Anyone that has read this blog for any length of time knows that lousy listing information on homes for sale is a pet peeve of mine.
Here is today’s winner. It covers pretty much every aspect of what makes a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) entry wrong.
First, there is only one photo. It’s of the front of the home and the most dominant aspect of the photo is the SUV parked in the driveway.
The directions field normally contains, shockingly, directions to the home. Typically something along the lines of “Go south on Main ST, east on 1ST, home is 0.2 miles on left (north) side.
The directions for this listing?
The “Remarks” section is where the listing agent can put descriptive info on the home. It’s the only place in the MLS where the listing agent can “sell” the house. Sure, you often see flowery fluff like “Honey stop the car!”, and “I’m gorgeous inside!”, but more often you see language that describes the home and neighborhood. Both agents and potential buyers find the remarks section especially helpful in determining if a home may meet their basic needs.
The remarks in this listing say only, “Fabulous 3 bedroom w/ a den. North/South exposure. Great floorplan. Enjoy the easy care desert landscaping. Must see”
Not exactly helpful.
Then we get to the room measurements. The MLS has a place for dimensions for all of a home’s rooms. Handy for knowing in advance the size of the bedrooms, if your 9 foot sofa can be placed far enough away from your 60” plasma TV, that sort of thing.
Room dimensions for this home?
Blank. Zip. Zero. Nada.
The MLS allows the listing agent to enter the type, style and details of things like the roof, fencing, home owners association rules and utilities. That information on this listing says “see remarks” and, naturally, there is nothing in the remarks”
A woefully incomplete listing entry like this would by definition require a call to the listing agent for more information and details. So we’re treated to this gem in the “Realtor remarks” section:
Listing agent office hours Mon-Fri 7-4. Contact via EMAIL is best for response. Do not call agent on Sunday. Don’t request more info until you have shown the home and are ready to write an offer. (my emphasis in bold)
I understand having office hours. Many real estate agents work ridiculous hours. It comes with the job. As a service provider, we have to be available when our clients are available. Given that a significant portion of the home buying population works Mon – Fri 8am to 5pm, a significant portion of the home buying population needs to see homes outside those hours. You don’t want calls after 4pm or on Sunday, fine. Then put the necessary info in the MLS so I don’t HAVE to call you. Attach a file to the MLS with details, do SOMETHING akin to your job that meets your responsibility to your client and I won’t need to call you.
But instead you’re going to tell me not to request more info until I’ve shown the home and have a client ready to write an offer?
Well good luck with that.
You see, I’m not going to even show the home because you’ve given me NOTHING to indicate whether it meets my buyer’s criteria. N O T H I N G.
What is a seller to do?
You shouldn’t even have to ask your agent for this but…
Make sure you see the actual MLS listing. Ask them to show you both the public version and the agent version. Make sure there are plenty of photos that display your home in the best light possible. Descriptive text, room dimensions, all that needs to be included. Ask your agent how they handle inquiries on the property. Find out when they are available to field questions from potential buyers and buyer’s agents. A good agent will likely tell you all this, and more, up front.
What do you do if your home is already listed and you think the listing information isn’t complete?
Talk to your agent. Express your concerns. If they can’t address them, then speak to the agents broker. The broker is the agents “boss” (not technically as agents are independent contractors, but the broker is legally responsible for the agents actions and is your first step in resolving issues with your agent).
Sadly, in the case of this woefully lame listing, the listing agent IS a broker / owner of their own brokerage. If that’s the case and they won’t fix things to meet your needs, your only recourse is the broker’s Realtor association or the State Department of Real Estate. Good luck with that.
And some folks wonder why real estate agents rank below used car salesmen in the eyes of John Q. Public…