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Realtor expectations

Check my expectations of my realtor. My condo has been on the market for nearly 8 months. She has held 2 open houses- neither of which she actually attended. My property is on the major sites and mls. We have reduced our price once and are on par with comparable properties. I want her to be more aggressive. What else should she be doing? ...I feel like I could do a better job on my own!
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January 23 2012 - Roxborough
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Is your price, condition and location " on par" with comparable homes that are selling/sold, or those that are still on the market? Jim
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January 23 2012
Consider a new broker and realtor.
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January 23 2012
It all depends.  Simple, it may be a supply and demand issue.  If there are people buying in the condo, then it probably needs to have the price adjusted.

If it's not, then you need to find out if there is a problem with the building.  For instance, are their too many investors, are their issues preventing people from getting loans, etc.

Also, open houses are basically worthless.  It opens up your home to people that may or may not be qualified to buy your place.

Without seeing the entire situation, it is hard to say but maybe changing brokers would give it fresh blood.

I am happy to go over all the details with you.

Fred Glick
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January 23 2012

I can't speak to the specifics of your agent's performance and I understand the appearance of an agent doing nothing being frustrating since you probably wonder what the heck you're actually paying for.

What I do know is this-  condos can be among the toughest things to sell in a tough market, especially if you have a lot of competition.  Reducing your price once in 8 months and being "on par" with your competition is a huge indicator of what the probable issue is.

Real estate agents suggest how to best show a property, make recommendations of a price range based on recent sold comparables (usually very easy to do in a condo development), make sure they take the maximum pictures allowed on your local mls and that each picture shows your place at its best, make sure all major real estate websites have been fed your listing, and keep close track of the local competition and activity.
The rest of a listing agent's job, and by far the toughest, is what happens when the offers come in through to closing. 

In spite of what some agents claim, the best salesperson in the world will not be able to sell an overpriced listing, especially one that is one of many.

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January 23 2012
Hi, urbanfarmer.

Fred Glick said it best.

There is only so much marketing/networking real estate agents can do until it really starts to become another issue altogether (i.e. price, supply/demand issue, etc.). Condos can especially be tough due to certain rules and regulations on the community as a whole.

If you have any additional questions, I'm all ears.

Best,
Tim
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January 23 2012
There are many ways for Realtors to market properties these days.  You might notice on Zillow that there are special incentives Sellers can offer which push your property to the top of the search results.  A blog can be added about the property to Redfin, and social networking and face-to-face networking these days is extremely important.
There may be many things your Realtor is doing without you knowing it, however, I can understand how frustrating it can be if you don't hear from them.  Have you asked?   Your realtor is likely very open to discussing any input you may have, and may be able to explain more of the things they are doing which may not show up at first glance. 
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January 23 2012
Rather than being priced "on par" with comparable listings....you really may need to be priced under those listings to REALLY be competitive.

That's a difficult concept for sellers, I undertsand that, but you want to make your home stand out from the crowd, not just be part of it.

I don't know all the things your agent is doing on your behalf, so I won't (nor, in fairness,  should anyone) suggest you "need" a new agent.
And, as an FYI - Open houses are not  truly a useful tool in selling a home, so the fact that she only held 2 isn't probably terribly relevant.

Here is what I suggest:
Sit down with your agent and go over exactly what is being done to market your home. I mean really ask her to make a list.

By thway  --  Exactly how do you think she could be "more aggressive"?
Share your thoughts with her.

 I understand when frustration sets in, and the agent can become the scapegoat for that frustration. But, you should be working together as a team.....if you have suggestions - let her know.

In addition............Get  information from her......find out how many other similar properties have (or have not) sold in the past 8 months. Find out what has closed............or gone under contract.....or was newly listed.......or had their prices adjusted!!
That's important information.
Make sure she "keeps you n the loop" as far as any market changes so you will know what is going on.

Once you have a complete picture of the current market..and what efforts are taking place to market your home....you will have a better idea of how to move forward.

Sometimes an agent can be doing all the right things.............yet a buyer still doesn't come along.
Pricing can be the great equalizer.

Good luck!
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January 23 2012
Well, urbanfarmer, that bites.

First things first. Communication. It's the #1 complaint that clients have about agents, and I think that the whole thing about "my expectations" goes back to that.

Does your agent know what you expect of her? I'm not saying this is the "best practice," but I provide my sellers with a list of activities that shows what I plan to do, I talk to my sellers about how many open houses I want to have and do . . . but that's only half of the problem, right? I mean, she could have told you, "I'm not doing any open houses, I might get a buyer's agent in to do one every few months or so," but that wouldn't change the level of service, just your expectation.

I don't know when your listing agreement is up for renewal, but if it's soon, then it's an easy discussion - Agent, if I am to renew with you, I need to have (fill in the blanks) from you. If not, it's a more difficult discussion, but one worth having.

And if you elect to go to another agent, of course, they won't be able to read your mind, either; they may have their own marketing plan that doesn't quite satisfy you, you'll have to talk it over with them and negotiate for what you want!

I don't know what she "should" be doing. I kind of think of real estate services like a good restaurant - they have hundreds of ingredients and they're serving a few main entrees, but all that really matters to you is that they get your order right and the dish meets or exceeds your expectations.

In the same way, we have a lot of tools and skills at our disposal, our practice pretty much narrows down to a few specialties, and all that matters to you is that we get your durned house sold at a reasonable price.

All the best,
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January 23 2012
is it staged right? did you declutter? are there amazing pictures on the MLS listing taken by a professional? are you paying the buyer's broker enough or did you make them take a reduced fee?
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January 23 2012
Advertising on multiple web sites, taking professional pictures, staging and doing minor cosmetic repairs or improvements could help sell your property. However, there are many brokers that I am sure could exceed your expectations. IF you are not happy with your current agent, interview multiple brokers and find the best one to sell your property. 
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January 23 2012
First some questions for you,
Did you interview her before hiring her? Did she let you in on her game-plan? Did you let her know your expectations?

There are Realtors that you see during the listing process that you may not see again till you close. They have other agents on their team to do those other jobs for you.

Many agents do not even hold open houses.

Having said all of that, before getting a new agent, sit down and talk with this one. Discuss with her those things that bother you. Let her know your expectations. You will discover a lot from the interaction.

FYI: Condos are not the easiest sale these days because of the change in regulations. Hopefully your HOA has been making changes needed to make the financing easy (this is big). If your HOA makes it difficult to get documentation, it can kill a sale.

Do everything you can to help and Good luck with your sale!!!







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January 23 2012
There are a few simple small things she could do for more exposure, open houses is not one of them that seems to work for me. If your home is priced right what I have had HUGE success with is a blast email. I have every "good" buyers agents email in my area and I send out a basic email with PRICE REDUCTION : ADDRESS in the subject line to all of them. This doesn't always get me an agreement right away but it usually brings on a ton of showings which is the first step in getting an offer! 
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January 23 2012
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My realtor has blatently admitted she hasn't done what she should to try and sell my home. My next step is to offer her a reduced/flat fee option or just sever ties. I have another posting asking opinions on the flat fee arrangements.
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February 14 2012
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That is terrible to hear. I would cut ties with any agent who admitted to leaving me hanging on a listing for 8 months. You can do a flat fee, cut your price and get the same or better than your agent gave you in a full commission listing.

Before you do that though, I would talk to several agents in your area and ask them about how they would market your home. You need to consider how your market is, where your price point should be and what it is going to take to sell it. Flat fee may be an options, but you need to include a commission for the buyers agent for best results. Enough waiting though, you need a plan that will get it sold.
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February 14 2012
Even though you have your place listed with this agent, as a consumer there is nothing preventing you from talking with other agents. Start making calls now.

There are agents who are very good at repositioning properties that have been improperly handled. Start getting personal referrals from your friends or coworkers and talk with an agent or two about your experiences before you set up any appointments with new agents.
 
I wouldn't suggest modifying to a flat fee or reduced commission with your current agent. Either she can do the job or she can't. IF you want to continue to work with her for now then your best bet is a conversation of  "I need to get this sold.  I'm willing to work with you on price and how the place shows. This is the new deadline to get a negotiated contract, tell me what WE are going to do to make this happen by then. If we don't meet the deadline we need to part ways. That's just how it is."  (no more than 30 days)

If she balks at that or is entirely too passive then she probably doesn't have your best interest in mind. Get someone new.
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February 14 2012
Speak to her and ask her the same question you have posted here.  Evaluate her response and if you feel she can do more, tell her what you want and see if she agrees.
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February 14 2012
 
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