Home Selling in 91361>Question Details

Jaimy, Both Buyer and Seller in 91361

Does having the selling agent at the home for a showing increase the odds of selling?

Asked by Jaimy, 91361 Mon Oct 12, 2009

Help the community by answering this question:


Alan May’s answer
Ted, thanks for coming back with a well thought-out and reasonable reply.

I apparently didn't read the same posts that you've read... I think the general consensus was a little "lighter" than your synopsis... in response to the question asked, I think the consensus was "No, having the listing agent present does NOT increase the odds of selling".

And I would agree with you that the situation may change from home to home... some homes truly DO require a listing agent to show them to their best advantage... I agree, no one size fits all...

Regarding the LOCAL agent commenting vs. a Chicago agent responding. Sure, it's always better to have local commentary... local colour is always going to be valuable. However, with a generic question like this one (and it really is a generic question that could be asked about any area of the country) it's easily answered by any agent, in any community...

And, yes, I think it's plainly obvious, since directly below my name it states "Evanston, IL" that I'm truly not soliciting California business. I do not give referrals (and yes, I've been asked) to other areas of the country. I'm not interested in that "referral fee" I might garner for giving them the name of an agent that I've found on the internet.

Furthermore I'm very careful when answering questions from out of my area, especially California, which does things very differently than the rest of the country, to answer only questions that are "generic" or could be applied to everywhere.

I hear what you're saying, Ted... there are lots of agents who "mess it up" by talking too much... or being too "salesman-y" (if that's a word)... and not all agents are as circumspect about their advice on Trulia and elsewhere... we DO need to be very careful out there. But don't be so quick to paint all out of state agents with the same brush. As you so correctly pointed out, and I agree, "no one-size fits all".
4 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 21, 2009
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
Poor Jaimy; started out asking a simple question and gets involved in this horrid discussion due to mud-slinging that has no business in this thread. Ted, you may need a vacation. We all get burned out in this industry and I feel a lot of frustration coming across in your letter. Truth is, no matter how easy it is to get a license, it is difficult to build and maintain a profitable practice. The market shakes out bad agents for the most part. As with any other business, we must endure certain aspects of the industry & move on to the next deal. Yes, there are different methods of operation – even between counties as you mention. I once had an 8-state territory for a mortgage company. Unlike CA, in eastern states like VA & NJ the seller’s disclosures are done in advance and set out with the flyers and input in the MLS like Debbie Rose says. If realtors from Illinois, Texas, New Jersey or anywhere else feel like answering a question on Trulia it is their right to do so. I get annoyed – I’ll admit it – when the regional issues pop up that are radically different because it is misinformation to the public, but truth is, the client is not going to call that out-of-state realtor to list or sell; it’s harmless in the long run. Looking at how others operate can even be interesting.

These territorial attitudes & resistance to change, (CARETS), and are issues you may want to address before you completely alienate the public and your colleagues from wanting to do business with you. Take a step back – this client is already listed with a broker – what do you or I or anyone else have to gain by lambasting other realtors and the public at large? What do you have to lose by being gracious?

You have totally insulted everyone, in and out of CA. I work 60 hours a week at a cost of $4,000 - $10,000 per month to operate my business. I have integrity and honesty. I don't think this makes me a "lazy" realtor. I know you are a good realtor and I don’t believe for one minute that this is how you truly feel for the most part. You were blowing off steam, but you owe everyone an apology.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 17, 2009
boy... you sit down to eat a cookie and the whole world passes you by.

While I agree that local questions require local answers... the question that was asked here "does having the selling agent present increase the odds of selling" can be answered by any agent, anywhere in the country.

We all have an opinion on that subject and it's not local-specific. Yes, some areas tend to have more "listing agent accompanied" showings than others (the city of Chicago for example), while others tend to use lockboxes (the suburbs of Chicago for example)... but the fact that this question was posed by a Californian, does not make this a local specific question... no matter how a "California agent" might want it to.

And sorry... this question does not specifically cover local trades and customs.... the question and answers are just as valuable for agents and clients across the country to read.

The fact that some of us took a moment, and had a little "fun" on the thread does not denigrate or dilute the thread.... and I am not taking valuable time away from my Illinois clients, in order to make this comment.

Let's try to hold your obvious anger at "out of state agents" stealing a small part of your thunder... none of us are trying to step in and Bogart your potential clients... we're just trying to be helpful... and contrary to your little hissy-fit... have done just that.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 17, 2009
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL

I hope that you are able to filter through the answers and make an educated decision for yourself regarding your original question. As you can see there are differences in opinions on the subject. Although some feel that this is a local question, I feel that it is a good question that applies to a broader audience and perhaps others can benefit from the answers to your question. Thank you for asking the question. Best of luck to you.

And now for the remainder of our program.

Other people from other parts of the country read these posts. Just because the question originated from CA does not mean that someone somewhere else can not benefit from it. Yes some practices are local and area specific and can best be answered by a local agent. Other questions, however, can be helpful to others across the country.

I would not begin to tell someone in CA how to handle something regarding the closing procedure there since it vastly differs from how things are handled in the midwest nor would I not tell someone what to offer on a house outside my area. I would, however, suggest that that person asking the question consult a local agent or attorney to be sure, but then would add my opinion. The reason I would add my opinion is to add food for thought. I have picked up a couple of tricks of the trade that are not the normal in my neck of the woods, but are done in other parts of the country. Since it was not the norm here, it took everyone by surprise and I was able to get it through to the benefit of my buyer. Had someone from another area not addressed the question posed, I may not have learned something new that I was able to use to my client's benefit.

These posts are not necessarily one on one. They are much broader then that. People tune in to all sorts of media types to find out information. I would like to believe that they take into consideration that it is a general response and what they take from it may or may not apply to their specific situation.

What I don't understand is why people responding need to take the answers given so personally and attack individuals who respond differently. It can be politely suggested, if a question is (in the respondents opinion) different, what a better option is or a view given and let the question asker decide how it best fits into their situation.

I for one welcome differences in opinion or information on how things are done differently. It can be helpful to our industry as a whole. This segregation and attitude of it's this way or no way has no place in our industry nor does it do our image any good. We are all in the same boat here ladies and gentlemen. Our concerns should be that of our client’s and what is best for them. If we can learn something from others shouldn't we welcome that instead of crapping on the idea of suggesting something that doesn't fit into your norm? (Now if someone says something really stupid, well....).

I did enjoy reading the questions and answers posted, but lately the hostility and insults have been so strong and common occurrence that I have not responded nor read through the questions much recently. I shouldn't let one bad apple spoil the bunch, but it's hard to not let it happen. I enjoy this industry and part of the reason is, is that I like to help people. It's nice to go to work and enjoy what you do and have those you help be happy as well. Not too many people can say that about the line of work they do. We are a nationwide organization and should work together not against each other. If you want to improve our image and industry, start by acting on a more professional level instead of insulting and alienating each other.

I will now remove myself from my soapbox and get back to work.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 17, 2009
Do you mean the agent that has the house listed?

IMO I would say no. The buyers agent can do a great job showing the house and pointing out the features and amenities as they compare to other houses they have and will look at. Also, buyers are more comfortable when they can relax and look at houses without any pressure from the listing agent or sellers. Buyers will stay longer when no one is around from the selling side. If someone is there, they tend to feel like they are intruding and will rush through the house.

If there are any questions, the buyers agent can give a call and get the answers.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 12, 2009
Hello Everybody,

It's clear that no one answer is correct. Every market is different. I just wanted to add one thing that I have noticed in some of these answers. Several comments have been regarding how the listing agent can talk the house up better or knows more about the house than the buyers agent. I can't tell you how many times I called the listing agent with questions only to get "I don't know I'll have to check...". Give some credit to buyers agents that they are capable of doing the job that they are hired for.

If you are a buyer agent, unless you are new, you should be able to predict what your clients questions will be regarding the house. How old is the roof, how old are the mechanics, is there this is there that and so on. When I have a buyer I will ask these questions to the listing agent when making the appointment so that I am prepared when it comes up while showing. It's not like a buyer will ask you something you never heard before. They are basically the same questions that come up. Yes certain areas may have area specific questions, but again, do your homework if it's an area you don't know. If it's showing in the city ask about street parking and what are the rules when it snows or if there are garages in the area. Ask about pets, association fees and what they cover, moving in rules and deposits required, grills on the balconies/terraces etc. If you are not doing this, you should be. Experience plays a large part in all of this and an experienced buyers agent will do the job right.

I have sold homes and condos in nearly 20 different towns/cities in my area. Every towns/cities ordinances are different. In Chicago it is completely different than in the suburbs. Each building in Chicago can be completely different. As a buyers agent you should be prepared for this and ask the questions ahead of time so that you as a buyers agent, the one hired by the buyer, can do the job you will be paid for. I guess the problem is that buyers agents may not be doing this so listing agents may have to.

Not every listing agent is the best not every selling agent is the best. The key to getting things sold is to be the best. If you are the listing agent have the information available. If you are the buyers agent ask the questions before hand. Be prepared, be involved and do the job you are hired for.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 22, 2009
I just read the string of comments that have been posted to this question with great interest and would like to share two thoughts.

First, I sell real estate in the City of Chicago and, as Alan May correctly stated, we accompany virtually all our showings. Given that I carry a large inventory, it is very expensive for me and my business but it is the standard practice in our marketplace and I would not have the successful business I do if I decided to be the lone agent to start changing things. Moreover, given the size and diversity of the city market, it is virtually impossible for buyers’ agents to understand all the inventory, let alone the nuances and rules regarding each condo building, coop, townhouse development, etc. This one allows two dogs with a combined weight of no more than 40 lbs, that one requires you to put 30% down, this one prohibits parking a second car in front of the garage, that one has deeded parking but you buy it separately, this one only has rental parking and it is valet for $395/month but more for a second car, that one allows you to use the pool but only with a club fee, etc… you get the idea. Our MLS is not designed to answer all these questions. Sure, we put a lot of information in our marketing materials but buyers and their agents don't always take the time to review it. So Chicago’s listing agents, are at each appointment to welcome the buyer and their agent, present the key pieces of info they might need about that building, parking, location, etc. and then step aside so the buyer can see if they like the place. Sure some agents talk too much (and worse say things that don't add value) but others are masterful at helping overcome objections and pointing out solutions, and are a truly valuable resource. I would also like to mention that many condo and coop buildings have security policies that don’t allow us to leave keys with the doorman, and lockboxes would be out of the question. People can only be admitted based on signed release forms by the seller, and it is our name on the release forms. So there we are accompanying every showing.

Second, I would like to speak to the dialog about the fact that we as Realtors work differently in different parts of the country. I am a real estate conference junkie. In 2008, I attended five conferences in North American. Why? Because I learn a great deal from colleagues from other parts of the country who are doing things differently than we do here in Chicago. I am in the process of publishing my own 84 page magazine... it is at the printer now. I am confident it will be my single most effective listing tool going forward, and hopefully it will help me sell some of my inventory as well. I got the idea at a conference in January after meeting an agent from Calgary, Canada who had successful done the same. And I have a fantastic virtual assistant in Peoria, IL. It would never have occurred to me to hire someone who could not physically be in my office until I heard an agent from Vail, CO speak at a conference about how virtual assistants had changed the structure of her business in a positive way.

Trulia is like a virtual conference… a way to share ideas and learn what other people are doing in other parts of the country. I don’t expect all of it to apply to my business but occasionally there is a little gem that I pick-up that might help me make a couple more sales or improve the way I serve my clients. So, I for one am in favor of people sharing their thoughts and ideas, regardless of where they live and work.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 21, 2009
Dan, I have to agree with you. It's always been my opinion, that a potential buyer (let's call him a "looker") only wants to experience the house first.

They want to walk through and feel the juxtaposition of the rooms, and how they flow from one to the next. They want to feel the ambiance (or lack thereof) of the natural lighting... and the views... and how the rooms feel.

They'll walk to the bedrooms, and determine if their layout and size suit them... Once they've decided that they "kinda" like the house... that's when they'll start developing questions.

A smart agent will have printed materials in the house (maybe a flyer, with bullet points) that answer the most common questions.... and any additional questions could be easily answered by having your agent contact the listing agent.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 20, 2009
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
As a buyer if I had an agent breathing down my neck I would likely leave. If the agent say quietly in a corner waiting to be approached that would be ok.

I tihnk I am smart enough to realize that the kitchen had granite put in ( please put the formica back) that the place has rooms with walls and a ceiling. I can even tell that the lights are there, especially since a smart seller would have them all on. I would assume the price is already listed somewhere. I can figure out if it is on a busy road, has electric lines out back and a railroad nearby. I already know the house has x many bed and bath in it.

If I need something explained it should be on a piece of paper or can be discussed at the office.
I see an open house as a chance to look at a place unmolested to consider if it is 1 maybe ok. or 2 not for me.

Is the selling realtor really going to tell me the steps are steep, be very careful going down them, the cellar is dangerous, the roof leaks, and other useful but price cutting bits of info.? I tihnk not. They only want to point me to the things they think will entice me to buy. Not the whole picture.

Do I really need someone to tell me this would be a great room to ( insert here) with?
I have a simple problem. I would never fall in love with a house because it has certain features. I would find it acceptable or not. If I was being pushed to fall in love I would hate it. <sighs>
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 19, 2009
Gee, I'm sorry I missed all the excitement, it looks like Ted left the building, with his posts!

I am picturing a lot of the agents who insist their presence at a home (as listing agent, I presume) when it is shown will increase the odds of selling. Like some listing agents that I have read the riot act and banned them from being within 50 yards of one of their listings, after showing their houses, they are following us around, or leading the tour, chattering incessantly about the wonderful features of their listing. Meanwhile I am looking at my watch because I can tell by my buyer's body language (or their whispered cmoments) that they aren't buying this house and we're all wasting our time.

I cannot think of any reason a listing agent should speak to another agent's buyer. And by insisting the selling agent be present for all showings, the homeowner is limiting the number of agents working for them to ONE. In my area there are thousands of agents. If I had to be present, every showing would be contingent on my ability to be there. Unless I have ONE listing, there's a pretty good chance I will not be available all day every day incase someone shows my listing. I also believe in letting buyers make the home "their own". This means making them comfortable, letting them walk around and check out the house in their own manner. Any highlights can be put on an info sheet and left in the kichen. I don't need to point out the dental moulding, granite counters, etc.

Having the agent NOT be available also gives the selling agent the opportunity to make contact with the buyer again if they have any questions.

I hope there are some cookies left, I need a snack.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 18, 2009
Here's something about cookies that I just remembered and is on topic. I showed 8 or 9 houses to a young couple in the same day. When we got to one of the houses near the end, the sellers had left a plate of cookies out for us. Since we had not stopped for lunch, we more than welcomed them at that point and proceeded to disucuss the house while polishing off the cookies. As it turned out, that is the house they bought. Hmmmmmm, maybe it was the cookies!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 17, 2009
Opinion: A belief or conclusion held with confidence but not substantiated by positive knowledge or proof.

Just an FYI to all the people who feel that people from outside their area have nothing to contribute. I started out answering questions here to try and be helpful. I feel the more information you have, the better armed you are to make an educated decision. Knowing how others handle the same situation can provide options when something may not be working. What has happened is that I have learned quite a bit about how things are done differently around the country. It has given me a new perspective on some issues and given me a better understanding of what people may be thinking that come from out of state to my area. I have found those answers from around the country to be very helpful and have been able to apply some of them to my business. We all can always learn something new.

These answers are opinions. They are not set in stone or exact solutions, They are perhaps a new view on a subject that may or may not be what is working for the person asking the question. Sometimes thinking outside the box helps put a spin on the problem and may help to resolve that issue.

There have been several threads on Trulia that have had many different opinions from many parts of the country. Although the opinions differ, they were handled with respect and were very interesting to read. If an answer differs from your standard way, instead of taking offense, why not try responding in a non insulting manner that expresses your view. It may open up someones eyes and be constructive.

I have found most answers to be prefaced with "in my opinion" or "you may do things differently..." or statements to that affect. I don't think that something contribute here is the end all be all, but can be helpful.

That is just my opinion.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 17, 2009

I posted a video response on my Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6_gEqy7yF8

2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 12, 2009
JR, No did not leave the building.
Maybe you didn't, but your posts did. Unless everyone was responding to an imaginary "Ted".
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 22, 2009
Yes, some areas tend to have more "listing agent accompanied" showings than others (the city of Chicago for example), while others tend to use lockboxes (the suburbs of Chicago for example).

From Ted's recent description of how LA is functioning (ala lock boxes or accompanying) that sounds awfully similar to what's going on here in Chicago... (and probably many other regions in the U.S.), and therefore makes a Chicago answer just as pertinent as an LA answer.

Jaimy - glad to see you got something out of both sides of these answers.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 18, 2009
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
This is little old home owner Jaimy here trying to sell a home in Westlake Village, CA who asked the original question, which I thought was harmless. Sorry to cause so much turmoil among all of you and thanks to those of you who provided an opinion and valid answer to my question. I've learned a lot about realtors; the one nice thing I'll say is that many of you sure are passionate about your jobs and oppinions.

Heidi, Thanks for your well articulated response.

Bonnie - thanks for your response as well and I will use Trulia in the future when I have questions. Besides, some of the trash talk, was actually entertaining.

Thanks again to all of your help and wish me luck as I try and sell my house in this market without losing my shrit and the rest of my clothes.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 18, 2009
Call me silly, but when I read..."IN THE REAL WORLD, most agents in the industry are incompetent.", I tend to take that a bit on a personal level..

Ted has a great fan in your, Bonnie., and that's wonderful. He's probably a swell guy.
I can only assess him on what I read here, however.

Bonnie...when I suggested Ted pour himself a glas of wine, it was said with a bit of humor behind it......as a way to try and diffuse a situation that Ted created by his, as Allan so rightly put it, hissy fit.

This was a simple Trulia question that was, in my opinion (notice the phrase, in my opinion) was hijacked unncessarily, and used as a soap box for another agenda.

And on that note, kiddies. I am taking my bat and ball (and cookies) and going home.
Have a nice weekend all.................
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 17, 2009
I must say - Heidi - touche' !

Ted, sometimes it's best to just let things go.......but apparently you can't.

I just have to comment on this...............In regard to that 55 yr old agent (middle age woman, no less!) who made $36,000.......that doesn't mean she didn't treat each client with respect and in a professional, knowledgeable manner - how disrespectful to denigrate any agent for whatever their volume or business is or was. I know a number of high producers who don't exhibit the qualities I respect in an agent.

Also, not everyone is lucky enough to be in an area, like mine or perhaps yours, with high end homes, where million dollar homes are commonplace........this is a big country.......many agents are working hard and long to sell homes for $100,000, $200,000 or less.........that doesn't take anything away from their knowledge and ability to ge the job done, and represent their clients with the best service possible. How pompous of you to suggest otherwise !!!! Volume is not necessarily a litmus test of an agent's ability. I also believe that denigrating agents (especially in a public forum) may be against our code of ethics.

Now........on to more important things....Alan, Patrick, Heidi, Jaimy.......please pass the milk..............and no, Ted, you may NOT have one of my home baked cookies.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 17, 2009
Ted, this isn't a thread about "change" - you are totally off topic with that .......there is a current thread on Trulia which deals with how to improve the industry...............perhaps that's where your comments and ideas would be better served.

Trulia does ask that we stay on topic..................the question posed was a fairly simple one...whether having the listing agent present helps sell a house (and not just a house in CA)..
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 17, 2009
OK, so I lied, I am not done - I just have to say one more thing!

This was a very pleasant, light-hearted thread, with a little humor thrown in, too.
The question or topic wasn't at all controversial like on some other threads. Everyone here was playing nicely - even with some varying opinions. Respect for others was exhibited all around.

This is the way, in my opinion, Trulia is supposed to work - each person, "pro" or non pro, expressing their view, while respecting the other person's point of view, too. It was working just fine here.

Why, Ted, you felt the need to disrupt this with your uncalled for rant, I don't know.

To make a statement, right out of the starting gate, that...... " IN THE REAL WORLD, most agents in the industry are incompetent" is beyond rude...."MOST agents"???? By the way..did you do a scientific survey to come up with that conclusion??? I suppose, of course, you are the exception to that rule . You weren't even gracious enough to say "in my opinion" - so you have insulted the entire industry, and gave fodder to those who already have a low opinion of us.

Did you lose a listing yesterday? Did a deal fall through? What got you all riled up? Why so angry? Nothing here could have set you off in such a way. This was a rather innocuous thread............but, if venting made you feel better - then I suppose it beats taking medication.
Of course, that cabernet I suggested works fine, too.

I hope you have a pleasant day Ted...life really is way too short to sweat the small stuff, and this question was really small stuff.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 17, 2009
I usually am not at a loss for words, and in this case, I am not at a loss, but I will defer to Patrick and Heidi's well articulated responses. You both said it all.....and I second it. Everything you both said expressed what I am thinking right now.

One thing that I think all Realtors (good ones, anyway) need is diplomacy. Heidi used the word "gracious", which certainly ties in with diplomacy.

Ted - you have exhibited none of that in your response.
Do you think your public image is enhanced by lambasting and insulting every agent on this thread/

Last, but not least......I, too rarely answer any state-specific question......as I feel if I have nothing to contribute, why say anything. I don't pretend to know how real estate is conduscted in other states. I do, however, find it interesting to learn.

This question was not posed as a state specific question - it is a generic question (I didn't even know where 91361 was, not did it seem to matter due the question itself). Why get all steamed up because someone from NJ or Illinois chose to give an opinion? Your rant on that was really uncalled for.

Again, thank you Heidi and Patrick (and Rock) for saying it all.............Ted...maybe you need to pour a nice glass of that wonderful CA cabernet and chill.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 17, 2009
The things that sell a house are LOCATION, CONDITION and PRICE! However, a listing agent should be present when possible. The listing agent may have all pertinent information regarding the property that the buyers agent may not. Also, the listing agent is available to answer any questions.

If a buyer is uncomfortable with a listing agent present, they should ask their agent to request a private viewing.

If a seller wishes to have their listing agent at all showings, they certainly have reason to insist. They are paying them a commission and that's part of their job.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 16, 2009
I think your simple question has been turned into a more complicated one!

Are you simply asking whether having your listing agent present when another agent is showing the house will help it get sold? That's how I am interpreting your question.

The answer to that question is..No - it won't help!

I have often had to accompany showings as there were alarm systems, and the sellers only wanted me to have the codes. So..I came, and opened the house. I then sat inthe kitchen, stayed out of the way, and smiled a lot!

As a listing agent, it isn't my place to interfere with another agent's showing....they are wokring with their buyer, and I would not do any hard core "selling" or interrupt their showing of the home......I'd stay out of the way, and only be there to answer any questions that pop up.
The agent could always call me on my cell with any questions, too, if I weren't there!

Hope I answered your question. (I agree with the first answer from Patrick, who interpreted your question the same way!!)

Best wishes...
Debbie Rose
Prudential NJ Properties
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 13, 2009
According to a recent survey the odds are that 90% of the time the buyer that purchases your home will be represented by a Realtor other than the listing agent.

Showings are what count, not by whom.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 13, 2009
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
HI Jaimy,

I think you are going to find that agents are really split on this subject and see the advantage/disadvantage as equal. When I am a Selling or Listin your home, I want to impress you that I am doing everything that is important to market your home. I also have to balance my opinion with your opinion about what works because you probably have a personal experience that sways your value of this activity.

When I am working with a Buyer it is very important to me that they feel comfortable in the home the entire time. A buyer afraid of dogs will rarely LOOK at the house if the dog is barking and distracting them. A buyer will not talk openly with their spouse about a property features and work through the obstacles of that property verbally while they are looking at it if the Seller is there. When they walk outside and try to work through it, it is hard for them to recall. So, when you ask if having someone from the Selling/Listing side will increase the odds, I would say no. I think it may decrease.

There is an agent who has listings I tend to show often and they are custom estates. She often greets us at the property. It gives her a chance to make sure that the home is ideally presentable and to share with us unique features, then she excuses herself and leaves the property. This I would say is another good option to some that you have read here, to marketing the home well and at the same time giving buyers time to space to consider the home.

I remember thinking that you have posted a few questions with regard to your real estate uncertainty. It makes me want to mention that not everyone is a good match to the first person they meet in real estate but there is a statistic that people will often work with the first person to respond to them. If you are already listing your home with an agent and you are not seeing eye to eye, they may not be enjoying the experience either. Perhaps you would both be better off to change things up or agree to a specific written agreement where both of you listen and compromise. Maybe another person on their team or in their brokerage would be a better match for the way that you want your real estate matters handled. Talk to your Realtor and let them know. Try to figure out what works. There are always solutions.
Web Reference: http://www.ConejoLiving.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 12, 2009
Hello Jaimy,

I read Patrick's answer; he is absolutely right if you are talking about the "listing agent" - the one representing the seller - being at the house. I thought you were talking about the "selling agent" - the one representing the buyer. Confusing, huh!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 12, 2009
Hello, Jaimy,

Yes, I believe it does increase the odds for selling the house; moreover, it increases the odds of getting everything you want in the negotiating process. She knows the right questions to ask the listing agent after the showing to make sure that the contract is written properly the first time around, hopefully in a manner that won't attract a counter offer. There are issues that only a tour with the buyer will raise in advance. The chances of problems arising during or after escrow because buyer and seller were having conversations without representation to protect them is crucial, by the way. Besides, you don't want someone else to get the property because their agent was on top of things while yours was in the dark inviting counter offers. Just curious, but why wouldn't the selling agent want to be there to fully represent you?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 12, 2009
I'd love to help you. Please feel free to contact me through my Trulia profile.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 24, 2014
JR, No did not leave the building.

Debbie & Kim, If lock-box codes are being given out then then the those agents need to be turned in. Agents cannot give their key pads, or MLS access cards out either; not even to another agent, client, relative or assistant. Those are all violations. As an active A.O.R. director and past Treasurer, this is not an uncommon topic.

This really undermines the trust of the seller with listing agent if there are buyers going through homes without an agent present. Here in California, it probably breaks protection under E & O and our CAR contracts. Not to mention the loss of MLS membership.

As an aside, the Supra contract with your MLS states that mechanical boxes cannot be mentioned in the MLS sheets nor can their codes be disclosed in the MLS. I would not be surprised if Sentry has similar language.

We are only as good as our self policing bodies i.e. MLS committees. Sounds like other areas in the country have a hard time getting agents to hold each other accountable just as in California. If you wonder why I am so critical of our industry maybe the above can help.


It seems that the consensus is that:

Listing agents goof up the showing and freak out the buyers, so listing agents shouldn't be present.

Sure this happens, because in sales there are always a good portion of the group the can't shut up. However this is not a one size fits all scenario. Today was a great example, I was showing 8 very highly custom and unique properties. The agents were at a few, the sellers were at a few and a few were vacant. Pretty simple, the houses with the listing agent and the sellers present provided much more information over an above the MLS comments and the high-end card-stock glossy flyers. Also, because I know how to control the situation, the listing agents did not get in the way and I was able to let the sellers talk more than their listing agents would have preferred. Negotiation advantage me. One more example, we have newer tracts with HOAs and issues like Mello Roos and the details never make it in the MLS or marketing materials .... It is nice when the sellers are around in those circumstances so we can get a better explanation.

The idea is that it can only be one way because that is the way it is done is what I protest. Every house, every Buyer and every Seller is different. Sometimes it is good to be there and sometimes it is not. Debbie and I fundamentally disagree on the buyer's agent's ability to convey all the details of the listing. Sitting as an A.O.R. director for my 3rd term and just on the ground experience with other agents has given me a different experience. Apparently Debbie's day to day experiences are less convoluted, we'd love to have some of that over here on the left coast. This is not a disagreement over personal issues. If everyone was great at sales then why does 10% of any sales force do the majority of the business?

As to whether it is the same in Florida or South Dakota (pick a state) is irrelevant. California is pretty clear "It is unlawful for any person to engage in the business, act in the capacity of, advertise or assume to act as a real estate broker or a real estate salesman within this state without first obtaining a real estate license from the department." Once you are advising Californians with the term agent or broker under your name here on Trulia is it completely clear you are not trying to conduct real estate business in California?

These are the new challenges we are facing as an industry in the Web 2.0 world. Even our own Realtor ethics code brushes the topic about working in the areas we are not licensed for. California has a new law that our first point of contact must contain our DRE number and Trulia has not made the interface easy to do this.

Out of State agents that want to hang out in the California forums can do so at anytime, IMHO, It would be a professional courtesy to let the consumer know in your answer that you are not licensed to work in the state and that you may not be aware of all the issues related to a real estate transaction in California. I just saw some very bad advise from an out of state agent on postponing a California Foreclosure - not cool. We have non Judicial foreclosures here. A Judicial Foreclosure answer is bad form.
Web Reference: http://www.homebuysblog.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 21, 2009
Yes Jr - some have said agents give out the lockbox codes so the buyers can, and do, go on their own
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 20, 2009
I must have missed it, was there a post here where someone said they have seen houses all alone, with NO agent?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 20, 2009
Debbie, it happens all. the. time.
I have caught buyers in my listings with no agent present.

We have Sentrilock, but it's not manditory. There's a boat load of agents that won't buy them because they still have their old combo boxes and don't want to spend the $$ on new ones. And also won't rent the Sentricard, so they have to get a one-day code to show.

And yes...some of the agents will give that one-day code to their buyers, altho it is far more likely that they'll give a traditional style combo to a buyer since there's no way of tracking access at all with them. Heck, half the foreclosure listings all seem to have the same 3 lockbox codes - you can darn near walk into any repo just by guessing! No wonder all these vacant REOs are getting stripped!

But anyway...this is OT and probably a better thread of its own elsewhere.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 20, 2009
Rock - I believe you.....(.and, shame on them)! As I said, our lockboxes are too high tech, and don't use codes....so I haven't seen that done here. If someone wants to see a home with a lockbox in my area, they need ME (or their agent) and the agent's personal keypad to get them in.

By the way - I agree.........Dan - well said!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 20, 2009
I agree with you Kim, and Alan (good word - juxtaposition - 2 stars for that one! !!)............ may I also add that buyers all have different personalities. I have some who like me to point out all the various features, and "chat it up" as we walk through - they like to stroll and take their time - some are whirlwinds - quick in and out.........others prefer a "quiet " showing - they see too much chatter as intrusive........and some who don't remember a thing about the house the minute we leave, and need a refresher from me as soon as we reach the car! A brochure or flyer of some sort is very useful and important to have, especially in that case.

That's why , in my opinion, there is no one better suited to show a home than the buyer's agent. The listing agent's presence isn't necessary. Unless we are talking about a 10,000 sq foot smart home with tons of bells and whistles and hidden panels and buttons, most seasonsed agents are fairly capable of showing the average home without any help from the listing agent.

I also believe that any "good" agent has taken the time to preview the homes they are showing, ahead of time so there should be no surprises when they walk through the door.

By the way...to the comment about "giving the lockbox code to a buyer'......who in the world would do that?? In my area, our lockboxes are high tech, and require programmed keypads that are assigned to each agent , so that's not even a possibility........but even if it were...any agent who would allow that should have their license taken away. Well, in my opinion, anyway!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 20, 2009
I guess the very best answer to this question might be "Depends".

As a buyer's agent, sometimes it is exceptionally helpful to have the listing agent on site for a showing...if the property has truly unusual features or acreage/property boundaries that need to be walked or explored to obtain the full picture. Or super-slick features that are best shown by operation.

Otherwise? I think it's wonderful if the seller or listing agent readies the property for my showing (lights on, soft & appropriate music playing thru surround sound or A-BUS, fireplace crackling, pool features in operation) and then excuses themself and leaves us to our showing. And of course, if there's no other way to get in the door, they need to be there to open up.

But it has been my personal experience that in most houses, no matter what the price, we can usually explore the home's features on our own. We don't need an extraneous person leading the way saying "and this is the kitchen - look at the granite and stainless appliances!" or "And this is the master suite - notice the walk-in closets!" You can virtually hear the unspoken chorus from the buyers: "Really? No duh!"

Buyers, IMO, want to try to get the feeling of the house and that's very hard to do when they feel dragged along by a seller's agent (or seller) who is effervescently preventing them from experiencing the house as their potential home rather than a tourist attraction. As their buyer's agent, when we are walking a home, I may point out things that specifically match items on their must-have list. I also may comment on things that I find that aren't so fabulous, such as water stains on ceilings or the fresh cat pee I just landed on in my sock feet.

However, there is no way on Earth that I would allow buyers to have lockbox codes to view homes without an agent present, even on foreclosures. So, if you have a buyer's agent who cannot or will not accompany buyers on showings, then yes....I believe the listing agent should be present.

Homesellers entrust their homes and property into our care when they list with us, and they expect us to exercise caution while attempting to maintain security. Giving lockbox or other access info directly to members of the public breaches that trust and leads to theft - and worse.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 20, 2009
Dear Jaimy,
Most property is sold by buyer agents who are working with qualified buyers. The Open House is more productive if the listing agent is present to answer questions. If a buyer agent happens to come to the Open with their clients, there is a possibility that the questions they have will be answered easily by the listing agent and that could lead to a possible sale.
I would not recommend the owner handle the Open House or even be present during them.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 19, 2009
Jaimy - I want to wish you much luck in getting your home sold...may you have a smooth trip to the closing table, with a sale price that meets your needs!
Glad this thread has been entertaining, as well as informative. We realtors can be a feisty bunch, and, as you can see, we are never at a loss for words or opinions....ha!

And on that note, I will be passing out cookies to everyone (JR, I saved you 2 - check Alan's pockets, as I think he grabbed a few extras).
Heidi, don't forget to put the milk back in the fridge!

Happy Sunday everyone!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 18, 2009
That would be the same here. In Chicago few use a combo lock box. The majority will meet the buyer agent. It has nothing to do with trying to get the listing sold, rather just that's the way they do things there. In the burbs, most use the Sentrilock (Supra) boxes. Thanks for your response.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 17, 2009

It depends on the area. The west side of Los Angeles rarely uses lock boxes and the listing agent meets the the buyer and buyers agents. I have encountered this in parts of the San Fernando Valley. Mostly though the Supra System prevails and the listing agent is rarely there.
Web Reference: http://www.homebuysblog.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 17, 2009
May I just ask one question here? This is for the CA realtors. What is the norm there? Do most listing agents attend showings?

i also wanted to make it perfectly clear that my comments were not directed at anyone in particular, but merely just a general statement.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 17, 2009
@Patrick - PS. - If I even need an agent referral in Elmhurst, Illinois, it's yours. Your posts are great and this last one seems like just the lighthearted reminder everyone needed. Take care, Bonnie

@ Jaimy - Sometimes you just never know what path you will end up on when you start down a road. I certainely hope that you will use the forum again and that everyone will try to keep on topic. Trulia is really a wonderful community and most of the time, very helpful and relevant.
Web Reference: http://www.ConejoLiving.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 17, 2009
Alright since you all ARE completely off topic already, I just want to jump in and back up Ted. While he does get on a soapbox here, albeit an unpleasant reality of our industry and maybe better explored on Active Rain rather than Trulia, I want to say that I do support his opinion. Customs and practices are very localized and having out of area comments, while certainely valid and relevant opinions in their respective areas, only serves to muddy the water. The intent of a consumer post on Trulia is to gather USEFUL and RELEVANT data and opinions to THEIR needs and concerns. So, I agree with Ted that the comments, in the case, are not serving the consumers best interests.

There have been other consumer questions that deal with negotiation tactic, or open house and a smattering of other issues that can be answered well by Realtor and non-Realtor opinions from areas around the country. That said, I think that agents even within our own area might have a difference of opinion. But keep in mind, as is apparent to some degree within this email alone, California has their own culture, just like Illinios or Texas, and I suppose that is all why we live where we "fit" and the way that we live bleeds into the way that we conduct business and local customs and practices.

Ted is actually a top producing Realtor (If you run peoples numbers better be sure you have access to both MLS's in our area - otherwise you are publically mis-stating or slandering another member and that could be an ethical issue for sure.). He is cutting edge, leading our industry locally, kicking and screaming I might add, in the future with technology that will catapult his business and anyone who gets on board in the next 25 years. He was recently selected to speak on a C.A.R panel in front of hundreds of other Realtors, an honor that is not given with out consideration and respect. So, while he may speak generally about failings in our industry I did not see him direct any of his comments in a way that seemed like a personal attack, as I have seen some of the backlash come back (suggesting someone poor a glass of wine good, suggesting they are cranky for loosing business, not so good - in my opinion)

Since Trulia is mostly a self monitoring community, please keep it professional and above the waist. Knowing Ted personally, I know that he is very frustrated with some of our industry standards and working proactively and professionally to guide improvement. Perhaps everyone, and Ted, I adore you but I am including you, should let this one lie or post a blog on Trulia Agent to Agent forum or Active Rain. (I personally dont participate a great deal in Active Rains community because this pontificating is exactly what that forum feels like to me.)

So, I hope that I wont get hit back hard. I just want everyone to move away from the keyboard and go out and do what will make you successful or happy this weekend. (I on the other hand had time to post this because I am home. Got two with the flu in my house). In the workd of Mark and Brian - local Radio Talk Show hosts of California culture for over 20 years, "be good people."
Web Reference: http://www.ConejoLiving.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 17, 2009
I dont think there is a definite yes or no answer to that question. In the case of a Short Short Sale, if a listing agent is able to have the oppurtunity to do the open house, as well as be the agent present during the actual showing times,(rare!), then yes it can be benefial for the seller. The reason: The listing agent for the property should be authorized in writting by, the seller to contact all len hilders for the property. The listing agnet may in fact, have already been assigned a negotiator for seller's short sale application. The listing agent would then have established a relationship with the bank and will know the most accetable conditions, terms and details of the property to convey to a potential buyer or selling agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 17, 2009
OK......putting the cookies aside for the moment (what party poopers)....

.First of all.......all of our listings have detailed written sellers' disclosures available (not only in the house but attached to the MLS as a document )...as well as a full-color brochure/flyer which has all information readily available, including room sizes........as a matter of fact, I usually have to reference the disclosure myself in order to answer any question a buyer might have ( middle age minds tend to forget things!).

So, having me present in a home while another agent is showing it to their buyer really isn't necessary, as most pertinent questions can be answered by way of the written disclosure. A cell phone can take care of any unusual questions that might pop up.

When I have a listing in which I must accompany all showings, perhaps due to an intricate alarm system, or the seller's personal preference, I am seen and not heard. I may ask the agent if I can be of help, but I'd never take over their showing.......never!!

Besides, they know their client, I don't.
Not all clients like to be "spoken" to......some like to wander and get the feel of the home, while the agent folllows, adding little input ...some like every detail pointed out. Some buyers are turned off by any kind of "hard sell"....therefore, I would always defer to the buyer's agent to show the home in the manner their client prefers. It's their showing - not mine.

When I am acting as a buyer's agent, showing a home, I would resent having the listing agent follow us around while I am showing it - unless I asked her to - I know the inventory and am perfectly capable of showing my client a home - any home - in any price range. If, for some reason I am not familiar with that house, then it is MY choice to ask the listing agent for help.

In regard to the sellers being home, What I usualy advise them is......if they are home, they don't have to run out , get in the car and leave.....but, .they do need to make themselves scarce. I tell them to NEVER follow the agent around...never point out anything unless asked...and basically be invisible. If it's nice out - they can go sit on the deck! That discussion I have with them when I first list the house.

To sum it up.....in my opinion, as I previously stated, I don't see the odds increased for the home being sold by me being present when a buyer's agent is showing the home.

I can, however, increase those odds by pricing it right in the first place....and staging it doesn't hurt , either.

While I am sure my presence could inhance the value of the home (ha), I don't need to be there.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 16, 2009
Answering the question…I am a real estate agent and my opinion is based on personal experience. It is most important, and yes, it does increase the odds of selling a house when the listing agent is present at the showing of the house. A listing agent knows the selling points of the house and knows how to present them. She/he knows what to say and how to say it. The showing time is also the perfect time for questions to be answered and the listing agent should be there for that. I also strongly believe it is very important that the seller is not present at the time of showing. If the seller presents the house, it could make the buyer a bit uncomfortable and in many cases make them feel overwhelmed. The buyer’s agent’s priority is to find a house for the buyer and not necessarily this seller’s house…that is the listings agent’s responsibility.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 16, 2009
Hmmmm I feel like we have started some kind of Realtor/Romance?Cookie novel............the heck with selling a house...cookies for everyone..........

{..and as Heidi taunts him with the milk..............his tummy growling in anticipation...}

ps...Jaimy - aren't you glad you asked this question?? :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 16, 2009
She pulls out a large glass pitcher of cold milk from the refrigerator, keeping it just out of reach.......
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 16, 2009
[ he casually removed his sport coat, and hung it carefully on the back of the chair as he sat down at the kitchen table. "Oh boy, " he said with a grin "Chocolate chips, my favourites!" ]
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 16, 2009
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
oh, maybe chocolate chip with walnuts or.....pecan crescents with powdered sugar melted on top.............all warm from the oven..........she answered with a sly grin...........
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 14, 2009
"What kinda cookies?", he asked innocently.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 14, 2009
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
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