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Discount Realtors = bad idea

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Seller Tip of the Month

  Why using a discount rate agent is a bad idea

Let me tell you about my last experience with an agent that offered a cut rate commission, promising full service.

I had done a search in a neighborhood for homes for sale and had picked out a few to show. Driving through the neighborhood, we saw a for sale sign, some real estate company I'd never heard of. When I looked it up on line I realized it didn't show up in the MLS search because the listing agent had put in the wrong neighborhood, likely missing dozens of potential buyers.

That wasn't the only mistake. The description was about two sentences long and had grammatical and spelling errors. The agent had incorrectly indicated there was no Home Owner's Association. The directions to the home were wrong, and several factual errors and omissions were apparent.

There were three pictures of the home. They were dark, shadowy, taken from an angle that indicated it may have been taken from a car window.
I called the agent to set up a showing, because he had neglected to set up the automated eshowings that legitimate agents use. My call was answered by a non-descript voice mail message that could've been anything from a Realtor to a plumber.
He didn't return my call. I wanted to show his listing, and he couldn't pick up the phone to say it was ok. I sent him an email that was never returned.

Since the house appeared empty, I took a chance and previewed it for my client. It was empty, so I took my client to see it and they were interested.

I contacted the agent to tell them we might be interested in making an offer and I had a few questions. Plus, I needed to get several disclosure forms and other information that a legitimate agent would've posted with the MLS listing.


In the meantime, my buyers decided to look at another house I had sent them, based on the attractive pictures and descriptions of the home. I contacted the listing agent, who responded immediately with everything I needed to know. After showing the home, the listing agent followed up to see how it went, making sure we had all the information on the home.

My buyers purchased that home. There is little doubt in my mind that had the listing agent been prompt and fulfilled his duties, we would've bought his listing. I also have no doubt that had we bought that listing, it would've been twice as difficult to work through the deal because the agent was obviously inept.
Two days after my first call to the cut rate agent, he called me back. I told him never mind, we found another house. He said okay and hung up.

So should you decide to go with an agent who agrees to work for a cut rate commission, just remember — that agent is working for less because that agent is probably worth it.

"If you are looking for a house, I know where some are...."

Wade Wilson, Realtor

Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty
1001 Military Cutoff Rd Suite 101
Direct Phone: 910-619-3502
Fax: 910-799-3237
NC License #253396