"In this market we have to do anything to get a house sold"

Real Estate Agent with Thompson Company, REALTORS® MD594797

"Thank you for showing my listing. Please provide your showing feedback. As you know, in this market we have to do anything to get a house sold."

This was the first feedback request I recently received on a listing I showed in Elkridge, Maryland. The second one was simply shortened to: "Please let me know - we have to do anything to get this one sold." Had the house been in good or even acceptable condition I would not think too much about this statement, but it was not. I am quite good about providing feedback and actually put some thought into it. I'm honest and provide my opinion as well as my clients' impressions. This one, however, had me puzzled:

What exactly are you asking me to do Mr. Lister? Highlight the plush cheap carpet to my clients because you listed it in your remarks as a "feature"? Sell the windows as "new" even though they are clearly not? Ignore the fact that you failed to disclose the need for masks in order to view the house? Turn a blind eye on the mold growing on the basement walls? Downplay the overwhelming moisture smell? Make a joke about the humidifier you have draining into the toilet? Whatever it is,
I will not be part of it. I respectfully disagree, in this market - or any other market - we do not have to do "anything" to get a house sold.

Here's what we do have to do:

  • educate our buyers and sellers to the best of our abilities
  • point them in the right direction for everything we are not experts in - financing, inspections/repairs, title work etc.
  • listen to our clients & gain a deep understanding about their wants and needs, assist them to accomplish that or as close to as possible -
    always have their best interest at heart
  • establish and keep open lines of communication at all times with all parties involved
  • be truthful and decline a listing if we are asked to "cover up" or engage in unlawful practices

While it is true that buyers are not exactly lined up nowadays or bidding above and beyond a property's value - thank goodness for that - it does not mean we have to do "anything".

So whatever it is you are asking me to do, I not only disagree but I decline - I hold myself to a HIGHER STANDARD.

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Thompson Company, REALTORS

16910 Oak Hill Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20905
o: (301) 384-9177 c: (240)593-2860


Andrea is a REALTOR® based in Silver Spring, MD, who has enjoyed assisting buyers and sellers in Montgomery and Howard County, MD (and beyond) for 16+ years now. She always answers the phone with a smile, enjoys running, hiking, and traveling, speaks German, reads a lot, blogs a little, and drinks too much coffee. 


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 Andrea Bedard, Thompson Company, REALTORS: from Just Listed to Just SOLD


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Show All Comments
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


Still love your Higher Standard blog about Ritz Carlton.  I try to give factual feed back about each home I show.  I call my feed back the facts as I see them. 

Sep 21, 2011 10:33 AM #21
Rosalie Evans
Meritus Group Real Estate - Sioux Falls, SD
The Evans Group, Sioux Falls, SD Homes For Sale

Very important to keep to the Realtor Code of Ethics and not do anything to get yourself out of a job. I mean for all the money we shove into real estate we have to CYA or lose it!!

Sep 21, 2011 01:17 PM #22
Maria Morton
Platinum Realty - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758

I know that many agents use the feedback we give to SHOW the sellers why they need to do what their agent has been advising them to do. Our feedback is another source of input. That's why I use specific points to tell the agent about. i.e. "the smell was so bad that the buyers and I ran from the house as fast as we could" or "my buyers do not feel that the expense of repairing the roof would be worth the price of the home" or "the buyers felt uncomfortable with some of the art work displayed. They do not want to live in this house." That way, the listing agent has multiple opinions from other real estate professionals and people who might have bought their home to present to the seller.

Sep 21, 2011 02:02 PM #23
Donald Reich
Prudential Centennial - New Rochelle, NY

If you have to do ANYTHING to get this listing sold . . . .  why not price it right? That should work!

Sep 21, 2011 02:03 PM #24
Gregory Bain
Mezzina Real Estate & Insurance - Little Egg Harbor, NJ
For Homes on the Jersey Shore

Interesting. I never heard of an M.A. as you have indicated at the end of your name. Is that one of those REALTOR designations?

Sep 21, 2011 02:27 PM #25
Donald Reich
Prudential Centennial - New Rochelle, NY

M.A. = Masters of Arts. This is a very common degree Greg. (I have an MBA, but thats another story)

Sep 21, 2011 02:54 PM #26
Kathleen Donovan
RE/MAX South County - Charlestown, RI
GRI, CBR, SRES, South County RI Residential Speci

Well said, ANdrea. What can you possibly say in a situation like that..? I jnew you held yourself to the higher standard !

Sep 21, 2011 03:08 PM #27
Janet Owens
The Property Source - Montgomery, TX
The Property Source, Lake Conroe Real Estate 281.844.6584

Well said, Andrea.  Loved the post & commitment to excellence!

Sep 21, 2011 03:12 PM #28
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond

Hi Chris-Ann: they truly are a waste of time, upsetting, too and even embarrassing at times. Don't you wish everyone could work like we do!

Hi Mike: I agree! Sometimes I do feel like that my feedback is only wanted if it's a positive one. In this case the agent acted really surprised!

Hi Donna: Thank you very much! I couldn't agree more - something went very wrong with this listing and it is a huge disservice to the sellers as well as the rest of the subdivision. After all, an inaccurate description in the MLS will have an impact on the next sales - how would appraiser for subsequent sales know what condition the house was truly in if not disclosed in the listing and the reason for the low price (if it sells). As it stands right now all they'll see are some outdated features. Most definitely an accurate picture is not being presented - it's just sad on top of being unethical.

Hi Charlie: Maybe desperation is what is behind all of this? However, no excuse to not work professionally and ethically.

Hi Bob: Mr. Lister is not owner of record - I had the same thought, too and double-checked - but maybe there is some involvement that I don't know about. That would explain a lot but not excuse it.

Hi Shelly: Thank you for the kudos! It's not always easy just like Donna #19 said with occasional nasty remarks to negative feedback but I call it like it is. I most certainly want an honest feedback on my listings and think most agents would want that as well.

Hi Donna: I've had the same experience! I do still get the Thank you so much for your time-reply every while and then and I appreciate those - it keeps me going. I always hope that agents will provide me with feedback as well. And you never know, the LA for one property I showed could be a buyer's agent on one of my listings next month!

Hi Richard: You know I like seeing you around :-) Thank you very much - I was a little surprised since I posted this last night but happy nonetheless.

Hi Evelyn: Thank you for stopping by again! It made perfect sense to link these 2 together!

Hi Rosalie: you would think, right? There is so much at stake!

Hi Maria: I agree and was giving the agent benefit of the doubt at first - very hopeful that this it what it was. But the second request plus his reply to my very honest and detailed feedback left me speechless and questioning the intentions!

Hi Donald: It's that simple! Thank you for answering Gregory's question!

Hi Gregory: Donald was so kind to answer that question for me. I have an M.A. in Media & Mass Comm. and English, worked extremely hard for it for 6 years, earned it and proudly display it.

Hi Kathleen: I know you do, too! I need to come to R.I. soon!

Hi Janet: Thank you very much! I appreciate your kind words.



Sep 21, 2011 04:07 PM #29
Deb Brooks
Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas - Wichita Falls, TX

Andrea, no. I just can't think that way, act that way or even agree with anyone that believes that way. I refuse to change anything about my ethics, beliefs, or morals. I like to sleep at night knowing I have acted and reacted in the manner in which I am bound to. Anything? No such word here. Good job.


Sep 21, 2011 08:25 PM #30
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Well said, Andrea.  Great advice, and stunning that a house would look like that but was described otherwise.  Do these folks think we won't see it?  Oy!  Congrats on your Big Yellow STAR!

Sep 22, 2011 12:44 AM #31
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

Andrea very well said.... The simple solution to "doing anything to sell a home" is to price it correctly, if that listing agent would spend less time begging an more time researching similar comps less the cost of repair and price it at or even just below that value, it would sell. Price can sell even the worst houses on the planet.

Sep 22, 2011 01:24 AM #32
Phil Leng
Retired - Kirkland, WA
Phil Leng - Retired
Hi Andrea, Your post was too subtle for me. Are you trying to say you were not impressed with the house? Or the listing agent? Just checking! ;) Phil
Sep 22, 2011 01:37 AM #33
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566
That statement does not hit me right either. A home in the right condition priced correctly for this market sells... period!
Sep 22, 2011 02:50 AM #34
Donald Reich
Prudential Centennial - New Rochelle, NY

I have to agree with Cheryl's comment. Just price it right - that's all you have to do.

Sep 22, 2011 02:53 AM #35
Jonathan Benya
The Benya Group - Waldorf, MD
The Benya Group

Cheryl is dead on here.  It's all about pricing it correctly if you want to get a home to sell.

Sep 22, 2011 03:58 AM #36
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond

Hi Deb: Thank you. I had no doubt that we would be on the same page! Fortunately, I am convinced that there are far more agents out there who hold themselves to a higher standard and act ethically at all times than not.

Hi Mike: I don't get it really. It was impossible not to notice and it really was that bad! Considering the mold a disclosure in the listing is absolutely necessary! Thank you!

Hi Scott: Thanks! I agree! The house should come with a full disclosure and a lower price or issues should be addressed, only then should it be marketed as a "great buy" in a young-family-oriented neighborhood.

Hi Phil: LOL! Thanks for the chuckles!

Hi Cheryl: Definitely something iffy about it! Price is only one thing though, disclosure another - both are off which made me question the intentions.

Hi Donald (again :-) and Jonathan: no doubt about that. But the bigger issue here is that the condition is not disclosed, an inaccurate description is given and it appears the problem is being downplayed by the listing side. It's all wrong from beginning to end!

Sep 22, 2011 06:17 AM #37
Valarie Swanson
CENTURY 21 Award - San Diego, CA
San Diego Real Estate

Andrea, it really puts ethical agents in an awkward position when an "less ethical" agent is pushing their own maligned agenda. In addition, it does their seller no service at all when they misrepresent the property. They are missing the right buyer because they are bringing in clients like yours looking for something completely different. BTW, I love that you put the link to the Realtor Pledge. Very nice post.

Sep 22, 2011 07:10 PM #38
Jenifer Lower
Bozeman Montana Real Estate .net - Bozeman, MT
Your Dream. Our Passion.

Honesty is the best policy I think.  When asked for feedback on these kinds of homes I usually give it in writing with my information so the agent can use that with their client in an effort to change their position.  But grossly overstating the condition of the home is wrong anyway you slice it!

Sep 23, 2011 01:41 PM #39
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond

Hi Valarie: "They are missing the right buyer ..." Exactly, thanks for pointing it out again! The agent is not helping anybody this way! I thought the Realtor Pledge was more than appropriate - thank you.

Hi Jenifer: That it is! All our feedback is usually in writing as well. I do provide it in the hopes that it will aid sellers and LA and sometimes it does. But I did not get the feeling this was the intent of the requests received on this property I showed ...

Sep 23, 2011 03:39 PM #40
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