And Then Glinda Asked... "Are You A "Listing" Agent Or A Selling Agent?"

Real Estate Agent with I.V.P.G. - Inland Valley Professional Group

Hi All,

Don'cha hate this, you get a call from a client wanting to see a home (well I don't hate that part :-).  Naturally, the home they most want to see is the one that is listed as "appointment only, no key safe", so I dutifully called the listing agent at all 4 given numbers (by the way, as of now, 10:08 PM, the following day, I have yet to receive a call back) and left messages asking to view the home.

The property is a Short Sale and has been on the market for 230 days... so far.  Well, no wonder, no key safe, appointment only, no sign, no response... So I started ranting to my poor hubby (who is usually the patient audience for my Oscar worthy performances), What the heck is wrong with this agent?  Do they really want to sell this house or do they just want to list it? And then it hit me - that was exactly what they wanted to do, and they were not alone, there are dozens if not hundreds of agents like them... "Listing" Agents.

Please don't misunderstand, I am not talking about the responsible, highly skilled agents who choose to specialize in working with the owners of the property and who do everything in their power to service their clients and sell the home.  I am talking about "Listing" Agents - folks who will take any and every listing they can get their grubby little paws on no matter what they have to do, offer or agree to in order to get them.

They will take a Short Sale without investigating whether or not its a doable deal.  And then despite the time critical nature of this transaction, they will agree to not use a keysafe and show the home by appointment only (but are unavailable when anyone tries to make an appointment).  They will put the listing on the MLS with no photo (sometimes for months despite possible penalties) or with a picture of the exterior only, taken from the next county.  They have never heard of flyers.  They will advertise the home as "drive by only".  And, of course, they don't have a cell phone and even if they do, they never, and I mean NEVER answer their calls. 

Of course they don't discriminate, they give all their clients the same level of "service".

All they are interested in is getting the listing - not selling the home, or helping the people, just getting the listing.  And get them they do.  But sell them they don't.  A search of the MLS will show that quite plainly.  Fortunately, I don't count myself among them.  I consider myself a Selling Agent.

Sure, I am as excited as the next girl when I am given the opportunity to help someone sell their home.  And I am equally excited when I am given the opportunity to help someone buy one.  But I think the key motivation for me is being given the chance to help someone.  Its not the "deal" that drives me, its the people. 

And so, much like Glinda asked Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, I shall paraphrase and ask you - "Are you "listing" Agent or a Selling Agent? 

Take care all, help lots of people and have a wonderful day!


Comments (12)

Courtney Cooper
Cooper Jacobs - Seattle, WA

I just experienced a similar thing but no short sale on mine:)

Aug 25, 2008 05:54 PM
Tisza Major-Posner
I.V.P.G. - Inland Valley Professional Group - Claremont, CA

Hi Courtney,

I'm sorry to hear that but it just goes to show that "Listing" agents are EVERYWHERE and in every aspect of the business.

Take care & have a super day!


Aug 25, 2008 06:02 PM
Carol Swain
Keller Williams Real Estate - Langhorne, PA
Realtor, Bucks County, Pa

It really sounds like the "listing agent" did not do her math on this one.  He/She probably was not the best pick to sell the home.  I can fully understand your frustration.

Aug 25, 2008 10:08 PM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH@Properties - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Tisza, the whole thing with shortsales and bank owned properties is getting to be a favorite rant these days.  I've done it myself a few times.  I like your take on it!

Aug 26, 2008 12:36 AM
Ann Allen Hoover
RE/MAX Advantage South - Hoover, AL
CDPE SRES ASP e-PRO Realtor - Homes for Sale - AL

Hi Tisza!  I walk away from listings I don't think will sell.  They just aren't worth it to me.  Sometimes I feel I don't list as many as I should, but quality is better than quantity.

Have a great day!

Ann Allen Birmingham Realtor

Aug 26, 2008 01:21 AM
Mary Pope-Handy
Christie's International Real Estate Sereno - Los Gatos, CA
CRS, CIPS, ABR, SRES, Silicon Valley

At the risk of sounding cynical, I believe that there are a few agents out there who make it difficult to see their listings precisely so that they can sell them - themselves, and only with themselves involved as agents. If they make it hard enough for anyone else to show and sell it, they will eventually double-end the deal.

Sadly, I can think of one or two like that in my area, and they have a very high rate of double-ending their own listings.

Aug 26, 2008 02:06 AM
Tisza Major-Posner
I.V.P.G. - Inland Valley Professional Group - Claremont, CA

Hi All,

Carol - I agree and would almost go so far as to say that your comment is an understatement to say the least :-)

Patricia - I am glad you enjoyed my slant. 

Ann - My feelings exactly.  I will also decline the listing if the owner is not willing to allow me to do all that is necessary to sell the home or if we just don't "click". 

Mary - I don't think you sound cynical, I think what you are saying has a high probability of being correct.  Of course, I also think that there is a high probability that there are a whole bunch of agents out there who are the functional equivalent of "one hit wonders".  The once made a sale quickly and easily with no work on their part and consequently, they have no concept of what is necessary to repeat the feat, and no interest or desire to learn. 

Take care all, help lots of people and have a wonderful day!


Aug 26, 2008 02:24 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

Tisza - I won't touch a short-sale with a ten foot pole.  If I have a client that wants to view one, and is fairly adament about it, I refer her to an energetic agent in one of our offices, who seems to have better luck with them than most!  Life is way to short - Short-sales are anything but short!

Aug 26, 2008 11:25 AM
Debbie Small
Long & Foster Realtors - Martinsburg, WV

Seems pretty pointless to me but I think Mary may be on to something.

Aug 27, 2008 02:02 PM
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
HomeSmart - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Your profile says you are out of California, but I swear you must be working with the same real estate agents I work with here in Arizona.  I don't know what the point is of listing a home without any intent of helping to sell it.  I guess that they just expect the buyers agent to sell the house for them.  I also agree with Mary that there are some agents who are so greedy, they would rather see a home sit for 300 days and get both sides, than to help their clients sell in 60-90 days.

Dec 17, 2008 11:59 AM
Karen Rice Keller Williams Real Est
Keller Williams Real Estate - Hawley, PA
Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales

OMG, don't you just love it.  NOT!  I can't believe these agents stay in business or sell enough real estate to stay afloat.

Jan 18, 2009 11:56 AM
Latonia Parks
Top Bragg Realty, Fayetteville NC, Home of the 82d ABN DIV - Fayetteville, NC
Certified Military Relocation Expert

I thought this was kind of funny since they both sound like the same thing.  As I continued reading your post, I saw there is a huge difference.  Great job explaining to me. :)

Jan 18, 2009 12:01 PM