30 August 2010

My Annual Tooele Real Estate Public Service Message

I usually write the annual Tooele Real Estate public service message several times over the course of the year.

Usually it happens when various things I've been keeping inside need venting to make room for other things that will need venting concerning the Real Estate industry in general, and Tooele County Real Estate in particular.

This time, the need for a rant is caused by something that's been around forever, but seems to be gaining in popularity.

Specifically, forgetting the first rule of Real Estate: our Fiduciary Duty to our clients.


This is what happened Saturday as I was making appointments for a client to look at a house in Tooele County. 

One of the homes that met all the criteria for this Home Buyer was a short sale listing, as so many are these days. The location of the listing, and the amazingly low list price gave me pause.

I called the "showing scheduler" service to make an appointment (15 minutes I'll never get back!), who told me that I couldn't show the home at the time I'd like as the seller needed a 2 hr window, and I was 9 minutes past that threshold (see comment above regarding 15 min.!).

Not a problem to move showing back 15 min, so no problem,.................. right? ........................NOT!

I next moved to call the listing agent to ask about the status of the short sale, as my clients are not wanting to wait forever. As I look in the "agent remarks" section of the listing, the first thing I see is a sentence, in CAPS, to not call the agent with questions! Instead I was referred to a website for his list of "frequently asked " questions and listing status.

It's there that I find that the process has not even been started with the bank, and they need an offer to do so!

 At that point, I'm starting to get annoyed, as many of my age will.

As I do a quick and dirty CMA, I find that not only is the home listed  at nearly 25k below current value, it's listed at nearly 60k below what is owed, again without bank approval.

Now, in defense of the Real estate agent maybe the sellers had the extra 60k burning a hole in their pocket and were coming to closing with a check, but based on the 99k list price and the condition of the property, I'd suggest probably not.

I guess all of this together with the fact that the agent is working in an area some 65 miles from where he normally works, made me wonder..... what service he's performing for his client.

He's listed for a price that has no basis in reality,

The agent has made showing the property problematic (understanding that it may have been at his clients direction regarding the 2 hr window, but he should still have advised them to make it as easy as possible, and that he doesn't want to be bothered to talk about the property.

So what is he doing to serve his client, let alone earn what I'm sure is a full commission?

I'm not suggesting that we don't use all the technology and tools at our disposal, or that there is anything wrong with whatever his business model is, (well maybe). My concern is that in this day of people questioning our relevance in the transaction, I've found the poster child for their argument. 

Thankfully, I won't have to see what his procedure for dealing with an actual offer is, or what website I'd have to use.

In my humble opinion, we need to remember a few of the basics in this business, or find the number for a good truck driving school. 

NOW, having said all of that and realizing that I don't have all the answers, I will be happy to discuss the wisdom behind what is obviously a new business model. Just call me @ 435-840-5031 and we can discuss it in conjunction with My Annual Tooele Real Estate Public Service Message.

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