Bonnie, Both Buyer and Seller in Michigan

I am looking for an experienced, aggressive, no nonsense realtor in the 48307 area. I've had my home on and

Asked by Bonnie, Michigan Mon Mar 2, 2009

off the market for 20 months with about 4 showings and no offers. It has been listed by owner and by 2 different realtors. This house needs to be sold and we are looking for a realtor that knows the market and can sell this house. I am not looking for a realtor who will list if for the highest price but list according to the market. Right now the house is listed with a real estate company with a flat fee with us offering 3% to anyone who brings a buyer. It is listed on all the major websites and the MLS. I was wondering if we should increase the percentage and reduce the price again or just list it with another agent. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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smith3gary, Agent, White Lake, MI
Tue Mar 3, 2009

Several good agents have responded to your question. Since you've indicated you are not currently under contract this booklet may be of use. "Who's the Best Person to Sell My House"

Just to be sure you understand. For one of the MLS services in your city, ONLY Exclusive Right To Sell or Full Service properties are sent to sites like and soon Point2Agent. I suggest verifying where homes are being advertised for any real estate professional you end up choosing.

Before interviewing any of these agents. Go to their website and find one of their listings. Then Google the address in this format "123 Main" use only the street number and name. Including the quotes will decrease other sources with this address.

There should be at a minimum several hundred sites in the results. I've seen in the 100,000.

Because you are near the border of a competing MLS, you may want to ask if the agent belongs to more than one MLS. This may/may not be an advantage.

When speaking with agents, they should be able to provide copies of all homes that successfully sold during the past XX months. Look over these sales to see what amenities the homes had that yours does not. It may be you have vinyl and only brick are selling. You would then have to make a decision to install brick siding or decrease your asking price to compete.
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1 vote
Maureen Fran…, Agent, Birmingham, MI
Mon Mar 2, 2009

Tonight I got an offer on a home that I have had listed for 6 weeks. It was previously listed with another agent for 7 or so months with no offers. I made some major changes in marketing and the seller made a few small changes I suggested to make the home show better. We found a good buyer.

In 2008, a large percentage of my listings sold in less than 6 weeks, and we had our best year since we started selling homes in 2001.

Realtors don't all do the same things to market a home. I am glad that consumers have access to things like flat fee. It provides options and competition.

Some questions for you:
Is your listing featured on Trulia?
Is your listing enhanced on
Do you have 25 photos of your home on the MLS?
Do you have a virtual tour?
Do you have a video of your home?
Does your home have it's own web site?
How widely is it syndicated?
Are you keeping up on market changes?
Are homes similar to yours selling?
What kind of feedback did you get from the 4 showings?

4 showings is very low for 20 months. One Rochester Hills home (not my listing) I am showing tomorrow night has had about 120 showings in the last 7 months. Of course, it could be in a different price range, etc.

I will be with buyers tomorrow evening in Rochester Hills as they decide which of two homes is a better fit for them. If you would like me to preview your home before I meet them, I would be happy to do see if I can offer you any suggestions for finding a buyer for your home. No pressure and no obligation. Just free advice.

Maureen Francis
SKBK Sotheby's
1 vote
Cornelia Pes…, Agent, Rochester Hills, MI
Thu May 16, 2013
I will be more than happy to work for you !
Great things can happen, if you trust in God and in the rt person !

Cornelia Pestenariu, with National Realty Centers
1000 S. Old Woodward, Birmingham, MI 48009
Office: 248-724-1234
Cell : 248-842-7320

Thank you !
0 votes
Nancy Duncan…, Agent, Rochester, MI
Thu Feb 14, 2013
Hi Bonnie, I believe I can help you. I work for Colburn, McDonald & Associates. Our website is We are the only locally owned and operated agency in Rochester. Many of the agents (myself included) live and work in Rochester. We know the community, we know what is happening with home sales. I encourage you to contact me at 248-568-6750 so we can set up a time to talk.
Nancy Duncanson
Colburn, McDonald & Associates
0 votes
Ed & Cindy K…, Agent, Shelby Township, MI
Tue Mar 3, 2009
Hi Bonnie to answer your questions.

1. In my experience raising the comm does not bring more buyers to your home and will not make a buyer like your home more, it will only make the agent happy.
2. Reducing the price Always helps but we would need to determine Your market place to know exactly how much to reduce it by.
3. Hiring a Realtor - yes and a full service one will put someone on your side to help your justify the price, get the right feedback, help you with condition and staging and most important help you during and through the sale. Some buyer agents may shy away because they will have to do all the work and not have another agent to work with.

Many of the agents that responded are from this area and know it is tough in MI right now and not like any other area. But homes are still selling. We are getting our sellers homes sold IF they listen to us. But if they do not lower the price we simply can not help them not matter what we do. Buyers can find our sellers homes because we are all over the web. Can you find you previous agents? If not how can buyers find your home?

You mentioned you have been on the market 20 months and only had 4 showings so you may be just above the fall line so you are missing buyers. The market has fallen quite a bit in the past 20 months so hopefully you have been doing huge price reductions.

Hope this helps. You can find more about us at the link below.
0 votes
Heather Jack…, Agent, Lakeland, FL
Mon Mar 2, 2009
Bonnie, I don't think increasing the percentage will sell your house. For the most part, with the huge inventory that there currently is in most markets, the buyer does all the choosing of properties to view and they have no idea what the agencies involved are being paid.

I would say, ask friends and coworkers for referrals on an agent, then ask the agent for references. I have a list of past clients that will be happy to state how I work and what I did for them. Then they, along with you should sit down, take a good look at your market, price your house accordingly and be ready show. As another agent pointed out, the house needs to be "in show condition" at all times. With all the competition out there buyers get their "first impression" within the first minutes of being in your home, so walkway, entry way, as well as the rest of the house needs to look great! You may even want to invest in a "home stager or redesigner". I had a home sit for months, hired a home stager and literally the next person through the door bought the house.

Find someone you are comfortable with, its a tough process and you need to feel supported which it sounds like up until now you have not been :O(

0 votes
Fred Romano, Agent, Servicing All, CT
Mon Mar 2, 2009
1. Don't increase the co-broke. 3% is good for a buyers agent. If they want more that's just being greedy.
2. Yes reduce the price. Price is the #1 reason homes don't sell.
3. No don't hire another broker yet, lower the price, fix anything that needs fixing, get some fresh photos online when the snow is gone. Re-write your property description to spice it up. Add a virtual/video tour if your broker has that available.

Best of luck!
- Fred
Web Reference:
0 votes
Andy Hargrea…, Agent, Plymouth, MI
Mon Mar 2, 2009

1. It can be a good incentive to the agent, but I'd encourage you take whatever amount you were thinking of increasing it and dropping your price by that amount. The buyer makes the decision, not us as agents. They'll appreciate the price drop.
2. 4 showings in 20 months says, to me, that you are too highly priced. Today's buyers are VERY savvy.

There is a ton of technology out there for them (buyers) to look up. They can (if they do research) find out when you bought the house, how much you bought it for, how much you currently owe (appx) and now long you've had it on the market and what your price drops were, etc.

I've said it time and time again --- IF IF IF you price it right, it will sell.

If you're not priced right, NO agent will be able to sell it.

Banks won't lend on something that doesn't appraise out, and buyers won't offer on something that isn't relative to other homes.

I'd advise you interview and hire someone that will spend time with you evaluating your position amongst other homes locally. That should give you a pretty clear idea as to where you need to be.
0 votes
Bonnie, Both Buyer And Seller, Michigan
Mon Mar 2, 2009
Thanks for all of your input so far. It has been very helpful. I am not under contract right now. I only paid a flat fee to have my home listed on the MLS, etc. Back to a few of my questions:
1.) Should I increase the percentage I offer to a buyers agent from 3% to ?
2.)Reduce the price
3.)Hire yet again another Realtor.

A little background..... I hired 2 different realtors. They talked a big game and ended up only sticking a sign in my yard. I had more showings on my own than with the realtors. I understand there are better realtors out there and that is my next question. How do I find a GREAT realtor who will actually do what they say.

Thanks again for all your input!!!!!!
0 votes
Fred Romano, Agent, Servicing All, CT
Mon Mar 2, 2009
Derek I see your point - response removed. I have to say though... I use to do "traditional" brokerage about 2 years ago... I was a very good listing agent, worked with many buyers, did double deals too...

There came a point where I just felt that 6% or even 5% was just too much money! I do MORE online marketing now for my listings than I did 2 years ago. And I do it for just a small flat fee. I provide great customer support throughout the process, and homes that are priced right sell... bottom line - flat fee broker can save money for sellers and buyers. Maybe not all flat fee brokers do what I do, but then not all Realtors are the same.
Web Reference:
0 votes
Andy Hargrea…, Agent, Plymouth, MI
Mon Mar 2, 2009
Perhaps Michigan contract law is different than in CT, but here, we can have discussion with an owner if they first seek us out.
0 votes
Derek Bauer, Agent, South Lyon, MI
Mon Mar 2, 2009

What Maureen did is NOT unethical. Maureen (and all of us) was solicited for advice. Licensed agents can not approach someone under contract ... but they CAN communicate and try to secure the business if they are FIRST approached by the consumer.
0 votes
Fred Romano, Agent, Servicing All, CT
Mon Mar 2, 2009
Andy If you read the posts below, you will see agents ARE suggesting she "get rid of" the flat fee broker.
Web Reference:
0 votes
Andy Hargrea…, Agent, Plymouth, MI
Mon Mar 2, 2009
I don't agree with Fred at all.
Let me do some math here...and let me agree with Maureen --
Enhanced listings on and other sites is VERY expensive.
Since it is the #1 website nationally, not having an enchanced listing status on there is beyond me.
I also do a large amount of marketing on other search sites and such, and I am sure the rest of us will agree that it's not free to do so.
I spend a large amount dedicated to actively marketing my listings individually, and that comes at a greater cost than simply listing and hoping someone catches wind of it online. That is why I can't work for a "flat fee." I am sure that many of us on here feel the same way. We don't take "just any listing" for the sake of doing so.

Around here, I've seen many "Flat fee" brokers only list the home on the MLS and then make the homeowner responsible for ALL other marketing. Some are ok with that and some are not. It largely depends on what you want to do yourself. Some people like to be involved and some people prefer to let the selling be in the hands of someone who does it all day long.

Fred is assuming that we're encouraging you to NOT list with them -- that's not the case -- we're merely probing you to ask questions as just to exactly what you're getting for what you're paying. If you're not getting results, then it's natural to ask around. I haven't seen a single one of us say "get rid of your agent" as we're unable to, since you are under contract currently.

Yet, sometimes the way things are in this market, what you need to be listed at to sell isn't feasible. Unless you have a lot of equity to use to your advantage or a ton of cash on hand, you may have to wait it out.

Again, the key is to communicate closely with your agent. Share the forum with them and see what you can get to work for you.
0 votes
Fred Romano, Agent, Servicing All, CT
Mon Mar 2, 2009
Seriously, don't listen to these Realtors. They just want you to dump your flat fee company and pay 6%... It's unethical for them to even suggest this!

What you need to do is price the house right and fix up anything that needs fixing. Make sure you have nice photos online (10-25) to attract those potential buyers. Keep lowering the price every 3-4 weeks until you get a bite, then be ready to negotiate when you get an offer.

This is a tough market, but think about it... where are buyers looking for homes? ONLINE and with Realtors (who use the MLS). If you hire a traditional broker, they will do basically the same thing for you in the way of exposure.

- Fred Romano, Broker
Web Reference:
0 votes
Andy Hargrea…, Agent, Plymouth, MI
Mon Mar 2, 2009
The price of your home is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it.
Yet, as many of us here agree, a limited service listing doesn't offer you all the services you may desire for optimum exposure.

Here's an interesting link for your city to look at:
0 votes
LYNN Afton, Agent, Big Rapids, MI
Mon Mar 2, 2009
Hi Bonnie-

In today's market, you really need to focus on what your BUYERS are looking for in order to sell your home.

It looks as though you have had sufficient marketing, and sounds like your Realtors have performed.

There are really only a few reasons that a home doesn't sell.

It is probably one or more of the following.

Because the potential buyers looking at your home think:

It is priced too high for the roof age, exterior design, landscaping , lot size or area in which it is located;
It is priced too high for the style, layout or decorating inside the home.
It is priced too high for its square footage size or the rooms are (or seem) too small

What feedback have you received from showings? Have you heard any of the comments from buyers?

Many showings today are buyer-driven, meaning the buyer finds the home and requests the Realtor show it.

The buyer doesn't know what fees the Realtor will be getting, so raising the % fee may not help, but one thing can really drive Realtors to try and sell your property, is to have an extraordinary bonus to the buyers agent who has a buyer under contract by a certain date - such as in 30 days - and payable only at closing of the sale.

Best things you can do to make your home the most sell-able:

Keep it spotless. Keep it uncluttered. Keep it neutral.
Remove collections, bookcases, unnecessary furniture.
You are selling space, not stuff.

Make sure there isn't a hint of damage, cracks, water stains or mold anywhere in the home.

Good Luck! -Lynn
0 votes
Ed & Cindy K…, Agent, Shelby Township, MI
Mon Mar 2, 2009
Hi Bonnie I totally understand your frustration in this market. Since you are under contract we really can not give you any advice on what to do now. But you can visit out site below and call us to see what we offer in terms of selling a home.

I will say that price and condition are very important today.
0 votes
Stacey Green, , Brighton, MI
Mon Mar 2, 2009
I can understand your frustration. You need honest advice, which can be very painful to give and receive in this housing market. I counsel my clients to stay put if you do not have to sell. If you do need to sell though, you must look at the facts….the numbers do not lie. Perhaps you owe more than what your house is worth, which would make you a candidate for a short sale. Visit my web site at Http:// for more information about the services I offer or to contact me directly.
0 votes
Heather Jack…, Agent, Lakeland, FL
Mon Mar 2, 2009
Bonnie, it is a tough market out there. With so few showings, there are 2 concerns, first being is it overpriced which it sounds like you are open to information in that area and advertising. Just because its in the MLS doesn't always sell it. Also, you mention all major websites which is great too BUT, what does the listing look like? Are the at least 10 GREAT photos? Is there a virtual tour? Is there a wonderful write up describing your home and the neighborhood/area shopping/school system? If its out there but not well done, it's not really out there. I would suggest getting rid of the flat fee company, hiring a full time realtor that is ready to work for you, check out their other listings, their pictures and their virtual tours. 87% of today's home buyers start looking online and if it looks bad there, they are not coming to view in person! I wish you all the best of luck!!

Heather Jackson, Realtor
EXIT Realty
Lakeland, FL
0 votes
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