Home Selling in 10994>Question Details

Mary Wolfe, Real Estate Pro in Ringgold, GA

Why do agents disrespect seller's home?

Asked by Mary Wolfe, Ringgold, GA Wed Oct 2, 2013

My house is listed in MLS and I live 2 hours away now. The house is in an upscale neighborhood at $400,000. When I come back and check my house I find the front door not locked, toilets used and not flushed, lights left on, what looked like urine marks on the wall from a dog spraying, trash on the counter, security system not reactivated etc. I had a vacation home in Knoxville and the same thing kept happening - one time the back door was left wide open in 40 degree weather - thank god for good neighbors. I ask my listing agent and he tells me there is nothing he can do to control other agents. I am very nervous about what is going on at my house - it is a large asset to me and I seem to get no respect. When I spoke to the broker on the house in Knoxville - she started crying and telling me I was a liar. What can I do to get agents to be more responsible? I can't drive up every week and I am scared.

Help the community by answering this question:


as stated by felix below, have your agent present at all showings or have one of your "good neighbors" meet and or give access to the property.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 5, 2013
Listing agents don't do Open Houses, forget flyers, agents caravan is passe, answer the phone? only if your lucky and don't call on weekends unless you want to "leave a message" - so asking to be at all showings? really! that would be a 110% guarantee for no showings. If I have to drive up myself, ask neighbors or hire a house sitter - I will use a listing service and forget the stress, I am not here to "teach" agents how to be human. I will use the $10,000 towards gasoline, my own advertising, paid house sitter and for my mental health throw in a few lobster dinners, massages, some carpeting for my present house, a trip to Biloxi and I will STILL have money left over . . and no more begging an agent to treat me a with the respect I get from Walmart door greeter.
Flag Wed Oct 9, 2013
I am astounded to hear of these instances, I have been in real estate almost 20 years and have never experienced anything like this. I would your agent would be proactive enough to be concerned as well. Personally I would be going to your home after every showing an checking up on the condition. If your agent isn't hearing your concerns then as several others have mentioned, I would be looking for a new agent. Perhaps you might want to show your agent all the responses on here!! Good luck to you I hope things improve for you soon.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 5, 2013
This happens every.single.showing. And we're on #31 this week. Nothing new to us!
Flag Mon Jun 15, 2015
Hi Mary

I agree your home is one of the most important and largest asset's one can have and unfortunately your agent is correct he can't control what other agents do but what you can have him or her do is accompany all showings if there not willing to do that shop around there will be an agent that will.

Thanks Felix
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 5, 2013
Tell the agent you want accompanied visits. If your agent cannot arrange to be there...change agents.

We work for you!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 3, 2013
Home selling in area code 10994? This is not Georgia rather Rockland County, NY & West Nyack specifically. Hope this all works out well but I do agree, both Agents should own it and be a partial caretaker.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 2, 2013
Wow. In nineteen years, I have never ever ever had all of this happen to a listing. I have had A door left unlocked a couple of times, but nothing like this.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 2, 2013
Like so many who have already shared with you, what you are experiencing is appalling.
There is truth to the realiity we can not control the agents showing the property, but....there are measures that can be taken. One incredibly, incredibly important provision is that the agent is the ONLY one who has keys, or access to the homes interior. I have traced such problems to the front door of the trusted neighbor.
As I present the solutions, you will easily recognize that a LOCAL agent who is not part of a far reaching, far flung, high volume sales factory becomes important.
First action:
Agent or agent team member should visit house each day that a showing event occured. This allows the listing team to FIX what may have been left unpresentable. When a violation is observed, the agent WILL KNOW who showed the home THAT day. It's time to have a "it's your Momma' chat.
Second action;
If the first action proves unstatisfacory, use the "BE PRESENT' solutions. This must be applied allowing real flexibility in scheduling showings. You would be surprised how people's behaviour changes when a babysitter is present.
The babysitter needs to be able to say:
-You need to carry your doggie or keep on the sidewalk.
-The water is OFF so stay off the toilet.
- Keep your hands off that thermostat.
- No, you can't go into the attic
- Please wipe your wet shoes at the entry way.
- Yes, the owner will accept list price.
- They are moving for the sole and only goal of allowing you to buy this home.

then lock all doors and windows and set alarm when leaving.
If your current agent is unwilling to address this issue using the first or second action, it is time to consult this agents broker to:
1. Be assigned an agreeable agent in the same brokerage
2. Be released from the listing contract
3. Now you need to call a Ringgold GA REALTOR who will agree to either action one or two before listing your home.

Best of success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL

PS: Wonder what a romote, wireless camera would do? Even if not sreaming...the idea you're being watched will either cause folks to turn around and leave or behave responsibly. X10 has everything needed.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 2, 2013
You have to have computer service for a remote camera. I had a motion activated camera w/poor results. Your "hand off the thermostat" now made me more nervous. I just don't think I should have to "hire" someone to check my house or drive 2 hrs. each way to look myself. I had a man I only spoke with online last year go over and tear out damaged sheetrock, rehang, etc - a supper messy job. He made 4 trips, did a remarkable job and left the house perfect . . so I know it can be done. It is not easy to switch agents, I have tried. I am contacting a maid service and interviewing a few on Saturday. My neighbors are busy with their own lives and don't stand to make $10,000 when the house sells so I don't like asking them to check the house.
Flag Thu Oct 3, 2013
Typically, if my seller clients live out of town and they can't maintain their properties regularly they have family members or hired help that visit the properties to ensure they are clean, secure and safe. I am proactive with assisting my clients but they do not put me in a position nor make me responsible for the actions of other agents. If a homeowner chooses not to live in their property while it is being listed to sale they should ensure the property is being maintained and taken care of by someone other than their agent. There should always be mutual respect between a homeowner and their agent as this goes both ways. Thanks for the post and good luck to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 2, 2013
Thanks Mary for your feedback. The wonderful thing about Trulia is you can share your situation and get numerous, diverse and interesting opinions. I do check my clients' properties after each showing and I use a secured showing service, similar to using the electronic lockbox option. As a suggestion, anything of significant value you may want to remove from the property if you can given your unfortunate situation. I believe I read this has happened to you twice with two different agents? I assure you there are lots of accountable and responsible agents out there with a higher work ethic. You may want to consider interviewing several agents before hiring them. There is a lot of agents in this field with varied levels of experience, education, knowledge and ethics. You deserve a much higher standard of real estate services. Thanks, Mary. I hope I've helped in some way.
Flag Wed Oct 2, 2013
Hi, I visit the property 3 - 5 times a month and pay a lawn service. My house is on light timers and my neighbor picks up newspaper or phone books. My home is maintained. I have learned NOT to live in the property I am selling, I have had things stollen and since there is not a video in every room and no signs of breaking and entering, you cannot do anything. You can generate a police report but the insurance will not cover loses. On the down side, buyers can check with local police for reports made about that address. I guess I get
upset when I have to pay 6% or $21,000 and I am suppose to put in cameras and hire people to check my property. Really? If that is the only answer then
I am truly at a loss.
Flag Wed Oct 2, 2013

The other agents below have provide god good approaches. Based on the facts that you gave, I am going to suggest a more aggressive approach. (1st ) Since the agent claims helplessness and Broker has challenged your truthfulness, I strong suggest that with the guidance of an attorney, you request that your current listing be withdrawn and that you be released from any and all obligations to this broker. (2nd ) After being legally freed from the current listing contract, list with a more responsible broker/agent(s) - friends and especially your attorney can provide guidance on selecting a responsible real estate agent/broker to look after your interests. (3rd) It is hard to imagine an MLS System that doesn't have an electronic lock box, also referred to a electronic tracking that will identify who opened the box; at what time for each showing - you want this. (3rd) You should clearly spell out (suggest - in writing) that the new listing agent check the property (physical inspection) on a regular basis (suggest weekly and/or after showings).

Over 15 years in the real estate profession, I have encountered a couple of inconsiderate and disrespectful real estate agents (and it is almost always these agents who attract disrespectful buyers) (good agents pay attention to their buyers and do not tolerate such behavior). These were rare happenings and were always dealt with by an immediate follow up call to the showing real estate agent, clearly pointing out the lack of proper and/or acceptable procedure.

That you have suffered this lack of professionalism and horrible service is a negative on all who strive to exhibit professionalism and quality service. SQUEAK, SQUEAK VERY, VERY LOUD and DEMAND THE QUALITY YOU ARE ENTITLED TOO!!!!!

If you wish to speak with me privately, you can contact me through my website.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 2, 2013
Sorry to hear the problem you are having, you should have your agent check on the house to make everything is ok> if she does not take responsibility do contact her manger. She is listing your home, so she needs to be responsible. Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 2, 2013
The one in Knoxville was the broker. The one in Ringgold is the owner of the agency. Takes 3 - 5 phone calls to get him - I don't text.
I think Luck is what I need, I really fear another replay of the door being left open and several cold or freezing nights pass before I find out. I hate to winterize my house, but if it does not sell by winter I think that is my option.
As for the lights being left on - I have changed 4 bulbs in 2 months. I do throw
the breaker on the water heater and the stove (I found a burner left on the
smooth cooktop) and now I will on the 3 car garage from now on - replacing all those lights would be a nightmare. I have also taken the habit of rekeying
the lock - and changing the security code . . really, this selling is becoming work. It feels like babysitting toddlers, I have to "idiot" proof everything.
Flag Wed Oct 2, 2013
If the chat with your agent proved unsatisfactory contact hi/sher broker owner and or office manager, and express your concerns; you could ask that the listing agent accompany all visitors for all showings....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 2, 2013

I am sorry for the trouble you are experiencing. While your agent is correct in saying that there is nothing she can do to control other agents, you can request that she be present for all showing and assume responsibility for securing the home. If you do not get satisfaction from the agent, speak to the manager. If need be, find a new agent who is willing to take responsibility for your home. You may also want to change the locks, an unauthorized person may have a key. An electronic lock box records which agents enter the home and when. Does your agent use one?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 2, 2013
Dear Mary,
You should not be experiencing so many problems. The short answer is have your real estate agent meet each agent at the house as they show it. This is the only way you can be assured these problems will be eliminated. I have done this several times for my clients. It's the only way for peace of mind.
Flag Wed Oct 2, 2013
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