I hate that you have had such a nightmare experience. I am wondering how you selected your agents? I would encourage you to ask people you know if they were happy with their agent. When you find someone who gushes about their experience, that is a good reference! If you don't know anyone, I recommend interviewing a few agents, ask for references, and select someone who has the same expectations you do... timely updates, strategy meetings, thorough marketing plan, etc.
Times have been tough/slow selling since July in many parts of town, so the fact the house didn't sell may not be something having a different agent would have changed, but you should certainly be able to expect better communication. The market seems to be picking up a bit now, so I hope your luck will change.
Personally, I put my pictures in the MLS the day I list the house. If the house isn't presentable for the pictures, I won't list it until it is!
Page Latham, Realtor
1. Ask for references
2. Drive around the area and see if one company or one agents signs are in more yards
3. Find out who has great web-sites and how many webs your home is listed on. 78% of all buyers start looking on the web first.
4. Make sure you make a connection with the person who is going to list your home. This is very stressfull and it is extremely important to trust the person who is supposed to be working for you and representing you in a transaction.
5. Have a firm discussion when interviewing agents about communication. Make it extremely clear how you want to be communicated with and how often.
If you would like me to I can have my relocation company recommend some agents in your area to interview it sometimes helps when you are referred to an agent.
Coldwell Banker United, Realtors
And if you want to sell quickly price the home 7-10% below average market. If you are sticking to full prices expect long market times. Be aggressive on pricing if you want it gone.
Expect weekly updates and emails from the listing agent. Good websites let sellers track there progress online backdoor in the agents website.
Finally talk with several agents and then go with your gut!