On the Market – Part I

October 27, 2010 by admncc

Our house has been for sale for a few months.  And as we’ve been going through the process of trying to sell ours and looking for another one, I’ve been keeping tabs on anything that is blogworthy.  Originally I was going to do one post about everything, but I think it might be too much.  So instead, I’ll just break it up into several segments.

We’re going to start with realtors…  We hired the realtor who sold us our current house eight years ago.  She even told us that she’d give us a good commission rate, not only for being returning customers, but because we’d be using her to sell our current house and buy a new one.  However, the “good commission rate” apparently meant something different to her than it did to us.

First, apparently it meant lack of marketing.  Now…we’ve all seen the huge “Howard Hanna” signs in people’s yards – they’re very eye-catching and hard to miss.  But since we were dealing with a different company, we weren’t sure what we’d get.  The answer – a sign so small that I could barely read it from the sidewalk in front of my house – let alone see it from the street.  It looked more like a sign you’d see from a “mom and pop” chimney cleaning company or something.  Second, we asked what her approach was for getting potential buyers into our house.  Below is the actual conversation:

Me – “Will you put an ads in the newspaper?”
Realtor – “I don’t believe in newspaper advertising.”

Me – “Will you send out direct mail postcards?”
Realtor – “I don’t use direct mail.”

Me – “I bought the web domain for my own address.  Can we use that?”
Realtor – “Um, I guess I can talk to our web guy.”

Me – “When can we schedule our first open house?”
Realtor – “I don’t do open houses anymore.  I leave those to the rookie realtors.”

Realtor – “Hmmm, you guys really need to think about how you’re going to get people through the door to look.”
My Wife – “Isn’t that your job?”
Realtor – “Yes, but you’re responsible too.”

My Wife – “What are we paying you for?”
Realtor – “That’s why your commission rate is so low.”

Needless to say, we fired her.  Our best guess is that she was burnt out from the lousy housing market and several years of not making any money.  She really didn’t put forth any effort into helping us stage our home or set up the pictures we used to advertise it – plus we wrote the MLS description for her.  Now…wouldn’t you think that the challenge of the current housing market would motivate a realtor?

After seeing the error of our ways, we made the right decision and hired the big gun…Howard Hanna.  Yes, the commission is higher, but now we have the power of their marketing, advertising and brand recognition behind us.  The house has been staged, is priced correctly, has been advertised, we’ve had multiple open houses and some potential buyers have recently come back for second and third visits.  We’re hoping to close a deal soon.  Next up…the bizarre antics of realtors who have come to show our house to their potential buyers.

All Posts / Business / Family/Lifestyle / General Moaning / Real Estate Buying a House / Complaints / Housing Market / Howard Hanna / MLS / Realtors / Selling Your House /


  1. Wow! What a poor example of a realtor. She definitely needs to move on to a different line of work or take a break for awhile.

    Can’t wait to hear the antics!

  2. Extreme John says:

    It’s crazy how things change over a few solid years isn’t it? Good luck selling the house and p.s. I never heard of the company you ended up going with but I hope they get the job done fast for you.

  3. Marissa says:

    That realtor basically just wanted to “phone it in.” Bring on the antics stories.

  4. Jen says:

    I sold the last two houses myself because I felt like I wasn’t getting anyone’s best effort. H.H. is the best solution around here too if you are going to hire a realtor.

  5. Zig says:

    As you know, we are in the process of selling our condo also. The housing market is truly a mess. Our condo is on the market along with 11 other condos in the immediate area. It is not a good situation anywhere. Basically our price is less than for what my wife bought the condo for in 2003. We really like our realtor. He is the same guy, owns his own realty conglomerate, that sold my condo to the first lady who came to see it, 5 minutes before the first open house. So…really it doesn’t matter what you do right now. NOTHING IS SELLING! The realtor is such a small part of the equation. The internet and the MLS are what matters! It appears that you, CC, just wanted your realtor to do everything for you, while you sat back(like a fat cat) and did nothing. You were the one who failed to meet your own expectations and “Mailed it in.” Which is why you paid a lady %6 of your sale price to sell your house! No arguments there. I am doing the same, but I know that I am doing it. You should have done a little bit better job picking a realtor though. You were lazy and you paid for your decision! Man up and stop blaming others for your laziness! Good luck with those “potential buyers…”

    We are taking our houise off the market in Nov. and putting it back in the spring at 10k more than we at currently asking!

  6. NeoConDon says:

    A realtor earns their fees on a contingency basis, so you’re not paying them anything unless they sell it.

    The residential real estate market probably has another 4 or 5 years before it hits bottom. The mortgage market is still in shambles, and real estate can’t rebound until it hits bottom and the mortgage market fixes itself. We are still waiting for the commercial real estate bubble to burst, and it soon will. That will open up a whole new can of issues in the financial world.

    Individual personal debt is the real part of the problem along with gov’t regulation. If banks are ever able to step away from the gov’t regulation that caused this mess, things will improve. If not, we will continue down a very dark road. The good news is that we may be able to make some improvements on election day.

  7. TallElf says:

    I am going to be in the market soon to sell my home and relocate. I didn’t want to use an agent, as when I bought the home, didn’t use one until we decided on the house we wanted. She was actually the sellers agent, but the bank she was repping was dinking around and the house was on the market for at least a year, possibly longer deed in lieu of foreclosure. I did my homework, found the last known appraised price and worked from there. Purchased it just under appraised value in it’s current market.

    I understand that there are a lot of complications with realestate, especially in this market and the marketing aspect is helpful from the realestate agent’s POV, however I have become very stubborn in my ways, and don’t really like to part with things I have worked hard for (Property, Money.. and the clutter that goes with each apparently). Markets are different all over the country, where ten are crumbling, 1 is growing. Hopefully everyone trying to move up/on is able to negotiate successfully. CC, I wish you luck, and will keep you posted on this side. I also wish myself luck as we are planning on using the same agent who sold us the house.

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