A common theme here in Active Rain is the poor treatment of the buyer agents, these poor folks receive 85% of the liability in exchange for 50% (or less depending on the attitude of the listing agent) of the pay. Sadly, the term cooperating broker is not in some brokers' and agents' vocabulary.
One area that has increased exponentially in our area is the number of expired listings. This can be a wealth of listing opportunities, but it can be very revealing as to why the listings did not sell in the first place. One of the most revealing areas is the Realtor® only remarks. These are things that the general public has no knowledge of but tend to be major impediments to showing and sale of the property. Below is a sample selection of the comments in the Realtor® only remarks of the expired listings from this past weekend, along with my keen insight about why they might not have gotten fewer showings than most other listings.
"FRIENDLY, TINY DOG, MAGGIE, ON PREMISES. PLEASE DO NOT LET HER OUT WHEN SHOWING. SXS FRIDGE WILL NOT CONVEY BUT WILL BE REPLACED BY FRIDGE IN GARAGE." Perhaps you took this listing because the seller wanted someone to watch Maggie without paying a kennel. I want to focus on selling a home, not have mental visions of running down the street looking for Maggie. Additionally, who wants to explain to a buyer that the way the house shows is not the way it will sell?
"Good location for the soccer moms out there." Are you asking me to violate Fair Housing laws and steer folks to your listing? Do it yourself, thank you.
"SECURITY SYSTEM ACTIVATED - GUARD DOG ON PREMISES. GATE CODE: XXXXX. INVISIBLE FENCING STAYS. SELLER GIVING 2 YEARS OF CRIME PREVENTION MONITORING TO BUYER." This wouldn't be so bad if Fair Housing laws let me answer the logical buyer question "Is this a safe neighborhood?" Seriously you are giving me a choice show your listing and don't sell it, or show all the other houses in your area and possibly sell one of them.
"Call owner, if no answer leave message, then use Marion County lockbox. Furniture will be negotiable." I am here to try and sell your listing, not to run a consignment shop or flea market.
"DINING ROOM CHANDELIER DOES NOT CONVEY - MAY BE BOUGHT SEPARATELY." Ditto my comments about showing the home the way you want it sold at the price listed, and ditto my comments about running a consignment shop or flea market.
"Seller is always at home. We do not have a lockbox and we do not have a key to the home. Please call listing agent Martha (352) XXX-XXXX prior to showing. If unable to speak to Martha please call seller at XXX-XXXX for access." Oh the ease of showing, if the owner scoots off to Wal-Mart for a few, this could be a hassle.
"KEY IN OFFICE, COMMISSION PAID ONLY UPON CLOSING, USE X. XXXXXXX XXXXX, PA, TRUSTEE FOR TITLE CO. AND ESCROW." According to FREC Selling broker is responsible for the proper handling of escrow, and it is not worth arguing over who holds the escrow just for the right to present an offer. I am not about to let some attorney get me all warn down before any contract negotiations start. In case you were not aware, going to your office to pick up a key, and to return the key takes the time of showing two houses. Unless your listing is so unique that none of the neighbors' homes have the same floor plan, is it in my buyers' best interest to show this house.
"The Realtors are related to sellers." What can I say? I am printing a copy of that expired listing to include in my listing package for when I get this objection.
"SHORT SALE CONTINGENT UPON THIRD PARTY LENDER APPROVAL. COMMISSION MAY BE NEGOTIATED BY LENDER IN ORDER TO APPROVE SHORT SALE." I know the discussions over this, but I am not letting some third party renegotiate my paycheck after I do my work. You and your broker should withdraw from the MLS until you figure out the meaning of "cooperation." Just because some MLS boards allow it doesn't make it moral, right or ethical.
"PRE-FORECLOSURE SALE - LARGE 3/2/2 HOME WITH DECORATOR CERAMIC TILE FLOORS, SPLIT PLAN, WELL & SEPTIC. SELLER SAYS BRING OFFERS! KEY IN LISTING OFFICE, HOME IS VACANT." Do you want to sell this or are you just using it as buyer bait? Buy a lockbox for this vacant house, so I don't have to take the time of showing three homes instead of your one. Besides my buyers don't need to know where your office is unless they are trying to go behind my back and cut a deal with you directly, not that that could be a hidden motive on your part.
Call owner first at 317-XXX-XXXX, then lockbox. ATTENTION REALTORS: 2 CATS IN HOME---DO NOT LET THEM OUT!!! First, seller has an out of area area code. I don't like to call long distance to show a home locally. Additionally, if I wanted to be a cat wrangler, I would not have gone to all the effort of getting a Real Estate license.
Bottom Line: A few simple changes on the part of the owner or listing agent would probably have put these listings in the closed column rather than the expired column.
©2009 Dan Homan