Antonio & Alexia's Blog


Home Sellers Should Go Undercover, Pose as Home Buyers to See How Potential Listing Agents Work

If a future home seller would take the time to check the credentials of potential listing agents, they could very easily weed out those who are not fitted for the job. After all, a listing agreement presently will tie up the seller to his Realtor of choice for about 4 to 6 months. If you, as a home seller, have the wrong representation, it's your fault. You, Mr. Seller did not do your homework, as simple as that.

Your house as seen by others... A quick look at my MLS, here in Alameda County, on the East shores of the San Francisco Bay, shows an incredible array of listings of all types. The ones that stand a good chance of attracting a home buyer, are those that simply have the basic information, i.e. a few photograhs, a good description of the property on the remark section, and an easy to find listing agent with an office with a person who actually answers the phone during normal working hours. A few Realtors even have the audacity to write on the comment section for other Realtors: "NO calls, only emails."

The person who is going to be selling a property, should call on one of the listings of the Realtor he is thinking of giving the listing to and pose as a home buyer. Many things could come out of that conversation that could help decide whether this individual is the right person for the job. Here is a short list of the items to look for.

  1. How quickly does this Realtor responds to calls?
  2. Make a tentative appointment to see the house. How flexible is this person?
  3. Is this Realtor eager and available to show the house within hours?
  4. Ask where on the Internet you can find more information about the house
  5. Compare the Realtor's web site with others. How do the listings show?
  6. Is the site easy to navigate? Is information clearly presented?
  7. How well does this Realtor know your neighborhood? How does he sells it?

In my area, I know there are a couple of listings that will probably never sell! One has a Realtor that works about 3 hours away. I can just imagine, how he reacts when someone calls and ask to see the house. Obviously, he just expects that putting the house on the Realtors MLS, another Realtor will sell it for him. Another moved out of state but still comes every now and then and lists homes for sale and his co-workers sort of take care of his business. If these sellers would have just made a couple of phone calls, and pretend they were home buyers, they would have seen how bad these houses were represented. Mistakes like these can costs home sellers thousands of dollars.

Do not allow YOUR HOUSE to be what I call an "Orphan Listing" Similar to REO's and some Short Sales, Your house as seen by others...those are listings where it appears nobody is in charge! banks sometimes assign listings at random with agents who are not familiar with the area, and do not seem to spend any time advertising those listings. Their great marketing ploy is only to post the listing on the local MLS.

Finally, if you already have your home on the market, go find it on the Internet! Find out how it shows, is it missing important information? use the list above and see what happens. On almost any real estate site on the Internet you can simply put your zip code and a price range, your house should show in all it's glory... or not! If your Realtor have done his/her job properly and professionally, and your house has not sold... REDUCE THE PRICE! 


The Realtors In Motion       Antonio & Alexia Cardenas   

                  "The Realtors In Motion" 

         CRS, GRI, E-Pro Certified. SFR (Short Sales, Forclosure Resource) Serving the east shores of the San Francisco Bay, Alameda county: specially the following cities: Castro Valley, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Hayward, Oakland, Pleasanton & Dublin.

                  Visit us on line at: or call (510) 326-4263

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Comment balloon 11 commentsAntonio & Alexia Cardenas • April 18 2011 09:57PM


It happens--over the years I have received several listings from sellers who visited my open house and checked out my listing skills while posing as prospective buyers.

Posted by Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities, Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A. (Charlemagne International Properties) over 9 years ago

One of the agents I work with said that one of her potential home sellers did just that.  Visited one of her open houses to see how she would "work" the property.  They were SOLD.

Posted by Ron Marshall, Birdhouse Builder Extraordinaire (Marshall Enterprises) over 9 years ago

Open houses are an opportunity for the neighbors to see "How" you work, it is a great tool, and I always think of that when doing an Open House. Thanks for your visit Norma and Ron!


Posted by Antonio & Alexia Cardenas, "The Realtors In Motion" (Alameda County - San Leandro, CA.) over 9 years ago

What a wonderful idea!..I have listed many homes this way in the past and hopefully in the future..:0)


Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) over 9 years ago

If I go on a listing presentation and learn that the seller will be interviewing other agents, I clearly suggest they do exactly that. Check them out! if they beat me, then I need to shape up and fix a few things, so far, however, this technique has worked for me. Thanks for stopping by Hannah


Posted by Antonio & Alexia Cardenas, "The Realtors In Motion" (Alameda County - San Leandro, CA.) over 9 years ago

Antonio and Alexia - there are more than enough local agents in any area so the orphan listing leaves me wondering about the rational for the sellers choice in agents

Posted by Kathy Clulow, Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results (RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage) over 9 years ago

Here, here! Sellers job to research the person they plan to list their home with and thanks to wonderful assets like the internet it's an easy thing to do! I find where I work that too many people just use a friend out of courtesy and that can be a tricky game as it can easily go both ways. You either have a friend who will work their can off for you or a friend who slacks on their end because of your relationship and they perhaps feel they can take advantage of it. To me, if you take the easy route without doing your research on who you are listing your home with, best of luck to you!

Posted by Margie Kopp Sorrell, Lake Oconee Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Lake Oconee Realty and Lake Country) over 9 years ago

I love this! I would pass the test with no problem and I would get so much more business!

Posted by Patty Da Silva, Davie, Southwest Ranches Cooper City, Plantation, Weston, REALTOR, Top Listing Broker (BROKER of Green Realty Properties® - 954-667-7253) over 9 years ago

Margie, you are absolutely right, with the Internet, it is realively easy to check on who is doing or not doing his/her job. BTW thanks for the comments on my blog.

Patty. Yes, indeed, a test like this would be a piece of cake for a Professional Realtor.

Thank You Ladies for your visit


Posted by Antonio & Alexia Cardenas, "The Realtors In Motion" (Alameda County - San Leandro, CA.) over 9 years ago

Can't tell you how many listings I've earned because the sellers liked the way I presented myself during open houses.

And you're right...quite a few sellers find their agents this way.

It's good to be reminded that this is one of the best benefits of holding open house.

Posted by Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA (Alain Pinel) over 9 years ago

Welcome back Pacita! and thank you for stopping by, I have been following up with you and your family over on FB. Please give our regards to your mom. And as for my post here, I am a true believer in Open Houses. Traditionally, would be home buyers go out on Sunday afternoons looking at the neighborhoods they like to find information and see houses. I definitely consider Sunday afternoons by far the most productive time for me.


Posted by Antonio & Alexia Cardenas, "The Realtors In Motion" (Alameda County - San Leandro, CA.) over 9 years ago