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Cry For Help From a Blog Post Reader

Real Estate Agent with Long and Foster Real Estate VA License # 0225089470

Cry For Help From a Blog Post Reader

Yesterday, as I was walking from one end of the Gettysburg Battlefield Park with my young cousin, my phone rang.  Thankfully, the number of interruptions to my day off were minimal.  In addition to two short client calls, there was one from an unknown number.  There is always promise in an unknown number, particularly those with an area code local to my service area.

On the other end of the call was a worried home seller.  He was under contract to sell his home, in the middle of trying to remediate HOA violations and unable to get a return call from his HOA.  Hmm.  Maybe a For Sale By Owner?  Nope.  He has an agent who has also not answered his call in DAYS.  That's not good.

While empathizing with his situation, I expressed that I really could not get involved or advise him since he was not my client.  I suggested he get in touch with his agent's managing broker.  His response was, "But you are an expert.  I read your post.  You can help me."

Sadly, while the information I gave did set the right expectation of my knowledge, this seller hired someone based on something other than experience or skill.  Now that seller is paying the price.  

Who you hire to sell your home matters.  The time to find an extremely qualified, local agent is not when the stuff hits the fan in your real estate deal.  The time to do that is when you are interviewing agents.  Experience matters.  Once you are in an agency relationship, no other agent can interfere and advise you.

If you are looking for a highly qualified, professional, full-time listing agent in the Bristow/Gainesville/Haymarket area, I am happy to speak with you regarding what you can expect when you hire me.  I know one thing, you will never be at a loss wondering where I went.  I communicate openly and freely.  


Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Chris Ann - for whatever reason, the caller remembered you but alas, too late. . .  

Jun 16, 2021 11:28 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

I think he Googled info about HOA violations in the midst of a crisis and found me, and thought I was a benevolent expert there to lend a hand.  

Jun 16, 2021 04:14 PM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Realty ONE Group Advocates 484-237-2055 - Downingtown, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

Desperation motivated this reader, he was obviously trying to find an expert and found one. It is a shame he did not realize he needed you before it became a matter of urgency.

Jun 16, 2021 01:24 PM
Chris Ann Cleland

Yep.  I hope he was at least able to reach the broker of the agent that had left him high and dry.  God him help if the agent was a sole proprietor.

Jun 16, 2021 04:14 PM
Liz and Bill Spear
Transaction Alliance 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
Transaction Alliance Cincinnati & Dayton suburbs

I get those calls on occasion, sometimes a FSBO, sometimes someone with their own agent, but either way, they didn't hire me and it's too late for me to solve their issues.  Too often they think they're going to save money, and the opposite holds true.

It's been a number of years since I visited Gettysburg, went up during Christmas break one year for a brief afternoon look around.  Always different to see in person what you've read about.

Jun 16, 2021 01:35 PM
Chris Ann Cleland

Very different indeed, especially since I'm used to Manassas Battlefield Park where the experience is literally walking the battlefield.  Gettysburg is more of a drive thru possible experience.  A lot of pavement.

Jun 16, 2021 04:16 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Chris Ann,

When that happens to a savvy agent like yourself, it shows that you know what you are talking about.   Sadly, they did not hire you, and hired the other agent for whatever reason that propelled them to do that.  A

Jun 16, 2021 01:36 PM
Chris Ann Cleland

I hope they figured it out.  

Jun 16, 2021 04:16 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Chris Ann- sadly this is not the first time this has happened, or the last either. Years ago I was in the car with an agent/friend of mine...driving through her own neighborhood. A neighbor flagged her down and had a similar story. Even though she knew the agent I was with and she had chosen to work with another agent. Now the agent was returning her calls and asked my friend/agent for help. 

Jun 16, 2021 03:25 PM
Chris Ann Cleland

Doing the research before hiring someone is incredibly important.

Jun 16, 2021 04:17 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Yup, Chris Ann. Experience matters! Can't say it enough. Most people spend more time selecting a handbag than their agent, I've found. I've had calls like this one, myself, and it's hard to tell someone you can't help them... because that's what we do day in and day out... help people.

Jun 17, 2021 05:35 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

It is hard to tell them you can't help them!  

Jun 17, 2021 09:34 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

You point out a sad fact, Chris Ann.  Sellers who don't choose their agent wisely, can often find themselves without adequate resources when things don't go well. 

Like you, I won't get involved in another agent's transaction.  That being said, if that non-responding agent has a supervising broker, I would hope the seller would try contacting them, and advising of the agents inattentiveness.

Jun 17, 2021 09:36 PM
Chris Ann Cleland

I sincerely hope the seller did get a hold of the broker, if there was one.

Jun 18, 2021 11:14 AM
Debb Janes
Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
Put My Love of Nature At Work for You

Oh my goodness, what a sad story. It's too bad the seller didn't call you first, but then I guess that's the moral of your post. Ha. 

Jun 18, 2021 08:49 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

Yes it is the moral of the story.

Jun 18, 2021 11:14 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Oh My! When will they learn?

Jun 20, 2021 08:01 AM
Chris Ann Cleland


Jun 20, 2021 09:47 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I bet that was one frustrated seller! I hope he was able to get in touch with the broker and get things moving. It really does matter who the seller chooses to list their property!

Jun 26, 2021 05:11 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

It does matter.  

Jun 27, 2021 08:44 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Chris Ann - that is such a shame.  Really should interview Real Estate Agents.

Jun 26, 2021 08:29 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

Interviewing agents, even if you don't know what you are looking for, it will become crystal clear who knows their stuff and who is just fluffing.

Jun 27, 2021 08:45 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

And I bite our tongue when that happens - being gracious and kind in how I explain why I can not help them. Some folks are relentless ... near begging for help. 

Sorry, I will not interfere with the contract you have with the agent you hired.  

People really need to wake up.  

Jun 26, 2021 09:10 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

I was as nice as I could be, yet I found myself hanging up on him when he kept telling me why I COULD help him.  Not my circus, not my monkeys.

Jun 27, 2021 08:46 PM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Those are the types of calls one might expect when the seller gives the business to a friend who is getting started in the business.  When it doesn't flow smoothly they panic and at that point it's too late

Jun 26, 2021 11:31 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

I have a feeling they hired based solely on commission.  You get what you pay for.

Jun 27, 2021 08:46 PM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

This is always such a shame to hear. When we are hired to sell a home, the least we can do is to be available to our clients.

Jun 26, 2021 11:51 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

It sucks, but our industry allows it to happen.  There needs to be more accountability on the broker end.

Jun 27, 2021 08:47 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Chri Ann:

Flattering that he called...but at the wrong time and in the wrong situation. You handled the situation appropriately but it's always sad to hear of these situations that could have been avoided with the right due diligence.


Jun 26, 2021 03:21 PM
Chris Ann Cleland

Sad indeed.  But thankfully, my clients don't get caught up in a haze.

Jun 27, 2021 08:48 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

I hear you!  I have a similar story but one with solar panels! You've just helped me create my next blog post :)  Have a great day!

Jun 30, 2021 12:47 PM
Number Cruncher LLC - Overton, NV
Helping Taxpayers Resolve IRS problems

I did not know that a seller could not ask another realtor when they have a realtor.  I learn something new every day!  Thank you for posting Chris Ann Cleland.

Have a Happy Day!

Jul 02, 2021 09:11 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

I am so sorry for that seller that he didn't hire you to begin with and I am sure he is to

Jul 07, 2021 05:08 AM