The listing service is listing badly… we are sinking our own ship

The common bond that we agents share is our affiliation with a multiple listing service. We may have different business models but our mutual usage of an information system is the very thing that links us one with another.

Multiple Listing Services offer a place for agents to post property for rent or sale. They provide a place for agents to input information that is relevant to the transfer of the property. Listings occasionally include helpful things like a few pictures of the property and sometimes a description of the property.

It could just be me, but, I was under the impression that there is some semblance of truth and accuracy required. I am more than willing to accept that agents, upon occasion, will focus on the nicer qualities of the home and their description should be taken with a grain of salt. After all, terms like “large bedrooms” are relative and there is no requirement of defining large, spacious, or cute.

Now, it would seem to me that there is little “wiggle room” on STATUS. Status is like pregnancy. It either is for sale or it is not for sale. Active is not a vague term! Active is Active.

Showing instructions should be used to inform agents of little things like, hours of showing, vacant or occupied, presence of pets, etc. Showing instructions are not the place to put what might be a “best case scenario”.

Recently, I have had the opportunity to show homes to a very pleasant home buyer. I am sort of a nerd when it comes to procedure. I actually pull the listings and read the comments and only focus on listings that are ACTIVE. I then forward a copy of the listings to my client. She looks them over and we then schedule a time to view the ones that interest her.

After our first two forays into the market, this is her mental picture of those in our profession. I don’t think she was referring to cute little “pigs”.

I don’t blame her. She is tired of “a little TLC” actually meaning that the home was flooded and all the floors need to be repaired (She could see past that, but there was no mention that the seller would only accept an offer with a rehab loan).  She is tired of looking a 4-5 homes, making a decision and finding out that the home has been under contract but the agent forgot to change the status or mention that it was under contract when I called to arrange the showing (It has happened on three properties in a row).

Now, it you are too busy to keep everyone informed of the status of your property, you are creating an additional burden on the rest of us. If you are too busy to take more than one picture of the property, you are limiting the number of buyers that will bother to come by. If you fail to mention in your comments that properties will require certain financing, you are placing yet another burden on those of us working with buyers. If you do not understand the word vacant, ask for a remedial course in real estate terminology. If you do not understand that I am not your competition and we need one another, you are in the wrong profession.

I really am damn sick and tired of looking like this because listing agents are just too lazy or incompetent to do their job.

If real estate agents want to be considered professionals, they will have to act professionally. If we do not want to sink the ship, it is our responsibility to keep it afloat and not abuse the fundamental tools that allow us to sail the real estate seas.

Professional agents make sure the information shared with others is complete, accurate and timely. If you have a home listed, make sure your agent shows you the listing as it appears to other agents. If it is not done correctly, have it edited. If your agent can not list your home correctly in the system, you may want to reconsider your choice of an agent.

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