Category Archives: Ask Betsy

Q. I’m moving and need to find a good Realtor to help me find my ideal house. How do I do that?

A. If you are working with a Realtor here to help you sell your current house, ask them if they can refer you to a good Realtor in the area in which you are moving. We have a wide network of people that we know through various national associations in which we are members and through our continuous training that is often done out of town. Your agent here can likely refer you to a few experienced agents in a new city. If you are not working an agent here, call one that you respect and ask them for a referral. When interviewing the agents referred to you, compatibility is key but also ask they how long they have been in the business full-time, how many homes have they sold in the last six months in the area you are interested in and what designations have they earned that relate to buyers.

Q. I was working with a Realtor for the past four months. We found a house we loved and wanted to put an offer on it. Coincidentally, I ran into a friend last week at a party and he mentioned he is now a Realtor. Wanting to jump-start his business, I had him write up the offer for me. Is that ok?

A. What most of the buying public does not realize is that Realtors are paid for procuring cause of a sale, not necessarily for writing an offer on a home. In your situation, it is very likely that the original Realtor will get compensated for the sale, despite your Realtor friend writing it up. To determine who procured cause, various factors come into play including: who showed you the house, how long had you been working with the original Realtor, was this Realtor responsive to your calls or otherwise available to you, did your Realtor friend ask you if you were already working with a Realtor, etc. In retrospect, if you were happy with your original Realtor, you should have asked her/him to write up the offer and tell your Realtor friend you would be happy to let others know he is now in the business of selling real estate.

Q. Betsy, I’m very anxious to sell my house. I want my Realtor to hold open houses every other week until my house sells. What do you think?

A. I appreciate your motivation to sell your home. However, you should know that, in general, holding public open houses is not a particularly effective way to sell your house. In the past, when the Internet did not exist, this was a great way for buyers to see the inside of your home. Now, however, over 90% of buyers begin their search on the Internet where virtual tours can be viewed 24/7. The odds of a qualified buyer driving by on a Sunday, seeing your home, stopping in and ultimately, buying your house is very slim. Realtors do not mind hosting open houses because they bring us buyers in the price range at which your house is selling but it is a rare day in which we sell the house in which we are sitting.