Idaho Real Estate >> ID Real Estate Specialist


What is this Seller thinking!?


I have not posted anything on AR for awhile because I have been focusing on Localism but I had an experience last week that through me for a loop.  I have been working with a buyer from California that has been asking me for weeks now to give her more information on properties she finds on my website. 

Recently my buyer emailed me and asked me to send her more information on a home that was new on the market in our area.  When I looked up this property I was surprised to say the least when I read in the comments this language the listing agent had placed in the Realtor section of the MLS printout:

"Please present all offers direct to seller. Fax a copy of accepted offer to 000-000-000"

I removed the fax number from the printout.  I have been in the real estate business for over 27 1/2 years and have seen a lot of things but this blew me away.

I had to call the seller because there were no photos posted on the MLS and my buyer wanted photos of the home to see if she was interested.  I called the seller to see if I could go over to take some photos and she was very, very pleasant to me.  She said, "you mean there are no photos on the MLS of my home?"  I said not at this time and my buyer wanted some photos soon.

The seller then asked me "do you think I did the right thing listing with the company I listed with"?  Obviously I could not say anything and told her I could not comment.  She then said "Well is it common for a Realtor to not counsel a Seller when an offer comes in?"  I simply replied, "no maam it is not common but this is something you will need to discuss with your Realtor".

Are any of you out there seeing this kind of thing happening in your area?  It makes me wonder what is next, will sellers have to send us a text message when another Realtor sells their home?


Marketed By: George Tallabas - Boise Idaho Real Estate Agent - Associate Broker 
with RE/MAX Advantage, Canyon Counties #1 Brokerage in sales and listings
specializing in Boise Idaho Real Estate and Southwest Idaho Real Estate.

Native Idahoan and Boise Idaho Real Estate specialist serving Boise, Meridian Eagle, Nampa, Caldwell and the surrounding Treasure valley area of southwest Idaho. Specializing in residential, investment, land and commercial real estate. Search thousands of MLS listings at Boise Homes for sale and learn all about Idaho by visiting Search Idaho Homes

Comment balloon 95 commentsGeorge Tallabas • April 28 2007 02:40PM


Sounds like limited service representation. Is it an open listing?
Posted by Roberta Murphy, Carlsbad Real Estate and Homes (San Diego Previews Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

Thanks Roberta....this is an "Exlusive Listing" which just blows me away.

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
We see them a lot - it is frustrating because if you do write an offer you ultimately end up working both sides of the transaction even though you do not represent the seller - it becomes in the best interest of the buyer to make sure the seller understands the offer and the details of the offer - as my kids say - IT BLOWS - our MLS is trying to not allow these listings... so far they have been able to weed a few out but they are still there just word their info differently
Posted by Thesa Chambers, Principal Broker - Licensed in Oregon (Fred Real Estate Group) almost 12 years ago
And you contact seller's directly?  It sounded like a limited service co. to me as well...
Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) almost 12 years ago
Wow Thesa...I cannot understand why a buyer would put themselves in a situation like that.  She lady was so nice and she did not deserve this.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
It smacks of 'limited' service to me as well and no, I haven't seen something quite like this in our market.
Posted by Christina Ethridge (The North Idaho Dream Team powered by SKE Realty Group) almost 12 years ago
Thanks Sally...I cannot understand why a seller would signup for a company like that.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
Thanks Christina...I can't imagine where this is going. God help us all!
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago

I'm with Thesa.  It's twice the work because it's limited service. 

George, in our area we have a few companies that will put your home in the MLS for $xxx.xx.  You have to verify all fees for your buyers, restrictions, etc.  because you're just not sure how careful the "MLS" inputer (is that a word?) has been.   As the buyer's rep you end up holding everybody's hand and doing all the work.  It would be fairly easy to take advantage of the seller in these situations, they have no guidance, advise or professional reprentation.  I can't imagine why they do this to themselves and jeopardise their home and their fortunes.


Posted by Chris Griffith, Bonita Springs Listing Agent (Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL) almost 12 years ago
That seems WORSE than limited service.  That is just downright wrong.  The seller is not being represented.  Wonder what E&O carriers think of this?
Posted by Debbie White (Southeast Alaska Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

This must be one of those discount brokerage firms that charge low commissions and does even less. If not, I would be screaming if I was the seller.

As for as pictures, our association requires a minimum of three pictures to place a listing into the MLS.

Century 21 Anderson Properties (864) 221-7992

Posted by Michael Thompson, MBA (CENTURY 21 Anderson Properties, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Chris...this lady was so nice and I felt so sorry for her...and it's a $285,000 home which is upper end for our area.

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago are so right...I don't know how Realtors like that sleep at night.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
Michael...what makes it worse is that this Realtor is charging this seller a full 6% commission!  I know it is legal but it doesn't make it right!
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
6% = Crime for that type of service.  What a shame.
Posted by Chris Griffith, Bonita Springs Listing Agent (Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL) almost 12 years ago
We have lots of those in our area. Many don't even want the offer faxed - they say "Fax the HUD settlement statement to xxx-xxx-xxxx "so that you can be credited for the sale".
Posted by Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS (Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International) almost 12 years ago
George, Sounds like the lady does not have the "full" service she is paying for.You would expect something like that from a discount broker. Thats just not right!
Posted by Suzanne Sands, Somerset MA Real Estate (Pavao Real Estate) almost 12 years ago
It was clearly stated by the author in his response that this is not "limited service".  Sounds like this seller just hooked up with an agency that is too busy to represent her properly, or just doesn't care- poor representation comes in all forms!  How sad for her, but it looks like she'll sell her house...
Posted by Laurie Mindnich almost 12 years ago

George - My favorite is, to paraphrase:  "All showings and offers to be handled through seller. Call Listing Office when contract is accepted and when sale has closed."

Gee...they want us to update them when their listings go pending and close?  Shouldn't they at least be aware of these two things?



Posted by Don Fabrizio-Garcia, Owner/Broker/Trainer - Fab Real Estate (Fab Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

That is incredible.  I would not like to be on the other side of that agent.  I am sure they will not be around long with that type of service.  If they continue to gain clients they will accumulate complaints or worse.

To make things worse, I am guessing they probably advertised full service to that client.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 12 years ago
Yes it is a crime Chris!
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago

What a shame Sharon.  I can't believe it.

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago

If the seller chose the realtor because they were willing to list it for a very small percentage, it sounds perfectly reasonable.  If the seller is paying full price that is a bit weird.

Posted by Daniel Gates (Insure Consulting) almost 12 years ago
Yes Suzanne and this Lady is the sweetest lady
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
Thanks Laurie...this is so sad for our idustry
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
Don...things have really changed since I started in 1980!X
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago are so very right my friend.

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago

George - I see that alot ONLY with the discount or flat fee brokerage firms.   It seems that those companies all have you contact the seller direct and usually lacks any photos or descriptions.  

You get what you pay for i guess?  Even though I would think this has to be some violation of the laws were are supposed to be following with regards to representation of sellers...   well one would think so <shrug>

Posted by Desiree Daniels (RE/MAX Tri County) almost 12 years ago
Desiree...I don't care what anyone calls it my friend.  It may be perfectly legal but it is down right wrong!
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
We have open listings but they are FSBOs. In my system it has a disclaimer saying only call this seller if you have a buyer do not solicit the listing. I feel so bad for her. In NY we never had dual agency until this year. In NY buyer and seller have to have attorney's. When I started my broker taught me to always do everything to stay on top of everything never assume the other agent knows what they are doing. I hope your buyers want to buy her house and you can broker a win win.
Posted by Mitchell J Hall, Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn (The Corcoran Group) almost 12 years ago
Blows me away Mitchell....I hope someone does something about it!
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
George, I believe this was common in NV for awhile and the division put the skids to it.  All prior to be obtaining my license here so this is just word on the streets.  It probably had something to do with a limited service a la carte listing service (avoiding the naughty "c" word!)
Posted by Renée Donohue~Home Photography, Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer (Savvy Home Pix) almost 12 years ago

Wow, great work if you can get it!  I don't understand, I'm a discounter and I offer full-service which seems like it would be a great deal and I still have to fight for listings.  How do these guys get away with this stuff?


R.B. "Bob" Mitchell

ValueList Real Estate Services, Inc. 

Posted by R. B. "Bob" Mitchell - Loan Officer Raleigh/Durham, Bob Mitchell (NMLS#1046286) (Bank of England (NMLS#418481)) almost 12 years ago
I have never heard of this type of handling of a buyers things happen every day...thats why we share our experiences on AR.
Posted by Maurice McLaughlin, Maurice McLaughlin (Nations Princeton-Nassau Inc. d/b/a NATIONS) almost 12 years ago
I have heard this is how limited service works. I haven't seen one myself yet though. The seller should have known, the agent should have told her.
Posted by Christy Powers, Pooler, Savannah Real Estate Agent (Keller Williams Coastal Area Partners) almost 12 years ago


Very common here and I wouldn't put anything past some of people here in Florida

Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (eXp Realty) almost 12 years ago
I feel really bad for this lady.  She obviously didn't interview more than one agent to list her home, and just ended up with the wrong one.  Her agent saw an opportunity to make a full commission and do little to no work for it.  It's just not right.  And the worst part is that you can't tell her that she has a bad agent.
Posted by Jim & Maria Hart, Charleston, SC Real Estate (Brand Name Real Estate) almost 12 years ago
Wow, this sets a new low for limited service. The only thing I can see that the agent did is MLS entry, and with no photos! Hopefully this is a very short-term listing so the seller can find another agent.
Posted by John Novak, Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace) almost 12 years ago

Sounds like she is going FSBO... but paying a brokerage to do so!

How sad. The Exclusive Listing broker/agent should be ashamed. Seems like it violates our ethics.

Posted by Debi Braulik, Selling Maple Valley to Fife WA Homes For Sale ( almost 12 years ago
I've seen a few listings like this in my area.  I feel it's an ethics violation. 
Posted by Chris Griffith, Bonita Springs Listing Agent (Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL) almost 12 years ago
It sounds FSBO... but they paid the other agent a small fee just to submit it through MLS to get more exposure.
Posted by Carol Williams, Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager (Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals.) almost 12 years ago

Renee - Unbelievable...they need to be hung by their toes!

Bob - I would too like to know how they get away with it

Maurice - It is very new to me as well and I thought I had seen it all!

Christy - I think the seller was very innocent and thought this is how things worked!

Neal - If it is common there you need to move!

Jim & Maria - Very true, I suspect this agent was referred to her

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago

John - Amen my friend!  It is a new low for sure!

Debi - So very true...I don't know how this agent looks in the mirror!

Chris - I hope someone does something about it.  I can't even refer to them as Realtors!

Carol - This poor lady is paying a full brokerage fee!

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
George there are quire a few of those in my market. Usually they are companies that just place your property in the MLS for a flat fee.  That is their service.  So she probably got what she paid for. These listings  are just glorified FSBOs.
Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) almost 12 years ago

George, I can't imagine anyone charging 6% for this! OK, I can't imagine the whole "limited service" concept anyway. It is no service to the sellers, who don't get any counsel, advice, or expertise, and it throws double the work on the poor selling agent... But at least most of these companies have the honesty to admit their (lack of) service isn't worth much, and so charge a minimal fee!

I wonder what the actual listing agreement says...maybe the seller would have some cause for action, or at least a complete with the local board??

Posted by Laura Warden Nordin, 30-year Top Producer in Greater ABQ Real Estate (Century 21 Camco Realty) almost 12 years ago

We never really know what the owner contracted for in the listing agreement.  Sellers have a way of making the agent the bad guy.  If it is an "Exclusive Right To Sell", they may have agreed on something different than what most of us would believe was normal. 

We have a lot of "Exclusive Agency" listings here where all offers and questions go directly to the seller.  But, the listing broker is only charging $200-400 depending on whether the seller wants a sign and a lock box. 

I really like these listing because when dealing directly with the seller, I can get a very good deal in price, terms and conditions for my buyers. 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

Hi George - I just saw those exact same comments on a listing here in my area just a few days ago.  I looked at that, thought about it, sent the listing to my buyer anyway, and hoped that it was not a listing she'd be interested in.  As it turns out, it wasn't anything of interest to her.  I had to deal with a non-represented seller who had paid short dollars to get into the MLS earlier this year, and that was no fun at all.  I wrote a post on it because it was such an unpleasant experience.  Obviously this seller it beginning to doubt her actions in hiring that company - hopefully she'll contact you when she realizes she didn't go the right thing for her.

Sellers look at the short dollar, not realizing just how much non-representation really can cost them in their bottom dollar and wasted time.


Posted by Ann Cummings, Portsmouth NH Real Estate Preferrable Agent (RE/MAX Shoreline - NH and Maine) almost 12 years ago

Yes, I showed a home in our area, where I had to contact the seller to schedule the showing and if the buyers were interested, I had to fax the offer directly to the seller.  Where is their agent?  Who knows!

I also had a buyer client purchase a home a couple of years ago, where the listing agent didn't go to the closing and the seller was all alone.  She said he doesn't go to closings.  I felt sorry for her, because I know she had some questions when reviewing the closing paperwork, but only the settlement agent could explain things to her.  I'm not allowed since she wasn't my client.

I don't think this is right.  With real estate being as complex as it can be in many cases, one needs an experienced agent on their side.  That's not what service is supposed to be. 

Posted by Dan Weis almost 12 years ago

Kind of makes you think of Tom Sawyer getting other people to paint the fence.  Don't offer or do enough work and the buyer's agent will to it.  Nice people to work with.

A close cousin of the buyer agent who lets the people run all over the country with you, then shows up on paper at offer time and in body for the commission split.  I know of one that didn't do anything, jeopardizing the deal.

Posted by Paula Walter, Ph.D. e-Pro REALTOR (Realty Executives of Kansas City) almost 12 years ago

We see a fair number of these here. They are open listings - MLS notes that all negotiations are with the seller. Agent is to be notified once home sell (but apparently does nothing except post the listing). Sounds like this seller was taken for a ride and didn't have clue about what she was getting into or what "services" she was getting. Others, I suspect DO want to be in the drivers seat and handle it all on their own...i.e., an unrepresented seller with an MLS listing.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) almost 12 years ago

Bryant - this agent (I cannot call them a Realtor!) is charging this seller a full 6% commission!

Laura -  You are right.  This agent should be investigated

Lenn - Times have sure changed!

Ann - I believe the seller was a victim. 

Dan - Amazing!  These agents must not have a conscious!

Paula - So very right my friend

Jeff - This industry needs to be cleaned up!


Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
What a tragedy that the seller is paying full commission! In California we called them Open Listings! Here in New Jersey, you have to read the listing notes very carefully. In our MLS, Monmouth Ocean there is no designation for such a type of listing. Everyone loses!
Posted by Marla Trussell almost 12 years ago
Thanks Marla...yes it is a tragedy the seller is paying a full commission for "No Service" and that there are agents out there like this one.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
Maybe this would be a good one to use that code of ethics 16-4 clause that says you can discuss terms of a future listing if the current listing agent doesn't tell you when the listing expires.
Posted by Tim Maitski, Truth, Excellence and a Good Deal (Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage) almost 12 years ago
Thanks Tim....this really has me fried! 
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
We have some of those types of listings in my market.  They usually fall under the "alternative business model" umbrella.  Our market created them because for a year or two, homes seemed to sell themselves (at least that is what the public thought).  Not the case anymore.  It is a buyer's market and homes need good marketing to sell.  I thank these companies for giving me plenty of expired listings to service.  ;)
Posted by Valerie Baldwin, Harvey, Gresham Oregon Real Estate (John L. Scott Sandy) almost 12 years ago

We see a lot of those "limited service" or worse yet "no service" listings in the mls. I beleive we will soon need to have a "bill of services" for each side in order to get paid. Why should we as selling agents provide our services to the listing side?  The seller's generally haven't got a clue...

Just my 2 cents.


Posted by Kristal Kraft, Selling Metro Denver Real Estate - 303-589-2022 (The Berkshire Group Realtors) almost 12 years ago
Thanks Valerie....I can't believe how these agents can look themselves in the mirror
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
Kristal...very true my friend.  If I would have sold this home and done all the work why should the listing agent get a dime?
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
Thanks Rob...seller was under contract with an agent (cannot call him a Realtor!) and I just respected that contractual agreement.  You better beleive I wanted to say more!
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago

These limited service listings are not uncommon in our area. There is nothing wrong with limited service. The problem is that there does not appear to have been adequate disclosure here. Or at least that's how it looks from this end.

Part of the problem is that some agents practicing limited service don't appear to be interested in lengthy discussion of what additional responsibilities will then fall on the seller. The other problem is that too many sellers (heck, people for that matter) don't read what they sign! As my husband said he learned in business law "A signature is not mere ornamentation!"

No way to know where the problem lies here with the information you've got. Are there any specific disclosures required in ID for limited service brokers?

Posted by Julie Emery (Century 21 New Millennium) almost 12 years ago

Thanks Julie...each to thier own.  I believe in integrity and honor

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
Sounds like this poor lady did not have a good day!
Posted by Sue Argue, NH Home Stager (Staged First Impressions) almost 12 years ago

Is the listing agent new?  Our mls does not allow at least a front photo.  It really is a shame not to add additional photos.  Pictures are worth a 1000 words.

Posted by Kay Van Kampen, Realtor®, Springfield Mo Real Estate (RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX) almost 12 years ago
Just another victom of a predator Sue
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
I have not idea who the agent is Kay and have never heard of the company.  I hope I never deal with them again.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
This is a sore subject for me at times George. Let me tell you about a similar situation from last summer. I was working with a fabulous local couple who wanted to get a larger home. I listed their home (beautiful, immaculate listing) and had it sold in 10 days. No real surprise there. I had been sending these folks some listings that fit their parameters for a few weeks and we'd done some touring of listings but hadn't found anything yet that really tripped their trigger. They call me the day after we got the contract on their home and say "We found the home we want to buy." I'm thinking, great! Then they say "It's listed by owner and we've already walked through it." Well, of course now I'm thinking it's a good thing I had them sign a Buyer's Agency Agreement to protect myself. But then they tell me that the seller had already agreed to paying me my commission. OK, so they tell me they're ready to write an offer on it and ask me to call the seller to work out the details. I call the seller and she tells me that the home is listed on the MLS so I go do a search. Nothing, nada. I call her back and ask her when she signed the listing agreement and she says "3 days ago." Well, it's not there so I go ahead and write up the offer anyway and get with her to work out the details. Later that afternoon, we have a signed, executable contract and everyone's happy. Through the course of our working together, I ask her more about her "listing" and she tells me that she paid an agent $500 to just put her house on the MLS and that he would not deal directly with any agents or hep with any paperwork. OK, so 2 days later, I finally find the listing on the MLS, with no pictures and very little information. The comments section reads something like this: "All questions and negotiations will be handled by the seller. Call Jane Doe @ 555-1234 for information." So, basically, this clown is taking $500 from people and finally getting their info on the MLS about a week later. In this particular case, we had the house sold and done long before he ever even did what he was paid to do. I of course made sure the seller was aware of this but the worst thing about these kinds of "agents" is that the buyer's agent ends up doing twice the work and doesn't get paid for that extra work. Personally, I think it's wrong and should not be allowed.
Posted by Ryan Hukill - Edmond, Realtor, Team Lead (ShowMeOKC Real Estate Pros of KW Elite) almost 12 years ago
Thanks Ryan...I agree with you.  Have a great evening
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
This would be called limited representation in our area. Or incompetence!
Posted by Wayne B. Pruner, Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI (Oregon First) almost 12 years ago
Very true Wayne, thanks
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago

I have seen a few times now and it really scares me. Even my own brother-in-laws parents in a different state listed with one of these companies. They used the excuse that it saved them on commission. Guess what no photos, no showings and now they have had the home listed 6 months and 6 more months of mortgage payments. They paid this agent upfront and don't pay a commission a flat $1500 fee. So 6 months of payments and $1500 = Saved the commission? Amazing isn't it! I investigated the agent and he worked at a big box store during the day and this was his way of making extra money. He didn't have to work the property, just got a check up front and placed a sign in the yard!

Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) almost 12 years ago

George...I have seen this sort of thing in our area from discount brokers that provide what is called "entry only" listings to our MLS.  That is ALL they do.  Appointments are made directly with the seller and offers are presented the same way.  There is no representation afforded the seller which, as you know, is a huge mistake IMHO.


Jay Burnham, VP
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
North Shore, Massachusetts 





Posted by Jay Burnham, The Coldwell Banker Guy (Coldwell Banker) almost 12 years ago

George - I am working with a couple that wants me to stage a vacation home they own that is over an hour away from my home.  I wanted to get as much info as possible before making the trip.  I asked them how long the home had been on the market - 8 mo.  I asked why they think it is not selling - not sure.  I went to look it up on MLS so I could check out the homes condition - it was not there.  I asked the homeowners what the MLS # was - they didn't know. I asked how long their contract was with the agent - I thought maybe it had lapsed.  They informed me that they did not have a contract with him, had never signed anything but they had spoken to the agent that week - he had assured them he was working on it.  

As you know I'm not a realtor but if you home is not listed on MSL, in my opinion it is not really for sale.  This particular area is very popular with the NYC skiing crowd so having the listing on the internet is crucial.  

I really blame the sellers.  I think you need to check out your agent and look at the MLS photos etc.   

I'm in the process of helping them find a savvy realtor.  OF course I checked AR first! 

Posted by Maureen Maureen almost 12 years ago
Hi, George!  Wow, I'm really late to this party!  This is NOT usual in my area.  I've never seen anything like this.  I think about the worst we have is the discount brokerages that will have the sellers host their own open houses and so on.  I feel for those sellers, they probably didn't interview anyone else and had no idea the lack of service they were receiving.
Posted by Sarah Cooper (Real Estate Shows) almost 12 years ago

Ethan - Thank you

Todd - This scares me too

Jay - Thanks for your input

Maureen - I have a cool way of find good Realtors.  Let me know if I can help

Sarah - Thank you and have a great day

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago

Since many home owners only sell a few times in their life, they really just do not understand what is the difference between these 2 models of the realty business, Full service vs limited service. That agent must not have explained the difference. Do Limited Service Agents by law have to fully explain this? We currently do not have any of these types of companies in our marketplace. I would like to see a copy of this type of agreement for my educational benefit of knowing what is in the contact and as to how it is disclosed. Does any one know where to get this information on this limited listing agreement, maybe it could be posted so we all can see that information. Seems to be a secret... as it is not on Zzip forms.

Posted by Mary Strang almost 12 years ago
Very true Mary and I feel very sad for this seller.  She is a sweet, sweet lady.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago

George, OMG you have to many comments here for me to read them all. I hope that I do not repeat what others may have said.

This is Limited Representation. Plain and Simple. The Agent may indeed have an exclusive Listing but she is definetely practicing Limited Rep.

In regards to the age old question of " How can a Seller sign with an agent/company like this?" Simple she asked them to.

Posted by Herb Hamilton, Real Estate Broker ,CDPE, Downtown Portland (RE/MAX Preferred Inc. Realtors) almost 12 years ago


 Sounds familiar, we have limited service Realtors Here 1%, Flat Fee and No Fee Realty( not sure how that works), As many have alreay commented here, the consumer does not understand, we need to try and do a better job educating the Consumer that a lot of our Commission is used to promote the Home to Buyers and sharing with the Selling Agent, These business models are piggy backing on years of building a MLS syetm that allows Consumers and Realtors an opportunity to Find and Sell homes to them and their clients. In our Area, the Government says we're in inloved in the Completion Laws if we refuse to accept their listings on MLS, the problem is, the Public is not well served by these Business models,it can be very misleading and as others have alreay said here, we end up doing there job too.

Here we have to offer a share of our Commission to these business models, while they offer little or no Commission for the Selling side. In fact one of these Realtor openly advertise's he'll give the Selling Commission to any buyer who listed and buys their home through him. So he's using our Commission against us, and competing with us with a 1% business Models, Good News, he has a very small market share and many of his listing expire. We are allowed to show a home owner on listing appointments a graph indicating the history of sales compared to our office,if a home owner asks if I'll match the other business model rate I say no, "I'm not sure what part of my marketing I would eliminate" I have a full marketing program, that I use to promote my listing, that works well for selling homes and properties.

 I know Buyer agency is the answer, but still the public needs to understand  what they're getting with these limited service business model Realtors.

Thanks for the Story George, Keep us all on our Toes,

Cheers, have an awesome day! :)

Posted by Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation, Accredited Real Estate Consultant (RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate) almost 12 years ago
Thanks Herb....I totally understand "Limited Service" but I don't feel this agent respected this seller enough to explain everything to her.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
Tahnks Fred....The business has certainly changed in the years I have been in business and I can honestly say everything I see is not in the best interest of our clients/customers.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago

I beleve that you are right George. In Oregon we have a 2 page Agency disclosure pamplet which discloses all of the requirements of Agency to Buyers and Sellers. Although this form at this time has no place for signatures, our office policy is to have our clients read and sign it.


Posted by Herb Hamilton, Real Estate Broker ,CDPE, Downtown Portland (RE/MAX Preferred Inc. Realtors) almost 12 years ago
Thank you Herb....I just wish this agent would have been up front and honest with this wonderful seller.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
We have a new minimum services requirement in Illinois to avoid such problems.  We saw this with discount brokerages who only put the info in the MLS and nothing else.  Now we have to fax the offer to their office.  Oh, and good luck getting a hold of anybody by phone...  Sherry
Posted by Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL (Prudential Rubloff ) almost 12 years ago
Thank you Sherry....this just amazes me.  I wish you all well.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago

That sounds insane! I could not imagine that kind of service or to be in that position. That doesn't sound right and I am sorry but sounds alittle shady to me.

Maureen Staccato

Posted by MAUREEN STACCATO almost 12 years ago
Thank you Maureen...I agree it is very shady.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
Here in my area of New York we have several reputable brokers who in addition to providing traditional, full service representation, also cater to the FSBO market by providing a Flat Fee MLS listing. For an average fee of 600 - 800 they will promptly list a sellers home, complete with photos. One requirement that they all seem to make is that the sellers must agree and the listing must state that a BA will be payed anywhere from 2% to 3.5%. Appointmets to show the home must be made through the buyer, but all offers must be submitted to the Seller's attorney. This seems like a win - win to me since the listing agency makes some money that they would not have received otherwise from a FSBO, and if the sale is successfull, the seller saves half the commision. Buyers agents are, for the most part unaffected except that offers through the attorney are limited to business hours, which is not so bad, at least in the current market. The broker who facilitated the listing also has the inside track on converting the FSBO to full service if the seller is so inclined.
Posted by Chris Carlson almost 12 years ago

Yes, here in the Poconos we have seen it also.  And each time it has occurred we run into a very upset seller who did not realize and/or was never told that basically they would be going through the transaction alone. It's a darn shame.  Just another item to give Realtors a bad name. These types of companies should be outlawed or required to supply their own disclosure to the seller/client.

Thanks for the info. Glad to hear we are not alone. 

Posted by Bobbie Smith, 570-242-1891 almost 12 years ago

Chris - Thanks for the input

Bobbie - Thank you and you are not alone...LOL

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
George, thanks for the post.  My jaw dropped when I read that this listing is an exclusive right to sell & not limited service.  I hope the homeowner realizes the problem, and, gets an unconditional withdrawal! The homeowner should report this agent to the Board of Realtors. 
Posted by Maria "Antoinette" Scognamiglio, GRI, ASP, There's no substitute for EXPERIENCE! (Coldwell Banker Realtors) almost 12 years ago
Pathetic service like this gives everyone in this profession a black eye.  Whoever took that listing won't be in business very long.
Posted by Ross Willingham, Realtor Associate (Tomson Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

Antoinette - Thank you has shocked a lot of people

Ross - Yes it is pathetic Ross

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
I am the preferred lender in a local real estate office in Wilmington, NC.  One of the realtors here was looking up some property on the MLS.  She found one listed for 2.5 million.  There was not one picture.  Who would list 2.5 million dollar home and not post any pictures?  I think that seller needs a new agent!  LOL
Posted by Tony D. Howell (The best place EVER!) almost 12 years ago
Thanks Tony, there is a lot of dead wood in our industry and our industries image is really suffering because of it. Thanks for your imput an have a great day.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago