Market Wise Q&A: Why Would a Seller's Agent Walk Away from a Listing?

Pat Kapowich for the San Jose Mercury News Q: We just bought a larger home. The same Agent who helped us with the purchase of our new home consulted with us on how to prepare our existing home for sale. We had several meetings with her and a few with her team of advisors. i.e., gardener, painter and stager. My husband decided that roughly a third of the recommendations were unnecessary and emailed her to that effect. She promptly replied with an email that she would not be our Listing Agent and that we were free to hire another Agent. This took us back and we had to scramble to hire another broker. We are still perplexed, however, we still sold the house with a few offers. Why would any agent in this economy reject business?

A: Astute agents know they need clients who make good decisions in a timely fashion. Clearly, the consulting your Agent provided is not the norm. The fact that your husband discounted a third of the recommendations in the form of an email, is very telling with wide reaching ramifications. First, the Agent might have perceived your husband to be a client who makes poor decisions in an untimely fashion. Good Buyers can make poor Sellers and vice versa. Secondly, this Agent seems to be one who gives 160 percent to every listing. Consequently, any seller who reciprocates by giving 60 percent might understandably be rejected. Sellers "tripping over dollars to pick up pennies" are not new to residential real estate. Conversely, neither are Listing Agents who front-load the property for the marketplace to see phenomenal results. Agents like that would much rather swing in a hammock and recharge their batteries than take every listing that comes their way. It stands to reason that listings Agents like that provide sellers with more offers of better price, terms and conditions.

Saturday, July 7, 2010

Do you have a question for the new real estate Q&A Market Wise column in the SJMN? If so, please email them to: