How to Make a New Real Estate Agent Go Bad

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

Consider the situation - a new agent goes to school and enters the field of real estate ready and eager to do everything correctly.

One of the things this agent learned in school is how to do a market analysis - to determine just how much a home should bring in a given market by making comparisons to homes that have recently sold, homes currently for sale, and homes that expired off the market without selling.

Eventually there comes an opportunity to use this skill - a potential listing client calls and asks the agent to come and tell him what his home is worth. young real estate agent

The agent views the home and takes careful notes and photographs, then goes back to the office and begins to work. She chooses the most similar homes from each of the three categories in MLS, then makes careful comparisons and adjustments. It takes a bit of time, but the agent is eager to do it right. She doesn't want to make a big mess of it the very first time out!

Finally the agent arrives at a suggested selling price that appears to be "right on" and goes back to see the potential seller. 

But instead of signing the listing, this potential listing client says something like "Thanks, we'll think it over and get back to you."

The agent waits a few days and then calls. The machine answers and she leaves a message, but doesn't get a call back.

Then she goes to work one morning and pulls up the hot sheet on the MLS website. And there is "her" new listing. But, it's listed with someone else for about $30,000 more than the price she recommended.

After this scenario is replayed a few more times, the agent begins to wonder about the value of an honest opinion.

Some other agents are playing the "pricing game" and "buying the listings." Meanwhile, she's sitting there with no listings in exchange for doing careful and true assessments.

It could take years for our new agent to build a reputation that will remove her from this kind of listing competition - but it only takes a minute to quote an inflated price and get that listing signed.

Of course there's the problem of "no offers," but she can deal with that later - after the listing belongs to her. Or maybe she'll be able to talk sense to the seller in a few weeks, when there have been no offers. 

Unwitting sellers hurt their own chances of selling their homes - and can cause a potentially good agent to go bad.

It's a shame. So sellers, when you get two or more diverse opinions on the value of your house, take the time to really read those market analysis forms. Then take the time to ask each agent how they arrived at the suggested price.One of them may be trying to "buy" your listing by telling you what you want to hear instead of what you need to know.

Homes that start out too high stay on the market a long time. And, because after a while agents stop showing them, the price might have to be reduced below market value just to get a looker.

It always pays to list at the correct price from the first day.

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Rainer
174,961
John Howard
Century 21 LeMac Realty - Mountain Home, AR
GRI, Mountain Home, Arkansas 870-404-3614

Marte,  A great post!  Far too common of an issue.  I hope that sellers reading your post take your advice....they will be shocked how much time and trouble it will save them!

Mar 27, 2011 11:13 AM #1
Rainmaker
621,479
Deborah Byron Leffler BzyBee Real Estate Lady!
Keller Williams Realty Boise - Nampa, ID

Oh I have seen this so many times!    It is so frustrating...even for an experienced agent!  uuggghh  But we have to tell our clients the truth....even if it means losing a listing opportunity!

Mar 27, 2011 11:13 AM #2
Ambassador
1,256,118
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

Marte -  I just hate that and I guess it goes on everywhere.  We too call it buying a listing up here and the ones that do it keep on getting the listings even though they don't sell until many price adjustments kick in.

Mar 27, 2011 11:13 AM #3
Rainmaker
569,230
Svetlana Stolyarova
Local-n-Global Realty, Cleveland and International Real Estate Solution - Mayfield Heights, OH
Local-n-Global Realty, Broker 216-548-4663

Very good advice for home selles!

Mar 27, 2011 11:14 AM #4
Rainer
109,059
Linda Tremblay
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc, PA License #AB065488 - Doylestown, PA
Associate Broker - Bucks County, PA Real Estate Services

Unfortunately many sellers do not believe that in the long run they end up getting less for their home than they would of if it was priced correctly from the beginning.  The best activity is when the home goes on the market. If it is priced right and maintained well, it will sell.

Mar 27, 2011 11:18 AM #5
Rainmaker
720,287
Teri Eckholm
Boardman Realty - White Bear Lake, MN
REALTOR Serving Mpls/St Paul North & East Metro

Marte--It is frustrating because we are all required to take ethics classes and are told that giving an incorrect price to get a listing WRONG! I would hope it is the minority of agents. A good agent will give you honest pricing information from the get-go!

Mar 27, 2011 11:19 AM #6
Rainmaker
1,537,880
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

John - Back when I was selling we saw it all the time. I even worked (BRIEFLY!) for a broker who told us that was the way to get listings.

Deborah - Yes, agents like you have to tell the truth. Otherwise you wouldn't be able to look in the mirror. Unfortunately, there are those for whom the truth is optional.

Susan - Yes, and in a declining market, those listings have to "chase the market downward."

Svetlana - Thanks. Let's hope one or two of those home sellers reads and heeds!

Linda - I know. Some simply don't want to believe the truth. But they eventually have to face it.

Teri - I've never thought taking an ethics class made much difference. A person either has ethics or not. Unfortunately, there are those who lack ethics in every profession, including real estate.

 

Mar 27, 2011 11:28 AM #7
Rainmaker
238,410
Angelia Garcia
Pure Realtors - Dallas, TX

poor agent, she didn't see that coming, did she?  LOL

Had to laugh a little because it still happens even to seasoned agents. 

Mar 27, 2011 01:00 PM #8
Rainmaker
1,537,880
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Angelia - It sure does! But you can be tough enough to say "Well, it's their loss" and move on.

Mar 27, 2011 02:15 PM #9
Ambassador
3,090,321
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Really taking the time to read the WHY instead of just the bottomline to the CMA is a must.  Of course, if they think their home is worth more, the sellers will justify it however they need to.

Mar 27, 2011 03:01 PM #10
Rainmaker
1,537,880
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Chris Ann - So true. They'll tell you that you missed something wonderful about their house. Especially if you're competing with an agent who is willing to agree with them.

Mar 27, 2011 03:40 PM #11
Ambassador
942,052
Suzanne McLaughlin
Sabinske & Associates, Inc. (Albertville, St. Michael) - Saint Michael, MN
Sabinske & Associates, Realtor

Marte, I loved the way you wrote this.  It is so true and heartbreaking to see listings go with agents or brokers who consistently "buy" listings and then see those listings stagnate and drop below market to get sold. 

I give sellers our time ratio also when I go on listing appointments.  That is, how long our listings stay on the market and listing to sold prices.  That usually convinces them. 

Mar 27, 2011 11:36 PM #12
Rainmaker
4,082,206
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Marte, your scenario happens every day, unfortunately.     With a few agents entering the business and eager to take listings, sellers will take down these agents quickly.     In a better market, it would not be such a big deal.  

Mar 28, 2011 03:55 AM #13
Rainmaker
1,537,880
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Suzanne - The time ratio is good idea - especially if you contrast it to overpriced homes that expire off the market after 6 months or end up being sold for less than market value.

But, some sellers won't listen! There are houses and land parcels in my community that have actually been for sale for more than 10 years - that I know of.

Joan - It's sad for the sellers, and sad for the agents who get snared in that trap.

Mar 28, 2011 05:43 AM #14
Rainer
106,897
Elizabeth Byrne
Keller Williams Realty - Arlington, VA
Arlington Virginia Real Estate

Marte, great post. My first listing was way overpriced and it stayed on a market for several months - we couldn't catch up with the market on our price reductions. The seller was told his price was too high but wanted to try it anyway. It was one of my acquaintances and I wish I was more forceful suggesting the lower price, but as a new agent I was too timid to do so. Taking an overpriced listing may hurt you - you build a reputation of a Realtor who cannot sell houses.

Mar 28, 2011 12:19 PM #15
Rainmaker
1,537,880
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Being a new agent is tough because you don't have the authority yet to say "this is what you must do" and it's even tougher when it's one of your acquaintances. If you want to build a reputation, you learn to say "NO" to those overpriced listings.

Mar 28, 2011 02:42 PM #16
Rainmaker
1,011,950
Corinne Guest
Corinne Guest, REALTOR® | Barrington Realty Company - Barrington, IL
Barrington Lifestyles

And yet this is still prevalent all over our towns, it's the only place that I see real estate is not local! What the seller has never been told but CMA provider number one , because she never got a chance, was how my buyers will never even come and look, or wont want to try that low ball offer, and certainly wont pay. let alone an appraiser reducing the valluation for mortgage approval. 

It's a can of worms and experienced agents who buy the listings knowing it is easier to ask for price reductions, wonder why their clients get fed up.

Mar 30, 2011 02:57 AM #17
Rainmaker
1,537,880
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Hi Corinne - You're right! I hadn't thought about that, but it does seem to be the one factor that honest agents have to deal with in every large city and small town across America. And it doesn't matter if the market is hot or completely cold.

It's also one of the reasons that the real estate profession gets a bad name.

Mar 30, 2011 06:33 AM #18
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