Profile picture for BTurner64804

What should my agent be doing?

We've been trying to sell our home for well over a year.  We've had the house appraised, so we're comfortable with the price we're asking.  The problem is, we've had multiple Realtors tell us that they can sell the house....if we drop the price another 15%  I reall don't think the Realtors are even trying to get the house sold.  They have no advice other than keep dropping the price until it's gone, then pay them a commission.  Shouldn't they be doing some "selling" to earn their commission or are they just responsible for putting it on the MLS at a low enough price to get someone to find it on the internet and do the paperwork?
  • December 20 2012 - Huntsville
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Answers (21)

In my experience, I would suggest asking your agent what they have doen and what they intend to do in order to sell your home.  With that said if you havenot been priced right for the market than that will have to be addressed.  A rule of thumb I use in CO is I should have atleast 10 showings in 14 days or an offer after 14 showings...if that is not the case than typically you are priced high...but this in CO....interview agents and aks them what they would do differently to sell your hoem...best of luck
  • January 21 2013
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Start by taking new beautiful pictures of your property with a lot of diferrent lighting sources and compare with the old pictures, contact your real estate agent and ask him/her to see what is the description and pictures that is posted in the internet and what kind of marketing plan is he doing to sale your property.  Great pictures, excellent description of your property, advertising and price would be enough to sell your home.
Best of Luck,

Maria Cipollone

  • January 17 2013
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Profile picture for UtahHomeHub
One year is an awfully long time to have your house on the market. I'd recommend forgetting the dollar amount that appraisal came in at and find an agent who knows the market and knows how to price a house.
  • January 16 2013
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Profile picture for Ana Ma
In response to "What Should My Agent Be Doing?"

Here's what your agent can and should be doing for you:

1.    Help assess the value of your property given current market conditions. [Unlike appraisers (who look back in time for comparable sales), Realtors look at the current competition and pending sales (in addition to past sales), to obtain the best sense of the market "right now."]   

2.   Advertising your home on websites like Zillow.com and other  independent MLS sites for maximum online exposure

3.    Create a property website and virtual tour of your home

4.    Advertise in the newspaper and other local print ads

5.   Use a professional photographer to take pictures of your home (an agent is no substitute for a professional photographer, so make sure your agent is paying for a professional!)

6.    Hold a broker's tour

7.    Hold regular open houses

8.  Notify clients and other agents (both local and international) your property is for sale.  

9. Provide a progress report on buyer activity and marketing efforts.  (A weekly progress report regarding recent sales, buyer activity, showings, and marketing stats are a great way to communicate market awareness)

10.Pick-up the phone and answer buyer inquiries immediately. (In this day and age, if agents don't respond to buyer inquiries within the first five minutes, you've lost them – so it's critical to find out what system your agent has in place for responding to phone calls and emails from potential buyers.)

If your agent is doing all of the above and the home still hasn't sold – then it comes down price.

A home is overpriced if certain conditions affecting the saleability of a home are not adjusted for in price (i.e. age, deferred maintenance, lack of staging, functional obsolescence, cleanliness, outdated kitchen or bath, old appliances, inferior finishes, curb appeal and location). 

To get an accurate pricing of your home, an agent can help you make the appropriate adjustments.

  • January 16 2013
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Dear BTurner,

Your Realtors should be working hard to sell your home.
The biggest obstacles to selling a home are #1. price 2.location and amenities 3. condition
Please look carefully at these three issues to resolve the reason you are having difficulties. If you cannot look at them objectively, ask your friends to be completely honest and tell you what they see.
Often we do not realize how our home may look to others and it takes a fresh pair of eyes to reveal this truth to us. You can address and change numbers 1 & 2 but there is not much you can do about #3. If the location is poor, it will keep bind your home to a certain price range.
  • December 24 2012
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Happy Holidays!  
    Sellers and Buyers are savvy these days. On your internet, go to Google. Put in your address and search. Watch all the pages come up on the listing of your home. If your home is being advertised with other agencies, your agent is working for you. He/She is getting your home exposed to others agencies and buyers. 
   If agents and brokers can sell your home, where is the offer? I have found everyone wants the listings. However, once you find someone who will work for you, which you will find out after googling your address, if they are or not, then you can decide which direction you would like to take.
   Zillow and Trulia has a special place on their sites, where every week or two weeks, the agent can put in your address and they will automatically shoot you the  feedback on how many people have looked at your home.
    If your home is not selling, please take into consideration of the present market, where your home is located and sit back and think: You can NOT put a price tag on memories. My husband and I had to "bite the bullet" to move on with our lives and take a small hit on our home.
Hope this has helped.

  • December 24 2012
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Profile picture for Lathamator
90% of any marketing strategy is price. Your home is over priced if its not selling. Especially in this market.
  • December 21 2012
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When selling a home, price is one of the key factors in driving traffic to your home. If you have not had many showings over the last year, it is time to consider a price reduction even though you have had an appraisal done. If the appraisal was done over a year ago, the value has probably changed as well. Also, is your home staged properly and does it have a nice curb appeal? Presentation is also a factor to drive buyers to your listing. You might want to have your agent run a new CMA to see where the pricing should be. Good luck in selling your home.
  • December 21 2012
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
"he "Listing Agent" has NEVER shown my house"    This is quite common, and you shouldn't expect the listing agent to show your house.    Ideally both parties are represented by different agents.

Three showings in a year?  Price or marketing are playing a role here, most likely price.   Before you put your house on the market again, interview selling agents rigorously.   We usually go through 8 to 10 in phone interviews, and then bring out three to the home.   Those three have to present CMAs, marketing plans and other aspects such as communication.      
  • December 21 2012
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Profile picture for sunnyview
If your house has not sold or gotten offers in a year, the market is either not seeing it or they feel that your price is too high. An appraisal is not a the same as a sales price. An appraiser may feel that there are comps to support your price, but if the market does not like the house or the house has competition from other houses that they like better, it will not sell.

You need to start by getting real about your price. If an agent wants you to cut the price by 15%, then you need to look at whether that is based on recent sales or the agent's want for a quick sale. If you cannot afford to drop the price by that much, I would look at paying a flat fee MLS listing service, providing a 1-3% buyers agent commission and reducing your price by the other 2-4%.

If you sell FSBO, you need to market the pants of your house and have it looking like a model home. Make it spic and span, make sure all photos are current and top quality and try to keep the showings professional not personal. After a year, you need a different plan.
  • December 21 2012
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Profile picture for hpvanc
Get a new appraisal from a different appraiser and don't try to influence the value they come up with.  After more than a year and numerous indicators, I think it is fairly certain that your original appraisal was in error.  While appraisals will give you the most accurate and unbiased opinion, unfortunately they aren't infallible. 

In your case it has been just as damaging to your decision making process as if you had relied on a less reliable or biased opinion such as a CMA or an AVM such as the Zestimate.  Because of the collapse of the market, and improvements in checks and balances on the lending side, consumers are more informed on housing prices than they have been in the recent past.  Consumers aren't being caught by agent marketing traps like they once were, and for the health of the overall economy that is a huge improvement.
  • December 21 2012
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I think you are way too focused on this appraisal. Homes and anything else for that matter are only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.  
  • December 21 2012
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Profile picture for BTurner64804
Going back over my records, the "Listing Agent" has NEVER shown my house.  We've had 2 agents plus FSBO over the time the home was listed.  We did everything the Realtor recommended, except reducing the price more than 5% below the appraisal. 

Neither of the agents we had ever followed up with us after a showing, we had to call them to see if there was any feedback from the agent that showed the house.  Most of the time, they hadn't even taken time to talk with that agent.

We have taken it off the market until next spring.  We are just looking for advice on how to find a Realtor who will actually "work" for their commission rather than just tell us that they've got it on their website and on the MLS. Which, when I suggest FSBO, they tell me that it won't sell without being listed on MLS.

Very frustrated.
  • December 21 2012
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They should be doing exactly what they said they'd do.
  • December 20 2012
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Have you asked a realtor for information on other homes in your area that have sold since you put your home on the market?  Have you visited open houses for active listings in your neighborhood?

Both of these things are good ways to 1) view your home the way a prospective buyer would...which is in comparison to the homes they have seen and 2) this is also a great way to see what other realtors are doing to get homes sold in your neighborhood.  You may even meet a realtor who is the "right realtor" for you.

Lastly, what about taking it off the market (temporarily)? Then have 2 or 3 new agents come out and give you brand new CMA's for the property (as someone else mentioned appraisal's can be off & are also only good for 3 months).  Take it off, because sometimes when agents and/or buyers are searching the MLS, if they see a property that's been listed for a year, they may skip over the property thinking "something must be wrong with it if it hasn't sold in a year".  A new listing, with a new realtor, some fresh photos and a price tweak may be all that's needed to get it sold.

  • December 20 2012
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Profile picture for Ofe Polack
I give my sellers a two page document that lets them know how I am going to market their property and email them weekly update reports on people who have viewed the property online on various websites.  If you say that multiple Realtors have told that they can sell the house if you drop the price by 15%, and the property has not sold for one year....what other proof would you want that the price may be too high?  By the way I do not know when you had the appraisal done, but they are only good for 3 months due to the volatily of the market.  How is your property being marketed at the moment?
  • December 20 2012
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I have a property that is listed at $215k the home is in a gated community where there are multiple other homes that are the exact same as mine, both sold recently and currently on the market.  The seller expects me to sell it fast, but the problem is that I told her that it needs to be priced at $199k to sell fast and to sell at all $204 is the highest the comps will support.  She refuses to go any lower.  I have only had two showings in the 4 weeks listed, because there are 4/5 other homes (once again the exact same homes basically) listed around the $200k mark.  On top of that, she will not allow me to put up a sign, do open houses, and requires me to be there for the showings, instead of on lock box.  She also will not let me do mailers in the community letting people know that it is for sale.  SO she's tied my hands pretty well and expects a buyer to pay extra for her home.  Things don't stack up well and I am expecting her to soon ask to cancel the listing, but it won't break my back if she does, as she's making it really hard to get people to come see the house.
  • December 20 2012
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Thanks for posting your question on Zillow.com!

Sorry you are having problems.  I am a firm believer that every house still active on the market is so because of it's price for condition and location.  That being said, it may be your Realtor or the broker you chose to go with.

What you are facing is super stagnation by bein on the market over a year!  You not only need a new price but an agent AND broker in touch with technology (HD video tours on YouTube).  Some brokers are not syndicated with the top sites like Zillow so you may be missing out of exposure.  Zillow is the most search R.E. website & YouTube is the 2nd most searched website...period!

You should be asking your agent what they are doing for you.  How are you selecting your agents?  I would search on Zillow for agents in your area then read past client reviews.  If you need help finding a good one, reach out to me.

Best of luck.

Oh, and appraisals are not always right...trust me.
  • December 20 2012
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If you are getting showings then the home could be priced a little too high...if you are getting little to no showings then it is clearly overpriced.

Pretty decent rule of thumb.

As many others have said your agent SHOULD be marketing it somehow, so you should ask him what he has done for YOU so far that goes beyond sticking it up on the MLS.

Best wishes from So-Cal and good luck
  • December 20 2012
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
A selling agent should have a marketing campaign for a property, including the MLS, non-MLS sites on the internet, have open houses for other agents/brokers, and many other activities.     The photos should be superb, in focus, good lighting, attractive angles and make the home feel warm and welcoming. 

What has your agent been doing?  

If your house has been on the market for a year, it is quite possible the comments about price are correct.   My opinion is that many agents suggest an optimistic price to get the listing then give the bad news later.   So, I suspect the 15% less than current asking price is closer to reality than your current price.

  • December 20 2012
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They should be marketing the heck out of it, and EARNING the commission not just sitting around and waiting to have it dropped in their laps.  Call him up and ask him to see the marketing material and webpages that it is listed on.  If you aren't satisfied, tell him or fire him and list with someone else.  I DO CAUTION that if every Realtor you are talking to says that it is 15% over priced there may be some serious merit to that.  It is a sellers market in most areas, so things that have been on the market for a year, tells me something is up.  Remember, the same people that are telling you that they could sell it at XXX price, are the people that are showing the buyers and they are telling them, it is only worth XXX
  • December 20 2012
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