Home Selling in Sacramento>Question Details

Molly, Home Seller in Sacramento, CA

As a seller, how often should I expect to hear from my listing agent?

Asked by Molly, Sacramento, CA Thu Feb 26, 2009

My house has been on the market for a month now with zero showings. (I discussed it in a thread here last week and will be dropping the price very shortly to be competitive.) For the past two weeks, I haven't heard a peep from my realtor.

I am very aware that my realtor won't receive payment unless the house closes, and I don't want to waste his time. But I feel that even a two-minute conversation once a week -- to discuss topics such as current home sales in my area, listings that are my direct competition, strategies to employ as we move forward -- would demonstrate to me that he is at least somewhat motivated to work on my listing. But with no initiatve on his part to discuss what's going wrong here, or even any communication, I feel like he is taking the list-it-and-forget-it approach. I ended up calling him to schedule an upcoming meeting.

From an agent's perspective, do you think that my expectations are unreasonable? How do you approach your communications with sellers?

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Molly,
I am in agreement with Dave...your Realtor should touch base with you once a week. Even when nothing is happening I always shoot out a quick email to my clients...I like to send the MLS views, zillow views etc...Don't be afraid to call them too...let them know you would like weekly updates..sometimes agents feel like a bother if they contact too often...Happy New Year!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 31, 2011

You should hear from your realtor at least once a week. I like to contact my homeowners to keep them up to date even if I have no good news. Any information bad or good is still information. Make sure you talk to your agent and discuss your concerns.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 30, 2011
Dear Molly; This is a discussion you want to have with your agent before deciding to list your home with him/her. My policy is to contact my Seller once a week unless they request more often. I like to call them "before" they call me and exceed their expectations.

Price position in this market is crucial to your home selling. I am sure your agent can and has explained this fact to you. Good luck and good selling.

Erin Phillips
Keller Williams Realty
Web Reference: http://SoldByErin.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 30, 2011
Every agent has their own specifications. Personally I like to ask my clients how often they would like to be contacted. Just letting something sit on the market does not get it anywhere.
Web Reference: http://www.teamhybridre.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 30, 2011
Molly... depends on what YOU want. We tell our sellers, we will work out our communication schedule based on their preference. Some want to hear after every showing, some weekly ... some only when we have an offer. Tell your agent you would prefer more regular communcation. They are probably nervous to call since they have no news to report.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 28, 2011
My house has been on the market since Aug 30th. Realtor stopped by September 15th haven't heard or seen him since. I know things are not selling fast but I would have thought the realtor would check in once every two weeks but have not heard a thing. Am I unreasonable????
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 27, 2011
Hello everyone!

Thank you for the input! The consensus seems to be that the method and frequency of communication should be discussed. Which has not been done yet. Interestingly, however, at the time I signed the listing agreement, my realtor gave me a handout listing his services and plan of action. It appears to be a generic list, like something that perhaps everyone in his company gives out. The first item? "To communicate the results of our activities weekly to you."

Just to clarify -- my cell phone is the number that other agents call to show the property. So I don't need him to tell me that there were no showings. But there are things happening in my neighborhood that are relevant to my sale, which causes me to wonder why he's not telling me about them. I am aware of them because I try to keep up on realtor.com and the "public" version of Metrolist in order to be somewhat informed on my own...but I am not the expert and I would much rather have the expert's take on things.

Prior to posting here today, I gave a lot of thought to whether/how I should discuss the communication issue with him. Our relationship is certainly cordial, but I am extremely, extremely uncomfortable with the idea of bringing this up with him. I do not believe he will be receptive to this kind of discussion. I don't know for certain, obviously, but that is my hunch based on my experience so far. Example -- when I asked him about next steps/strategies after 2 weeks of no showings, his tone got defensive and he said something to the effect of "YOU knew going in that this was going to be hard." Of course I know the market is bad for me specifically right now. But I don't think that means that we don't strategize! And he didn't bring up pricing as a strategy -- in fact, he gave virtually no input on my pricing from the beginning. I think that one of the roles of a listing agent is to give continual guidance and feedback all along the way. If I choose not to implement his advice, well, that would be one thing. But I'm not even getting that guidance.

@Team Newington: Regarding your comment "If you were my client, I think I would feel like I failed you if I found out you were getting advice online." -- Yes, I know it speaks volumes about my relationship with my realtor if I come here for help instead of asking him. I am disappointed that our relationship is not going the way I anticipated when I selected him.

Again, I appreciate all of you for taking the time to give me your perspectives! You are really helpful. Difficult as it may be, I will talk with him about my concerns.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 26, 2009
Oh my gosh Molly--no, you are not being unreasonable in wishing to speak with your Realtor weekly. Just make sure you have communicated that with your Realtor and let me know the best way to contact you whether you prefer a phone call or an e-mail. I do both.

I do the same as Elizabeth with a weekly contact talking about the number of showings, web site hits on all of the websites that I post listings to, number of sign calls, agent showing feedback information as they occur to my seller, etc.

I'm glad your reducing your price. Just make sure you stay in front of market price, not behind it (being too high). If you reduce your price to below market value, you should get multiple offers if not at least one within a week of doing so and they will probably be over your asking price.
Web Reference: http://SoldByErin.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 26, 2009
Hi Molly!

Keep in mind I am a mortgage broker...

My team makes sure we are in contact with every one of our clients and their Realtors every week. In fact we have a standing appointment scheduled on Tuesdays to make these calls.

I would not be afraid to voice your concern with your Realtor, because it is a very valid point.

If you were my client, I think I would feel like I failed you if I found out you were getting advice online.

Keep in mind we are all used to being paid via commissions... that is just the nature of our business! Don't feel guilty or feel like you are wasting the Realtor's time by asking them to do their job.

I would approach your Realtor and voice your concern. If you don't get the response you are looking for, I think you should think about moving on. There are plenty of folks out there who want to earn your business!

Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 26, 2009
Dear Molly,

You are not unreasonable in your expectations of hearing from your agent on a regular basis. We try to contact our sellers weekly for updates. This contact may take the form of an email or phone call. We also have emails sent to sellers automatically from our mls service to notify them when a listing near them comes on the market or sells so they can see what we see so far as market activity. This is something that should have been discussed during the listing, but if it wasn't don't hesitate to speak up about it now.

The first 30 days are a critical time for a new listing. This is when there will be the highest amount of interest in the property from other agents and buyers. If no one calls to show the property during this time there is usually a pricing or location problem. Your agent should be proactive in discussing this with you and making adjustments as necessary.

If there are other issues that you have questions about you should always be able to raise them with your agent and expect a prompt resonse.

This is a very difficult market for sellers with stiff competition from distressed sale priced homes. You and your agent should be discussing your pricing and marketing strategy on a regular basis. It is also important for your agent to follow up after showings to hear what buyers and their agents had to say about your home. Properties are selling every day. Hopefully your house will soon be one of them.
Web Reference: http://www.CelYourHome.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 26, 2009
Dear Molly,

Let your agent know that you would like to hear from him, even if there is nothing to report, just a feedback of some kind.

I do communicate mostly via e-mail with my sellers and they can call me anytime and they all know that. I let them know of course everytime we have a showing, but I also report to them and often send them copies via e-mail of any advertising or ads I do, any reverse prospecting etc. etc. calls to other agents, whatever it is I did during a specific week, so that the Sellers always feel that I am actually doing things on their behalf and trying to sell their property. If nothing comes together, and there are no showings etc. at least they know I am doing whatever can be done in this somewhat difficult market.

Let your Agent know that it would be nice if he/she would give you a weekly little update even if nothing super has happened just for you to know what the agent has been doing and what he or she suggests could be done to get more interest in the property and I am sure your agent will comply.

But in this market one month is just not a very long time, you will probably have to be a bit patient in this economy and in this slow real estate market.

But I am glad you will be meeting with your agent and can come to an agreement about regular communications.

Take care and good luck on selling your home.
Edith YourRealtor4Life! Working always in the very BEST interest of her clients
if you ever meet anyone moving to Chicago or Northern Illinois send them my way would you?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 26, 2009
As the others have said, just tell him (or her). Specify frequency and whether it's fine with just an e-mail or you'd like a phone call. (you'll definitely hear when there's an offer!!)

They might also have a tool to track internet hits against the property online, If they do, maybe they can include that to you as well. People looking on the internet don't mean that they want to see it, but it is an indicator of demand, and may lead to some new ideas to consider.
Web Reference: http://www.suearcher.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 26, 2009

The schedule for contct and feedback should be established during the time of initiating the listing. Many agents will take a specific morning of the week and contact their listing owners. Often it is a very quick hello with nothing new to offer but it's regular and expected contact that the customer grows to appreciate.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 26, 2009
You should hear from the agent as often as you need. Let your agent know that you'd like a weekly update, even when they nothing to tell you other than "Nothing's been happening this week... we've had no showings, and zero activity... but you're not alone, our entire office has experienced that this week.".

Let him know how often you'd like to be contacted. He should have asked, but we're not mind-readers... talk to him.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 26, 2009
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
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