Heather, Other/Just Looking in 64801

Is it ethical to interview other agents while your house is listed by another?

Asked by Heather, 64801 Fri Apr 2, 2010

House isn't moving and the contract is about to run out.

Help the community by answering this question:

Answers

27
Great advice so far, Heather.
You asked if buyers did not realize they could make offers.
The answer to that is . . . if something comparable and available is more competitively priced, they probably will pursue those first, believing their chances are better in making a deal happen.
If you feel that the reason for your lack of results is a basic personality clash, you may wish to have a conversation with the agent's broker and ask for his/her assistance first. You may find that with the broker's help, you may get results without having to interview anyone new.
Good luck, no matter what you decide to do. :)
Web Reference: http://RealEstateBHC.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 5, 2010
It is fine to talk with other agents if you are dissatisfied with the current agent you hired. I would suggest talking with the agent you ave hired about the things that are concerning you. Are you getting any activity? Showings? Has it been properly advertised/ marketed on the internet?

Be prepared to listen to the answers. Sometimes the seller is their own worst enemy in their own home sale. If the home is not priced correctly for the market, or properly prepared to be marketed for sale, no agent will be able to get the job done. Especiallt not in a market such as this.

Before you interview new agents....reinterview the current agent. Have they done what they had said they would do?

Understandably, some people do need to be replaced, and you can do that at anytime if you cancel they contract you currently have acording to what it says.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 5, 2010
Heather,

It is completely ethical. You hired an agent to do a jo for you. if that perosn is not performing their job to your satisfaction you an fire them. it is done all day long in corporate america.

i think you have to be up front with the other agents and let them know here si the time frame... My listing expires on this day and I am trying to find another agent to represent me in the sale of my home.

In addition, an agent cannto soliticit you for your business while you are under contract with another agent. That violates the code of ethics for Realtors.

Dave diCecco
Realotr/Broker
http://www.davedicecco.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 5, 2010
HI again Shannon

Just to comment on your soon-to-be-ex realtor's "ploy" of nonsensical reductions just to have your home pop up on a search...............I have no idea why anyone does that. Who is being fooled? No one is.

It's a game, and it is seen as that (imo).

A reduction should be substanial enough to make a difference.... and get noticed because it means something......and to bring in a new crop of buyers at the new price. It also tells buyers that the seller is motivated, and responding to the market conditions.

I speak to my buyers whenever a home they saw is reduced.....to keep emailing/calling them for a $500 reduction will only make your home look silly, and make you, as the seller, look like you are playing games.

Make sure your new agent has a better strategic plan!!

That's like withdrawing and relisitng the house to make it look "new" - another ploy I don't think highly of.

Discuss a real marketing plan with your new agent........part of that new plan includes well-thought out price adjustments (ie - reductions!)...to be initiated when needed......not game-playing $500 reductions.

Just my 2 cents........well, maybe it's worth 4 cents!

Best wishes.........
Debbie

ps All of my listings do get their own domain names with multiple photos and virtual tours..........ex: http://www.52HolidayDrive.com - is that going to sell a home? who knows, and probably not.....but as they say, it may not help, but it certainly can't hurt!

Happy Easter all !
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 4, 2010
There is nothing "unethical" about you interviewing other agents... as long as YOU were the one to solicit their input.

They cannot take over your listing, until the listing is cancelled by the first agent... but of course you can consult with other agents, understanding that you'll want to have someone in place, if/when you decide to change agents and agencies.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 2, 2010
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
MVP'08
Contact
Heather, you are not the only one in this situation. First, it would be best if you could talk to your agent. I see below that you "don't trust her" so maybe you can't talk to her. That happens.
The next point to address is the fact that you have lost your job. This is something that you do need to share with your agent as it may affect your ability to perform/complete a contract, should one appear. Whether or not you are eligible for a short sale or one of the HARP or HAMP programs is a complicated question that can best be answered by you sitting down with your realtor, lender and possibly another lender to determine the best answer for you.
If you cannot talk to your current agent, are unhappy with her performance and don't trust her, it is possible that she is not the right agent for you. In that case, you can try talking to her broker or you can start interviewing other agents. As is mentioned below, it is unethical for a realtor to approach an owner whose house is already listed. In many cases, it is also against the law. But, it is okay for the owner to contact other realtors. Here's a hint: a realtor who says "call me when your current contract is expired/cancelled//finished" is a realtor who is operating within the law and within the Code of Ethics and displaying their integrity. They might listen but will probably not offer suggestions until you meet after the present contract is over.
One other thing to keep in mind is that the market determines the price for which a house sells; not the realtor or the bank. The market does not care what anyone owes on their house. Find someone who will be honest with you, give you the facts and commit to helping you through this difficult time. Wishing you the best, Maria
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 5, 2010
Heather:
After reading your response to another answer, I am a little more clear. You really need to look at all of your options and think seriiously about the situation in which you find yourself. First of all, if you have lost your job and may be in danger of falling behind on your payments, consider whether or not you may be able to speak with your lender about a forebarance until you can get on your feet again. There are many programs designed to help homeowners just like you. Are you hopeful to find similar employment soon? Are you equiped to handle your current mortgage for a couple or few months? Is your home worth what you owe? Is your agent knowledgeable enough to counsel you on every program out there. Go to the FANNIEMAE website and read about the HARP AND HAMP programs. These are two programs under the MAKING HOME AFFORDABLE PROGRAM. HAMP is the Home Affordable Modification Progam and HARP is the Home Affordable Refinance Program. If you loan is backed by Freddiemac or Fanniemae, then you will be looking at HARP. If you have a conventional loan, then you will be looking at HAMP. You will need to have gainful employment and be able to repay the loan, but there may be help for you. If you are really in trouble, then you can consider a short sale, but I do not have enough information to determine if this is at all for you or your situation. Try not to get too frustrated. Just keep up with what is going on with our government and new progrrams.......even if you might need them now, it is good to know just in case...........always have a plan B. I am available if you have any questions........things aren't any different in Virginia and this is what I do all day.

Kelley Rae
757-287-0062
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 5, 2010
There is nothing in the world wrong with interviewing other agents......at least on your part. Be careful though. When you are speaking with other agents, they may be really pumping themselves up to you and holding themselves out as the savior of the day when it comes to selling your home. This may or may not be true. You need to be realistic about the reasons your home is not moving.

Is it really priced right, and if not, then is or have you and your current agent discussed this issue? Remember, you should not only be looking for what other homes similar to yours have sold for, but you should be weighing your competition heavier!! If you are a seller, then you have to think like a buyer. If you are a buyer with $250k to spend (for example), how many homes are for sale within a couple of miles of each other, with the same schools, community services, etc.....? Now, if you are the buyer, you are going to go for the house that has more bang for the buck. So your house has to be priced accordingly and competitevely!!

What is the average market time for your area when the price and all other conditions are right? Many times the second list agent will come in and possibly sell the home in what seems like record time, when actually, the first agent would have sold it as well. It just needed enough time on the market. Consider what your current agent has or has not done for you. Really look at the reasons you are considering another agent. Be honest with yourself, and try not to take your frustrations of the bad market out on someone who might be working really hard for you and may have a lot of time, energy, and even money invested in trying to move your home. If you consider another agent, don't listen to how great they are, how their agency is #1 in the area, and how they can move your home in 90 days or less, just be realistic about the price, the area and competition.

Remember, most homes are sold through internet advertising, not open houses, which serve mostly for your agent to pick up other buyers (I am not against them, I am just saying the statistically, 1% of homes are actually sold through their own open house). Paper ads don't work like they used to either. Price, condition, and location are what will sell a home. If all of those things are right, then eventually , your home will sell.

Kelley Rae-Voyles Bass, Realtor/Short Sale Specialist
Rose and Womble Realty
Chesapeake, Va
757-287-0062
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 5, 2010
You may interview other agents to re-list your home while it is listed with another agent, However, you may not list your home with a new agent until your current contract expires.

Before meeting with other agents, I would ask myself these questions: 1. Have I been a cooperative seller ? 2. Is it easy to show my home or have I made it inconvenient for the buyers? 3. How does my home show? Is it clutter free? Is it clean?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 5, 2010
You can by law interview and speak to other Realtors, BUT, if you do already have a listing agreement signed, you cannot hire them unless you get an unconditional withdrawl from your current Realtor. This is a more "hurt feelings" issue than it is illegal or unethical in my opinion.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 5, 2010
As others have said, it is completely ethical for you to contact another realtor but your present realtor may not be the problem. How long has the property been listed? Have you, the owner done everything he/she has suggested? Is the house decluttered? Have you done everything you can to give your house great curb appeal? Have you resisted your realtor's suggestions for lowering the price? All I'm saying is before you fire your current realtor ask yourself, "Have I been a motivated, cooperative seller?" If the answer is yes then do what you feel you must with a clear conscience.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 5, 2010
That is correct you can contact other agents but they can not contact you while being listed by another. See what each Realtor can offer you. In todays market, Realtors need to be creative and it is not so much how long they have been in the business but how much exposure each one can provide for you property. Putting a sign on your yard and uploading it to your local Multiple Listing database and advertising your property in local newspapers does not work anymore. So seller, judge your listing agent on how much exposure you will get and how creative they will be to attract the attention to your property. Hope this helps. Good luck on your selection.
Web Reference: http://www.EcoHomesGA.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 5, 2010
Yes as long as you make the initial call; however many homeowners feel if they change agents that will help and this is not necessarily true. What determines if the home sells or not is price and condition which you control. I do believe the agent does have some impact
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 5, 2010
The sad fact of the market is that there aren't enough buyers to go around; getting a house sold requires patience in addition to a willingness to be aggressive on price - which is another way of saying, offering such a low price that buyer's can't help but want to take advantage of such a deal.

Changing agents doesn't always make your home more salable, and the best agent with the best marketing plan can't sell the house to an unwilling buyer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 4, 2010
Keith, in the first part of your reply, I was trying to answer Jason. I was referring to my old house, it was a really small town, only one real estate office, we wanted to see if there was any interest.

Currently, my agent is reducing a little at a time, we just reduced $500.00. I think her idea is so when you search, it comes up as a reduction. Is this typical now days with all the on-line marketing?

When you google my address, it comes up but its not the first item.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 4, 2010
Jason- no I didn't know. I've done it before but I don't recall if I signed a contract, there was no sign in front.
In any business agreement, it always needs to be writing. In most states, in order for a contract to be binding, it needs to be in writing.

Let's look at the basics.

1. You hired the agent to sell you home. Is it sold? Yes or no?
2. Based on what you've seen so far do you think the steps the agent is taking is likely to sell your home? Yes or No?
3. Did they ask for a price reduction and did you agree?
4. If you put your address into google.com what happens.

If you put one of my listings in google.com....2707 mayfield , la crescenta, CA you will see.

If they cannot sell your home, give them notice and fire them.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 3, 2010
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
MVP'08
Contact
Jason- no I didn't know. I've done it before but I don't recall if I signed a contract, there was no sign in front.
In any business agreement, it always needs to be writing. In most states, in order for a contract to be binding, it needs to be in writing.

Let's look at the basics.

1. You hired the agent to sell you home. Is it sold? Yes or no?
2. Based on what you've seen so far do you think the steps the agent is taking is likely to sell your home? Yes or No?
3. Did they ask for a price reduction and did you agree?
4. If you put your address into google.com what happens.

If you put one of my listings in google.com....2707 mayfield , la crescenta, CA you will see.

If they cannot sell your home, give them notice and fire them.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 3, 2010
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
MVP'08
Contact
Well, you're not bound by a professional code of ethics, Shannon.

I'll tell you this - if you're going to give the new agent a price reduction, you might want to consider whether the first agent would have better luck selling the place at a newly lowered price.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 2, 2010
Wow, lots of good answers from lots of states. But please don't judge an agent too harshly if they indicate and interest & ask you to wait for more thorough discussion when your listing agreement has expired. Do let them know you are interested and I'm sure they'll do a little background work ahead of time. If they discuss marketing (what has gone right, what has gone wrong, etc.) with you while your home is still listed, they are violating Kansas law. If you do not know other agents in your area, I would be happy to do some of the background work for you and make a referral. Just drop me an email.
Web Reference: http://www.jerrylong.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 2, 2010
Generally good advice below, especially from Alan and Debbie. (Give one of them the "Best Answer" award!)

Just to address one of the points in your follow-up comments: There are lots and lots of marketing methods beyond the Internet and signs. Hopefully, when you chose your current agent, she presented you with a marketing plan. (Going forward, whether with her or another agent, definitely ask for a marketing plan.)

Such a plan can include direct mail (postcards and letters, especially to nearby residents), a broker's open house, general open houses (generally not very effective, but still worth considering), pay-per-click advertising on Web sites, flier distribution to local real estate agents, promotion of your home during the sales meetings at your agent's office, directional signs from main roads leading people into your neighborhood, and lots more.

You ask in your followup posting: "Don't buyers know that they can offer anything they want?" Honestly? Many don't. You see questions like: "How much below the listing price should I offer?" as if there's a magic number. Or "What can I offer without insulting the seller?" As if there's a way to predict what a seller would find insulting, or as if there's a magic number. And, very honestly, some real estate agents encourage that behavior. A buyer asks, "What if I offered 15% below the listing price?" Many agents will answer: "That's a non-starter. Don't even bother."

Now, in your case, you acknowledge you can't go much lower. Still, here's what you might consider doing.

First, if your home isn't staged, make sure it's staged. Get GOOD pictures of the newly-staged home and make sure they're posted in your listing and everywhere else you can think of.

Second, price your home as low as you can go. Judging from your questions, it sounds as if you've built some wiggle-room in. And while that's OK, what you really need now are showings and offers. You're going to get far fewer of them if, as you say, "I think it's a little high." And sometimes you don't have to drop it much, because buyers often search in ranges of $25,000 or $50,000. So let's say your home is priced at $409,000 and you can go down to $395,000. Break through that $400,000 barrier. Lots of people are looking at properties priced at $375,000-$400,000, and they won't even see yours. So you price yours at $399,900. But before you reprice, ask your agent to run a new CMA to better determine what your home is worth in today's market.

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 2, 2010
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Fairfax, VA
MVP'08
Contact
Yes, you can call and schedule interviews with other agents--however if you have been on the market for some time and you state below other houses around you have sold, you're more than likely overpriced, and if that's the case the property isn't likely going to sell anytime soon no matter the agent--consider--a home is worth what someone is willing to pay for it; it doesn’t matter what the seller needs or potential buyers can afford to spend; market conditions do matter--review recently sold similar properties in the immediate area and make a determination on price--or you may wish to consider a loan modification or a possible short sale.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 2, 2010
Jason- no I didn't know. I've done it before but I don't recall if I signed a contract, there was no sign in front.

There have been showings and other houses have sold. I think it's a little high but I can't go much lower. I haven't been here long and I lost my job recently.
Don't buyers know that they can offer anything they want?

Is there any other marketing tools that an agent can use besides the internet and putting a sign up? I'm in a real quiet neghborhood, there's no traffic to speak of.

As for the agent; I think it's a personality clash, I dont trust her.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 2, 2010
Sure you can do anything you like HOWEVER no agent can move forward with listing till your current contract either expires OR is terminated.

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
972-699-9111
Web Reference: http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 2, 2010
Hi Shannon.

If you are not pleased with the service you have received, and the listing is about to expire, I see nothing wrong with you interviewing new agents. This is a business decision you are making.

As long as YOU initiated the contact and meeting, it is perfectly fine ( in NJ, anyway). The agent CANNOT solicit you, if you are currently listed.

If Kansas laws differ, and they prohibit a seller from interviewing new agents in advance of the expiration of the listing, that is something I cannot address. You should look into it, and follow Jerry's advice.

In my opinion, you should have a right to be able to market your home with no interruption.

Now....that being said...............I would certainly hope you have tried to discuss your displeasure with your agent. One thing I see is sometimes sellers become frustrated that their homes haven't sold......and the agent becomes the scapegoat for those feelings. The reasons for the house not selling may have nothing to do with the agent.

I am not suggesting that is what you are doing, and you might have valid reasons for wanting to jump ship and find a new agent.
Just make sure they are the right reasons. Make sure your home has been priced right, and if it hasn't.....is it really the agent's fault? All the fabulous marketing in the world can't get an overpriced home sold. Does your home show in the best light possible? These are all questions you need to ask yourself.

I wish you the best in getting your home sold...............this is a challenging market for everyone!

Good luck......
Debbie Rose
Prudential NJ Properties
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 2, 2010
If you had to ask then you already know the answer.

Even though you are contractually bound to your current listing broker you can interview other agents. I would just be up front and honest about your situation. Just know you can't sign an offical listing agreement with them until your current one expires. Before you let go of your current agent let me ask. You stated the house isn't moving. Why do you think that is? Is it over priced for your market? The best agent in the world can't sell an overpriced listing. That is the one thing we as agents can't control, what a seller lists property for. We can suggest but can't force a seller to list at a particular price. How does your home compare to similiar homes in the area? Have other homes in your market sold recently. Has the agent not marketed the property as efficiently as you would of liked. Have you had any showings? if so what was the feedback from the showing agent and potential buyers? You should discuss these things with your current agent and see what he or she says...at that point you can then see if another agent is warranted...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 2, 2010
There's ethics and then there's the law. While this (for the agent) would not be a violation of the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Realtors, it would be a violation (for the agent) of the Kansas License Law. This is enforced by the KREC (Kansas Real Estate Commission), and when I have asked them this question, their answer is that an agent must state they cannot talk with the seller about listing their property, while there is an Exclusive Right To Sell Agreement in place with another licensee. For more information, you might give a call to David Pierce or Wendy Alkire at the Kansas Real Estate Commission in Topeka.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 2, 2010
It is not ethical for an agent to pursue a listing prior to its termination, but I believe that you can invite an agent in. Again, if the agent approaches you it is a "no-no" on her part, but if you call them in, I think you are ok.

I will tell you that it happens all the time, but I comply with the rules and do not call or approach an owner before the listing expires.

This go around interview several and think about what you'd like to see done differently. A home that isn't moving, assuming all activities are done consistently and aggressively, is likely overpriced, so do reflect honestly on your price as well.

Best,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 2, 2010
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2014 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer