When I decided it was the right time to move, I decided to call my neighbor, who works for a Real Estate?

Asked by Tania, 06801 Wed May 7, 2008

office in the next town. My neighbor is not the most experienced, but from the start, she's been working alongside an agent who has been in the business for 30 years. Together, they presented an extensive marketing package and seemed to me a competent team to make the sale. After one month and two open houses (for which I really worked hard to make my house showcase quality), there have been ZERO showings. Am I making a mistake in using an agent who works in a different town? I've signed a 6-month contract; do I have an option to switch?

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Rk Ruthman, , Connecticut
Fri May 9, 2008
Connecticut is somewhat compact, so agents who make the commitment to service surrounding towns can have knowledge and expertise in areas other than the town they reside in.

You always have the option of cancelling a contract, however, read the contract again "thoroughly". Most listing contracts will allow you to cancel, but you are held responsible for any advertising expenses. You would need to speak to the broker/manager. They may or may not release you from your obligation.

Just to give you an idea of what has been happening in your neighborhood (town):

18 properties have SOLD since January 1, 2008. Information taken from Great Fairfield MLS . This does not include For Sale By Owner, or properties listed on any other MLS. See link.


Presently in Bethel, there are only 134 Active Listings showing.

Status As Such: (May 9 @ 11:00am)

107 Active Listings.
1 Back on the Market Listing
11 New Listings
10 CTS (Continue to Show - Have accepted offer with contingencies)
5 Reduced Priced Listings

There are no Pending.

RK Ruthman
Ruthman Real Estate
CT & NY Licensee
Web Reference:  http://www.RuthmanRE.com
2 votes
Jessica Bega…, Agent, Avon, CT
Thu May 8, 2008
First, her experience and location don't necessarily count against her. In fact, her lack of experience could be more of a benefit and the location depends on what she's doing to counter her marketing presence in town. These days, web presence is more important than local presence so it may not be a big deal.

I recommend you sit down with your agent and ask her a few questions:
- Is your home being advertised to people most likely to buy in your area? Both the CT MLS and the MLS systems in Fairfield County?
-How did she (and even you) determine listing price? Did she look at recent sales and current homes on the market as well as pending sales? Did she physically walk through your competition? I suspect and agree with most of the other agents that your issue is likely price.
-What is the Average Days on market in your town? How much inventory on the market? We have a listing right now in a town with 22 months of inventory - that's really slow.
- Did she do a broker's open house? Agents often do this to get a feel for whether the listing is priced appropriately before too much time on the market.

Good luck to you!
2 votes
Gary McIntosh, , Fairfield County, CT
Wed May 7, 2008
Time as a Realtor does not make a Realtor. Just as some people who've been in the same position for years are less than impressive and others who are just beginning are amazing. So more than likely you made a fine choice in Realtors. Have you spoken to them about your concerns? Be honest and in return ask for their brutal honesty about the situation, and more importantly your home. They may have suggestions that at first you might not have been so open to hearing. Your question is a difficult one to answer with such limited info. Do you have an electronic key box for your home so it is available from 9 a.m. to at least 7 p.m. for showings? The other answers are correct, forget about print advertising. Internet is where it's at. When I list a home I have my listing on at least 100 different web sites. Ranging from other Realtors to outside companies to a nationwide network of associates all relating to real estate. You must treat the sale of your home as what it is...a business transaction. At the end of the day if you're not happy...fire your employ's and start the hiring process all over. But try to work the situation out first...lack of communication just leads to unnecessary resentment. Good luck and if I can be of further assistance please contact me or shoot me an email.

Gary McIntosh
McIntosh Realty
Keller Williams Prestige Properties
Stamford, CT
(203) 979-2132
2 votes
Dan Ross, Agent, Southington, CT
Wed May 7, 2008
One other thought...When you discuss the marketing, ask specifically about the web. Selling homes by advertising in print media is fast becoming a thing of the past. Is your agent a small brokerage with little or no web presence, or is it a major firm with a frequently accessed web site? Is it on other major sites (Trulia, Zillow, Backpage, Craigslist, etc.)?
Since you are selling your home, I have to assume that you are also in the market to buy one. Look at your house with that same buyers eye. Does it have a lot of nice pictures? Is there a lot of descriptive text, or a few sentences with a lot of unintelligible abreviations? Does the listing hold your attention and make you want to keep clicking? If the answer to any of those is no, then that should be a topic of discussion with your agent.
1 vote
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Wed May 7, 2008
As has already been noted, the problem is either with the price or the marketing. However, with zero showings, my first guess would be price.

You say they presented "an extensive marketing package." Did it contain a CMA and, if so, how did you price the house relative to the CMA? Also, check to make sure that the steps specified in the marketing package have been/are being implemented.

So, talk (face to face) with your neighbor and the agent who's assisting her. Ask specifically about price and marketing. And ask specifically what she/they feel the reason is for the lack of activity. If the marketing package included a broker's open, also ask what the feedback from other agents was--appearance of property, pricing, and so on.

As the others say, using an agent who works in a nearby town shouldn't be a problem...unless the "different town" is served by a different MLS. And as for the option to switch, that has to be mutually agreed to. But most agents will agree to terminate a listing if their clients are unhappy. But, first, talk the issues over with them.

Hope that helps.
1 vote
Elliot Sirota, Agent, Windsor, CT
Wed May 7, 2008
Showings have picked up everywhere, so as long as home is listed in MLS and advertised in the major paper in the area, the usual option to review is price. It may be higher then others, Asking agents to review the CMA or comps in the area should tell you where it is priced correctly.
1 vote
Dan Ross, Agent, Southington, CT
Wed May 7, 2008
Being from the next town is not a problem. Without looking at you listing I can't say for sure, but the 2 most common reasons for lack of activity are insufficient exposure to the correct target market, and the price. Did the agents show you all of the comps for the recent sales in your neighborhood? The market activity has been increasing recently, so if you aren't getting any activity then I would review the price. If is in line, the ask how and where it is being advertised.
Web Reference:  http://www.danrossre.com
1 vote
trulia, , Brewster, NY
Sat May 17, 2008
Have you spoked with the Agent to find out what they think may be a concern. Do you need to reduce the price? Statistics (NAR) show if the house is priced right and is getting enough exposure- you will get showings which will lead to an offer.
0 votes
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