Home Selling in Bucks County>Question Details

Coco99, Home Seller in Bucks County, PA

first time seller - is our listing agent incompetent???

Asked by Coco99, Bucks County, PA Fri May 20, 2011

how much longer should we continue working w/our agent. we started to become frustrated w/her when we started house-hunting-e.g., she didn't do much legwork-only house she actively identified for us was smaller than what we're looking for (only 500 sq ft larger than our current home). she also didn't give us any comps to base our offer on-my husband and i are savvy and had an idea of what the home was worth based on our own research.) she also didn't follow-through with small things she said she'd do (eg,adding me to her listserve for updates on homes in our community, is often 5-10min late). in selling, she's had one OH so far - b/c she's often late, we waited to see what time she arrived-got there 5min late! she mentioned wanting to do a 2nd OH the next w/e - we said we weren't sure about it. today (fri), so talked about the OH this sun b/c in her mind it was scheduled w/o even confirming with us about the date or time! is this normal? (she's been good in other ways, so we're torn.)

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Sounds like she isn't on her game right now, distracted, or maybe inexperienced. However, you don't sound like the most ideal type of client either... setting traps for her, looking for fault, too hard to please. The relationship with your agent is like any other, she may not be a good fit with you but she may be just fine with someone else. Have a frank conversation with her and tell her point blank what you expect from her, being as detailed as possible and giving her examples of where she has failed to meet your expectations. People are not mind readers and you cannot expect her to automatically know that you are a very punctual person and her habit of being 5 minutes late is seriously annoying to you. As I said... to her other (more laidback) clients it may not be an issue at all. Put her on notice that you will have zero tolerance going forward. Document this by email or in the form of a letter. Then IF she drops the ball thereafter... fire her!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 21, 2011
This world is made up of a lot of different people and personalities. When you come right down to it, it sounds like your personalities simply don't go together. Not giving you comps is big one for me. Not setting up your search is a big one. You should enjoy your home search-not stress about it. In this case it seems she is missing a lot of crucial things a buyers agent should do!

My tag line is "Life is a Journey . . .Enjoy the Ride!" I think you need to move on to the next ride and enjoy more!
Web Reference: http://www.liveinwestmi.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 21, 2011
If you went in to a new car dealership, and the salesperson who cornered you was disheveled, chewing gum and foul-mouthed, how long would you put up with them? We have an advantage in the Real Estate business because of standards which we impose on ourselves throught Local Associations, State Agencies and persnickety Brokers. We do have higher standards. But there are exceptions and we don't want to work with them either.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 21, 2011
I would have a meeting to discuss your concerns but start with what she is doing well first. Respectful and honest communication is always best. If you continue to have a problem, I would make a call to her broker to discuss new representation. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 21, 2011
She sounds seriously disorganized. Whether she's incompetent is a somewhat different question.

You certainly should talk to her about your concerns. But consider trying this: Every time you and she agree on something (sending you comps, putting you on her listserv, etc.), confirm it with a quick e-mail. And keep a running list of those "to dos." That second open house could have been handled similarly. For instance, a quick e-mail: "Sally: Confirming that we talked about an open house on May 22. We said we weren't sure. Call us on May 18 for our decision." Then, once a week, send her the updated to-do list, indicating which items (adding you to the listserv, sending you comps) have and have not been done.

That process can drive some people crazy, but--honestly--it's necessary if you're finding that someone repeatedly isn't following up on what you and they have discussed.

As for the tardiness, there's a great Dilbert cartoon in today's paper. See http://www.dilbert.com/ If you're viewing this after May 21, just search for the May 21 strip. Sometimes, there isn't much you can do about someone being late (being disrespectful of you and your time) without being kind of harsh in return. I know one guy who begins meetings precisely on time. He instructs everyone else there to applaud when a late arrival enters. I often get to meetings 5 minutes (or more early). On occasion, if someone else hasn't shown up within 3 or 4 minutes of the starting time, I'll just leave my notepad and pen on the desk (to let them know I was there) and go back to my office and work on other things.

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 21, 2011
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
MVP'08
Contact
Sounds like it is time to have a meeting to chat about concerns that you have. Keeping everything in the open on a regular basis will help with the many decisions that you all need to make concerning your home. There are so many ways that things can get minunderstood in the process, and having a couple of preplanned chats can keep all the lines of communication open. Good Luck,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 21, 2011
It is always best to speak with her about your concerns. If she does not respond, ask to speak with her broker.
Web Reference: http://www.soldbylyon.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 21, 2011
Hi Coco,
Well the number one thing to think about is..do you trust this Realtor? It sounds from your question like you really don't.
You will be working with this agent for months, and you need to rely upon the professionalism and expertise of this person and from the sound of it..you are questioning both.
It's not easy to get out of a listing contract, and you might have to wait until it expires. You could speak to the broker, however, it will be in the brokers best interest to keep the listing, perhaps giving you another agent from the same office.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 21, 2011
Hmmm.. these things would utterly frustrate me as well. You mentioned that she "does other things well". I'd be curious as to what they are. With regard to the open house I would have a very frank discussion with her as to your expectations. Secondly I would also as what type of advertising for the open house she is providing and ask to see the "sign in log" after each open house along with dialog on as to the feedback from potential buyers.

It is important that you express your expectations but clearly your agent does not seem overly motivated. I am wondering is she does this job part-time? Either way if she can not meet your needs it might be worth moving on. Harsh but the are challening times for sellers, time is money. Best of Luck to you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 21, 2011
Hi

Sounds like your agent meets your needs in some things, but disappoints in others. I have found most buyers to be savy andthey frequently identify the properties they want to see! But I do provide comps if they are thinking of an offer, It sounds as though you need a better form of communication with her...set a time for calls to dicuss the listing? Plan out open houses in advance (necessary for advertising!) Ask her to arrive 15 minutes early for an open house. Look for improvement - if it doesn't happen - miove on!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 21, 2011
Kind of a scary situation for you, as sellers. It almost seems like she's not taking her work very seriously, or she has a major lack of time management skills. If I were you I would discuss ALL issues with her first. Then I would give it 30 days and see if she's made improvements; if not than I would move on to another agent. You can't allow this to continue, it could cost you a sale!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 20, 2011
I'd be bringing up these issues with your agent and see how receptive she is to changing some of these behaviours.. being constantly late, especially to your own open house is NOT acceptable honestly. You are employing the agent, if you are unhappy you need to nip it in the bud and move on to someone who will get the job done for you the first time around.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 20, 2011
Consider discussing all issues with your agent, if the chat proves unsatisfactory, contact his/her broker owner and or office manager, and express your concerns--you can ask to be assigned another agent from within for the duration of the contract.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 20, 2011
The things you have said in here are not normal. It sounds like you agent may not be the most organized, but we each have our faults. If she is good in other ways, then she may still be a very good agent.

In the end, if she can get your home sold and put you into your next home, then she must be doing something right. If you want her to change a few things, then give her that feedback directly.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 20, 2011
Hi Coco99,

It sounds like there is either miscommunication going on, your agent is too busy with other clients, or your agent is unorganized. I suggest talking with your agent and express your concerns to her. If nothing changes, you may want to cancel your contracts with her and interview a few other agents in your area to see who you and your husband feel most comfortable with. Selling your home and purchasing a home are 2 of the biggest and most important transations you will undertake - make sure you are comfortable/satisfied with your agent.

Good luck.

Shanna Rogers
SR Realty
http://www.RealtyBySR.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 20, 2011
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