Jacks of All Trades

Chose Your Listing Agent Wisely

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of escorting a buyer of real estate around the Bonita Springs and Estero Florida area.  The homes we were looking at were in a specific budget and style so there was a narrow list of about six homes for sale that we would be touring.  The communities we visited were located in Bella Terra, Stoneybrook, Village Walk, San Remo and another left unnamed community.

This is an important read if you are looking for a qualified listing agent to list your home for sale, especially if there is a financial issue like a short sale that you must work though.  This particular home for sale was a short sale.  In short it means that the home owner is “upside down” and they owe more on the mortgage than the home is worth.  They will have to ask their mortgage holder for debt forgiveness.

Long story short, I was not able to show in the unnamed Estero community because of a comedy of errors.  Getting an appointment from the “listing agent” was nearly an exercise in futility.  Days of requests fell on deaf ears and then finally there was a voice mail left that we were approved to show the listing.  The approval was great news but since we were dealing with an attorney office that listed the property the inexperience showed immediately.  Ever hear the saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none”?  Well, Attorney Jack didn’t leave us a gate code in the voice mail so while we had approval to show the property, we couldn’t get in to show the property.  After calling several other resources,  because the attorney office “listing agent”  is closed on weekends with no weekend contact, I was finally able to get a gate code.

The buyers got a tour of the community and then we pulled up to the property.  We got to the front door and there was no lock box.  I rang the bell and nobody came to let us in, not the home owner nor the “listing agent”.  I searched the hose bibs and coach lamps for the elusive lock box.  Nothing.  I called the “listing agent” and no one answered to explain how to get into the listing.  We ended up leaving without seeing the home.

There was no follow up phone call from the “listing agent” and there was no return call from the “listing agent” asking if we ever got in. Meanwhile, the owner of the home is treading water and probably hoping for a buyer to come and bail them out of their predicament with an offer to purchase their short sale property.

This is why hiring a qualified listing agent is so crucial.  This home owner is at the mercy of a apathetic listing agent whose specialty just may be being  an attorney, not a real estate agent.  They do not understand the process of getting a listing sold.  Trust me, I’ve been licensed to sell real estate in Florida since the mid 90’s and can tell you who is going to make it in the biz and who isn’t from 50 paces away.  What is certain is that the home owner loses.  Three hundred plus days on market and not the home is still not sold.

I grieve for the home owner and the industry when I see things like this go on.  … and that is why I take being a listing agent very seriously with my clients and customers.  In spite of how low the bar is set in some circumstances.