You need to sell your house. So you paint the front door and clean out the garage. You advertise the home in the local paper and on one of those FSBO websites. You put ballons on your mailbox and hold a couple of open
houses but you don't get any buyers. Eventually you call that "Top Agent" who has been pestering you to sign her multiple listing contract. The commission is a
lot of money but you rationalize the thousands spent will be offset by the top dollar the agent claims
you will get for the house. Once you sign the
agent's unbreakable listing contract you naturally assume the agent will handle everything.
Really? Think again.
Before you list your home in MLS, consider what agents do and don't do when selling your home.
Most how-to real estate books explain the basic home-selling process but provide little insight about the role
of agents and their firms. Shady Agents underscores the impact agents have upon the transaction. It is a behind-the-scenes
look at the home-selling process and warns what can go wrong and what to expect from licensed real estate agents. The chapters
reflect the phases of the transaction:
Agent-selection (chapters 7-9)
The book is also a good study for agents pursuing a noble and rewarding career helping people buy
and sell homes and broker-owners building an organization with a positive moral purpose.
All the advice and examples provided are drawn from the author's thirty-five years of selling real estate and supervising agents. Nothing has been made up.
Where possible, claims are supported by outside sources. The book separates what sells a home from the baloney promulgated by Shady Agents who
often say, "Just get the deal done; no one gets paid for being honest."
Listing (chapters 10-20)
Selling (chapters 21-27)
Negotiating (chapters 28-32)
Under-contract (chapters 33-36)
Closing (chapters 37-39)
Filing a Complaint (chapters 40-42)
Shady Agents are rarely prosecuted
because not all unethical acts are illegal.
To learn how to file a complaint with
a licensing agency, see page 141.
He's a sleazy predator looking for a fast buck.
He talks fast and hurries transactions to ensure
he gets paid. His clients think his intimidating
personality is an essential trait of Top Agents.
It is not. Page 35.
Shady Agents beleive personal ethics and
business ethics are mutually exclusive.
They are not. Page 7.
The Country Clubber
Country Club agents have little motivation to work
because their spouses support them. Page 36.
Preparing Your Home
Complete improvements to your
home before interviewing agents
to list it in MLS. Page 17.
The Dragon Lady
Pushy and despised by other agents,
she blocks them from showing your
home with the aim of collecting both
sides of the commission. Page 34.
Pricing Your Home
Once you obtain a market analysis
from an agent, pay an appraiser for
an unbiased second opinion. Page 75.
Shady Agents Ruin House Keys
Shady Agents will ruin your house key to keep
competing agents from showing the home. Page 85.
There are 2 types of top agents:
those that work hard and receive repeat
business from satisfied customers and
those that are less trustworthy. Page 33.
What to Look For in a Listing Agent
A knowledgeable, honest and experienced
agent with impeccable character is the most
important thing needed to sell your home.
The trick to to find one. Page 27.
Loners are impatient, easily angered
and confrontational so their selling
style is the classic hard sell. Page 39.
The Dreaded Home Inspector
There are 3 kinds of inspectors:
those that minimize problems, those
that exaggerate problems and those that
honestly complete the inspection. Page 117.
The Busy Body Soccer Mom
A nosy gadabout who talks too much
and quick to list the neighborhood
homes of those who die. Page 40.
Incentives convey a message of desperation and
encourage low-ball offers. There is no empirical
evidence proving they work. Page 79.
Spouses Selling Houses
A dynamic duo. He's the macho closer and
she's the sweet good natured soldier. Page 37.
Unbreakable Listing Contracts
Be sure your listing contract includes a clause
for early termination without a fee. Page 55.
The Burned Out Broker
He once owned his own brokerage but during
an economic downturn he lost money and
never paid his agents their rightful
commissions so they quit. Page 38.
Option To Buy Scam
The concept appears simple and practical
but ue to the unsavory and unqualified
buyers the scheme attracts it often becomes
a convoluted con game. Page 109.
When laid off by large companies, these agents settle
in at large brand name brokers conspicuously wearing
the company name tag to give the impression they are
competent professionals. Some are not. Page 37.
Advertising Does Not Sell
Contrary to conventional wisdom,
the NAR Profile of Home Buyers
revealed only 3 percent found their
home through advertising. Page 16.
Incompetant Drama Queens
Drama Queens are ineffective because
conflict exacerbates their anxiety preventing
them from developing a strategy. Page 41.
Commissions Are Negotiable
Nearly all agents will discount their 6%
or 5% fee by 1% if you ask. Page 49.
Don't be fooled by pre-qualification letters
guaranteeing the buyer will obtain a loan because
lenders never check a buyer's full credit history until the
application has been submitted and the fee paid. Page 107.
Some inspectors flunk all the septics they
inspect. Agents use them to gain a concession
or a new system for their buyers. Page 125.
What Agents Say Behind Your Back
Everything. Agents routinely forward their clients'
texts and emails to other agents and clients so never
reveal your bottom line price to any agent. Page 106.
Zillow & Trulia
You will have trouble selling your
home if Zillow or Trulia post its value
lower than the listed price. Page 125.
Their ethical decisions are tainted by their struggle
to pay the bills. Always telling dunning creditors
"The check is in the mail," they find it easy to lie. Page 42.