Home Selling in 53215>Question Details

Soapiesmom, Both Buyer and Seller in Milwaukee, WI

My agent told me that buyers in my price range and area do not look online or in the paper for a house. That

Asked by Soapiesmom, Milwaukee, WI Mon Feb 25, 2008

they hear about them from driving by or word of mouth from neighbors, etc. Is my agent insane or just naive? She has been in real estate for 15 years so didn't think she'd be naive. Is she maybe just out of touch?

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nice tongue-in-cheek answer......
I see alot of veteran agents that are afraid of the technology, and therefore try to find any reason not to use it. Sad but true, just unfair to their clients.
Web Reference: http://www.GoPackerUp.com
4 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 1, 2008
I can't speak for your agent, but I have been tracking all of my inquiries for the last 2 years and have asked all my Buyers and Sellers how they found the home they inquired on, or found me. The vast majority did research on the internet prior to contacting an agent. If doesn't matter what price range. I advertised consistently last year in a print "homes publication" and received no contacts from that at all.
I hear over and over that Buyers really want to see as many photos of the property as possible, prior to setting up a showing. One thing that a Buyer told me this weekend was, if they don't see multiple photos on-line, they wonder what the Seller is hiding. The technology is so easy to advertise on-line, and is becoming very cost effective.
Talk with your agent, maybe they are not comfortable with the process, and just need someone in their office to help them.
I have observed that between internet searches and calls from the sign in front of the property - those 2 are the vast majority of reasons a Buyer calls on a home. Referral from a friend or neighbor can work, but my belief is to throw out the net as far as possible to catch the interest of as many people as possible.
Good Luck with your Move.
Web Reference: http://www.GoPackerUp.com
3 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 26, 2008
I don't know your particular market, but I can tell you that statistically over 80% of homebuyers begin their search on the internet whatever the price range. When I tracked print and internet ads over the last year, I received much more response to internet ads. I have personally used the internet to research and buy my own homes. It is the cheapest and most effective advertising you can do at this time. Your agent's method is effective as well, but perhaps could use some updating. Internet marketing in conjunction with word of mouth can be extremely effective. For example, if you have a neighbor who knows someone interested in your home, they can simply send an email with the information. It can be sent across the street or across the country. Hope this was helpful.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 1, 2008
The Internet is a fad and will soon go the way of the dinosaurs so, your agent may be right. I do not truly believe that anyone, other than agents, look for homes on the Internet. A 15 year agent is correct in that word of mouth and a sign in the yard are all that is needed. Too much emphasis is placed on new fangled ways of trying to sell stuff. The truth is...they do nothing other than cost more money. The only thing that some folks miss is the value of a good quality chicken suit as an addition to the sign. Nothing sells a home quicker than an a dancing chicken ! Just a thought
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 1, 2008
Update: we accepted an offer on our home a month and 1 day after this question, and 4 days after that, had 4 other offers, and accepted one as a secondary offer - for more money! Within that time, we had 2 price reductions for a total of $18K drop. The original offer we accepted was $8K below that. Our original list price was $150K. Once the offer was accepted I thought my troubles were over. WRONG!!!!

Our agent didn't follow up with the buyer and we ended up having to sign an extension for her financing contingency - twice. We got to the point where we didn't even have a contract to purchase for the final 2 weeks before closing. She had to go through 3 different lenders (that I know of!) before finally getting the loan and closing nearly 2 months after the accepted offer. It was a nightmare. If my agent had followed up earlier in the process, we would have been able to let the first offer expire, and be in a contract with the second offer before they pulled out (they hung on quite awhile hoping the first offer would fall through but after 3 weeks figured we were pretty well finalized on the first), thereby making more money. However, the first offer was written by my agent so she didn't have to split the commission. I feel that she totally hosed us yet again, just to keep more money. She is well aware she not only is not getting any recommendations from us, but that everyone we know has her name and is encouraged to spread the word that she is worthless.

The agent that helped us buy our new home was like a tiger with our listing agent in following up on her. To the point she wouldn't even call him directly, but strictly use his voice mail. He is who got our buyer set up with her final lender. We feel he is the one who got the deal closed. AND he got no commission for all the work he did on our house, only the one we bought through him. Therefore, when all was said and done, we gave him a VISA card for $500 as a thank you. And we are touting his ability to get results, as mentioned in one of the responses below.

My lesson learned: buyer's agents and seller's agents are 2 very different types of people. A person may be good at one, and not the other. Therefore, research their results in whichever capacity you need them, and follow up by phone or email every day even if it is just the Realtor shooting off a quick email of "no activity today, left messages for follow up calls to Tuesday's showing", all the way up to contact with the Realtor multiple times a day during the escrow process.

We're never moving again! :)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 26, 2008

I understand the trend of Realtors getting away from print advertising these days, especially newer agents. Advertising in the newspaper is expensive and ineffective. In my brokerage we do it as a bonus but we realize it is of little value.

However, to say that buyers do not look online is, well, ummm, I'm speechless. Like Bill said, statistically 85% of all homes are first viewed on the internet and I actually think this number is going up. I would recommend seeking a second opinion in your area if it's at all possible and see what the next person says. Good luck!
Web Reference: http://www.wnyhomevoice.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 26, 2008
It is my Opinion, that looking online and in the paper are your easiest ways to finding a home. However in the past year I have found homes (2) for buyers from the Neighbors.
Oddly enough. The home I just closed, was found by driving the neighborhood. The Realtors sign was up,(1 week) however had not yet been put it in the MLS.

When looking for a home you need to consider all of these sources.
Daily MLS Search.
Other Realtors.
General Internet Search.
Driving the Neighborhood.

If you feel that your Realtor is Naive, insane or out of touch. Your probably right about one.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 26, 2008
Mr.P, Other/Just Looking in Arizona
It would be inappropriate for me to comment on what your agent is or is not doing. You should be your on advocate if you are not satisfied with the service. As it relates to the internet, the National Association of Realtors reports that 85% of all homes purchased were first seen on the internet. 95% of those home that were purchased used a Realtor. Second to the internet, 14% of those home purchased, first saw the home with a yard sign. Newspaper ads are the worst at 1%, or the real estate book 2%. Again, I would recommend that you have a conversation with your agent regarding the services provided. If that does not satisfy your needs, contact her broker. Good Luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 26, 2008
I agree with everything that Fred from Nevada said in his response. In the Milwaukee market, I tend to see more moderate-priced homes and condos advertised on the internet. There appears to be this notion that the internet can only be used for certain price ranges - which I think is false. This gives the appearance that only first-time homebuyers or young professionals are using the internet to shop for their homes. Assuming that you are listing your home at a higher price point, I would hope that your agent, at a minimum, is advertising in magazines and newspapers. Personally, I tend to advertise all of my listings on the internet - regardless of the price. As Fred indicated, 70-80% of today’s buyers are finding their homes either on the internet or with a REALTOR®.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 26, 2008
I cannot attest to buyer habits in Milwaukee, but it is challeging to thing that Milwaukee would buck the trend of the rest of the country. I have read studies on buyer behavior from the California Association of Reatlors, the NAR, independent studies, and my own unscientific survey of our buyers. Overwhelmingly, buyers are on the internet.

Many buyers, once they have a solid relationship w/ their agent will rely upon their agent to keep them updated. Buyer clients can be on email updates where they get all new lsitings that fit their criteria every day from their agent. When the buyer criteria is clearly defined and the updates completely inform the buyer, that buyer may no longer search sites on their own.

But, other buyers continue to search internet sites and ask their agent questions about properties that they find online.

Because a Realtor brings a buyer to a property does not mean that a buyer did not look at your property online.....somewhere.....on Trulia, Googlebase, Yahoo, MSN, CraigsList, Realtor.com, an IDX site....and that is just a short list of the many possibilities.

Comprehensive expsoure over a variety of websites with well written text/copy and mulitple crisp and clear photos is part of a full service mareting program.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 26, 2008
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
I don't know if you are listing in the higher end of homes or the lower, nor what your market is like. In general though, close to 70% of home buyers use the internet to search for homes. And most will look in the paper on a semi regular basis for a home.

That being said ... again, most buyers find the home they purchase through a Realtor. What the ads on the internet and in the paper do is spur interest and get that buyer to take the next step and contact a Realtor to look at a particular home. Thus opening the door for us to show them others in their price range that meet their criteria.

I would sit down with your agent and have talk as to what she is doing to market your home. And you should tell her what you expect. If she is doing nothing more than listing it on the MLS, her commission should reflect it (same as a discount broker). If you are paying for full service, than you should get full service. Tell her that you want it on the internet and in the paper. What most sellers and buyers do not realize is that we are your employee and if we do not perform, we can be fired.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2008
I have found that online presence of my listings have really helps. Realtor.com is one of the good sites that agents can use to get the word out about their listings. You want an agent that enhances the listing. Also the more pictures the agent can put on line the better. People want to see what the home looks like. Agents also need to put many pictures in the MLS. People really don't care that much what the front of the house looks like. They want to see the kitchen and baths. Selling a home today you have to think outside the box. Use everything to get the word out. Agent email listing to people all over the country that they are working with. They make a judgement call if they want to see a home many miles away. They may only be in for a day or 2 and have to buy a home. They do not want to spend time going though homes that they are not interested in. These are buyer that need to buy now. You need to get this buyer in your home they have a need today. So find an agent that will put more the six pictures of a home on line and in MLS. I can't tell you how many listings I look at that don't even have one picture of the property. The first day it is put in MLS is the most important day. That is where you get the best ban for your home. Agents go through the listings and email them to people that are looking for homes. If there isn't even one picture they may not even send it because they have told you that want something and you can't see it in a pictures so why send it to them. They would get upset with the agent if they took them to a home that does not have what they told them they wanted.
Web Reference: http://www.debbyrealtor.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 30, 2008
Well, I am happy and sad. I am happy you finally have resolution and you found a great buyers agent. I am sad that the listing agent did not live up to you expectations or needs. I am glad you posted to keep us up to date. So many times clients post questions and we answer but, never get to know what the results are. It helps us to become better at what we do if we know how your experience went. Well, I am glad you have gotten through everything and are settled in. Just let us know if you ever have any questions or you can just call your star realtor that you have discovered!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 26, 2008
Nationwide buyers are first looking on the internet. If the buyers for you home are elders and not computer savy then your agent might be right.
The demographics of the nation varies by area. While it is true that the largest generation of all time is coming of age (the millennials) and they are using the internet and electronic social networking to find just about everything there are other generations buying houses.
I had this discussion with our marketing people and they convinced me that in our area even the elders are tech savy and it should be the focus of our marketiing.
Your neighborhood of Milwaukee might be different. If the people moving in there are of a certain age and stature they might just be findiing out from friends that already live there and driving through the neighborhood. After 15 years in a market the agent would have to have her head buried in the sand to not know the market in her area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 22, 2008
Jed Lane, Real Estate Pro in San Francisco, CA
possibly and yes Your question requires only a short answer
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 22, 2008
So Mom I am taking the side of the internet. I have run into agents the same way basically they do not want to try to learn anything new. The research to date shows that 80% of all buyers start their search on the internet. Now that is ALL price ranges not just select ones. Myself and other top agents in our firm have gotten more and more away from print advertising simply because the results just are not there. Also with the price of gas do you think potential buyers are out there just aimlessly driving around looking for a new home? Why when they can do it from the comfort of their home and then narrow down their choices.
Word of mouth is one of the best types of advertising but, also the slowest and smallest. It has the most impact but, it spreads very slowly and only to a few people at a time.
So my next question is then how long do you want to wait to sell your home??

Hope this helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 22, 2008
Not sure what the price range is of the house you are selling. However, my husband and I are relocating to Milwaukee. I am doing extensive research on the area over the internet, looking and bookmarking homes for sale over the internet.
(would love to know what price range of buyers your agent is talking about)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 22, 2008
Is your home in the internet? is it on MLS and Realtor.com? If so, your agent is merketing your home on the internet. It is true that print advertising does not really sell houses. You are better off having your agent save the cost of print advertising and investing instead in an upgraded listing and additional photos on Realtor.com.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 5, 2008
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