How not to hold a broker open house

I was just at another Riverside house, where the listing agent brought along a friend to entertain her, apparently, because the two ladies sat in the kitchen chatting with each other while we snooks wandered through by ourselves.
A good agent at least pretends to be interested in selling  selling her client’s house and makes herself available to answer questions and perhaps even point out features that otherwise might be missed. I guess this one figures that with the Riverside market so hot the house will sell itself. Such easy work for $50,000, or so they think. Spring always brings out a new flock of agents, mostly bored housewives who think would be fun to get rich selling their fellow PTA and Garden Club mommies’s houses. A few stick around and do well; the others discover that there’s work involved, fly off to Nantucket for the summer and we don’t see them again.

25 Comments

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25 responses to “How not to hold a broker open house

  1. The New Normal

    TINA!

    suckers gotta buy, so why put in more effort than needed!

  2. w b h

    I came across the same agent in two of her over-priced listing open houses recently. In each case her total attention was devoted to her text messaging/emailing on her smart phone, barely acknowledging the agents visiting her open house. It’s so hard to get good help, isn’t it?

  3. Anonymous

    Is this the house on Riverside lane near finney ?

  4. OG Gal

    On another subject…CF did you ever get to see 36 Highview Ave in OG and what were your thoughts? I am curious. I never heard anything after the realtor representing the buyers got “huffy”.

  5. Anonymous

    Come on chris,
    Man up
    Maybe she saw it was you, and ducked into her smart phone.
    A lot of people around here simply don’t want to do business with you.
    And there are plenty of buyers and too few listings.
    So yes, one can be selective.
    BTW, why are you always representing the buyer and never a seller??
    Where’s Walt when we need him ?
    Palm Beach?
    St. barths?
    Augusta?
    Or was he the masked gunmen pummeled at GHS?

    • Brilliant observations. A large fellow agent is now a “smart phone”, an agent is willing to ignore five agents in order to avoid me and if there’s an agent “who simply doesn’t want to do business with me”, I hope that before she takes their listing she warns customers of her intention to only do business with agents she likes personally.

      • LA's Drinking Buddy

        In NY, unless the buyer’s agent is being remunerated directly by the buyer, *both* agents have fiduciary responsibility to the seller. Like that in CT as well?

        • It’s the buyers rep here in Connecticut who owes the fiduciary duty to the buyer and solely to the buyer, while the seller’s agent represents and owes that duty only to the seller (although he or she must disclose “material factors”). For that reason, I’ve never understood buyers who proudly proclaim that”they only deal with the listing agent”. Listing agents love it – they pocket twice the commission, but why would a buyer forego the representation of an agent who is there to protect him and represent his interests? Beats me.

        • anonymous

          Yeah, but the seller pays the commission to the selling broker, who then splits it with the buyer’s broker, so in fact both brokers represent the seller.

          • No, you are exactly wrong. Connecticut and many other states have enacted laws that change the old common law rule of agency so that buyers’ agents are no longer deemed to be acting as a subagent of the listing agent, despite receiving 1/2 the total commission, and are now deemed to be agents of their buyer.

        • anonymous

          I did not know that bit about new CT law saying the buyers agent represents the buyer even if he’s paid by the seller. Just was looking at property in Vermont as potential buyer, and had to sign all sorts of disclosure forms for my agent saying in effect I was aware he was working for and paid by the sellers even though he was taking me around.

  6. Libertarian Advocate

    Anonymous: The first rule of sales is: Never, EVER, assume that a walk in isn’t a real customer. Chris is a buyer’s agent, he has clients and he sells houses. Your snark approaches defamation. Tread carefully.

    • Thanks, Libby, but I sold $20 million last year; I rather suspect that the bitter commenter did not (she’d have to be in the top 10% of agents and she doesn’t sound that way), so like water off a duck’s back …

      • Walt

        Dude –
        You sold $20 million last year? Of what? Dirt? That is a boat load of doublewides. But good for you!!

        So let’s do the math, shall we? 6% of $20 million scatolas is $89k, right? Deduct gas, auto expense, insurance, and add back the silverware and sundries you clipped at open houses and you cleared a good $45k. Am I right? That buys a rot of ruv at Mama sans!! You little devil.

        And the comment about people not wanting to do business with you? What is that snarky little comment all about? Buying a house in Greenwich is the biggest financial decision the pigeon… the buyer will ever make. So is he just going to let some idiot represent him? NO!! He is going to pick the best idiot available, and I am confident that is you my friend.

        But I don’t doubt some of these frigid little blue hairs avoid you. They are self-centered, petty little hause fraus, pretending to be “professionals”, who could care less about the folks they represent. And a sense of humor is as foreign to them as a black Jewish midget.

        You aren’t a black Jewish midget by any chance, are you Dude? I would so love that and hire you in a heartbeat!!

        Your Pal.
        Walt

  7. Anonymous

    I just find it interesting that someone who spends as much of his time blogging as CF does, actually mocks the “Greenwich housewives” for not being hard workers. Do they spend any more time in Nantucket than CF spends online finding the incredibly random (albeit entertaining) news items he blogs about? How tough can selling real estate be when a broker in the top 10% also has the time to be online blogging all day? Just asking…but I love the blog.

    • Ha – I’d never claim peddling dirt was hard work – why do you think I’m in this racket? But there is work involved, however minimal, and part of that involves taking the time to get out twice a week to view the inventory so we can actually provide useful information to clients about what’s out there and comparative values. Anyone can do it, but of the 900+ agents in town, probably no more than fifty are familiar faces on the circuit.
      Nothing against mommies – I had one myself, long ago, but it’s my impression that most of the agents too busy to spend time at this are mommies with small children and understandably, would prefer to work at the far more worthwhile activity of raising them instead of cruising around town looking at other people’s houses.
      But this really isn’t a part time job, even if it does leave plenty of time to write for those of us with zero social life.

    • anonymous

      Hmmm, I suspect if you ask Chris, most of his clients come are readers of this blog. Working on this blog = work. Entertaining work, perhaps, but work.

  8. Anonymous

    How about the listing agent for a 3 million dollar house in Millbrook showing up at 10:20 for a broker open house that began at 10:00. Really bad form!!

  9. Anonymous

    to anonymous above – the same argument applies to the “PTA and garden club mommies.” PTA meetings and garden clubs = networking and meeting people; same people hopefully buy or sell a house one day. What;s the difference between that and blogging to attract clients?

    • It only matters if the PTA/Garden Club mommy never leaves her friends behind and actually goes out to see houses. Engaging in venomous gossip and swapping harrowing tales of potty training are time honored methods of networking and meeting people of like minds, but without a knowledge of real estate, all that practiced charm goes to waste.

  10. Anonymous

    It simply amazes me that people select their listing agent as a friend and pay no attention to the effort put into selling their home. Many many agents do not show their own listing and send a newbie. Their negotiating skills leave a lot to be desired. they stand around and gossip and dont sell the house. They never have a plot plan or a hand out packet to clearly describe the home or land they are selling. A good agent is worth every bit of the commission paid but they are few and far between

  11. FF

    The buyers agent is not paid by the seller, the buyers agent is paid by the seller’s broker, a very important distinction. That’s why they changed the term to “Cooperating Broker Fee”