Profile picture for jvcia

My last experience show me not to believe in everything your realtor say.

She help us just to sell our house for the comission. She never show up our house to future buyers, other realtors come all the time to show the house but from her side we never saw a possible buyer. At the end we search by ourself for our new home paying her for nothing. She still own us some money at the end by promises to sell our old house fast. Becarefull with RE/MAX CHOICE. 10511-A BRADDOCK RD, FAIRFAX, VA 22032
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January 18 2011 - Fairfax
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I don't think you have a good understancding of how listing agents and buyer agents work. The listing agent doesn't always show the house to prospective buyers. If you had other agents showing the house - that's a good thing - the more traffic the better.  And yes, all agents work for  commission and it's only fair that she get paid for her services. The listing agent should market your property and bring you a buyer - whether it's a buyer with or without anothe agent.
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January 18 2011
often listing agents don't bring the buyer, they market the property to other realtors and offer a portion of their commission out to others.  if your house was shown many times...the agent did their job. the other thing  your agent does is manage your side of the paperwork and communicate with the title companies, coordinate and schedule those showings, provide information to the buyer's realtor so that they can close the deal with that buyer.  You may have legitimate complaints about your listing agent but it may also be just a misunderstanding. I would encourage you to consider that she did work for it.  I am confused by your comment that she owed you some money, typically everything is handled at closing by the closing company and whatever she offered out to the other realtor is paid then from her commission collected during the sale.   I can't see how the Realtor would owe you money, the commission should have been for the sell of yours and not for the purchase of what you bought.  some realtors just do better with listing than showing- in the end, a smooth transaction and agreeable price are the goal.
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January 18 2011
The listing agent is very rarely (statistically only 15%)the one who brings the buyer.  Think about it, she is only one person, but there are hundreds, even thousands of other agents out there.

We could look at this from your employer's perspective too.  Maybe he thinks that you only show up for work each day so that you will get a paycheck.
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January 18 2011
A couple of things are left to our interpretation since you are not too clear about your concerns on your message.  Firstly, Realtors work on a commission basis, that commission is negotiated when the listing agreement is signed by the seller.  Most listing agreements stipulate the split between listing agent and buyer agent.  The primary goal of the listing agent is to market the property.  I think that your expectations on how the listing agent was to market your property may not have been explained to you clearly.  Secondly you do not say specifically how you purchased your new home, did you write the offer yourself, did you monitor the home inspection, did you negotiated the deal yourself, did you monitor the progress of the transaction?  Was the same person your buyer agent, or did you just do everything yourselves, from beginning to end?  You say: "She still own us some money at the end by promises to sell our old house fast"  I do not understand what she owes you and what terms you had negotiated in writing with her, but all that should have been taken care off at closing.
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January 18 2011
By networking your property to other agents, listing the home on MLS, advertising the home in your area, etc, your agent DID bring a buyer to the house. It's just that the buyer was represented by another agent.

As others have pointed out, rarely does the listing agent bring a buyer to the sale. And having the agent represent both buyer and seller is often just a bad idea (which is why so few agents do it that way).
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January 18 2011
Your profile shows that on March 18, 2009 you uploaded 10 photos for this property: 
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/16822-Francis-West-Ln-Dumfries-VA-22026/12479154_zpid/

Is this your home that you hired the Re/Max agent to sell for you?

It is hard to comment without knowing all the details, but it seems to me that your agent did what you hired her to do: to bring a contract and sell your house. 

Your agent did a great job!
Many sellers are not able to go to the settlement - despite their agent's best efforts. You should be thankful and appreciative!
 
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January 18 2011
There are 2 jobs here.  The 1st is to list the house at a proper price, the 2nd is to get the buyer there who is qualified to pay that.  The 1 commission is split between those 2 people and their companies.  On the buying end you would not have been charged a dime.  As the buyer, your agent was likely paid from the seller of that home.
It sounds like you got a good agent and they completed their job by getting it properly priced.  And she shared her "commission" with the one who did the other half of what you needed.
You were fortunate you found the Realtor that got your home sold before the nearby foreclosures.
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January 18 2011

This brings up a great point about clients. Most of us agents assume that buyers and sellers understand the real estate selling/buying process. In fact most people do not.

When I get a new client I assume they know nothing about real estate. And...go from there.

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January 18 2011
Profile picture for SteadyState
What ever happened to the customer is always right? I believe a simple description of the services by the listing agent to the customer would have avoided the bitter taste in the customer's mouth. The REAs represent themselves as professional and the seller does not so in my opinion the listing agent did a disservice to her/his profession. (Hint - the REAs should be attaching the agent and not the consumer)
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January 18 2011
Profile picture for Dunes....
I think everyone is glossing over the point the Poster is making..either that or ignoring it.....

The Point is they DO NOT BELIEVE the "Commission" " the Amount paid was justified by the Services Received...The VALUE of the Services and the Agent is being Questioned....

Responses of I think ya got a good deal, your Agent earned the Commission because they Listed and filled the blanks in the Contract
do not answer the Posters Concern IMO..
The Concern is the Commission WAS NOT justified in their opinion for the Services the Agent Provided..
(Anyone can List in the MLS for $300-$400 Flat-Fee and for a couple hundred more pay to have the Contract Blanks filled out)



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January 18 2011
Profile picture for wetdawgs
I'm sorry you had such a poor experience in selling your house.

I, too, am shocked at how much commission that agents think they deserve for listing & marketing the property.   I do know that when I sign a contract, all I'm signing for is listing and marketing - not bringing a buyer directly nor helping me find a new house.   I might be interested in the latter, but that would be a separate contract.
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January 18 2011
I absolutely understand the perception that people have believing little is involved in listing a home.  Admittedly, like any other business, some agents do much more than others, usually regarding customer service. ( I know many agents who have personally cleaned houses, gone in the middle of the night with space heaters to heat frozen pipes and done yard work among many other things).

My experience is this (and this is highly simplified because I have spelled it out many times before and I just don't feel like doing it again here):
Lots of work at the beginning.
Not so much (mainly maintenace, preparing reports and meeting regularly with the seller, feedback from showing agents, seeing the competition) once its on the market.
A lot of work again once an offer is on the table.

Obviously each transaction is different.  Some are nice and smooth and relatively complication free.  However I think most agents will tell you that this usually isn't the case. 

Where the agent went wrong in this particular case is not spelling out exactly what was going to be done, what they were continuing to do throughout the whole process and not communicating regularly and properly with the seller.  It seems that there were expectations that weren't met and that should have been taken care of by regular communication.

I am somewhat confused by this: " At the end we search by ourself for our new home paying her for nothing. She still own us some money at the end by promises to sell our old house fast."
Does this mean that she was also jvcia's buyer's agent and failed to do that job properly?  Does jvcia feel that because the house wasn't sold as fast as the agent promised that the agent owes money?  I'm not sure what to make of this but regardless, the one place the agent definitely failed was to communicate clearly and regularly with jvcia.
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January 18 2011
Profile picture for hpvanc
While I mostly agree with Dunes and Wetdawgs, I suspect there is also a problem with what jvcia was looking for in the way of assistance and what the agent was providing in the way of assistance. 

In other words the agent has a set of services they provide for the commission, unfortunately those were not the services jvcia was looking to purchase.  As a result they had to pay for services they did not want or use, and did not receive the services that they desired.  I do not know if the services they were looking for are provided by agents, so it is possible they should have gone the flat fee route on the sale and purchased the desired services elsewhere. 

Maybe an agent can answer how to find an alternative arrangement on the buyer side since that seems to be written into the sellers contract despite what looks like a clear anti-trust issue on the seller being able to set the commission for services rendered to the other party.  It seems entirely possible that jvcia was looking for different services on that side of the transaction, that they would have been better off paying a fee for services rendered and possibly seeking the remainder of the desired services from someone besides an agent.

With a little luck jvcia will come back and clarify what they wanted.
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January 18 2011
Regardless of whether the agent did a great job or not...this is an important post for agents to take note of.

Communication and clarity of the home selling/buying process, and what you provide to navigate a client through that is of utmost importance and one of the most important parts of your job.
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January 18 2011
Profile picture for hpvanc
Just curious, what do agents do when clients have ethical objections to parts of your services?
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January 18 2011
Can you give an example?
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January 18 2011
Profile picture for Mrpks
What is the average days on market in your area? My realtor gave me these facts and many others before he listed my house and he helped me better understand the process before we get started.
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January 18 2011
Saddens me when someone has had a bad experience with their agent ... or the agent did not meet their expectations.

It is up to the professional to explain what they do, and to stay in contact with their clients so that they know what is going on.

It is up to us to educate the public as to what we do, because if we do not, they will think we took photos, and stuck a sign in the yard, and that is the end of it.   Our job just begins with the listing agreement.

I didn't hear any mention of doing open houses.   Some clients don't want them, but in my experience many sellers do want them and feel that they will bring more traffic to their home.

Sounds like better communication would have helped here.






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January 18 2011
Profile picture for hpvanc
General Ethical Objections:
Playing on your clients emotions.  Attempting to use psychological manipulation on your clients.  Perpetuating feel good myths about home ownership.

Ethical considerations that a client may be able to veto actions if caught in time, but why would you want to continue working with someone who practices them:

Misrepresenting through lies of omission and inaccurate representations (lies of commission) at networking events with your fellow agents.  Flowery but not descriptive descriptions in advertisements of the property.

I realize you can find an agent that does not practice these, but it can be extremely difficult to do when you only conduct a few of these transactions in a lifetime.  How does one go about finding an agent that is a salesperson last and least, many people are looking but can't find them.
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January 18 2011
hpvanc,
I'm not really sure what to say.  To be honest, I don't think I understand your post.  
 When telling people what to look for in hiring an agent, I always say its important to go with the agent that tells you what you need to hear, not just what you want to hear.
 
But guess what?  People often don't follow that advice because they want to believe the agent who says they can sell it for the higher price and the agent who says the house is absolutely beautiful even if its.....not, and that they can sell it in 30 days even though that's extremely unrealistic.
 
If one agent tries to sell their services by doing the above and the next agent comes along with a much more realistic price, makes it clear that work needs to be done on the house to make it presentable and that the market is saturated and the average DOM is, say, 120 days so if you don't price aggressively and fix all minor repairs, paint, landscape, get rid of all the beloved clutter and clean like its never been cleaned before, the house will sit, guess who is more likely to be hired?

So based on that, this is why agents often do what they shouldn't do:  paint a rosy picture because they want to be hired.  Its wrong, it is unethical but it obviously does happen because it often works.  And it often works because the seller wants to believe what they want to believe, not what the reality often is.

Not sure if that addressed the "ethical objections" but regarding the specific issue of listing presentations, there are often some ethcial issues because some agents will to do what it takes to be hired, not necessarily act in the best interest of the potential client.
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January 19 2011
Profile picture for sunnyview
Agents want to get hired. They are selling a professional service. As for the ethics involved, I see that as pretty clear cut.

Telling a seller that their house is not as good as others for sale so it needs to be priced lower in order to sell would be like a child photographer telling parents that they have an ugly baby. It won't happen in most cases. Instead, they will tell the parents all the people that might want a photo of their ugly baby like grandparents, other ugly babies, daycare providers etc. to be able to sell a bigger photo package.

Some people appreciate being told that their baby's ugly so they can save the trips to the modeling agencies and flights to find an agent for them, but most don't. They want the rosy sales pitch more than the truth. There's no conflict. Agents try to walk the line between selling and making the pitch because that is what many clients expect and even want. I don't want that in an agent, but I seem to be in the minority. That's why when I go looking for an agent, it takes me a while to find one
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January 19 2011
Profile picture for hpvanc
I think I have been pretty clear.  I want an agent that is not a salesperson, and would not consider recommending someone that I even think has the slightest inclination of telling someone what they want to hear versus the truth.  I am very upfront about that if I have to deal with someone on a major purchase, and very upfront with making that recommendation to other people. 

If you want someone to tell you what you want to hear and then maneuver you through whatever way they can to get to somewhere else you deserve to get screwed.  I just have serious ethical objections to supporting a person who I even have an inkling is capable of doing that.  That is the reason I try to if at all possible avoid commissioned salespeople in all transactions.

As to pricing a home, have you ever on any post I have written seen me suggest that a buyer or seller should accept the value of a CMA without verifying the information through an appraisal.  In the sellers case I think they should get it before they contact an agent, and use that information to validate both the professional skills of the agent and their sales motives.
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January 19 2011
hpvanc, sounds like you're having a bad day... or something.
Not judging or anything because bad days have come a lot for me these days.

You have to understand that I was talking about the OP and other sellers, not you specifically. Right or not, ideally or not, should be or not, sellers often go for the agent who tells them what they want to hear.
That's all I was saying.

By the way, cma's should be easily verified by what the agent shows the seller regarding comparables.  It should never be a mystery.  Ordering an appraisal is just fine and dandy and can serve a useful purpose but if the agent does their job and shows exactly how they arrived at what they did, it shouldn't be necessary, unless it can be used within the time frame useful to buyers for mortgage purposes. 
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January 19 2011
Profile picture for sunnyview
hpvanc, I get it, but I'm not sure we totally disagree. I want honesty from my agent first. If the area I like is on it's way down or the house I am trying to sell is an ugly baby, I want to know.

It took me long time to realize that not every client is like me. When I give an agent's name to someone, I tell them that if they don't want the truth or real numbers not to call them. My friends should know me well enough to know the way I think about real estate, but sometimes they still don't appreciate the truth. There have been times when they listed with the "rosy posy agent" instead of my referral as I sat for months watching prices drop and their agent ignore the market.

You are right. Verifying the CMA can help, but ultimately you have to trust your gut and do your own homework. Agents are salespeople and that's part of the job--a big part. I have seen agents that I can't stand make a fabulous living selling people dreams. I have seen agents that I have great personal respect for leave the business because they didn't want to compromise their personal values. It takes all kinds, but there are agents in the business that are worthy. It is worth seeking them out. People should still make their own decisions, but a good agent can bring information to the table that they may have missed on their own. I am picky about who I trust to bring that info to the table and I never trust an agent's personal opinion more than I trust my own. That keeps me out of trouble.
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January 19 2011
Profile picture for jvcia

When we received the offer for the house we sold with all the appliances. When we ask the realtor for the appliances in the new house, the answer was don't worry I will help with the cost for the new appliances. Until now we are not received anything.

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January 19 2011
Profile picture for hpvanc
Jvcia, unfortunately unless you had it in writing, you are probably out of luck.  You can contact an attorney, but verbal contract tend not to be enforceable, and would likely cost you more to try than the appliances would cost. 
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January 19 2011
Profile picture for hpvanc
Sunny, we agree on most of it.  Here is the statement I don't accept, and don't accept about any industry or occupation.  "Agents are salespeople and that's part of the job--a big part."  I buy in spite of the salesperson not because of them, and will do anything I can to avoid using them on either side of a transaction.  I have a specific objection to real estate agents and listing contracts because they limit the ability to separate out the professional services that an agent can provide and force you to buy a full package that includes the salesmanship especially on the buyers side, because it is included in the listing agreement commission. 

If agents really want to be seen as professionals they have to figure out a way to separate professional services from sales (yes many of them do provide some professional services, those services are just completely overshadowed by the sales side of the business), and allow customers on both the buying and selling sides of the transactions to use just the professional services portion.
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January 19 2011
>>>If agents really want to be seen as professionals they have to figure out a way to separate professional services from sales (...) and allow customers on both the buying and selling sides of the transactions to use just the professional services portion.<<<

??????????????
hpvanc,

Real estate agents are in ..... sales.
If you go to DPOR and enter an agent's name, you will notice that it states:

License type: SALESPERSON

Truthfully, it is somewhat unfair to realtors because it takes great knowledge of the market and the industry, and continuous education to be a realtor. 
However, realtors are in business of matching sellers and buyers and thus making home sales happen - thus, the unfair term "salesperson."

QUESTION: what "professional services portion" would you want to keep and what "professional services portion" would you want to drop?????
 
There are already flat fee brokers and discounted services brokers, so I am somewhat puzzled about your complaint.
  

 
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January 19 2011
Profile picture for hpvanc
Vivian, since past experience has taught me to make the question very specific for you, and not to deviate from real estate in any way.  At least we agree that the term salesperson is degrading and unprofessional.

How can a buyer not have to pay the listing agreement % commission, and be able to make the buyers side of the transaction purely fee for services used?  In other words the buyer pays their representative upfront for services render, and does not want and should not have to pay for the sellers agent to coop commission to them.  Rebates aren't really an acceptable work around since it still goes through the transaction, and are illegal in a few states.

I would not want agents to drop any of the professional services, I want them unbundled from the salesmanship.  I also do not necessarily believe that all of the professional services offered be bundled into a package, different customers have different needs.
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January 19 2011
Profile picture for hpvanc
One more thing, Vivian.   Care to comment on this thread I posted over the weekend?  link
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January 19 2011
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  1. 5500 Greenshank Ct, Fairfax, VA Home For Sale
    5500 Greenshank Ct, Fairfax, VA 22032

     For Sale: $634,900

    • Beds: 5
    • Sqft: 3300
    • Baths: 3.0
    • Lot: 8320
  2. 10222 Bushman Dr APT 8104, Oakton, VA Home For Sale
    10222 Bushman Dr APT 8104, Oakton, VA 22124

     For Sale: $304,000

    • Beds: 3
    • Sqft: 1340
    • Baths: 2.0
    • Lot: --
  3. 12028 Hamden Ct, Oakton, VA Home For Sale
    12028 Hamden Ct, Oakton, VA 22124

     For Sale: $899,900

    • Beds: 4
    • Sqft: 3422
    • Baths: 4.5
    • Lot: 22285