Home Selling in 30066>Question Details

Glen, Both Buyer and Seller in Marietta, GA

How can you keep realtors from taking your FSBO flyers? I actually caught one realtor trying to take my entire stack. I have him on video.

Asked by Glen, Marietta, GA Sat Feb 13, 2010

Help the community by answering this question:


File a complaint with your state's regulatory agency for real estate agents. Don't bother with contacting the agent's broker. If the broker gets rid of him for these actions, the agent will only go to work for another broker and continue his behavior.
Web Reference: http://www.phgbrokers.com
4 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 13, 2010
You really cant just like we as realtor can;t stop people from taking the flyers we put out. What you need to do is find a better effective way to market your home. There are a number of services that allow you to put a number up that directs people to text a number and they receive a flyer/photos of your home. The other thing you can do is put out a single laminated flyer with information on it, but not one that folks can take, In this market it is hard to sell and you need to find the creative ways to reach out to buyers. If I can help let me know, Good Luck
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 13, 2010
I'm not sure which is worse--the fact that the Realtor actually walked off with your flyers or the fact that you happened to have a camera ready to shoot the video!! I certainly don't mean any disrespect, however, it has been my experience that when people try to sell their home on their own without the use of a realtor there is always an underlying reason that involves much more than savng money. Most people are under the impression that Realtors are overpaid for what we do. That is surmounted by the same individual having had an experience with a Realtor who didn't do a thorough job marketing their home. While I respect the fact that you would like to sell your property yourself I don't know that you have the proper training and experience to get the house sold. If you had some medical problems would you set up a visit with your neighbor to save money rather then see a physician?
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 23, 2010
It's unfortunate that there are still slimy realtors out there. I've seen that happen before, although it's usually the case of a competitive nereby seller. One tip is to laminate one of the flyers and glue it to the inside of the box. That way, people can at least read the information. Also, you could put your phone number on the outside of the box so potential buyers could call you for the information. Good luck.
Web Reference: http://NancyWagnerHomes.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 23, 2010
If you have the Realtor on video... send a copy to his managing broker, and a matching copy to your local board. This guy should be appropriately punished, and send a message to all other Realtors in the area.

Guys like this make us all look bad, and I know you're tired of it... and quite honestly, so is each and every honest and ethical Realtor out there.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 13, 2010
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
Wow! I don't know what to say. The fact that you have this guy on video....
Please tell me, did you confront the realtor? I would love to hear his reaction when you told him you actually had video evidence.
I can't say that I have ever heard of this. I mean, that is just pathetic.

It just occurred to me, is it possible that he took the flyers because he had potential buyers?
I mean I'm willing to give anyone the benefit of the doubt.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 13, 2010
Find out who he/she is and call the broker. It will stop, in my opinion. Good Luck!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 13, 2010
Thanks Tonya

And as Dunes always says.....If you're a Buyer thinking about Lake Stevens WA. (which is a beautiful place BTW) then stop and have a cup of coffee with someone else who "thinks" and shares expertise about the Housing/property Market in Lake Stevens....Tonya Brobeck ......

That Troublemaker guy
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 28, 2010
Here is my house listing for those of you that are curious. Agent commission is 3.5 %. I felt you hard working law abiding realtors deserve an extra buck from me. Three days on the market and we have had positive showings. Someone is trying to get pre-qualified on Monday So I will let you all know how it goes.

Once again thank you for your advice.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 28, 2010
Glen giving it to the local news, his church, Youtube, anyone ya can think off is a great idea and be sure you have a good title like..

Agent launches new FSBO Prospecting Program

or Agents puzzled as Consumer Trust decreases from 1.000000002% to .000000002%

Good luck
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 24, 2010
Why would a real estate agent want to take flyers from someones yard??? Glen is it someone you had a run in with? If you have a video, go right to the local news, then maybe his broker and then the police for theft. How do you know who it is? You must have seen him/her beofre if you can identify them.... It was interesting ready all the replies so i was hoping for some more information or details like who, what where why how etc...
Web Reference: http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 23, 2010
I completely agree that if you can identify this individual, he/she is doing something completely out of line, and not ethical. Report him/her to your local Realtor Board.... a picture can say a thousand words. Good luck with your sale!
Web Reference: http://buckybuchanan.net
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 23, 2010
Well, parking yourself by your sign box with a machine gun would probably get you in more trouble than its worth........There really isn't anything you can do about all this paper going to waste....however, you can register with http://www.buyeracquire.com (it's a call captured 1-800 program where you place a sign rider over your for sale sign with this 800 #. Once an interested party that wants info. on the house calls that # it will give them pre-recorded info on the property such as price, sq. ft., bedrooms, baths, etc.......The system will then automatically text you a message to your e-mail or cell or whatever # you use and give you the caller's phone # with the time of call. You're supposed to wait a few minutes before calling them right back and see how you can set up a "meeting" between the two of you to get a showing appointment. REaltors use this a lot because most buyers want to remain anonymous and not have a zillion realtors after them, but what they don't know is that the # that they made that call from is captured into the system and realtor now has a way to notify them. I hope this helps. By the way, this is pricier than printing out flyers even if yours got stolen every day.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 23, 2010
And, yet, I would have just printed up more flyers.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
Hi Glen:

This is highly inappropriate behavior and probably not very bright on the part of the agent. We all depend on our reputations locally and it is silly to risk damaging our position in the community. I agree with the folks below who suggest talking to the agents broker. The agents actions reflect on the company and most good brokers will put a stop to the behavior. If you are really steamed up, you can call your state's real estate commission. It probably would not result in more than a call and, perhaps, a slap on the wrist, but no agent wants to be on their state commission's radar.

I hope this helps.

Ron Rovtar
Prudential Real Estate of the Rockies
Boulder, CO
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
Realtors taking 1 flyer is actually the market that you want. We have very few other ways to identify what a FSBO's specs are...

how many bedrooms, baths, separate dining room, LISTED PRICE!

and Realtors are the ones with the buyers... so you want us informed about your FSBO... so I think that 10 agents picking up one each is a good result. The doofus who took 30, on the other hand.... just a doofus.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
Thank you all for your replies I actually caught the guy red handed when I approached him as he was driving off. I waived him down and asked for them back.

What led to this question was that I had 30 flyers vanish in one week so the following week I set up in my living room and walked outside every time I saw someone take a flyer. In one day 10 flyers went all realtors. The third one was the guy taking the stack.

Thank you all for your advice (I will not be posting on You tube for now) believe it or not I am listing with a realtor this week. I posted this question because this last FSBO experience has been cluttered by extremely rude realtors.

I want to share the last line on my flyer which I thought would gain me respect and keep nosy realtors from calling me just to call. (but it did not...).

* agent protected 3.5%. If you don’t have an agent and want a good responsive agent in Cobb, I strongly recommend John Doe of John doe realty @ 770-422-john (He will get this listing if it does not sell by 15th Feb 2010.

Once again than you all I will keep you posted if my realtor gets it sold. I tried for 30 days on my own in a neighborhood of 185-200K listings I attempted at 178K on my own and I failed. Lets see how my licensed realtor performs. He is very excited about getting the listing, he will be listing at 175K which is my tax assessed value and I could only agree after my fsbo failure.

I marketed the house on craigslist, AJC, Google real estate. All three free. I never showed the house.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
Everyone reading this should read Rockinblu's extensive essay called "Thinking About Selling as a FSBO?" from his Trulia blog - if all of us were as good as his sales prescription, then demand would exceed supply. Rockinblu is a sage, and his FSBO advocacy cuts directly to the heart of why many people can't stand salespeople. In the best selling book Superfreakonomics by Steven Levitt, Steven cites one of the same academic studies that Rockinblu cites - Rockinblu is a sage...

Glen - you would not need promotional flyers if you priced and marketed your property effectively.

Flyers are cheap and relatively ineffective - by the very nature of a flyer box's limited reach, expect some "shrink."

You should prosecute the vandal to the fullest extent of the Cobb County law.

One more thing - if you lived in my neighborhood, then you would be thrilled that the only thing missing from your property for sale is $2.00 worth of ink and paper...
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 13, 2010
That is not ethical. Flyers are not a good marketing tool as you can not track who is taking your fliers or for getting feedback. A 1-800 # IVR is the best way, then nosy neighbors or unethical realtors can take your fliers.
I wpould agree and put the video on you tube. Good luck.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 13, 2010
You might consider YouTube.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 13, 2010
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
That is cracking me up! You should send the video to channel 2 news... just kidding! However, if you know who the agent is then I would contact the broker and make a complaint.

Keep in mind that agents are here to help and they do have buyers so I would recommend that you honor agents should they bring you a buyer.

You can place a sign asking for takers to take one flyer per car.
Web Reference: http://www.HomesByLorie.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 13, 2010
I'd love to see the video :) Post it on YouTube!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 16, 2012
Are you sure it was a Realtor?? Many times it is nosey neighbors that come and take our flyers first and they could also grab a whole stack.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 1, 2010
Glen....REALTORS are buyers, too....don't forget that aspect!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 1, 2010
Oh I like that personalized promo a lot! Since I can't select the best answer I've settled for a thumbs up....Thank you thank you Dunes
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 28, 2010
Dunes you always have a way of inserting pure humor into a disturbing situation. I personally feel the same way as you.

Love it! LOL
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 28, 2010
Pretty sure Glen in 30067 is busting your nads on this one and shows why realtors are generally such a gullible group. If the evidence really exists, it's pretty easy to attach a vid or pic linky with his post to not only show it actually happened, but to get it to stop. If I was selling my home as a FSBO in this market, would plan on spending a few bucks on fliers anyway, so what's a couple more to potentially save thousands? And how many of you now are ROFLYAO?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 24, 2010
AGENTS like that are the reason why being a real estate agent/broker is considered, according to a nation wide poll, one of the least prestigious jobs in America. He was probably not a REALTOR because REALTORS uphold to a higher ethical standard.

I agree, you should post that video on youtube and send all of us a link.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 23, 2010
If you're out with your video cam again - rig up something with your water hose & turn it on full blast if someone takes the whole stack - maybe the resulting video will become the newest viral hit!

Seriously though, you should call the thief's broker and/or real estate board. That type of behavior is petty, crass and just plain stupid. That agent needs to find a new line of work. Actually, give him my number - I've got some rocks that need relocating, then relocated again in August.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 23, 2010
WoW! That's all I can say. Wow!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 23, 2010
As the answers before indicate, you want Realtors to take the flyers to be able to know details of your home so they can bring you a buyer. Only about 10% of FSBOs sell directly without an agent.

As mentioned I use a rider connected to the MLS listing so my 'flyer' is on 24 hours a day. If you still need any additional help let me know.

Mark Lackey
Atlanta Housing Source at
Solid Source Realty, Inc.
Associate Broker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 23, 2010
If you have the realtor on tape, do you have his/her name?
I would post the video on U-Tube! I can understand why a Realtor may take one of your flyers but
not them all. I am sorry that this Realtor behaved in this manner. Good luck in selling your home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 23, 2010

Hope you have better luck with your lisitng agent! I am sorry to hear about your experience with the drive-by agent. I do believe he is the exception and not the norm. It is common for an agent to take one flyer. I agree with the prior posts which suggested you share the tape with the agent's broker or board office.

Let us know how things are going with the marketing of your property. Best of luck.

Deborah Madey
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 23, 2010
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
I am shocked that anyone would attempt to do such a thing. Realtors take a code of Ethics and what you described to me is not what we are all about. I am sorry to hear about this.


Claire Garvey;Broker,Realtor, CRS
Keller Williams Realty
50 Sewall St. 2nd flr
Portland, Me. 04102
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 23, 2010
If you can get his/her name or business card, do so and then call the local Board and turn that person in. We need to weed out the idiot real estate agents so that would be no loss to our business. Good luck.
Web Reference: http://www.lvre.org
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 23, 2010
That's extremely unethical of him. Go to the local real estate board and show them the video.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 23, 2010
Go Green , replace the flyers with Virtual Agent. Deliver the information to your buyers phone. VA is available to Agents, FSBO's and property managers. Check it out @ http://www.txtagt.com and use promo code 'VA115CA' for a huge discount.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 23, 2010
Are you serious? You saw a realtor taking your whole stack of flyers? Do you know who this person is, and who they work for? If you do, I would recommend you call their broker and report this.

However, in terms of realtors taking one of your flyers, that's not a bad thing. Realtors like to keep up with the inventory in the area for buyers who are out looking.
Web Reference: http://gainesville-life.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 23, 2010
If an agent takes just a couple of your brochures, you could feel optimistic. Maybe that person will have a ready-qualified potential buyer to offer you, and they equipping themselves with relevent information.

Taking the whole stack is suspicious, I'd say. More like trying to interfere with your process.
Such a person is unlikely (one hopes!) to be an actual Realtor. There is a strict Code of Ethics that Realtors deliberately sign on to, with considerable seriousness. "Realtor" is not a synonym for "Real Estate Agent".

Since you are clearly observing this activity (otherwise you would be expecting that the brochures were being picked up by members of the public) I think it would be a good idea to intercept and introduce yourself. You could ask for the card of each person, in friendly fashion.

That way:
EITHER you would develop a positive relationship where, even though he/she is not listing your property, they might nonetheless think of your property when they have clients needing what you have, in your chosen price-range.

OR you would recognize the individual next time you see your whole supply being removed in one go.
In that event, you should call their Owner-Broker or office manager, as per the card.

The office owner is likely to have, themselves, subscribed to Realtor status and would thus abhor unethical behavior. (I still keep hoping that there's an innocent explanation!!)

If you got no satisfaction, you could invoke the Code of Ethics and complain to the local Board of Realtors.
Having the person in question on your video-tape already, means you could jump straight to the last step, if you did not want to speak to that person directly. Interfering with your process, intentionally, seems like bad behavior!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 23, 2010
Hi Glen,
FSBO flyers are open to the general public for taking. I pick up flyers (FSBO and MLS Listed properties) throughout neighborhoods I am pursuing for my buyers. Since a good number of FSBO properties are not listed in the MLS, as a buyers agent I like to offer my clients a FSBO property option as well. I am certain if a realtor contacted you to show your home, you would agree to pay him/her a reasonable commission.
Any realtor taking multiple flyers as you witnessed should be reported immediately to his/her MLS board and your state Board of Realtors for investigation and formal complaint process. This realtor should be removed from our ranks as quickly as possible.
Professional realtors support homeowners rather the are MLS listed sellers or For Sale By Owners. We understand your reasons for wishing to sell the property on your own (if possible) and remain available to you should you require our services in the future.
Very Best and Warmest Regards,
Lynn Vaughn
Remax Equity Group
Vancouver, WA
Web Reference: http://www.LynnVaughn.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 23, 2010
That is terrible to think that a Realtor would do that. I could see if he has a buyer looking in the area and he needed the sheet to call the owner to schedule an appt and to show his client. I do have brochure boxes that have a protective cover so the original cannot be taken out even if the box is empty-just in case someone wants the information. How did you know he was a Realtor? If his name was on his car did you contact him/her directly to find out why?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 23, 2010
I don't think there is a way to stop someone from taking a flyer. It is our job to know the market and if your home is for sale then a Realtor is probably going to take a flyer. Who knows....they might have a buyer for you. That would be good news for you. However, it's bad news is someone takes the whole stack. Sorry about that.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 23, 2010
Glen, There is no explaining bad behavior...I do often pick up a flyer just to see what the asking price is and what amenities are included..I feel that is better than calling and disturbing the seller.Would you prefer a call?

Taking the entire box of flyer's is a waste of paper,ink & your time...Shame on the agent!!!!
Alta Monroe - So Padre Island
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 23, 2010
Glen, Good luck with the sale of your home. Realtors usually take one flyer so to see if you are cooperating with realtors or to know the price you are asking . Because of Do not call laws agents do not call fsbos unless they have a prospective buyer for the home.
realtors usually have the same experience as you did where the flyers are missing from the box . Most of the time it is kids who alos take down our signs.
Web Reference: http://www.gitabantwal.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 23, 2010
How do you know it's a Realtor? I have had open houses seen competitor home owner run down street take all the fliers I had meet the person several days ago while I was on property.

If know who it is contact the agent direct or their broker

Web Reference: http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 15, 2010

I used to have a big issue with fliers, but not quite like your situation. Neighborhood kids would just take them and make airplanes.

We now use a sign rider with a text number. You can just send a text and get an e-flyer on the property. The great thing for us as Realtors is our software captures the number from the text and we can follow up with the potential buyer. That's way better than a flyer in my opinion.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 15, 2010
Glen I am glad that you could identify this person as a Realtor® and not a person trying to take one of your flyers to look at.
Most Realtors® in my area wouldn't waste time taking flyers as we realize that they are the most ineffective form of advertising available.Get your sefl a property web site and a call for information number. Have people be able to download photos of home to their cell phone.
If you are going to market your home yourself at least use current marketing techniques.
Web Reference: http://www.Find1Home.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
Identifiable because of, team uniform and number, what?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
You received great answers below. I'd liked to clarify the use of the word Realtor vs Real Estate Agent. Realtor is a trademarked word - registered word - assigned to participating members of Realtors. These members are held to a hirer standard of ethics and behavior than Real Estate Agents. This doesn't discount the fact the who ever is taking your fliers is behaving below the standard of a professional.
Web Reference: http://www.terrivellios.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 13, 2010
Yes, that is definitely one of those things that gives Realtors a bad name, making people avoid us at all costs, when in fact there are some good ones out there for help, advice, and professionalism! Which in a market like today will most always make the life of the seller and buyer easier than ever!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 13, 2010
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