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.
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! :)