel. Is it updated and airy and ready for entertaining? Will their children or dogs be safe? What is the lifestyle this property accomodates?

The people who want all the details read through the listed detail info (which I am very careful to complete) They want to know not only beds, baths, square footage before going into the property, but type of heat, number of garage spaces, dimensions of lots, etc. Does it really need to listed out in sentence form?

Another reason an agent might not list out that information is simply space. Mt MLS only allows 500 characters in the main description. It does allow additional comments alongside the photos, and that is where I put the detailed descriptions. I also put in lots of details in the House Book at the property.

But I do agree with you that the listing agent should know all those details and should present the property in the way that will appeal to the potential buyers.

May 21, 2007 03:45 PM #32
Rainer
23,647
Daniel Gates
Insure Consulting - Palm Bay, FL
With the real estate boom that FL experienced in the last few years thousands of people jumped on board and became agents.  What you are seeing is just as likely to be inexperience, lack of training, and general lack of skill.
May 21, 2007 04:14 PM #33
Rainmaker
123,548
Chrysti Tovani
Lisa Drake Properties - Fair Oaks, CA
Sacramento Real Estate Agent

In this market, with so many real estate professionals, it's an honor and a priviledge just to have clients.  I would think that agents would be doing everything possible to be at their best.  I'm shocked at some of the stuff I run into these days.  It's no wonder people are screaming about our commissions. 

I have "issues" with it too. 

May 21, 2007 05:02 PM #34
Rainmaker
595,456
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate
Hi Chrystina! That's exactly what I thought! It's stuff like this that gives Redfin any room to operate at all.
May 21, 2007 05:28 PM #35
Rainmaker
595,456
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

Sarah- Great information for anyone who's not familiar with the DISC system. I used to administer it to applicants when I was in management, years ago. And you're right about the personality types. But as Realtors, we have to conform our own personalities to whatever is required to do the job. We'll always have strong and weak areas, but it's not like an outgoing person is incapable of shutting up when they have to (I fall into that category :P) And an aggressive person can pull back if they see it's overwhelming a client (I fall into that one too) And if someone is low on the detail scale, then they need a checklist, or they need to partner with someone who can compensate for them. 

I have a lot of physical problems that I have to overcome on a daily basis, as well as morphing my personality to make a client feel comfortable. It's part of what we do. FTR, I'm super high on the D, just below it on the C, above the mid point on the I, and I bottom out on the C. So I have to really WORK at being "warm" when I really want to just get to the point and get it done right. But I CAN do it. It's just a matter of being aware of what you have to do if you want to be successful.... I may have to write another post :P

frog

May 21, 2007 05:38 PM #36
Rainmaker
307,523
Ryan Hukill - Edmond
ShowMeOKC Real Estate Pros of KW Elite - Edmond, OK
Realtor, Team Lead
Chrystine, you're right on. They hve room to complain when the level of service is so low. We all have to raise the bar. Lisa, I've heard a little about this DISC stuff but have never actually seen how it all works. Is there a website where I can learn more?
May 22, 2007 12:21 AM #37
Rainmaker
595,456
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate
Ryan, I'll have to Google it to see if there's a site. It's a pretty old system. I used it over 12 years ago, but I have heard it taught since then. It's a pretty good way to quickly get an idea of your customer's personality, so you can adjust yours accordingly.
May 22, 2007 06:27 AM #38
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