Listing with an Out of Area Realtor?

Managing Real Estate Broker with The Lloyd Realty Group DRE# D00610006

I just got a call from an out-of-area seller.  "Yipee - they want to list with me!" was my first reaction.  Wrong!  "I already have a Realtor," she told me, "I just need to know if low-flow toilets are required when a property sells in Lake Forest."

"Gee - why don't you ask your Realtor?"  I asked (innocently!)   "She is from out of the area and doesn't know." was her answer.

Caution Sign - You Don't Know!


OK, I get it.  She wants to save money, so she listed the house with a relative or friend who is probably not charging her much, if anything, to put the house in the MLS.  Maybe she is a part-time agent who sells one house per year, or less, for friends.  Maybe she is a brand new agent who just got her license and has never sold any house, but this person wants to help her get started. 

Maybe there are a lot of good reasons to list with someone who doesn't know how to find some basic information about the property, but I can't think of any worth taking that risk if I were the seller!

Other things she may not know:

  • Is that neighborhood considered more desirable than the one 2 blocks away where you got all of the comps? 
  • Is the school for that neighborhood on the list of potential school closings for next year?
  • Are there any neighborhood problems that will require a special assessment to fix? 
  • Is the city going to put in a new traffic signal, or widen a street that will affect the value of this house, or neighborhood?
  • Have many of the homes in that neighborhood had recent slab leaks or other physical problems that should be addressed before marketing? 
  • Is there an environmental issue that the City, County or HOA is currently fighting?  (We had an invasion of bugs many years ago that killed a lot of trees in a particular neighborhood!)

I gave her the answer to her question, she thanked me and told me that I was the 3rd agent she had called, and the others just told her to look it up in the phone book.

I will just keep an eye out for a listing with an out of area agent who will probably either over-price it, or under price it substantially, and not be able to answer any questions that the buyers or buyer's agents call about.  Maybe I should help one of my buyers "steal" the house!  :)





Comments (2)

Roger Davidson
DiSalle Real Estate Co. - Maumee, OH
Maumee, Ohio Real Estate

I learn new things all the time in this profession, but I've never learned anything by instructing a client to ask another agent something I can find out by myself with a little work.  The seller's agent must be a very good friend or relative because I think that would send most clients running in the direction of a more experienced agent.  Maybe your act of kindness will earn you this listing if (when) things go poorly.

Mar 29, 2011 08:14 AM
Lynda Eisenmann
Preferred Home Brokers - Brea, CA
Broker Associate ,CRS,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co

Hi Vicki,

Somehow I missed this post, maybe it's because I don't recognize your "lake" photo on your bio.

Anyway, yes it happens all the time and the examples you gave a great.

In my city for example we have an area where east side of a N/S street goes to our Brea schools, very desirable of course. Then the other side, the west side (although it's still in our city) goes to a different district in a neighboring city. I can't begin to tell you how many out of area agents don't have any idea of the situation.

As for helping the consumer out, I would have done the same, but I'd end it there.  

Apr 01, 2011 02:26 PM