Home Buying in 37212>Question Details

None Ofyabus…, Other/Just Looking in 10012

What EXACTLY does a listing agent do to earn his/her commission?

Asked by None Ofyabusiness, 10012 Thu Sep 6, 2012

Our agent submitted our listing in July and we get no updates. Our agent makes no phone calls for us. Is it all up to us to go find buyers? When we call him, our agent always acts like he is on his cell phone or has an appointment. Did we end up with a lemon? He was highly recommended by a friend. He's licensed. He checked out. Are we going to be blamed for overpricing? He set the price. It's been over a month now. Not one showing. Are we going to be forced to lower our price for our agent to get a quick commission? I wish we could just pay you guys up front; maybe we would be treated better.

Help the community by answering this question:


A listing agents job is to promote and market your home. Before they do this their job entails analyzing all available market data accurately so that they can advise you on how to price your property in order to get it sold within 90-120 days. In addition their job is to advise you on how to get your home in show shape, and what you may want to do in order to either market it more appealing to the broadest group of potential buyers or to improve it's sale price. They are absolutely responsible for communicating with you clearly, updating you on what their doing to get your home sold, negotiating on your behalf and when listing a home they assume a fiduciary responsibility to you their client the best possible terms, price and conditions when a contract comes in and to account for all money entrusted to them in connection with your transaction.

I hate to say it but statistically you are more likely to get an agent who doesn't really know what their doing. Who believes their job is order taking and wishful thinking. This is why the vast majority of licensed agents earn $40,000 or less in pre-tax dollars a year and why most new agents don't even last two years. Experience as proven only by the number of successfully closed transactions per year not only counts it's truly the only way the public has to judge the relative value of any agent their considering using.

When a home isn't getting shown there is really only two reasons and 90% of the time it's one reason: "The Price" the other 10% of the time it's there simply are no buyers in your segment of the market though this is the exception.

With that said, I know full well there are always at least two sides to every story. My advice is to contact your agent and demand a sit down face to face meeting At that meeting I would ask them to show you specifically everything they have done to market your home, specifically what they've done on the Internet (Print advertising for real estate has been a dead end for at least a decade and isn't worth the time, effort or money). Do you have 25 or more professionally shot photographs of your home? Is there a virtual tour link for your home. is the written description accurate and engaging?

Ask them to prepare a report from data taken from your areas MLS system showing exactly how many showing there have been on homes that are within a 2 mile circumference of your property priced within $50,000 on either side of your asking price within the past 6 weeks. Also request to see how many of these homes have gone under contract. If they can't or won't do this for you it time to fire them and move on to find another more professional agent.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 12, 2012
This is a Zombie question that wouldn't die in 2012.--------
-----Mack appears to be the only one to suggest there is one major question you have failed to respond to and that question is,---------- "What method of selling did you choose?" --------- Too often a home seller insists on saving too much money and receives minimal service as the clear and obvious consequence. This is a business, not a hobby. ---------Before an agent chooses to throw others under the bus they need to ask a few questions. ----------- "Are we going to be forced to lower our price for out agent to get a quick commission?" is a very revealing question for those who have ears that hear. ----- I HEAR an agreement that started with a lack of trust and the belief that all that's needed to sell is submission to the MLS. How it begins overwhelmingly determines how it ends.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 3, 2014
here is a great UTube video describing what we do --- God Made a Realtor

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 3, 2014
Unfortunately some agents do disappear after they get a listing, especially if it doesn't sell quickly. But in all fairness, this has also been a strange time for home sales, too. In a perfect world, I try to call my customers every Wednesday. That doesn't happen sometimes, but I try. But we do business a whole different way- a little like you were describing, if you were serious. Go to my website. There are ways to market your home. Home sales are not on auto-pilot anymore. Just suggest to your agent some things you would like to see start happening. Like communication!

Don Martin, Martin Properties
(615) 973-8970
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 24, 2014
That is the difference between an agent that simply "Sticks a sign in your yard" and one that actually markets your home. Check out this site to learn how we sell homes for up to 18% more than traditional agents. http://www.naeadifference.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 18, 2014
This question was asked many months ago -- but whatever happened? Did you find a Realtor who would actually serve you? If not, please contact me. I can virtually guarantee that you'll get the kind of respectable service you expect and deserve!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 16, 2014
That is so sad to Hear . Let me say that having this conversation with your realtor should get you changes All you complaints seem reasonable . It is not good for the hard working professionals when clients are not served correctly. Again I am sorry for you disappointment .
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 10, 2014
Heavily posted topic.

I say schedule a meeting, that is mandatory to discuss results. Ask about their satisfaction guarantee. We have pne for all our clients.

The idea of paying up front will not get you better service as the financial gain (incentive) is given up front. Your agent will only make any money if there is a sla e so they shpu.d be motivated. If not, then maybe they ate lart time so they have othe r committments and income.

I advise to ask the right questions up front. Lay down ideas of what you expect and what you want the outcome to be.

Best of luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 22, 2012
Just because your agent has a license does not mean that he has made the efforrt to get further education to become more proficient as a real estate agent. Most major real estate agencies require their agents to become REALTORS (trademark). Ask if your agent is a REALTOR.
Your agent should be able to decide the price of your home based on what the market analysis of your home is and price your home accordingly if he is a member of a local association and multiple listing service. The location where you homes is ( city or rural ) will also make a difference in how often it will be show , also absorption rates in your area, how fast homes are selling in the price range of your home. These are questions that you need to ask your agent. If it is impossible for you to talk with your agent to get feedback that is a sure sign that you all are not on the same page. Ask you agent how your home being advertised.You are obviously frustrated, a good agent should be there to help relieve some of your stress. Talk to your agent or the managing Broker in his office if you can,t get answers directly from him. An overpriced home and an unkept home are two major reason why homes don't show. I don't know any agent that would not like to be paid up front. You won't have any problems working that deal.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 2, 2012
All good answers here. If you're still unhappy with the service after trying to talk to him/her, then cancel the listing and find someone else you find to be more responsive. You have a right to good service!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 20, 2012
Great answer from Larry - visit with your agent and get the answers you deserve.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 19, 2012
That,s a very good question! Before I became a Realtor I wanted to know the answer to that question
as well. Email me at claracarter@realtracs.com and I will send you a list of 150 things a real estate agent does for his/her client. Most of the work goes on "behind the scenes". There is not enough space here to tell you everything.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 19, 2012
Keep in mind that you need representation when dealing with such an important asset.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 15, 2012
Dear None Ofyabusiness, I'm sorry to hear about your lack of service and results. You actually can pay upfront for a real estate agent to list your property. It's call flat fee mls listing service and it is one of the services my company happens to offer. We give full service but only charge you a fraction of the traditional commission fee. You get weekly reports and all the bells and whistles, but at a fraction of the cost. My website is http://www.resultsmls.com and I'd be happy to talk to you about our service.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2012
They broker the sale of your home.

All of the rest - NOYB - I know this isn't pleasant to read - is negotiable. A real estate broker earns their commission by selling your property, and all of the things in between: talking to you, keeping you posted on activity, whatever - is negotiable and your expectations MUST be acknowledged by the broker BEFORE you can complain that they're not being met.

Often, brokers "fall in love" with properties - we overlook the negatives, overestimate the positives, and suggest list prices that we honestly believe in, but that the market doesn't support. It's a matter of opinion; the market decides.

If you really want a broker that works the way you want them to work, you need to tell them what your expectations are. Otherwise, it's like walking into a restaurant and expecting them to know what you want to eat that evening.

All the best,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 12, 2012
It is your agent's responsibility to advise and counsel you on the strategies to market the property which includes setting the right price for the listing.

Usually a listing agent may be terminated for abandoning a listing. However, it is not easy making a case for abandonment.

I understand how you feel. A few years ago I defended a seller against a broker for seeking his commission in a botched deal that involved a multimillion dollar property. At trial, we argued the broker abandoned the listing, i.e. he did practically nothing to promote the sale, but a buyer was found through someone else's efforts and he reaped that benefit from that. The trial judge seemed to think that since my client signed an exclusive listing, it didn't matter how a buyer was found but as long as one was found during the listing period, he's entitled to his commission. That felt pretty rotten for my client but that was the court's view.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 11, 2012
SO sorry about your issues! Unfortunately in this as in every business there are some Realtors better than others. One thing to remember is that your agent is YOUR representative. What that really means is that you are in the drivers seat. As you said you are going to be paying them, so it's absolutely your right to raise concerns with them and voice your expectations. I believe it is very important on the front end to go over what you can expect from me and what I expect from you, so there is no disappointment later during the transaction process. Agents do a lot of back end work promoting and marketing, and hopefully this is taking place, you just may not know about it. Ask for a weekly report, or regular updates on progress, or even the marketing plan if your agent hasn't provided them. You are the client and you deserve to feel well taken care of.
Web Reference: http://LeannaMcKee.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 11, 2012
Bill O'Reilly wrote a great book called "Who's looking out for you". The answer is that you have to know enough to hire the right person. The lesson here is to do some homework and gain some knowledge about what a professional and successful real estate agent/broker does to earn that fee by: (1) sharing his market knowledge gained by successfully closing a lot of sold listings in your area as this relates to proper positioning of your home vs. other competing listings to facilitate showings and receive a purchase contract from the current pool of buyers in the marketplace, (2) introducing staff or vendors like a staging consultant as part of his services to assist you in minimizing negatives and maximizing positives to increase the WOW and likability of your home, (3) calling you weekly with updates on new competing properties that have come on the market for sale that will take the next buyer from you....giving you the opportunity to adjust your position in the marketplace and increase the chance of getting that next buyer...... I'm going to stop here.
...........If you are going to hire a CPA and sit and discuss taxes.....read up on what a CPA does and some of the new tax changes so that you can hold a conversation.
..........If you are going to hire a real estate professional to help you buy or sell an expensive assett......read up on what a great real estate person does for you and how they earn that big fee.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 10, 2012
I am sorry you have not had a good experience with your listing agent;however, there is still hope. If you are not happy with your agent then give him/her a call. Share your frustrations. If he/she is not responding to your inquiries then you have a right to contact their broker or asked to be released from your contract. As a listing agent he/she should have a marketing plan in place for your home. That marketing plan should outline all the ways that your agent is advertising your home for sale. Additionally, many sites such as Trulia, Zillow, and Realtor.com all have reporting features where they can send out weekly reports to show you the traffic your home is getting. Ask your agent what sites is he/she using to market your home. Ask to be included in those reports. Look at your listing on realtracs and see if your agent has maximized the MLS where your home is listed. If your home is not showing ask to see updated comps to see if it is priced right. At the very least ask your agent for a specific day each week where he/she can check in with you. At this call you can talk about feedback, calls or emails that have been received on the property. Communication is vital to any relationship. You have. A contract with specific agent responsibilities. While under contract you as a homeowner are his/her temporary employer. Good luck and hope your home sells quickly and you are able to work out the kinks with your agent. http://Www.mariaholland.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 6, 2012
Hopefully your agent is promoting your home to the public and other Realtors. I believe in Open Houses because it give the public an opportunity to see the house. However, rarely are homes sold as a result. Marketing is certainly a part of the commission we earn but the real work begins with the offer and continues through closing. The negotiating process, the subsequent inspections, ironing out any issues that may arise, making sure the buyer is on track with financing, getting that financing to the table on time and a smooth closing are tricky business.

There are 3 factors that effect the sale of a house, Price, Condition and Location (not necessarily in that order). If your house isn't being shown it's probably listed to high. Seller's set the price, not the Realtor. Realtors make a recommendation only. If your house is being shown and there are no offers you might consider the condition. Is it show ready? Is it clean? Is it easy to show? Are there obvious repairs you could fix? Does your house need to be professionally staged?

Time to have "a sit down" meeting with your Realtor. I'm sure he'll do the right thing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 6, 2012
That’s brutal. Especially since the market your area has been so strong this year.

17 homes have gone under contract and sold since the middle of August in your area. 15 more are under contract. Assuming that you are reasonably priced and in great condition, you should have multiple showing every single week. A few that I called on today for clients looking tomorrow have had four showings in one day.

Ask for proof (in addition to opinion). Look at the EXACT properties that you are being told are the comparable home sales around you. Make sure those are accurate and similar to what you have. Maybe go and see 4-5 homes that are your competition.

If you haven’t had a showing in the last month, there is something terribly wrong with BOTH your price and your presentation -- because your area is selling very, very well right now.

No, you should not have to make calls (follow up calls on your showings I presume?) or find buyers on your own. You should only be working on keeping your property in great shape for showings. Staged correctly to show off your advantages, clean and neat to show how well it’s been maintained, and obviously keeping the day to day upkeep going as strong as possible.

You might give him/her a chance to discuss, but it sounds like that may not be what either of you want at this point. Unfortunately, if your home has been sitting on the market overpriced - whether by someone else’s mistake or by your own - you will be the one who pays for it.

You’ll be treated better by many of the pros responding here locally. Frankly, you’ll be treated better by most of the folks qualified to sell your home; but a license doesn’t equal qualified. You can pay up front if you so choose… but choose wisely because you’ve already been burned once.

Is your home ready to be shown tomorrow afternoon?

Kevin Pellatiro, realtor
Hoping to help you take advantage of the market – when you are ready.
(615)714-7918 | kpellatiro@realtracs.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 6, 2012
I would definitely raise some concerns with your agent's broker if this lack of communication continues.

Ultimately, you are the one that has financial obligations in your home (not the agent). So in my opinion, your agent should be working both for you and with you constantly. Ultimately it's you, the seller, that has the final say in pricing your home. Part of what an agent does to "earn" their commission is help to inform you on all the factors that go into setting the price of your home (and there are several factors) as well as to be a guide through the entire home buying process. An agent's job is to also market your home to help you find potential buyers (ie showings, websites, etc). And throughout this process should continue to stay in contact with you on any potential buyers/offers. It's a little disappointing that this is not happening for you.

It's certainly in your rights to express any concerns to your agent's managing broker. All agents must have their license under the supervision of a managing broker (unless your agent is the managing broker). Which means the way agents conduct their business will certainly reflect on that broker. And I'm sure that broker will not like the way it sounds like your agent is conducting business.

Thanks for asking and good luck.

Russell Johnson
119 3rd Avenue South, Suite 100
Nashville, TN 37201
Cell: 615.516.7912
Fax: 615.503.9777
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 6, 2012
Dear "None ofyabusiness",
I love ur moniker btw.

Meanwhile, a listing agent (in the U.S.) performs many duties, (or at least they should). You did not indicate whether or not they are a Realtor. If they are, they have agreed to adhere to a strict set of standards, not the least of which is to sell your home! Hopefully, they provided a detailed marketing report and a specific set of steps they take to get your home sold. Part of that system is to keep you informed at all times and to huddle up whenever they believe showings have dropped off, or other agents are reporting on the results of the showing of your home.
Call them up and set a meeting. Be prepared to speak frankly on your issues and concerns. Also, be fully prepared to go over his marketing plan and listen to his evaluation of his own performance to date.

Straight talk and honest conversation should go a long way to clear up your frustration. Should you feel that you are not reaching a mutually agreeable solution, you should call the agents' Broker directly and ask for a face to face with them. Technically, (at least in our state), your listing is with the Broker, not the agent. The Broker will meet with you and possibly release you from the listing, or assign another agent of your choice.

Good luck,

Steve Condurelis
Keller Williams Nashville
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 6, 2012
There are several factors that can occur from which you speak. It is unfortunate that your agent may be unavailable to you. Perhaps sitting down with them and having a conversations of your concerns and see if that makes a difference.

As the Devil's Advocate, as a listing agent, there are other factors here that can take play. For instance, your home may not be desirable due to pricing, condition or location. Lowering the price isn't about making a quick commission. You should ask your agent for a weekly breakdown of what is happening in your neighborhood to justify pricing vs. showings. It is important to to stay on top of your local market and that is what a listing agent should be doing for you.

To answer your question directly. The agent earns their commission through the means of marketing that you both agreed upon. That may be the type of advertisements you do, open houses, broker open houses if needed, networking with their peers and not limited to showing their own potential buyers.

Today's market is no different than any other. It is about expectations that should have been set from the beginning and the amount of exposure your home gets. I believe if you sit down with your agent and speak to them that they might be available. If they are truly that busy, then perhaps you should ask who you should contact for immediate assistance to answer simple concerns. Many of your busiest agents have assistants or team members that are there for that exact purpose.

Good luck with your conversations but keep the lines of communication open, that is the most important!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 6, 2012
When you engage the services of a realtor to list and sell your home; there are expectations that should be met. It seems very unusual that there have been no showings. Communicating with your agent should never be a chore. My clients know they can get me at 7am, and until 9pm. If I am with another client, or on appointment, calls are either rescheduled or returned in a very timely manner.

On the sale price, If your agent set price, the responsibility for that price would rest with him. While it is not uncommon for the asking price of a home to come down depending on market factors, it is uncommon for a seller to be kept in the dark as you appear to be. You should not have to pay "up front" to be treated in a professional manner. There is a standard of care you should be receiving as a client, and it is dissapointing to hear that you are having such a poor experience. Selling a home is a process with both financial and personal components. Your agent should be invested in the process, and with you every step of the way. I am sorry to hear about this situation. If this continues, I would recommend speaking with his operating broker, if he has one.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 6, 2012
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