What is Your Real Estate Agent's Modus Operandi?

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Franklin Homes Realty LLC

What is Your Real Estate Agent's Modus Operandi?

What is Your Real Estate Agent's Modus Operandi?
I pride myself in knowing the Franklin TN real estate market very well. I preview lots of homes and produce monthly market reports for many of the Franklin TN neighborhoods. As a result, when a new house comes on the market, I instinctively know whether it is priced right. After all, I look at the numbers very closely every month.

Imagine my surprise, when I saw a new listing come on the market priced about $150,000 higher than the most recent comparable sales for this neighborhood. To top it off, within two weeks an additional listing came on the market similarly priced. I was astounded.

In an effort to give the agents the benefit of the doubt, I decided to preview both these listings. I was absolutely shocked at what I saw.

Both homes were built in the late '70's. One of the homes had remodeled the kitchen but the rest of the house had all the original baths, as well as, a very '70's looking rec room in the basement. The entire house was dark and dated.

What is Your Real Estate Agent's Modus Operandi?The second home had original everything from the '70's. There was a terrible odor that almost knocked me over when I entered the front door. I believe it was the smell of cats even though I never actually saw one in the home. The house was a mess; it was dated, cluttered and dirty. I didn't even venture into the basement for fear of what I might find.

These homes were priced in the mid to high $400K. I couldn't believe what I was seeing.

As I walked through these homes, I kept saying the same thing over and over again,


"I blame the real estate agents."


That's right. In both cases, the agents were to blame for the price and condition.

When a seller gets ready to list his house, he seeks the counsel of a real estate agent to guide him to the appropriate price and condition of his home. These agents should be using the most recent comparable sales and what's actively listed to price a home. Additionally, they should also be previewing listings in the immediate area to see how a home will compare. If an agent has done all of this, then he is adequately prepared to give a pricing and condition recommendation.

What is Your Real Estate Agent's Modus Operandi?It was apparent to me that neither agents took the time to do these things. If they had, they would not have priced the homes the way they did.

The only conclusion I could come to--the agents didn't care if the homes were priced right. They agreed to the seller's price even though they knew the home wouldn't sell, just to get the listing. With the hope of getting the sellers to drop the price later to sell.

Upon further investigation, I found this to be true of at least one of the agents. Her modus operandi is to take over-priced listings and drop the price until the homes finally sell. Usually, at tens of thousands of dollars less than originally listed.

Unfortunately, in most cases, this causes the homes to sell for less than if they had been appropriately priced from the beginning.

In my opinion, the agents took the listings to satisfy their own needs not the needs of the sellers they work for. It is exactly these types of agents who give all real estate agents a bad name.

What is Your Real Estate Agent's Modus Operandi?One agent even admitted it to me in a reply to my feedback that she knew the price was too high and the condition was terrible. She was going to use my feedback to try and get the seller to reduce his price. The other agent did end up using my feedback and hit the seller up for his first price reduction--a whopping $25,000. Unfortunately, not low enough to actually get this home sold.

What is your real estate agent's modus operandi? Did he agree to your price just to get your listing? Did he help you prepare your home to be in the best condition for the competition?

If you are looking for a Franklin TN real estate agent who will do both for you, contact Tammie White of Franklin Homes Realty LLC at (615) 495-0752. The most important thing a seller can do is choose an agent who will honestly advise them about pricing and preparing their home for sale.

Don't wait until someone asks you, what is your real estate agent's modus operandi?

Posted by
Tammie White, Managing Broker/Owner
CLHMS, CRS, GRI, SFR
Franklin Homes Realty LLC
Franklin, TN
(615) 495-0752 
GET REAL. GET LOCAL.
 
This posting with the content written here and photographs displayed are the intellectual property and opinions of Tammie White of Franklin Homes Realty LLC. Any party who uses this material without the written permission of Tammie White is subject to copyright infringement and possible lawsuit.
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  1. Ginger Harper 09/11/2012 11:14 AM
Topic:
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Rainmaker
180,877
Karen Steed
Tallapoosa, Bremen, Waco, Buchanan, Temple, Carrollton - Tallapoosa, GA
Associate Broker Haralson Realty

I have been guilty of taking an overpriced listing.  In fact, I have one now.  The owner and I have been aquainted for over 10 years.  She knows that it is overpriced, and that the odds of selling at her price are slim to none.  It is a beautiful custom home, in a beautiful setting, but it is overpriced for the market, and there is nothing I can do about the market.  When I listed the home, I told her it was overpriced, but I would be happy to put it on the market and we would see what happened.  Nothing has happended.  She is not in a hurry, so I guess we will wait and see how long it takes for her to change her mind about selling.

Sep 12, 2012 03:40 AM #37
Rainer
177,029
Ann Wilkins
Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty - Oakland, CA
Oakland, Berkeley, Piedmont CA

I also feel that I really know the local market.  I tour two times a week, work with buyers on a regular basis and study the statistics.  However, our market is so odd right now that lots of agents are throwing up their arms and saying "I don't know anything anymore!!!!"  For example, a house in my neighborhood went on the market for 1.56 Milliion.  I had a listing accross the street for $769,000.  Everyone - neighbors, agents, and buyers thought the house was overpriced.  The owner wouldn't budge.  Two months go by and an out of country couple buy the house for 1.5 million cash.  Maybe it is just the higher priced homes but just submitted an offer for an income property - 4 plex - listed at $449,000.  Agent said that's what the comps told her but...she received 27 offers and I'm sure it ended up close to $700,000.  Your examples for the two houses seems pretty cut and dry.  Our area is just a odd and different right now with a lot of out of country cash coming to the table.

Sep 12, 2012 04:58 AM #38
Rainmaker
1,581,560
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

Very true, I'm sure what happened was the 'let's try it at this price & see what happens closing!'.  Problem is, the house isn't going to sell at that price. Buyers aren't stupid & can go pull the comps necessary.

I'm sure the sellers also didn't want to do the work necessary. If they didn't call you it was because they can see your work ethic online & said 'no thanks'.  I love the sellers giving the excuses about why change the carpeting when the buyer is just going to rip it out - yeah right.

Sep 12, 2012 05:29 AM #39
Rainer
24,388
Alesia Rapkin
Berkshire Hathaway Georgia Properties - Grayson, GA

I hear all of this and agree with most of it...BUT ( you knew that was coming) every circumstance is different and I never assume another agent is uninformed, unethical, devious or just plain stupid unless they give me pretty good reason for it.  For instance, I just took a listing of a long time family home (41 years) where the surviving parent is elderly and showing signs of memory loss.  One of the children has full POA so she could have just listed the house but instead all children want Dad to feel in control at a very difficult time in his life and for him to feel like he is participating in the process.  So I did my home work and initially met with the children, then I met with Dad.  What the house will sell for is probably $125k less than where I listed it.  Why?  Because a very caring family let Dad set the initial list price for now knowing that once they get all the personal property purged and they are actually ready to move forward we will then reduce to my number.  In the meantime, Dad is somewhat satisfied and he got to make the decisions and he never tires of showing me photos, special plants, telling me history of some of the fixtures, etc.

You don't know what you don't know.....don't assume anything.  Pick up the phone and talk to the agent.

Sep 12, 2012 06:09 AM #40
Ambassador
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Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Joe - That's true.

Karen - I'm curious, if your seller is in no hurry, why doesn't she wait until the market can meet her price and then list?

Ann - I'm happy we don't have those types of anomolies.

Lyn - I hear that same thing with paint.

Alesia - No, I don't know the circumstances. In reality, the circumstances don't matter. I am in the business of selling homes. My job as a REALTOR is to advise my clients on how to best accomplish that goal.

When I allow sellers to adjust that price due to their circumstances, ie. we need more money to buy another home or we put $50K into the kitchen and we need to recoup the cost, then that affects my ability to sell the house. It reflects poorly on me. It suggests that I don't really know what the market dictates or if I do know, I don't care.

Those are not acceptable reasons to me to overprice a listing. If more agents turned away clients who expect this, then maybe we wouldn't have any overpriced listings.

Sep 12, 2012 07:00 AM #41
Rainmaker
810,127
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA

Tammie:

I try not to take over priced listings.  Sellers who think their homes are worth more than other homes in their area are difficult to deal with in all parts of the negotiations.  However, we are one of those markets that is experiencing very low inventory.  As a result, my broker suggests that we take the over priced listings with the hope that they seller will eventually relent and lower their price.  Or, wonder of wonders, the house will sell for that high price.

Sep 12, 2012 07:33 AM #42
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Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Evelyn - This is the second time someone has mentioned a broker who advocates taking overpriced listings. I'm happy to say my broker has never suggested that.

Sep 12, 2012 08:29 AM #43
Rainmaker
848,657
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team
Hi Tammie we will probably always have the agent over pricing the home. Get them when they expire!
Sep 12, 2012 09:00 AM #44
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Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Bob - I have.

Sep 12, 2012 09:07 AM #45
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Dagny Eason
Dagny's Real Estate - Wilton, CT
Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo

Tammy - You hit the nail on the head - I do, however, have an over priced listing for a friend - they had no interest in any lower price but I was interested in helping...

Sep 12, 2012 12:30 PM #46
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Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Dagny - I took an overpriced listing once. The seller had agreed to drop the price after 3 months if we didn't have an offer. After the time expired, he refused. He blamed my marketing because he'd only had one showing. That's what happens when a home is listed too high. He refused to drop the price so I dropped him. He sold a year later for $400K less. That's also what happens when you overprice. As a result, I refuse to take overpriced listings. The sellers blame us for no showings.

Sep 12, 2012 12:46 PM #47
Rainer
71,855
Bas Panch
SCV Home Buyer - Valencia, CA

Hi Tammie,

Excellent blog post, you've made some really great points! Sadly, there are a lot of less than honest real estate agents out there. In the end though it always pays to be upfront with your clients and give them good advice. Keep up the good work as a top Franklin TN short sale agent!

Sep 12, 2012 02:18 PM #48
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Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Bas - It does pay to be honest in more than one way.

Sep 12, 2012 03:01 PM #49
Rainmaker
316,301
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

Hi Tammie, great post. As for me, there are degrees. I won't take a "grossly" overpriced listing, but I will think about a "slightly" overpriced listing, because I can work with that one, if the seller is  "workable."

Sep 13, 2012 01:09 AM #50
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Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Sandy - That is an excellent point. I have seen homes sit on the market for months, the agents drop the price $10K and it then go under contract right away. These homes were grossly overpriced.

Sep 13, 2012 01:22 AM #51
Rainer
293,475
Nan Jester
Exit Real Estate Gallery Jacksonville Beach, FL - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Realtor, Exit Real Estate Gallery

Over-priced listings are just NOT a good idea for anyone. Not doing any favors for it.

Sep 13, 2012 01:22 AM #52
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Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Nan - They hurt us more than they help us.

Sep 13, 2012 01:41 AM #53
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John DL Arendsen
CREST BACKYARD HOMES, ON THE LEVEL GENERAL & FACTORY BUILT HOME CONTRACTOR, TAG REAL ESTATE SALES & INVESTMENTS - Leucadia, CA
Crest Backyard Homes "ADU" dealer & Contractor

Couldn't agree with you more but it jus makes your job as an outstancing and on top of it agent a lot easier.

Sep 13, 2012 03:49 AM #54
Ambassador
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Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

John - I'll take that compliment. Thank you.

Sep 13, 2012 12:49 PM #55
Rainmaker
508,463
Sylvie Stuart
Realty One Group Mountain Desert 928-600-2765 - Flagstaff, AZ
Home Buying, Home Selling and Investment - Flagsta

We see this a lot in Flagstaff also. It's important to know the market when you're taking listings. Thanks!

Sep 16, 2012 11:57 PM #56
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