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.