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Old 05-02-2011, 08:57 AM
Location: Denver, CO
6 posts, read 11,460 times
Reputation: 10


I realize that experiences with seller's agents will be all over the map, but I am wondering if I'm just being nitpicky, or is this what one should expect from seller's agents in today's market?

We chose to work with a full-service, highly regarded agent in our area. 5.6% was the commission rate, split between the two agents.

We put our house in a popular area up for sale just a few thousand above market price two months ago. We had already vacated the home, it was in excellent condition, and lightly staged. We took all of our own photos, and our agent took those and produced nice marketing material in addition to getting the listing out to many different online sources. No open-house was held. We had three realistic offers and were under contract in 10 days, and closed last week within about 97% of our asking price.

At many steps of the way we needed to ensure that our agent was catching the fine details within the process. The biggest issue, we felt, was a lack of detail concerning review of the various offers. Offers that looked really good on the bottom line, until we saw that they had a heap of concessions or strange inclusions, were presented as competitive offers. Advice on how to deal with closing costs (seller pays all? seller pays half?) was non-existent. Deadlines were juxtaposed or missed - i.e. we needed to call and remind the agent about "the inspection resolution was due back to us today from the buyers" and so forth. And finally, at closing, we needed to bring money to the table to cover the fee for the ILC, which the contract had stipulated the sellers were to cover (but it wasn't brought to our attention and normally in our experience the buyers cover that). Also, we figured out a few days ago that the concessions WE had made to the buyer to cover some of the inspection findings were not included at closing (i.e., an error in our favor but negligence on the part of the buyer's agent and/or title-closing officer).

Our agent is an extremely personable sort, and obviously marketed our house well. But still, we felt that if we weren't involved every step of the way, the deal might have not gone as well as it did. So it's hard to recommend him to others, because we feel that for the commission we paid, we had to do a lot of the work.

As a seller (or a buyer) what has been your experience? Am I being too detail oriented? I thought that you go with a full-service agent when you want piece of mind and don't want to deal with all of the little details necessary for a hassle-free transaction. And I assumed (maybe wrongly) that in this "tough" market, agents would be very focused on every deal to make sure that nothing slipped through the cracks?
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Old 05-02-2011, 09:24 AM
Location: Western North Carolina
143 posts, read 301,863 times
Reputation: 110
Tough market or not, your agent should be looking closely at all these details.

I work exclusively as a buyer's agent and never for the seller, but I have to say that I would be embarassed to let this much slip and fall on the shoulders of my client. If you hire a full service agent, you should get full service and that means catching all these things that you have listed. I would understand maybe missing one, but certainly not all of these.
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Old 05-02-2011, 09:34 AM
Location: Simmering in DFW
6,947 posts, read 18,558,440 times
Reputation: 7171
I have shared your experience on many, many occasions. For the past 8 years I have exclusively used flat fee brokers for the sell side of my transactions and a buyers' agent on the buy side of my transactions (as an investor, I buy and sell several properties). This is because I have always found that I wind up doing most of the work as far as follow up or scrutinizing contracts. Almost every mistake I have lived with on deals are things my realtor should have found, IMO. My last sale, last year, I was quite impressed with my buyer's agent and still -- at closing -- this agent failed to ensure a concession I made as a result of the inspection was credited to the buyer. To stop the process at the closing table is very self-defeating, so her buyer lost out on me paying the whole home warranty fee instead of us spliting it. (I made good on the issue privately later)
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Old 05-04-2011, 10:24 PM
Location: Denver, CO
6 posts, read 11,460 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks to both of you for the information - in the future I think I'm going to very carefully choose my agent so that I can avoid being dissapointed when important details are overlooked.
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Old 05-04-2011, 10:57 PM
Location: Salem, OR
13,710 posts, read 31,354,427 times
Reputation: 12051
Originally Posted by JXBJXB View Post
Thanks to both of you for the information - in the future I think I'm going to very carefully choose my agent so that I can avoid being dissapointed when important details are overlooked.

The problem is that what you are talking about is transaction management. You aren't going to be able to determine someone's skills in this area until you are, unfortunately, in the middle of a transaction. We have several local agents that do quite well that are horrendous to work with during transactions. Nice people though, which is why they do well.

You'd need to find someone as detail oriented as you, and if they have a recommendation for an agent, then you know you are on the right track. I would also suggest asking the agent to let you talk to past clients so you can find out whether they kept the transaction moving forward, or forgot details and such.
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:35 AM
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FL
5,106 posts, read 7,570,505 times
Reputation: 5967
Some agents, usually the "big name" agents in an area, are essentially listing machines. They often advertise as the number one agent or team, that sort of thing, and you see them advertised everywhere. Sellers hire them to list their property because they have the perception from all the splashy marketing that this agent is the best agent in the area but they may not be the best in all regards. While it is true that their advertising will also attract buyers, the advertising is really about generating more listings. The buyers are generally referred down to a few buyer's agents and may never talk with the listing agent. There's nothing wrong with this business model and, as you can imagine, it can generate a lot of money but it is human nature that the more deals you have on your plate, the less you have time to pay attention to details. Some use assistants to keep track of deadlines, some use computer programs that help keep track of things, but some don't. In any event, a "big name" agent doesn't automatically mean less personal service but sellers should be aware that the possibility exists and should deal with their choice on that basis.
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Old 05-05-2011, 08:25 AM
Location: Raleigh, NC
11,775 posts, read 27,305,964 times
Reputation: 8083
After you find an agent that you really like, feel good about and can trust, ask for a couple of referrals. Of course, you are going to get names that the Agent feels will give high compliments; however, speak with that client and ask your questions. The more detailed your questions, the more helpful answers you'll get. Ask if that person would use that Realtor again.

A Realtor's job is not all about finding the home for their buyers or getting a contract for their sellers.

There is so MUCH MORE to getting to closing. And making sure the HUD 1 is correct is just one of those details that should never be overlooked.

I find that those Realtors with assistants are only as good as their assistants!

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Old 05-05-2011, 01:03 PM
2,060 posts, read 4,883,993 times
Reputation: 1652
It seems to me like you are doing the lions share of the work yourself anyway, and would you trust another agent fully to handle it all for you after your bad experiences? I would be inclined in your shoes to stick with the flat fee agents from now on and know that you aren't overpaying for service you aren't getting.
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Old 05-06-2011, 05:05 PM
Location: state of procrastination
3,487 posts, read 6,087,613 times
Reputation: 2883
Our full price seller's agent (husband/wife team) was really not one for detail. Took 2 photos that made the place actually look much SMALLER (maybe the rooms were too big to fit in the frame but only 1/2 to 3/4 of the room was captured in each shot) and posted them in a tiny 2 x 3 inch size on the internet. Tons of poor English and errors in the listing. Set the price too high. Had many open houses, but wouldn't proactively talk to anyone who came through the door. Didn't see any brochures or pamphlets at open house. Left a poop in the toilet during open house for everyone to see. I guess they were used to being lazy and getting sales during the boom, but they didn't end up selling this one. Luckily they did not get to the part where they had to deal with any paperwork. These were probably the worst agents I've ever met... and I did not and would not have picked them... unfortunately decision was not mine.
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