April S, Both Buyer and Seller in San Antonio, TX

Home listed with a flat fee MLS agent. Been on the market for 2 weeks with no activity. Should I switch to a local agent to get our home sold?

Asked by April S, San Antonio, TX Wed May 15, 2013

Home is priced $10K below what it is appraised for. We have decluttered, taken away most all personal items (photos, etc), home is staged, good neighborhood, close to major employers, located immediately off the 1604 loop. The only reason i can see is that we aren't listed with a local agent. Advice?

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Carol Dintel…, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Tue Jun 18, 2013
Hi April,

From what you say, it sounds like you have done your part to prepare your home for sale, but that is just a small part of the process.

Bottom line is home sellers need to list with a brokerage that markets their home not simply lists it. To begin marketing your home you want to make sure that it is priced right and in line with the current market. Markets can change rapidly and the appraisal you have may be dated or there may be another issue you are over looking.

More than 90% of buyers are looking online for their new home. If your property is visible on the major real estate websites currently, then there must be something wrong if buyers are not requesting in-person showings.

Because most buyers are seeing your home for the first time online then professional photography is a must. A minimum of 25 photos that are of a professional quality will help entice buyers for an in-person showing. A custom marketing plan is also extremely important and should be included for you. Examples of what a marketing plan might consist of would be strategically placed print ads in publications with the best distribution for your property, social media campaigns on a company and individual agent level, e-blast notifications to exclusive lists that will maximize the exposure of your property, positioning on all major real estate websites and more.

Preparing your property to sell, pricing it right, displaying it in it best light with professional photography and following through with a customized marketing plan are all essential in selling your home in the least amount of time for the most money.

My brokerage is local with global reach. We specialize in marketing which leads to results for our clients. Please contact me if you have any further questions.

Carol Dintelman
Kuper Sotheby's International Realty
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Raymond Giles, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Tue Jun 11, 2013
You need to list with a with a Brokerage that has the resources to adequately market your property. When you list with a flat fee Brokerage all they do is put it on the MLS. Flat fee brokerage is not a way to sell your home like anything else in life you get what you pay for.

Raymond Giles
Broker Associate
Keller William City View
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Claudia McSh…, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Wed May 15, 2013
Dear April S,

Presuming with "no activity" you mean no showings. How many photos have been taken? Are the photos enticing? When it was entered into the MLS was everything marked that applies to your home? If not, it will not show up in searches requiring these items. Are you competing with new home builders? Is it located near an eyesore? Is it the biggest home in the neighborhood? Is it featured in a publication like Homes and Land?

It is really hard to determine why, without seeing the actual listing. Would you please e-mail it to me?

Claudia McShane
Joyce Klein Realtors
(210) 744-4502
Web Reference:  http://www.SAHomes4Sale.net
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Guy Gimenez, Agent, Austin, TX
Wed May 15, 2013
Remember that an appraisal is simply one person's opinion of value at that given time. Get three appraisals the same day and I guarantee they will all differ..sometimes significantly.

If you need a local broker, contact Roland Gonzales who also responded here. He just sold one of my flip homes in 14 days.

Of course, as an investor, I would be glad to consider a purchase if you don't have success selling through the traditional sales route.
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Roland Gonza…, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Wed May 15, 2013
Assuming that your home is in the $200K price range, you feel like you are saving around $5.5K by not listing with an full-time experienced agent. By the time is all set and done, you will likely be reducing your asking price by about $10-15K in order to sell your home without good marketing. . Run, not walk, to obtain an experienced agent to assist in marketing your home.

Roland Gonzales, ABR, GRI, CRS, CDPE
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Tabitha King, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Wed May 15, 2013

How many showings have you had and did you get any feedback?? How long has it been on the market?
Are the pictures in MLS very good? Price? Many different factors.
It sounds like your home is very sellable and you did all the right things to prepare it to show. I would like to take a look at it in MLS. Can you email me the address or MLS #?

I'm a full time Realtor
Call, email or text me anytime,
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Laura Watson, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Wed May 15, 2013
Hi April - Great Question! Well, I'm prejudiced, but I believe using a knowledgeable Realtor is key. In life, we usually get what we pay for. The location is set - so pricing your property correctly and making it "show worthy" and available to the greatest number of potential buyers is extremely important. Another large component is marketing. Most buyers are looking online, and you can really consider this your "first showing". If they are still interested after that, they will make the time to actually see your house first hand. Communication with a Realtor that knows your specific market will be a great benefit to you, and will help you get your house sold faster, thus saving you money in the long run.

Laura Watson
Broker Associate, CRS, GRI, SFR
Keller Williams Legacy Group
San Antonio, TX
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Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Wed May 15, 2013
As much as I'd like to say that it's because of the lack of a local agent, there are many other possibilities as to why it hasn't sold yet, (including the fact that 2 weeks is not a long time) but since you don't have a real agent to advise you, the reasons aren't apparent to you.

A good real estate agent can help figure out what's wrong, (if anything).... the flat-fee MLS agents are a great way to go, if you don't need any hand-holding. But a live agent (especially local) can help you determine what direction you need to go.

Is the house showing poorly or tired, are agents having difficulty accessing the property, is the price too high (even though you're priced below appraisal), are there other similar properties priced lower than yours.... an agent can be more objective than you can.
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Johnny Willi…, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Wed May 15, 2013

I would recommend working with a local agent. For all my listings I actually do a detailed marketing plan which will include on average 26 different pieces of marketing.

Feel free to give me a call and I would be happy to discuss your options.

Best Regards

Johnny E Williams
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Steve Johnson, Agent, Spring Branch, TX
Wed May 15, 2013
I do not know where off 1604 your home is, but I would check on these major factors.

1.) Did the listing agent provide you some recent sales comps for the area of like properties in your neighborhood? If so is your price point in line or close to those solds? Is the neighborhood saturated with homes currently for sale?

2.) If your home is fairly new, are you still competing with the builder in the neighborhood? I have sold homes in other cities and had no problem.

The problem I see with with most flat fee companies is they list the properties in MLS and thats it. We are a service industry and sometimes you get what you pay for.

If you are going to continue to list with a flat fee company what did the company promise to do for you?

Do you have any property flyers on your sign?

Is there a realtor tour that you can get your home included in to get local agent familiar with your home and provide you feedback?

I wish you the best, take care and good luck!

Thank You,
Steve Johnson
Relocation Specialist
Fine Homes International
Prudential Don Johnson
18534 Fourty-Six Parkway Suite 1C
Spring Branch, TX 78070
Cell: (210) 325-1833
Bus: (830) 438-5540
Fax: (830) 438-6730

Texas Law requires all real estate licensees to give the following information about brokerage services:

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Luis C. Beyer, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Wed May 15, 2013
A local agent will have the knowledge and experience to advise you better.
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Amanda P. He…, Agent, Bulverde, TX
Wed May 15, 2013
And is your property listed in the local Multiple Listing Service there? Realtors bring the majority of buyers to the table.
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Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Wed May 15, 2013
$10,000 below tax appraisal or $10,000 below a recent bank appraisal? There's a difference.

Tax appraisals are often bogus....they could be way above or below market value.

Get an agent who knows your neighborhood to help you price and market. Could be a lot of different things including how appointments are made, how it looks in MLS, marketing, pictures, how agents get inside to view, what agent's experience is with your flat fee realtor, etc.

I've seen it before where the wrong realtor can cost you thousands. One of my clients thought they would save $2500 and it cost them about $25,000 after the home was on the market a year.
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Thank you for the feedback Bruce. It was a recent Bank appraisal
Flag Wed May 15, 2013
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Wed May 15, 2013
What's the incentive for local Agents to show and sell your house?
Were you "penny wise and pound foolish"?
How many other houses are Listed in your area?
How do their LISTING PRICES compare?
How many OPEN HOUSES have you had?
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