This ever happen to you? A friend from out of state calls. They are selling their home and want to find them a local agent. As always the first place I looked was Active Rain, which gives me the opportunity to look at a portion of a Real Estate Agent's personality. I look at some of the following features in what they post.
Do they post information to help the average consumer?
Or are they promoting themselves?
Do their posts promise services? Or---
Do they have posts describing how their service won the day?
Are they looking for numbers and status? Or---
Do they post useful information?
When they post about a problem ---
Does the post include a success story?
Is it only to complain?
Is the post directed by a revenge factor?
Are they asking for advice?
Do they include a list of suggestions on how to avoid the problem?
I wish I had a solution to this problem. If you have a better one, let me know.
In this case the pickings were slim in the area I was searching for an agent. The first choice did not respond. The second did. They had only a few posts. Not much to go on, It gave me the feeling they did not take their job seriously. Looking back this was a sign.
They showed up 2 hours late for the appointment. They acted surprised when the Seller had a few details to add to the listing contract and did not have answers about marketing. The agents did not want to discuss any negotiating strategies before signing a listing contract. They agents came unprepared. They wandered around the house separately. One stayed with the seller while the seller showed the agent around. The other helped themselves to a personal tour. As a matter of fact, a tour was the seller's suggestion, the agent's concentration was on the contracts.
The seller felt hesitant to sign at the time and called me back. I called the agent who explained she was not feeling well at the time so she brought another agent. Oh well... don't you have to trust people. And I am pretty used to training agents in all types of situations. I explained what the seller expected. The agent returned with a listing contract with a few minor additions, just what the seller insisted on. She signed the contract and they listed the property.
Of course I had all my paperwork in order. I sent a referral agreement and gave the agent the seller's contact information after getting a signed copy back. I did not see this one coming but found out why she showed up with another agent. She prepared the listing contract with the other agent's name on it. A sly way of getting a referral and not paying on it. Where is the honor? Is this the type of agents people are trusting to sell their homes and find them new homes?
To fix this problem I think the best solution is to get the signature of the agent and broker. That way if the agent tries to pull a fast one, I can still call the broker. Any suggestions? Maybe add a contingency like: If the property is sold my another agent in the office the referral fee increases from 20% to 50%.