Is Your Home Sale Being Sabotaged?

By
Real Estate Agent with Solutions Real Estate CA DRE #01490977

 This article for sellers is NOT in jest. This is a serious problem, and you need to be aware of it so you can take steps to either prevent it, or nip it in the bud. It's YOUR home, and YOUR sale, but someone out there is sabotaging you!

I admit it really pains me to write about this. I am proud of my profession and the role that I play is assisting buyer and seller clients to achieve their real estate goals. And I know lots of terrific licensed agents out there (many of them right here on ActiveRain). But the sad thing is that there is a lot of mediocrity out there in terms of agent performance and competence, and some downright sabotage from my vantage point.

And as a seller YOU need to know about this so you can deal with it.

I am making some assumptions that you have done all the right things:

  • Your home is priced correctly for the market (if it isn't YOU have another problem to confront...and pricing is YOUR decision, but the market will decide the price your home will sell for)
  • Your home is staged to sell - it's beautiful, un-cluttered, and appealing to a wide range of buyers
  • There are no repairs or obvious defects (and if you did a pre-listing home inspection and took care of the problems, bravo - you are in great shape)
  • You are flexible regarding showing times and notices, and there is a lock box for agents to use (with a key that works)
  • You believe you hired the right agent to list your home (want to read more on this topic? See my previous post: Looking for the Right Listing Agent? Ryan Hukill recently wrote a great article on How Do You Choose a Listing Agent)

So what signs might you see that YOUR sale is being sabotaged? Here are some real-life examples:

  • Poor quality photos, missing photos, inaccurate listing information, missing information
  • Lack of marketing - print and especially Internet (about 80% of buyers look on the web for homes)
  • Your agent is not sharing information about needed improvements and other ways to make you home look its best
  • The brochure box your agent hung on your sign is empty (and you agent did not give you supplies to fill it)
  • The home is listed on the MLS but the lockbox has not been installed, and there is no notice in the MLS (yep, this happened to me yesterday with my buyer clients - a complete waste of time and the seller did not have a showing from qualified buyers)
  • Your agent does not return calls to agents wanting to show your home or to answer their questions (and does not respond to YOUR calls in a timely manner)
  • There is limited or no communication from your agent
  • Your agent appears to make decisions for you about what offers you will accept when talking with buyer agents submitting those offers ("my clients will never accept that,") or worse, does not submit ALL offers to you promptly so YOU can decide how to proceed.
  • Your agent shares confidential information from you with other agents without your permission ("I know my clients will accept a lower offer")
  • Your agent does not demand a pre-approval letter with offers and does not check with the buyer's lender on qualifications, credit status, income and related financial matters.

I could give you other examples too (on the part of mortgage folks, buyer agents, inspectors, and yes, even YOURSELF). But you get the idea.

Unfortunately, this is reality for some sellers who haven't a clue that THEIR sale is being sabotaged by the very person they hired to help them.

Or perhaps by their own actions (such as front door keys that don't work, inflexibility regarding showings, clutter, smells, rowdy dogs, obvious repairs and deferred maintenance, high price).

So take a close look at your situation. Is sabotage your enemy?

And AGENTS? Are you guilty of some of these things? Shame on you if you are. You are putting YOUR CLIENT'S home sale at risk.

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Rainmaker
559,831
Tim Maitski
Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage - Atlanta, GA
Truth, Excellence and a Good Deal
Good post.  Maybe sellers need to have some kind of "secret shoppper" service available to monitor their agents.
Jun 10, 2007 12:14 AM #19
Rainmaker
593,157
Neal Bloom
Brokered by eXp Realty LLC - Weston, FL
Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate

Jeff,

Been there ..done that...just had one where the agent claimed to be selling real estate for 30 yrs..well they didn't help sell my listing as I had to hunt everyone down and after numerous extensions..the deal died and although we had all of the items above..pre-approvals are worth as much if you write it on a cocktail napkin. The other agent needs tp take a course on refreshing themselves with work ethic. There should be a test you have to take when you reach a point in your life to not take as much effort into a deal. And all this is not helping matters in this market we have here.

Jun 10, 2007 01:11 AM #20
Ambassador
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thanks, Dan. Glad it resounded with you.

Jeff

Jun 10, 2007 02:47 AM #21
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Carole - thanks for stopping by and commenting. Good to see you around again.

Sally - you are so kind. I'm glad you enjoyed this.

Jeff

Jun 10, 2007 02:49 AM #22
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Susie - you are so right. d on;t get it either. Perhaps the agents are too good at pulling the wool over the seller's eyes. And I suppose in a busy seller's market mediocre performance will still get the home sold. Thanks for your comments.

Jeff

Jun 10, 2007 02:50 AM #23
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Sharon - I always show my clients what I have done, or plan to do. Great idea, but I bet most don't do it.

Jeff

Jun 10, 2007 02:52 AM #24
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Larry - thank you for your comments.

Steven - I thought so too. Glad you agree.

Jeff

Jun 10, 2007 02:53 AM #25
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Brad - thanks so much! I appreciate the compliment AND your comments.

Tim - great idea. I do know of some sellers who have had neighbors stop by their open houses to check on what the agent is saying.

Jeff

Jun 10, 2007 02:54 AM #26
Ambassador
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Neal - now that's a sad commentary. Hard to understand how they can get away with it,and for so long. And one would think that in a tougher market these folks MIGHT be working a bit harder to make things happen. Is it any wonder that the public has such a poor view of many in our profession. Thanks for your comments, as always.

Jeff

Jun 10, 2007 02:58 AM #27
Rainer
69,429
Christopher & Bernadette Hurley
Go Hurley Group - Sugar Land, TX

Great advice. I will definitely benefit from this advice and I hope others will too.

 

Good luck to all.

www.sugarlandrelocation.com

Jun 10, 2007 08:16 AM #28
Rainmaker
513,552
Leigh Brown
Leigh Brown & Associates, RE/MAX Executive - Charlotte, NC
CEO, Dream Maker - Charlotte, NC
Amen, brother!  This should be required reading for ALL sellers, so they can examine their situation and think if this might apply.  And frankly, all of us should read it as well and make sure we're not guilty on any count.
Jun 10, 2007 11:33 AM #29
Anonymous
Curious Consumer
What about the fiduciary responsibility the realtor has to the sellers? Because it sabotages the sale of a home, why can't the mls make multiple photos mandatory? To protect the sellers, and for the benefit of all, as part of the contract, require a signed a photo waiver from the sellers if no pictures will be posted. Have it clearly list the benefits vs disadvantages (are there any??) of posting muliple photos.
Jun 10, 2007 11:47 AM #30
Rainmaker
898,447
Kay Van Kampen
RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX - Springfield, MO
Realtor®, Springfield Mo Real Estate
Jeff, read you article and everything you talked about, I saw in an interview with a seller this week - see my blog.  Hope everyone see your article.
Jun 10, 2007 12:20 PM #31
Rainer
272,972
Ava Anderson
A-Z Atlanta Realty - Snellville, GA
Selling Atlanta from A-Z!
Excellent post Jeff!  Like Kay I hope everyone sees your article agent and sellers.  I find it's important to communicate with sellers about the way you market their property. 
Jun 10, 2007 01:19 PM #32
Rainer
26,535
Edith Wharton
Cottage and Loft Realty - Midlothian, VA
Realtor - Chesterfield VA
Great post!! I hope it gets heeded.
Jun 10, 2007 01:56 PM #33
Rainmaker
455,744
Michael Eisenberg
eXp Realty - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham Real Estate Guy
Great Post, lack of pictures is one of my pet peeves, sellers are often unaware of dis-=service their agents are doing for them.
Jun 10, 2007 02:01 PM #34
Rainer
80,957
Patrick Harfst
Realty Executives - Phoenix AZ - Gilbert, AZ

Jeff,

On target! If you are a gambler, head for the roulette wheel - your aim is perfect! As for the level of professionalism we have today in this industry... NOT HOT. (Had to drop a Paris Hilton quote in there). We need to raise the bar, and I'd do this by two methods. One, double the number of renewal hours required, and TWO, pull the licenses from agents doing below a set number of transactions - say 4 per year. Cull the herd.

Jun 10, 2007 04:06 PM #35
Rainmaker
307,468
Ryan Hukill - Edmond
ShowMeOKC Real Estate Pros of KW Elite - Edmond, OK
Realtor, Team Lead
Jeff, GREAT post, once again. Thanks for the honorable mention. I'll be writing another post soon as a followup to the one you mentioned, in which I plan to address some of the unsavory tactics some agents will employ to get a listing they really shouldn't have. Unfortunately, what you've mentioned here is more common that many people realize and that's why it's SO critical that they do an in-depth interview of 3 or more agents before choosing one to make sure they're getting the most bang for their buck.
Jun 10, 2007 04:31 PM #36
Rainmaker
655,882
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes
Good post. Good points. It's unfortunate that these things happen in our profession... but sadly they do.
Jun 10, 2007 06:21 PM #37
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thanks to all you all who visited and commented. I am feeling swamped at the moment so I apologize for not replying to each of your personally, which I generally try to do...and for taking so long to respond. Some great comments. Glad this resonated with you.

Jeff

Jun 19, 2007 05:26 PM #38
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