I have had an agent for 3 weeks. She has only put my house on an MLS. She has not even brought me a sign for

Asked by Tracy, 60160 Tue Mar 25, 2008

the front of my house. My original sign(FSBO) is still out there, so buyers are still calling me. I am the one that is having open houses and I am the one who is showing the house, due to my efforts. Agent has not shown my house at all. WHY did I sign a contract with an 8% commision rate if I am doing everything? Should I fire her? Can I legally fire her when there is a contract between the agent and myself? There are no buyer contracts on the property as of yet. I feel as if I would be better off selling it myself and not paying the commision. I could work with the price a little more. Please advise.

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Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Tue Mar 25, 2008
Why did you hire this Realtor?
Did you discuss her marketing plan?
What made you select this Realtor? You did interview more than one, right?

So without knowing the answers to some of these questions, is she doing the job? If she is not doing the job, doing what she said she would do, then I would schedule a meeting with her and her broker and explain your frustrations and see what options they can deilver. In our office if something like this happens that broker will assign a top agent to take care of the client.

Now, so far as going back as an unrepresented seller, how well did that work for you? I do not work in your market, however in California the buyer first sees the home they purchase with a Realtor about 90% of the time. So when you sell on your own you are basically excluding 90% of the buyers.

The other statistic you need to know is that on average, homes listed by Realtors sell 14% higher price than those sold by owners directly. That is not to say that you could not sell your home on your own, however I think you are stacking the cards in favor of a buyer. You think you will net more in your pocket by saving the cost of commission, the truth is that you will net less because you are only working with about 5% of the buyers, so with a buyer pool that restricted, and all the changes in the mortgage industry, you would really be hurting your chances.
1 vote
Sam, Home Seller, Riverside, CA
Tue Mar 25, 2008
the SAME thing happend to us earlier this year. we thought 8%, then it better sell quick. and 3 weeks later, nothing had been done other than us being listed on the mls...but with no info or pics. we fired him, and made him put it in writing that he released us from our contract. our contract had in it that the agent would act with due diligence. we decided that doing nothing in 3 weeks breached that. he was actually very nice about it, and put the release in writing. he dropped the ball, but he really didn't want to get a bad reputation of not doing work, so he just let us go. we actually just took the property off the market and decided to wait. i will never again sign a contract for 8% for 6 months...that is certain, unless it specifically spells out what the agent will do and with what timeline. i don't mind paying 8% IF they are working for it.

fire them. get it in writing!
3 votes
Tman, , 30642
Tue Mar 25, 2008

8%..? ... OMG ...

For 8% .. 2 weeks ago your agent should have had the Blue Angels flying over with blinking lights and streamers .. and last week having Tiger Woods signing autographs .. and this coming week.? .. she should have planned Bon Jovi between 2 and 4pm ....

8%.? - Yikes.! ....

There's only a few good agents out there - and it's your job to interview at least 4 or 5, or even 7 or 8 of them to find the right one ...

Keep in mind, you're the consumer and they work for you .. you're the one that will generate their next commission ...

Where the real estate system fails .. most agents (and consumers) forget they're coming off the largest real estate blast in history ... no real changes, no real negotiations, no real problems, lenders are buying dead people, drive and show 5 homes and have a contract by Wednesday, oh and maybe, they'll get you $1,500 off the price -- "then "boom" the market flutters, then drops like an anvil on Jupiter in some area's ...

Now what.? .. now they have to learn how to negotiate and actually sell something to somebody .. not shaving $1,500 off a $800,000 home that hasn't been built yet ... as Dorothy says in the Wizard of Oz: "Toto, theres no place like home .."

Tracy, in your case ... I would document times, dates, phone conversations , places and things and do a complete "digital documentary" with your digital camera ...

I would then make an appointment with the broker/owner and in a professional manor, show him everything from "A" to "Z" .. in this case, "A" to almost "B", then have him cancel everything "in writing" ....

I would then make an appointment with the Mayor and give him copies of your situation, of course send the same copies to the State Attorney's Office and the Consumer affairs Office sent certified mail.

There's a dozen agents in your area that will be happy to do quality pictures, maybe even a Virtual tour and place it on the MLS for a flat fee and still go FSBO .. just show a fair amount to be paid for an agent bringing a qualified buyer.

14%...? .. another figure by the NAR to gather business in a industry that is holding on by it's nails ...

Sincerely, good luck.!

2 votes
Nick Coleman, Agent, Park City, UT
Tue Mar 25, 2008
Most contracts are actually with the Real Estate Brokerage -- not with the individual agent. So, if the Real Estate agent is not performing, then you can contact the Broker and ask for their help. The Broker will generally try first to get the Agent to perform for you. If he can't ,ask him to change to one of the top performing agents in the office.

As far as the contract goes, most are for a set period of time and are difficult to get out of unless there are specific terms outlined w/i the contract that the brokerage hasn't met.

Also, you need to understand your RE market. If it is like many areas of the country, the market is very slow or dead. Ask the realtor to provide you (if not already done) with a breakdown of the properties that have sold w/i the last six months in your area. Make sure that your home is competively priced with the sold properties .... not the active, unsold properties. If your market is stagnant, you may actually need to be priced below the sold history.
1 vote
Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Tue Mar 25, 2008
Hi Tracy,

In a world of real estate biz models that run from "MLS, 2 picture and you show your own property" to "full service, knock your socks off over the top marketing with agent on call 7 days a week", we don't know what you were supposed to receive as far as represntation, services, or marketing. Is your commission payment going mostly or entirely to the buyer agent with marketing falling to your shoulders? Or did you contract for full service?

If your understanding and expectations of services provided are different than what you are receiving, you have every right to call the agent and expect him/her to perform or release the listing. Having the right to expect vs. legally able to terminate a listing agreement may not always be the same thing. First, approach the agent and express your dissatisfaction. If you are unable to achieve the desired results, escalate to discussions to the broker.

If you believe the agent/company to be in breach, you may have rights to demand release. Since I don't know the terms of the agreement, I don't wish to speculate that to be the case. You have every right to expect delivery of services promised and every right to expect delivery in accordance w/ your written agreement.

Good Luck
Deborah Madey - Broker
Peninsula Realty Group - New Jersey
1 vote
Sara Homan, , 34476
Tue Apr 1, 2008
Have you been given a copy of the listing contract? If not I would contact the local board of Realtors and find out how you can report this agent and be released from the contract.

You can also contact the broker but usually agents reflect their leadership. You will ultimately have to deal with the broker but by making contact with the board of realtors first you have some leverage.

At the very least you may end up continuing the contract with a different agent.
0 votes
Wildboar, Home Seller, Saint Anne, IL
Tue Apr 1, 2008
Unfortunately I ran across a similar situation with a Realtor, who would not release our listing contract, and we refused the contracts she brought in (all of them) because we couldn't sell for the PRICES offered. None of them were substantial enough to counter with buyers and lookers just fishing (based on 'TV') for give-aways. Those buyers were not educated about home values nor home ownership. We just let the listing contract expire and have the property up for sale ourselves, well below anything recently listed in our immediate area and limiting the firm bottom sell(same as given price) price (a record low in years except for a previous bad condition HUD foreclosure that sold two years ago) to cash to conventional mortgage buyers or cash buyers only. You MAY be stuck with that listing contract until it expires. Or perhaps you have a more ethical Realtor who would rather not have a reputation scarred by treating a seller vindictively. You are under no obligation to take any offer. If you decide to stay listed or later relist, do NEGOTIATE that high 8% down to perhaps 4% or 5% in this market. That is a huge amount of YOUR money- the title companies and banks do most of the work after a contract is accepted anyhow. Home ownership is still a priviledge, not a 'gimmee' nor 'given'. A buyer can be convinced it is THEIR obligation to pay their own closing costs. It is only the vocalalizing of that Sellers "need" a Realtor that keeps the Realtor in the control of your property sale. I applaud you for trying by-owner and hope you can do that again. There are quite a few free lisiting sites on the internet and much you can do to attract local buyers.Best of work-based fortune on selling on your own.
0 votes
Dorthy Pasto…, Agent, Barrington, IL
Tue Apr 1, 2008
I agree with contacting the broker. Depending on the type of contract you signed, the Company you signed with and what the terms are. Most contracts have a date of when you can cancell your agreement, but in your case, I would speak to the broker and let them know your situation. They may recommend a different agent or grant you right to cancel.
As an Agent and Homeowner myself, I am appauled that someone would treat their client in this manner. It gives others the wrong impression and the agents that do a great job fall into this category with the bad guys. You unfortunately found a bad agent. I think if you contact the broker, you can easily resolve this situation and find an agent who will work to achieve your goals and look out for your best interests.

Good luck!
Dorthy Pastorelli
0 votes
Ekerry.com, , Wheaton-Glen Ellyn
Sat Mar 29, 2008
Call the Broker or go to the IDFPR web site for minimum standards rules.
0 votes
Tman, , 30642
Tue Mar 25, 2008

Good post and thank you for sharing it ...

Most buyers just get so frustrated and so disappointed that you hear about it 2 or 3 years after they've bought a house .. mostly because a they don't want to talk about it.

0 votes
Jeffrey Halp…, Agent, Hopatcong, NJ
Tue Mar 25, 2008
I think it is time you speak to the agents Broker. The first three weeks of the listing are the MOST IMPORTANT. That is when you get the best buyers and the best prices. If you are not satisfied with the Broker's response, look at your listing agreement for an out.
If you try to put it up on your own again you will get the same results. A home sells 15-17% more when using a Realtor and therefore, that 8% fee your are paying is actually paid for + another 7-9% more for your pocket. Good luck!!!
0 votes
Khazeem Asad…, , Dallas, TX
Tue Mar 25, 2008
Funny, I was criticized for exposing the actions of agents on another thread. All I'll say this time is Hi and Tman are both correct and either of their answers should be labeled as "best answer". But if you want my advice, keep your home unless you have other financial reasons for wanting to sell.

Khazeem Asadullah

email: info@serapisdebtservices.com
0 votes
Carol Griffin, , 29576
Tue Mar 25, 2008
You need to fire your agent! Also, call the broker in charge and let them know why. Obviously this agent does not care about servicing the listing that you GAVE her because her adverising really lacks....not getting it on the MLS site immediately and getting the sign in the yard ASAP. As for finding the right agent, check around, talk to people, talk to the broker in charge and find out who the top listing agents are in the company.....and ask, how long are their listings usually on the market, what is their track record, etc.. Good Luck!
0 votes
Hi, , Virginia
Tue Mar 25, 2008
keep your house
not a good time to sell a house


good luck
0 votes
Jim Starwalt, Agent, Grayslake, IL
Tue Mar 25, 2008
To reinterate, it all depends on the listing agreement (contract) you signed. Did your agent promise anything that he/she is not doing? Did they make any statements at all as to what marketing would implemeted? If you can not get any response from your agent go directly from to the broker.
0 votes
Ida Mccarthy, , 60148
Tue Mar 25, 2008
Did you hire a full service realtor? If so, is there a reason there is no sign? Is this something that your agent promised to do? Have you asked the agent why you are doing all the work? It depends on what your listing agreement says, but usually you can get out of it by putting something in writing to the broker stating you no longer wish to have said realtor represent you. Good luck!
Web Reference:  http://www.idamccarthy.com
0 votes
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