Hawaii Randy's Real Estate Opinions: A Great Listing Realtor® is Worth Their Weight in Gold

A Great Listing Realtor® is Worth Their Weight in Gold

I regularly hear stories of people who regret their decision when selecting their agent to list their home for sale. 


Here are two of the most common categories I run into.

1)      They picked the agent who offered a discount or flat fee and were told they would get the same full service as other agents in the area, to only find later that was not what they got.

2)      They went with the agent who offered to list their home at a higher price.


I was speaking to a home seller after they fired their agent who gave what they called “full service” at a flat fee.  This was their idea of full service:

·         They gave the homeowner a sign to put in their yard.

·         The homeowner did their own open houses, no agent present.

·         All showing requests were made directly to the seller.

·         The real estate agent performed no negotiating or explaining of offers.  The buyers were to send all offers to the seller directly.

·         At closing no real estate agent was present to explain documents or to review the HUD-1 settlement statement.


From her story, the best I could determine that the listing agent did was:

·         Loan her a sign.

·         Run a couple of ads in the newspaper

·         Place her home in the MLS system and their company website

·         Collect a fee, if sold.  I have heard other companies charge a fee whether it sells or not.


So how much did she save?  In this case nothing.  She lost a lot of time and carrying costs, while she was unsuccessful selling her home.  In the best case scenario she would have saved some money, but nothing close to advertised.

1)      She still would have paid the buyer’s agent, so the only savings would be for the seller’s agent, which was not that much.

2)      She would have had to pay a professional to explain all contracts to her.

3)      She had no experience selling a home, so would have been at an extreme disadvantage against a professional buyer’s agent in any negotiation or the managing of the transaction.


In the second scenario, what I call buying the listing.  The homeowner went with the agent who agreed to list their home for the highest price.  This happens regularly.  Weak or inexperienced agents offer to list the home for more than market value, to get the listing.  Once they have the listing they use it to meet potential buyers.  After a period of time they try to get the seller to lower the price, in many cases even lower than the top agents in the area would have sold it for.  Again as in the first scenario, the homeowner comes up short.

In both cases the seller may come out ahead if the stars line up.  In both case it rarely happens.  In both cases, the seller is more likely to have complications or failure.  If they do sell, they are more likely to take longer and get less for their home.

During these times of changing markets and tough economy, it is critical for homeowners to get the best Realtor® they can find to protect their interests.


When finding a good listing agent, look for the following:

1)      That they are a member of your local Board of Realtors®

2)      A track record in your neighborhood.  If they are a good agent in another town, does not mean they know your town.

3)      That they are full time and full service.  Nothing worse than a part time agent who:

a.       Is not available to take calls from potential buyers or agents and not available to show your home.

b.      Do not handle enough transactions annually to be able to professionally manage your transaction and know the laws and rules.

c.       Do not have a working relationship with the top Realtors® in the area.

4)      They have designations, higher licenses.

a.       Have learned the business and have credentials to prove it.  Look for the CRS designation.  The average CRS agent is in the top 3 or 4% in the industry.  Look for other designations and a broker’s license.  All indicators they have spent the time and money to advance their training and career.  In other words are they a professional?

5)      Look for industry awards.  The top producers and those with the best reputations will have awards from the industry.

6)      Check their marketing.  You will be hiring them to market your home.  See how well they market themselves and the other homes they are selling.

7)      Interview them.  Look for someone who is looking out for your interest and has made it clear that that know your property, your needs and the market.


Stayed tuned for finding a great property manager.




Randy L. Prothero, REALTOR®

Broker-in-Charge, ABR, AHWD, CRB, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, MRP, SFR

eXp Realty

Team Leader - "The Prothero Group"

Randy Prothero is well established as an expert in working with military / VA clients and first time home buyers.  His home seller's (listing) campaign is one of the most aggressive marketing programs in the area.  His luxury home listings sell faster and for more money.

Based out of Mililani, Hawaii. Randy services the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) Performs mediations and ombudsman services for the Board of Realtors.  To improve overall professionalism in his area Randy also offers classes for real estate agents. 

www.HawaiiRandy.comOahu (Honolulu County) Property Search  Hawaii Military Relocations

Comment balloon 30 commentsRandy Prothero • May 21 2012 09:57AM


Hi Randy,

You bring up some good points here.  Thanks so much!


Posted by Kevin Sembrat (Diversified RCS Inc; http://www.ManhattanPropertiesGroup.com) over 6 years ago

Kevin - Thank you

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 6 years ago

Hi Randy.  I'm more of a buyer's agent, however, your points are well taken.  It is not fair that a seller is not represented well.  Great post.

Posted by Cheryl Thomson REALTOR Army Ret, Associate Broker in Northern Virginia ( United Real Estate (703.216.5635) cheryltee47@gmail.com) over 6 years ago

Cheryl - You see it all the time.  Thank you.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 6 years ago
Randy, I think all listing agents have from time to time lost the listing to someone who "bought" the listing, only to see it sit on the market for 200, 300, days. It's sad, but I'd rather walk away from an overpriced listing in order to focus on the motivated seller who respects my knowledge and expertise.
Posted by Kimberly Tapscott, Giving you the service you deserve! (Keller Williams Prestige Properties) over 6 years ago

Kimberly - I agree, I would rather give the sellers the truth, than make excuses later.  It also does not make you look good to other potential sellers and agents in the area.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 6 years ago

Fantastic post, Randy. It never ceases to amaze me that people don't take the opportunity to interview agents. They're selling their "priciest" asset & will trust that to the lowest bidder???? Or better yet, the part timer that their friend's friend of a friend at the neighborhood card party knows......!!  Eee gads!!!!

Posted by Brenda Mayette, Getting results w/ knowledge & know-how! (Miranda Real Estate Group, Inc.) over 6 years ago

Brenda - It happens every day.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 6 years ago

I am in this situation right now having a seller deciding on who to list with, already he was burnt by one agent and he is now trying to decide between four agents whom he should list with. So many sellers don't realize that it is not who will give them the lowest commission or the highest price, but who will really market the property correctly.

Posted by Nick & Trudy Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line (Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400) over 6 years ago

Nick and Trudy - It can be confusing for home sellers.  They get so much information and misinformation that it is hard for them to decide.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 6 years ago

I think it's funny when a seller says, "well agent x offered to do the listing for X"...did they tell you about the top secret bonus?  She lists alot of properties for nothing...her stats show she sells only about half of what she lists... LOL

Posted by Shannon Lefevre, Shannon Lefevre, PA Your Naples Smart Girl (John R. Wood Properties) over 6 years ago

It has been proven that on average a home sells faster and quicker using a GOOD realtor than a quick service agent, and or selling by owner. 

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) over 6 years ago

You get what you pay for. Period.

An unrepresented seller should call an attorney.

Posted by Erica Ramus, MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate (Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA ) over 6 years ago

Randy -  it always bothers me when people think the agent who offers the highest listing price is THE best agent.. not so.. I am not a slick talker  but I always speak from the heart... I always feel sorry for the sellers who get taken in..

Posted by Gay E. Rosen, As Real as Real Estate Gets! (Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty) over 6 years ago

Shannon - I have heard the comment several times, about what another agent is willing to list it for like it is an auction.  The highest price wins the listing that will never sell.

William - I have a theory that some folks needs to fail at least once before they figure it out.

Erica - Even the attorney is not always the solution.  I spoke to a buyer who purchased from a for sale by owner that they had an attorney draw up the documents.  A year and a half later they are still trying to sort out the mess.  The attorney understood the documents, but not how to manage a transaction.  Many issues with the home went undetected.

Gay - There will always be those who look for someone to tell them what they want to hear instead of what they need to hear.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 6 years ago

Really great advice, Randy!  And bottom line, sellers pretty much get what they pay for.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 6 years ago

 I can't believe an agent would have the buyer send the offers directly to the seller @_@' and never explain anything. Talk about not even doing the bare minimum of your job. Great post!

Posted by Michelle Seidelman (Staged To Sell) over 6 years ago

Evening Randy,  The real cost would have been the significantly lower sales price !

Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) over 6 years ago

Agreed! Knowing the reasons people pick another Realtor, I try and show them the whole package by starting with if you list with me, on average, past sellers received xx more in money than listing with an average agent. And then show them how I bring in a stager and a professional photographer who both make their home more presentable to buyers. My goal is to take all the work that I can away from the sellers and let the home sell itself. Works (almost) every time! Best of luck to you in Hawaii!

Posted by Gina Tufano, Ask Gina & Company, Northern Virginia Real Estate (Ask Gina & Company with Pearson Smith Realty) over 6 years ago

Patricia - Not always.  Many times they pay, but don't get what they thought they paid for.

Michelle - In that case they advertised full service at a reduced price.  It was not my idea of full service.

Bill - Or moire days on the market or both.

Gina - If I had a home to sell in your area, I would hire you.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 6 years ago

I listed a home that was with a flat fee agent for 229 days (basically it was a FSBO). I listed in Friday and Sunday night we were under contract.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) over 6 years ago
Randy - You've given sellers a lot of good food for thought when looking for a listing agent.
Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) over 6 years ago

Tammie - Congratulations!

Christine - It is always their choice, but hopefully I gave them a few things to consider.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 6 years ago

It nearly always comes down to dough. The seller wants to keep every dime and cannot see past the big dollar signs promised by such agents. Shame.

Posted by Kathryn Acciari, Brand Ambassador and Business Coach (Century 21 Real Estate) over 6 years ago


Excellent point.  The savings might have actually COST the seller.  They may not have, but in a lot more cases then folks would like I bet they do. 

I've never understood the buying a listing concept, I mean, why would an agent want signs with no results.  To me that's about the agent, NOT about the client!  Hey, if you want an agent out to look like they have the most listings, great.  

All the best, Michelle

Posted by Michelle Francis, Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease (Tim Francis Realty LLC) over 6 years ago

Katheryn - Many times they have friends and neighbors telling them that their house is worth more adding to the problem.

Michelle- Some agents use it to get buyers and others feel they can get the price down later if the can grab the listing at any price.  Both are not very professional.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 6 years ago

Great post!!

Posted by Stephanie Arnett, SRS, IMSD, Broker Associate, REALTOR (RE/MAX Partners~ Starkville, MS) over 6 years ago

Steph - Thank you!

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 6 years ago

Thank you for sharing your blog; we need Real estate Professionals to share their comments and information regarding their markets and experiences. Thanks again from beautiful Colorado

Posted by James A. Browning, MRE REOCertified(R) SSCertified (Browning Real Estate School/REO Institute) over 6 years ago

James - Thank you

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 6 years ago

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