This has been an interesting experience.

I’ve used the same agent for years, but she has retired. So I’ve been interviewing agents.

Fully half the agents I contacted can’t make it to an appointment on time, sometimes not even on the same day. Two agents never bothered to call me back when I left a message that I have a house to sell.

You’d think that with the market slow, they would be eager to get some business. Apparently, not so.

Recomendations for a selling price ran all the way from $305,000 to $485,000. That’s right. The local professionals varied by $180,000 in what they guessed the house might sell for. Bit of a gap, there.

Two agents insisted that a run down goat shed that sold for $185,000 was a good comp. It’s almost the same square footage, only an acre less land, and it has a shop, of sorts. They insisted that the appraisers would use it as a comp for my architect designed, custom house with a 7 mountain view and the hexigon living room with the 16 foot tall domed ceiling and 60 running feet of counter space in the kitchen. You bet. I guess I forgot to cover up the “stupid” tattoo on my forehead.

A friend recomended an agent and I liked him, except that he used to work with my son and my son calls him a “lazy worthles b*stard.” Lazy is not my favorite quality in an agent. But he was one of only 3 who actually is capable of making it to an appointment at the designated time.

On the happy side, real estate in my price range has started to sell a little better. 6 have gone pending in the past 30 days and that’s good for a higher than average price range in a town of 5,000

tatertot - don’t settle… if you take an agent mainly because he is able to make to an appointment on time, you are setting your expectations too low. I am sure if you keep looking you will find an effective agent… Good luck!

There are usually only a few really good agents in any given area, and fewer still that a) understands investor clients and b) are accepting investor clients.

That said, I’d be curious to hear your speech to them when you call them up.

Also, the range is huge but not really uncommon. Did they give them to you over the phone, or did they actually pull comps and currents and give you a valid (or flawed) reason for their estimation.


Why not ask your retiring agent to give you a referral to someone you can work with?

Raj, all comps were given after viewing the property, and with print-outs of the comps they were using plus print-outs of the listings that they considered to be mu competition.

All but one agent who pulled comps off the MLS before they saw the house were way off. All of them persisted in justifying their comps. (the one brought an entire range of comps and then matched them to the quality of the house)

Agents who saw the house first pulled up much better recent comps, where the houses were much closer in quality.

2 agents were very clearly trying to get very low priced listings that they could sell immediately, or even had buyers lined up for.

The agents with the really high priced suggestion appeared to be trying to buy the listing. I don’t have any desire to hang around for months not getting any showings and then have to reduce the price, so I am not interested in that.

I feel for the amateur home seller who is faced with trying to select an agent out of the pool of incompetant sharks.

I finally got on the internet and claled the third highest producer nationwide for a big national franchise. If she is one of the best they’ve got nationwide, she has to be capable of working.

She’s going to do the listing. She kept all her appointments, she was well prepared, she did a very thorough market analysis, covering recent comps, asking prices of listing, and replacement cost. Se’s easy to get along with and took the time to discuss the state of the market with me.

There are good solid recent comps for comparable houses that sold for $425-$450. I’m listing at $399 and hoping that is low enough to get some interest. The house is tons beter than anything else listed at that price range.

In general agents are a waste of skin. Most agents have no idea what properties make money. There is also a built in conflict with you and the agent. The agent wants to make a sell, you want to make money. What I do with agents is I tell them make this offer on this property or make that offer on that property. The best agent is a glorified clerk that will do what I say in a timely fashion. The less input I get from them the better.


Sounds like you did the right thing in order to get your property sold. For long term agency relationship, maybe, maybe not. Usually the top agent is NOT the best agent for an investor that is looking to buy, but sometimes it works.

To an investor, an agent SHOULD be tool to get deals, NOT a tool to determine what is or isn’t a good deal for you. That said, as I’ve worked on the agent side of this equation now, I’ve learned that most “investors” that call up agents are usually self-centered, know-it-all nothings that wouldn’t really know a good deal either. They just get mad at the agent for not doing the job for them!

As an agent, I now get anywhere from 2 to 5 calls a week from investors wanting to use me as their agent. I usually only accept about one a month simply because I don’t have the time to babysit them, determine deals for them, or be their CLERK!!!

So no offense, Blue, but that kind of thinking goes both ways and unfortunately, you’ll probably never know how a truly good agent can benefit you as an investor.


Why not sell the house yourself?

I recently received my real estate license and I can tell you first hand that roughly 80% of all realtors are worthless. It’s pretty sad that I feel appreciative when I can get a fellow Realtor to 1) answer their phone 2) speak professionally and 3) know what they’re talking about.