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Real Estate Blues

September 15, 2011

My parents own a nice home in a retirement community.  It’s not worth a lot of money after the housing adjustment, but I think it one of the best on the market in that area.  I’ve painted the entire interior,  and replaced all the flooring except the two bedrooms and a small sun room.  I replaced some plumbing and the kitchen sink and fixtures as well.

I interviewed several real estate agents before deciding on one. I picked her because she was very successful and well-connected.  I ended up with one of the sellers agents in her office. I nice gentleman, but not very aggressive.

That was three-months ago.

I knew that the wall paper in the kitchen and dinning room was a bit loud….yet tasteful, but it seems that the wall paper is killing the sales. My agent said it is a negotiating point to which I agreed, however when selling to senior citizens, negotiations are rarely an option. These folks are used to getting exactly what they pay for, and it better be perfect. I think the agent should know this.

I see this as a problem due to the fact that I interview this real estate agent and specifically brought up this point about the wall paper.  At no time in the subsequent 3 months that he’s had the listing has he recommended that I do something about the wall paper. Incidentally, I am currently in the process of painting over the vinyl wall paper and repairing it.

There is another agent who lives in the development who sells most of the properties there. I didn’t know about him before I decided to list. He has shown the house many times.  I have spoken with him on several occasions and have gotten the straight poop on what’s going on there.

Here are some of the things I’ve heard.

  • 1. Agent cards on premises. I never see my agent’s card, but I see lots of others.
  • 2. Reports of not returning calls to show the house.
  • 3. People are going to the home owners association to get someone to show the house.
  • 4. Another real estate agent said he provided feed back through Centralized Showing Services, that there were visible leaks on the ceiling. Yet I received no email or phone call from my agent about this. That was 5 days ago.
  • 5. I have to get feed back from agents myself about why the prospective buyer didn’t like the house.
I'm in the process of verifying these allegations with members of the home owners association as we speak.
I have three months left on my sellers agreement, which put's it out to Dec 10th. If the allegations prove to be true, I plan to have a meeting with my agent and the broker in charge of his office
and request they let me out of the contract with out the $1500 fee. I do not think I have been served properly. I may, if they are true, elect to violate the contract with a strong warning that if
they pursue this matter with regard to collecting said $1500, that they may do so, but they would probably lose, (that's more of a bluff I think).
First though I need to verify what I've heard. 

Any thoughts?

I just spoke to the vice president of the home owners association who had just concluded a meeting. He said that no one had been approached by any buyer needing to see the home. So perhaps this 
other real estate agent is trying to undercut my agent in order to get the listing. I plan to have him prove to me that he even turned in a report about the leaky roof tomorrow.
This ain't over.

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  1. Selling a property nowadays is sometimes a matter of how savvy your agent is – and your doesn’t seem to be on the ball. You would be advised to find another agent – at the same time getting an independent idea of why your property isn’t selling. You are right – presentation is the key. By all means, get rid of that loud wallpaper.
    I’ve sold several properties over the years and right now am involved in the purchase of one – so far going very succsessfully.

    • I found out that the other agent, has lied to me, (not my agent). I’m going to write a letter to the Real estate Commission and obtain a restraining order on this agent if necessary to keep him from showing the home.
      What he’s doing is talking my house down to prospective buyers and then walking them over to a home that he has listed. There is no way to tell how many times that house could have sold if not for him.

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