Some Agents Don't Read Listings and Some Agents Don't Read Signs

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Gold DRE #00697006

short sale listing agent sacramentoA drawback to being a short sale listing agent in Sacramento is the fact that the inventory stays on the market a minimum of three months before closing, which means my lockboxes can't be reassigned every 6 to 8 weeks. In a faster selling market, an agent can take 20 listings and use 10 lockboxes, because as they sell, lockboxes can be removed and reassigned to another home. Not so with short sale listings.

I had no choice yesterday but to sit in the slow moving traffic on Business 80 crossing the American River and hope I could make it in time to the Sacramento Board of REALTORS® store. As I inched along, staring at the back of a Toyota pickup -- I really dislike having the butt-end of SUVs and pickup trucks slammed up in my face -- I wondered what I would do if, when I got to the store, all the lockboxes were gone. I tried to find used lockboxes among the agents at my Lyon office in Midtown, but nobody had any extras to sell.

How do those REO agents do it? Some list more than 100 foreclosure homes, and each must, according to board rules, have a Supra lockbox. Those things cost $115 each, and Metrolist doesn't give discounts for buying in bulk. Those agents spend more than $10,000 on lockbox inventory. That thought made me feel better about the cost of those lockboxes.

I finally arrived at the REALTOR® store 40 minutes later. Just as I yanked open the door and entered the store, my phone rang. I went back into the parking lot. It was the seller of one of my short sale listings. He wanted to know why several buyer's agents who showed his home thought it had a pool. Oh, yeah. His next-door neighbor has a pool, and I had included a photograph on MLS, which showed that view from his balcony. I was very impressed by the beautiful landscaping, pool and spa. It gave one a feeling of being on vacation, surrounded by palm trees and water features.

Of course, I noted in the caption that the photo captured the yard next door. Just for giggles, I added that if the new buyers got to know those neighbors, maybe the neighbors would let them use their pool and spa. And if not, it was a nice view, regardless.

You know what's coming next, right? The next-door neighbor had called me the day the listing went into MLS. She was furious. She was "appalled" that I would suggest she would let anybody use her pool and spa. She doesn't know my sellers and, in fact, doesn't care to. I listened to her rant for a while, wondering if I should tell her that Google has placed a photograph of her back yard online. It also occurred to me that because the homes in this subdivision were built about 4 to 5 years ago, unless every home owner put down substantial amounts of cash, most are upside down right now, mortgage-wise.

Perhaps this was what pushed that neighbor over the edge? You'd think she'd be more concerned about her equity position, but to keep the peace, I promised her I would remove the photograph from MLS. I don't need the neighbor feeling resentful toward me nor my seller. And I shared this story with my seller. Yup, the photograph in MLS was gone, so now agents can't get confused because they don't read the captions. Problem solved.

I walked back into the real estate store. Ordered my lockboxes and stood at the front desk, pondering a rather large sign on the cash register. It informed customers that the clerks cannot offer proper assistance if customers are talking on their cell phones. As I waited, a guy strolled in the store, yakking his fool head off on his cell. He stood about 3 feet away from me. Yak. Yak. Yak.  I caught the eye of the clerk and said, "I don't think that guy read your sign."

"They don't care," she shrugged. "None of them care." What's worse, she says, is when she's ringing up a sale for an agent and the agent answers his phone. Then agents stand at the cash register talking on their cell while other agents are lined up behind, she complained, inferring that real estate agents are a rude lot.

For once I was glad that I had walked outside to take my phone call.

Elizabeth Weintraub Land Park Real Estate Agent in Sacramento

The Short Sale Savior, by Elizabeth Weintraub, coming to a bookstore near you.

Photograph: Pool at Cabo San Lucas and not a short sale listing, by Elizabeth Weintraub

 

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Elizabeth Weintraub is co-partner of Weintraub & Wallace Team of Top Producing Realtors, an author, home buying expert at The Balance, a Land Park resident, and a veteran real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown, Carmichael and East Sacramento, as well as tract homes in Elk Grove, Natomas, Roseville and Lincoln. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put our combined 80 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at RE/MAX Gold. DRE License # 00697006.

Photo: Unless otherwise noted in this blog, the photo is copyrighted by Big Stock Photo and used with permission.The views expressed herein are Weintraub's personal views and do not reflect the views of RE/MAX Gold. Disclaimer: If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market, and the price could change without notice; it could blow up, explode or vanish. To find out the present status of any listing, please go to elizabethweintraub.com.

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Rainmaker
238,410
Angelia Garcia
Pure Realtors - Dallas, TX

There are alot of rude people out there not just Realtors.  You can wait in line at the WalMart or you could be sitting down at a nice restaurant and hear the person at the next table talking. Rude! So what can we do? Take their phones from them, I don't think so, they would be claiming robbery. Too bad some people just don't get it.

Jan 25, 2009 02:23 AM #1
Rainmaker
49,381
Michelle Roethle
Windermere Peninsula Properties - Belfair, WA
Your NorthWest "Real Estate Solution"

We have the same sign in our local MLS office and I noticed it the first time I walked in. I guess some of us are in another world right now!

Jan 25, 2009 02:42 AM #2
Ambassador
553,475
Larry Story
Total Care Realty - Greensboro, NC
Total Care Realty, LLC, Greensboro, NC Real Estate

Elizabeth,

No they do not read the comments or the captions.  In our MLS we have an Agent's Only section.  It is highlighted if there are remarks.  We even put short sale addenda in the Media of the listing.  You still get the questions is this a short sale?

Jan 25, 2009 02:56 AM #3
Rainer
30,880
Anna Boyd
Re/Max Gold - El Dorado Hills, CA
CDPE, El Dorado Sacramento

What I run in to on REO's and short sales from out of town agents is the combo, not Supra box they are supposed to have.They feel they can get away with it by having showing instructions be Call Listing Agent (who will then give you the combo). 

When I see an REO listing and it has one photo (ugly one), bare information, a note to NOT call the agent but to pick from Option A,B or C - and I see them with 100 listings, I just wonder that the banks and asset managers don't demand even the modicum of service on these listings. 

There needs to be a better system.  Just not sure what it would be. 

Anna Rainbow Email Footer

 

Jan 25, 2009 03:12 AM #4
Rainer
82,781
Patty Carroll
Vancouver, WA

Here is a idea to get the Supra Boxes contact your local association and see if they will give the names of the agents that have quit. You could contact them directly to see if they will sell the boxes that they are not using. Be sure to ask if they know of anyone that may be getting rid of their Supra boxes as well.

We paid $40-50 each for the blue Supra boxes. in our area there is paperwork that the seller of the Supra box needs to fill out and then you have your MLS associate transfer them into your name. We have bought 12 this way.

Hope this helps.

Jan 25, 2009 03:14 AM #5
Rainmaker
563,998
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

I would have to say that I think REALTORS are more of a rude lot of people than the general public.  Just try asking for feedback from a showing, here is what I get most of the time (there are a minority % of great agents out there, just like every field has):

  • No useful feedback
  • Can't remember showing the home
  • No response at all after 2 or 3 requests
  • Annoyed at having to respond
  • Therapy session on how the market is so terrible
  • Complaining about the price when it's obvious an agent doesn't know the local market
  • Slopping snow or dirt through the home and not taking shoes off
  • and the list goes on...
Jan 25, 2009 03:44 AM #6
Rainer
89,908
Randy Hooker
Dreamcatcher Realty / Greater Phoenix Area - Gilbert, AZ
Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Queen Creek

Hi Elizabeth!  Very nice post.  And funny!  I actually agree with the position that we Realtors have an inordinate number of rude (egotistical/arrogant) folks in our ranks.  It's downright unprofessional, and rude, the way so many of them conduct themselves.  Oh well...  I gotta tell ya that I totally LOVED your sense of humor with the neighbor's pool!  Some people have just forgotten how to lighten up and enjoy the ride we call life.  Thanks!

Randy Hooker

Jan 25, 2009 05:12 AM #7
Ambassador
3,092,697
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Elizabeth:  If REO agents had to use Supra or Sentrilock boxes on all of their listings out here, they'd be out of their minds.  You can literally go all day showing REOs and not need your ekey or Sentricard.  They are all on combo locks.  Pathetic, isn't it?  And we wonder why these homes get vandalized. 

Jan 25, 2009 06:11 AM #8
Anonymous
Jaded

MLS just needs to enforce their rules.  No box, fine 'em daily! Its why the REO team at my own office can't keep "buyer's agents"  they want a % of the selling commish AND they're too rude to service their own listings and get good boxes on 'em.

So the rudest gal I spoted last week were during my olive run to Whole Foods.  Circling the olive bar with my 3 year old, an adult female dipped her fingers into the olives to sample.  Gasp!  Hey can my 3 year old sample your dinner?  Like many WF customers, she looked very PC, but likely not a Realtor:).

Jan 25, 2009 09:40 AM #9
Rainmaker
1,061,991
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Elizabeth, that rule about Supra lockboxes required must not come all the way to Arkansas.  The listing agents of so many REO's just stick one of the cheapie lockboxes on the houses.  They can tell a shopper what the code is and they can just go in alone and if they want the house, the listing agent will sell it to them.  They take listings so far from their territory that they never intend to go back to it probably.  I agree, the REAL lockboxes are expensive.  You must buy your own just as I do mine.

I'll bet if you check a few of those foreclosures, you'll see a lot of cheap lockboxes.

Jan 25, 2009 09:40 AM #10
Ambassador
251,062
Jesse & Kathy Clifton
Jesse Clifton & Associates, REALTORS® - Fairbanks, AK
Retired

That's a whopping amount to have tied up in lockboxes...

I've found that a great many people become inconsiderate rubes when a cell phone is stuck to their ear.  As if the world is going to come to an end if they hit 'mute' for a few minutes?!  Geez.

Jan 25, 2009 06:23 PM #11
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