Should You Take That Listing?

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Real Estate RS301772

In today's real estate market with record-breaking low inventory, any listing opportunity is enticing to motivated agents.  After all, taking new listings is the meat and potatoes of our business.  But is it in your, or your client's, best interest to take certain listings?  

Scenario:  You have a dear friend who owns a home in your state. Your friend wants you to list it. Because you care about your friend, you want to make sure they get the best service possible.  And because you need some listings, you want to take it.  

The thing is...the house is over two hours away from your home base. But...your real estate license allows you to list or sell property anywhere in the state.  Should you take the listing?

The answer, like many answers in real estate, is "it depends."   Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I have a good, solid, working knowledge of the area?
  • Do I know trusted professionals in the area to refer to my client for additional services?
  • Do I have detailed, reliable local market data and comparable properties?
  • Will I be able to show the property to interested buyers who contact me?
  • Will local agents have access to vital, agent-only listing information, such as disclosures, private remarks, and showing instructions?
  • Will local agents be able to easily schedule showings?
  • Will I be able to do an open house if the client wants one?
  • Will I be able to properly market an open house if the client wants one? 

    The following questions are pertinent if the property is vacant:

  • Will I be able to help if an agent tries to show the property and the key isoops lights left on missing or the lockbox malfunctions?
  • Will I be able to fix the problem if a neighbor calls to inform me that lights were left on after a showing?


If you can't answer "yes" to these questions, you should really consider interviewing an experienced agent local to the listing area and referring your client to one you feel will do an excellent job.   The REALTOR Code of Ethics Duties to Clients and Customers begins with (emphasis mine):

"When representing a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant, or other client as an agent, REALTORS® pledge themselves to protect and promote the interests of their client. "

At the end of the day, no matter the circumstances, the best interests of the client trump all else.  

Thoughts? Comments?

Posted by

Homes For Sale & Local Info for Pike County, Wayne County, & Lake Wallenpaupack in Northeast PA.


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Karen Rice (that's me!) lists & sells in Tanglwood, Wallenpaupack Lake Estates, Hideout, Indian Rocks, Masthope, Fawn Lake, Tink Wig, Woodland Hills, Walker Lake, Hemlock Farms, & more in Pike & Wayne County.

Comments (4)

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Karen - these are good questions for a real estate professional to ask of themselves when a listing opportunity presents itself.  Maybe it something different than greed but that does come to mind as well as how will the client best be served.  Some serious self-talk is likely a part of the discussion. 

Sep 09, 2021 09:01 AM
Karen Rice

Hi Michael, thanks for your comment.  :)  I don't think it's greed so much as just...not thinking it through...with some agents at least.  And in some cases, it's a sincere desire to help the client.  It may go all right but it may not.


Sep 10, 2021 04:01 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Excellent post, Karen... I would never take a listing two hours away from my base... I just don't know those markets well enough to do justice to the listing. I would refer that business to a top agent and just take a referral fee.

Sep 09, 2021 10:44 AM
Karen Rice

Exactly - it's one thing if you have access to the MLS for the area, so that you can at least find and study trends and comparables - but these agents rarely join the local MLS for one listing...

Sep 10, 2021 04:03 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Karen, like Nina, would never take a listing two hours away.  Our commission is really cracking down on agents working outside their geographic area.

Sep 09, 2021 10:46 AM
Karen Rice

Really?  Are they pursuing it on ethical grounds? Thanks for your comment and thanks for reading! :)

Sep 10, 2021 04:04 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Good point. I would not take a listing two hours away. I wouldn't be able to service it properly!


Sep 10, 2021 05:13 AM