Did Your Real Estate Agent Cost You $80,000 When You Sold Your Home | Part 1 of 2
Recently I was working with a first time home buyer in Maryland who was interested in purchasing a home in Ellicott City. After seeing a dozen or so homes, we toured a property that met every one of the buyer’s criteria. This Ellicott City home was a large ranch style home with a new addition featuring an over-sized master suite with an enormous closet. In the rear yard was a magnificent two-tiered deck overlooking the lush landscape which backed to an open space preserve.
We spent an hour or so walking through this Ellicott City property and as each minute went by the buyer fell more and more in love with the home. After walking through the property several times and learning all the benefits and amenities that it had to offer, my client was ready to make an offer on the property.
However, there was one final hurdle that the buyer had passed before he could move forward with the purchase. My client have to have approval from his wife, who at the time was living in New York. We arranged to have the buyer’s wife travel from New York on a Friday morning so that she could see the home and sign off on the purchase.
After the tour, I called the real estate agent who listed the home to discuss the property and to explain that I had a buyer who was interested in making an offer on his Ellicott City listing. I left him multiple voicemail messages and sent him multiple e-mail messages to follow up as well. Unfortunately, I never heard back from him.
When Friday arrived, I met the buyer and his wife at the closest train station to Ellicott City and we went to visit the home once again.
As we pulled into the driveway of the house, we noticed that there was a termite inspector truck parked in front property. Though it was possible that the sellers had hired the termite inspector to come complete a report on the property, I immediately realized that this may be an issue. Typically the termite inspector is hired by the buyer during the home inspection phase of the purchase process.
As we walked into the home we realized that there were other parties in the house as well. There was the termite inspector, a home inspector and two real estate agents. One of the real estate agents approached me and asked who I was. I explained that I was representing a buyer who was interested in the property.
She then dashed my client’s dreams as she explained the property was already under contract with a buyer she represented. She also explained the property had been under contract for two weeks.
Beside the disappointment of not being able to purchase his dream home, there was also the added inconvenience and stress that resulted from my buyer’s wife taking the train down from New York to come to Ellicott City to view the property prior to writing the offer. Several hours on the train and hundreds of dollars later, my client’s wife essentially wasted her entire day to view a property that was no longer available for sale.
There is no question that this additional hassle and cost for my clients were the result of a lazy and incompetent real estate agent who was working for the seller. This real estate agent could not be bothered to keep his listing properly up to date in the multiple listing service. With a couple of mouse clicks and a few seconds of time this real estate agent could have saved my client undue stress, hours of travel and hundreds of dollars.
Not only was the real estate agent who was working for the seller at fault, but the buyer’s real estate agent who was at the Ellicott City property when we arrived also shares some of the blame. It is in this buyer’s best interest that the property is properly listed in the multiple listing service. This buyer’s real estate agent should have been checking this listing to make sure that it was actually shown as being under contract to protect her client’s best interest.
I cannot tell you how many calls I get each day from potential buyers who are interested in properties that are not listed properly in the multiple listing service. They will see these properties online being listed as active and after some investigation it turns out that they are no longer active, are under contract, or are no longer on the market. If you are considering purchasing a home is in your best interest to have a real estate agent represent you that can sort through the multiple listing service to let you know which properties are actually available and under which terms.
Unfortunately for the seller of this property, this story does not end here. Read the next installment (click here) to find out how this real estate agent cost his client the sale of this Ellicott City property and nearly $80,000 by not keeping the multiple listing service details up to date.