Hawaii Randy's Real Estate Opinions: Agents Who Represent Themselves May Have a Fool for a Client

Agents Who Represent Themselves May Have a Fool for a Client

I have noticed a pattern of behavior among several real estate agents that makes me think representing yourself can be a bad idea.  I know attorneys and doctors use other professionals to represent themselves and maybe we should consider that in our industry as well.

It seems that all logic goes out the window when some agents handle the sale of purchase of their own property. 

I have seen listing agent owners who:

  • Overprice their homes.
  • Under advertise it.
  • Do not clean them.
  • Restrict showing appointments.
  • Do not answer their phones.
  • Don't put pictures in the MLS.
  • Misrepresent the properties.
  • Have unpermitted work done.
  • Are generally difficult to deal with if in escrow.

Agent buyers who:

  • Shoot low ball offers.
  • Make offers that are mortgage fraud.
  • Are unreasonable at the time of the inspections.
  • Don't return phone calls or messages.
  • Don't follow the time line.

It is amazing at times to see an agent who is generally considered to be a top professional, do things they would never allow a client to do.  When their own money is on the line they turn from Dr. Jeckle to Mr. Hyde.

Just something to think about.



Randy L. Prothero, REALTOR®

Principal Broker, ABR, AHWD, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, MRP, SFR

Island Style Realty Inc.

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.

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 99 commentsRandy Prothero • September 28 2008 03:00PM


You really hit the nail on the head Randy and I agree with every point. I had an owner/broker who insisted his agents only ask for 7% on Listings. When he sold his house he offered 2.5% selling office commission. Just makes me upset...

Posted by Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®,CRS,, Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority! (RE/MAX Professionals.) over 9 years ago

Randy- glad to see you are posting again.  It also amazes me when an agent offers a discount commission.  I have had a couple of transactions with owner/agent - they were difficult - like 'the rule don't apply to me.'

Posted by Virginia Hepp - Mesquite NV REALTOR, Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS (ERA - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale) over 9 years ago

Thats so true!  I currently have my own home for sale, but if anything I take extra precautions - plus I'm a motivated Seller! :-)

Posted by Liz Moras, Chilliwack Realtor, Garrison Crossing,Chilliwack, Abbotsford (Harrison Hot Springs, Cultus Lake) over 9 years ago


Another reason not to list your own property is that your negotiation skills are compromised.  No one knows better than the seller/agent how bad he wants to sell and it's really tough to hang tight when the other agent plays the "takaway" card.  Yes, I know from personal experience.


Posted by Richard T. Dolbeare, R(B), ABR, CRS...Hawaii Multi-Island Specialist (KW Island Living) over 9 years ago

Some good points.  One thing to remember though... some people don't have any business representing themselves OR ANYONE ELSE.

I get extremely tired of dealing with agents who have no business being in the real estate profession.

Posted by Cameron Novak, Featured Corona Real Estate Agent Team (The Homefinding Center) over 9 years ago

Hi Randy, Good post. Thanks a lot for sharing this with us. Keep posting best.

Best - Sash

Posted by Sasha Miletic - Windsor Real Estate (RE/MAX Preferred Realty Ltd.) over 9 years ago

I sold a home in 2005 and engaged an experienced local listing broker to represent me.  They were wonderful.  I'm fully capable of listing a property for sale.  However, when the property is your own, it's a good idea to get representation because:

1.  E&O doesn't cover an agent who represents themselves.

2.  No one is objective when $Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars are involved.

3.  They got a very good price for me.

4.  I was afraid that I'd give away the store.

5.  I paid a good commission and my broker reduced her fee by 1/2% as a professional courtesy, which I greatly appreciated. 

It could not have worked out better.


Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 9 years ago

I know many brokers who will not allow their agents to represent themselves and thank make a lot of sense


Posted by Richard Weeks, REALTOR®, Broker over 9 years ago

Thank you Randy, and Lenn for shedding some lights on this topic. This is surely a must read for many agents. I was thinking of representing myself but I know I should not.

Posted by real estate real estate over 9 years ago

I've seen similiar behavior when agents represent themselves. I would not do it, first of all I don't want to follow up agents on the showing of my property or have to price it. Even I would be tempted to overprice we all think our homes are worth more.

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) over 9 years ago

Hi Randy,
Lenn (as usual) listed some excellent reasons not to represent oneself.  It's a dangerous and foolhearted game to play.

Posted by Cynthia Tilghman, Realtor® Onslow County NC Home Specialist (Kingsbridge Realty, Inc) over 9 years ago

Several years ago I listed my own home for sale and a news reporter interviewed me about why I was the listing agent for my personal residence.  I told her I knew my home the best and could take the emotional part of out the equation.  The reporter wrote a great article and the funny thing is that a couple were looking at my home during the interview and ended up purchasing my home!

Posted by Kathy Fey (Fey & Associates) over 9 years ago

Randy...I have bought and sold several properties, and the problem I had was my spouse doing many of the things listed above!

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) over 9 years ago

Randy, so very true! It's hard to look at your own property objectively with no emotional attachment.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 9 years ago

Randy, I just showed an agent/owner listed home yesterday and my buyers were appalled that an agent would not properly prepare their own home for sale - shoddy renovations, sinking patio, poor curb appeal.  They didn't do even ONE of the list of things that we tell our sellers to do to get prepared.  I wonder what advice they give their clients.

Posted by Lisa Heindel, New Orleans Real Estate Broker (Crescent City Living LLC) over 9 years ago

This was quite some time ago, but one of the most un-clean homes on the market I ever showed was owned my an agent - and a very good one at that.  I was stumped.

Posted by Steve Scheer, Highlands Ranch Real Estate - Denver Real Estate (Realty Oasis - Metro Brokers) over 9 years ago

Randy - in our office, we cannot list our own property. I think it is a conflict of interest and would be difficult to be objective. I was just speaking to my neighbor about this very topic.

Posted by Sharon Paxson, Newport Beach Real Estate - Arbor Real Estate (Arbor Real Estate) over 9 years ago

I have actually heard of some agents listings their own homes at a rediculous price that will never lead to any sales just so they can have the opportunity to drum up new business.  So unethical.

Posted by Portsmouth NH Real Estate Agent - Rebecca Skane, Realtor®, e-PRO® (Keller Williams Coastal Realty) over 9 years ago

Do not forget the investor agent who is also bottom fishing and trying to justify funny prices with funnier comparables

Posted by James Engel, KW Beverly Hills (Keller Williams Realty Beverly Hills) over 9 years ago

Randy - This is so true.  I am seriously amazed when I show some "owner/agent" homes, as they are often in the worst condition of all.

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) over 9 years ago

A good point you make.  The E & O insurance comment threw me though.  I've got to go and read my policy.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 9 years ago

I'm doing a transaction right down where the buyer is a part time agent and I am the listing agent. Things have been completly miserable through the whole process so far. A couple of weeks ago, I showed a buyer a house where the owner is a part time agent, and that place was the pits and horribably overpriced.

Posted by Jonathan Hall, Realtor - Danbury,CT Area Real Estate~203-417-0523 (William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty) over 9 years ago

Hi Randy.  I was set to show an agent owned home tomorrow.  They cancelled the appointment (decided not to show tomorrow???).

Anyway, I hope all is well in the aloha state.

Thanks for writing,


Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) over 9 years ago

Randy, I think that you may be right, I think that if attorneys use other attorneys there must be some wisdom for not representing yourself.  Good post!

Posted by Tony & Darcy Cannon, The C Team (Keller Williams Legacy) over 9 years ago

Many are fools wiht big egos and now their homes are in foreclosure.  I totally agree.

Posted by Jim Crawford, Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR (RE/MAX Paramount Properties) over 9 years ago


I have seen a number of agents who are representing themselves, and if they work for their clients as they are doing for themselves, then their clients are getting poorly serviced. That being said, some agents CAN do a good job of it, both as buyers and sellers. But it seems that many have a hard time being objective when handling their own transactions.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad (Solutions Real Estate ) over 9 years ago


It must be catching...it happens here all the time with all the above.

Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

I have seen all of the above, but with less of a Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde scenario. Those that do a poor job with their own clients tend to be that much worse when representing their own properties. Lenn's note on the E&O stuff is interesting. Always enjoy learning something new on this site.

Posted by Pete Jalbert, R(S) (The Maui Real Estate Team, Inc. ) over 9 years ago

It really is interesting, if not funny, to see how very experienced and successful agents act with their own homes that they would never do with a client of theirs.  I am not objecting that they represent themselves as long as they have another agent or agents to throw ideas back in forth so they will not go in blindfolded.  Oddly, most agents act exactly like FSBO's or clients with discount agents.

I find it quite amusing.  Good blog........

Posted by TIM MONCRIEF, Over 2,000 homes sold….. (Keller Williams Realty) over 9 years ago

Randy, I just sold my friend's home who hired me to sell it for her.  I wrote a post similar to this.  I am amazed at how bad some  agents are at selling their own homes.  They are not objective.  The one thing I learned from my post, is what Lenn mentioned above - E&O insurance does not cover agents when they sell their own homes.  That is not worth any amount of commission they would save.

One that made me laugh was an agent I know was selling their home FSBO!!

They are notorious for overpricing their homes and being difficult to deal with.  Great post.

Posted by Audrey June-Forshey, GRI, Gaithersburg, MD (RE/MAX Realty Services) over 9 years ago

Three agents in our neighborhood have been trying to sell their own homes (as an agent, not a FSBO) and none of them have sold. It's so much harder to see realistic pricing when it's their own home. I'd suggest they'd do much better having a colleague represent them.

Posted by Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS (Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International) over 9 years ago

I've represented myself on both the buying and the selling side of the deal.  Perhaps it is because I'm ethical and understand the local market so I've priced my properties correctly and they've sold without incident.  The same on the buying side, made an offer that was reasonable and if we couldn't come to agreement moved on to another property.  It isn't for everyone and you are right that I am a fool of a client:-)

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 9 years ago

As with any industry, there are good agents and there are not so good agents.  I would assume that someone who is not very good in the first place would be a disaster when it comes to representing themselves.   


Posted by Rebecca Anne Cole (PNC Mortgage ) over 9 years ago

We feel like it is ok to represent ourselves, we know how to handle the transaction and we are confident that all areas will be covered ethically.  Just our opinion.

Posted by Angela Lawrence, Broker/Owner (North Carolina Homes Realty) over 9 years ago

Aloha Randy,

Active Post, I guess a lot of us realtors have sold our own property.  What you mention might be true of some agents but certainly not all.  I have many sales of my own properites that have worked well

Posted by Bill Parecki, RS, ABR, RDCPro, SFR, E-Pro, SRS, AHWD (Savio Realty, Ltd) over 9 years ago

Randy: that is a good one. Some agents do not walk the walk. I have seen the same in my area.

Posted by LLoyd Nichols, SW Florida Homes (Premier Florida Realty of SWFL) over 9 years ago


I can see where the outcome can be less than desired with representing yourself.


Tom Braatz

Posted by Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459, Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD! (Coldwell Banker) over 9 years ago

Hi Randy,

My question to you is - these agents that act this way when buying or selling for themselves, do they act differently when representing others?  If so, you are absolutely right.  If not, they're just not very professional agents.  And I think we have more of those than we need.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) over 9 years ago

Paul H. - Interesting how the rules changed.

Virginia H. - It is an amazing thing to watch.

Liz - When I sell my home, I will be extremely cautious to dot every "I" and cross every "T".  Being a licensed agent we are held to a much higher standard than the public.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

Richard D. - That is a good point.

Cameron N. - Those who are not good agents to being with, make for a real tough transaction when it is there property.

Sasha - Thank you.  I have been pretty busy lately.  I am responding from one of my open houses today.  I get a chance to blog between visitors.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

Lenn H. - I did not even consider the E&O insurance aspect.  Thank you for pointing that out.

Richard W. - I can see some of the reasons for that.

Huiting - I may be putting my home up for sale next year and I was kicking this around.  I just closed a difficult transaction with a seller lister and it made me think even more about it.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

Missy C. - I am confident that I would not overprice or badly negotiate for my own.  I may be in the minority on those.  I can see several other potential issues.  In the case of the agents seller's I have dealt with they seem to make all of the mistakes.

Cynthia - Lenn's point about E&O insurance was a big one that I had not even considered.  That is a wonderful example of the level of professionals we have here on the blog system.

Kathy F. - I am glad it worked out well.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

Randy, My house is listed with an agent that I trust in my own office and I have listings of several agents, you are so right!

Posted by Jane Page Thompson (Aiken Properties) over 9 years ago

William F. - That is a hard one.  Fortunately my wife has made real estate my turf and she tries not to get too deeply involved.  She is my best sales / marketing person though. She has my signage on her car and she passes out lot of my cards.

Michael S. - I think I am in the extreme minority on that issue.  Not many can be objective when dealing with their own home.

Lisa H. - It would be interesting to see if they take other people's listings in that condition.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

Steve S. - It's amazing that they wouldn't at least hire someone to clean it.

Sharon P. - That sounds like a reasonable office policy.  Our office does not have that policy.  We have not had any problems so far, but I can say I have seen two agents over price their homes and not be able to sell them.

Rebecca S. - I do see agents doing that.  I completely disagree with the practice.  Some who have no listings will put their own up just to get the sign on the road.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

Steve S. - It's amazing that they wouldn't at least hire someone to clean it.

Sharon P. - That sounds like a reasonable office policy.  Our office does not have that policy.  We have not had any problems so far, but I can say I have seen two agents over price their homes and not be able to sell them.

Rebecca S. - I do see agents doing that.  I completely disagree with the practice.  Some who have no listings will put their own up just to get the sign on the road.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

Randy, first off - good blog. To play the devils advocate, I think if you're realistic approach and professionalism that agents convey to buyers/sellers can be applied to your own transactions, I think you can represent yourself just fine. I just did a blog about an offer I wrote on a property that wasn't accepted - although it was a strong and fair offer, I moved on. Oh well!

Posted by Laura Rubinchuk Schwartz, Your Northern Virginia and D.C. Realtor (Keller Williams Realty) over 9 years ago

James E. - I have received a few offers from them, with the cover letter telling me I am an idiot for over pricing.  The last one who tried that did not even know the neighborhood.  I explained that the other two buyers and their agents who brought me offers must have been just as stupid as I was.  The appraiser and the lender who handled the one down the street I just closed for $100,000 more than he claims they are worth must have also been idiots.

Jason C. - It does blow you away.  It is extremely bad when it is their primary residence.  My concern when I sell mine is what other agents will think of it.  I do not want to hurt my reputation in the business.

Tammy L. - I am also following up on the E & O policy.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

They are simply too emotionally involved to be objective. They usually over price their own homes and don't even realize it.

Posted by Monika McGillicuddy, Southern NH & the Seacoast Area (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty) over 9 years ago

Jonathon H. - I can feel your pain.  I just closed one that was painful at best.

Ken T. - I had two different seller/ listers refuse showing appointments a couple of months ago, because it was not convenient for them.  Neither one had a lock box.  The weirdest part is the buyers wound up buyer another home with an agent / seller.

Tony & Darcy - If you wind up in court, you will be in an uncomfortable place as a licensed professional if anything goes wrong.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

If I would sell my home I would want it in top shape.  But I might be a little more aggressive with price.

Posted by Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239, Michigan homes for sale ~ yesmyrealtor@gmail.com (Real Estate One) over 9 years ago

Randy:  Very well said.  We are blind to our own bad habits in our own homes.  We need to us a good REALTOR(R) to help us as well when we sell our personal homes!  Thanks for posting!

Posted by Steve Homer (The HBH Group (Keller Williams affiliate)) over 9 years ago

Jim C. - That is really bad.  Would you want to hire them to represent you?

Jeff D. - I agree, it seems like very few can be objective.

Neal - The patterns in our industry repeat throughout the country.  Active Rain has been a great forum for teaching that to us.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

We just negotiated a deal with an agent/owner and he actually asked us to cut our commission on a full price offer.  The commission that he offered was a discount already.  If and when I sell my own properties, you can rest assured that I will offer out a good commission.

Posted by Jeff Payne, Panama City Real Estate (The Payne Group at Keller Williams Success Realty) over 9 years ago

Pete J. - Lenn's tip caught most of us by surprise.  I am always glad when she weighs in with insight.

Tim M. - You are right, they do act like FSBOs.

Audrey J. - It is against the law here for a licensed agent to advertise and sell FSBO here.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

Pete J. - Lenn's tip caught most of us by surprise.  I am always glad when she weighs in with insight.

Tim M. - You are right, they do act like FSBOs.

Audrey J. - It is against the law here for a licensed agent to advertise and sell FSBO here.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

Randy, excellent points.  People in all walks of life seem to handle things differently when it comes to themselves then they would if they were representing someone else.  It seems that all the good advise that they have for others, is ignored.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) over 9 years ago

Sharon S. - In their case it sounds like a slam dunk.

Cindy J. - I have seen several agents successfully buy and sell property, representing themselves.  This post was about the majority of the agents who have not done so well at it.

Rebecca C. - That is true. I have also seen agents who I respect fail miserably selling their own home.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

Brad & Angela - What did you think about Lenn's comments about E&O insurance not covering that transaction?

Bill P. - I have seen several that went smooth.

Lloyd N. - I bet this is common is all markets.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

Tom B. - There is a big potential for that.

Gabe - I have seen a few agents that I consider very good professionals; lose all sense of reality when it comes to their own property.

Jane P. - I have not seen much of that in my area.  I am thinking it may be a better way to go.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

Laura R. - Thank you.  Sometimes it is best to just move on.
Monika M. - That is the most common mistake.

Russ R. - Knowing the other agents I deal with will be going through it, I definitely want it in top shape.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

I had my home on the market several years ago and the first buyer (with an agent) scratched my hardwood floors in my great room, not horrible, but noticible.  I took it off the market and have not tried again.  I think they must have let a kid push a basketfull of books around on it.

Posted by Sheila Reeves over 9 years ago

Steve H. - That is true, we are sometimes blind to our own bad habits.

Jeff P. - I would say, sure.  Cut your price.

George S. - What is that old saying?  Do as I say, not as I do.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

Sheila - I have been quite fortunate as to not have any potential buyers do any damage.  It is something we always worry about.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

I must be the only FOOL then. I flip about 4 to 10 a year. I do an appraisal upfront (something I always recommend to my sellers and they never do). I have a home inspection done upfront again recommend and never done. I price in a buyers market 5% below appraisal and sellers market 10% above. I list in agent notes that I will split closing, will close with buyers title choice, buyer to order home inspection and pay for it, buy mine or don't bother putting in an offer. Buyer to order anything necessary to close pay for it upfront and get reimbursed at closing as per contract. Buyer to furnish full, (not a pre-qualification) letter from approved lender, I pay 4% commission and a $1000 bonus if closed by closing date. I add that price is non-negotiable and written in stone. Ernest money is non-refundable and check to be made out to me. I add upfront in the addendum part that I am a Florida Licensed Realtor and intend to make a lot of money.

Now as I said I do between 4 and 10 of my own deals with the exception of 2 all my homes have sold with 47 days. I think whether you are the seller or you represent the sellers you should be upfront, factual, honest, spell it out in MLS and be done with it.

Posted by Charles Stallions, 800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl. (Charles Stallions Real Estate Services ) over 9 years ago

Went to an open house today. Or at least tried.  I was down to two houses to choose to make an offer.  On house two, the open house wasn't.  Agent didn't show up.  Turned out agent was the owner.  Grass was at 6 inches, weeds growing through the rear deck.  paint peeling on the rear slider.  Ad said motivated; I no longer believe it.

Posted by deb over 9 years ago

I just did a home staging consultation for a realtor who is listing her own home. She has done a very good job of de-cluttering, but she wanted advice about whether she needed to take any other steps. She has the good sense to know that she isn't 100% objective about her home and its furnishings. Sure enough, there were some accessories on display that are highly personal, and should be removed so they don't distract the buyers. She hates having to put them away because they are very special to her, but she is motivated enough to do it anyway. My hat is off to her!

Posted by Laurie Calhoun, Seminole County FL Home Stager (Gloria Home Staging, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Don't you think that it is kind of 'two-faced' for an agent to go 'fsbo' and then preach the dangers o non-realtors?

I always scratched my head at that one.


Posted by Tom Burris, Texas/Louisiana Mortgage Pro - 13 YRS Experience (NMLS# 335055) over 9 years ago

Rsndy, so true.  I have seen this several times in our market.

Posted by David Matney, Omaha, NE Real Estate | Omaha, NE Homes For Sale (BHHS - Ambassador Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Charles - You are definitely in the minority.

Deb - Your comment brought back a recent memory.  I had an agent/ seller tell me she was extremely motivated.  The home was over priced, showed badly, no pictures in the MLS and I had a very tough time getting her to answer my calls and e-mails for a showing.  I told the agent you would never know by her actions that she was motivated.  My client found chose property, thank goodness.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

I wrote about this a long time ago from a different angle.  We are always saying that one of the advantages that we have as professionals is detachment from the property... no emotional investment... and yet, almost every agent represents theirself when they are on the market. 

Lawyers don't represent themselves...

Posted by Lane Bailey, Realtor & Car Guy (Century 21 Results Realty) over 9 years ago

I plan to list and sell my own home.  Thank you for all of the advice!

Posted by Sharon Parisi, Dallas Homes (United Real Estate Dallas ) over 9 years ago

Randy.. you have made some great points here.. It is amazing at what you may see out there

Posted by Roland Woodworth, Q Realty - Power In Real Estate (Q Realty) over 9 years ago

Randy... I didn't read any of the comments.... but in all honesty, if they are that good and know what they are doing, I wouldn't have a problem with them doing it themselves.  But I can see the issues and problems as you mentioned... especially if they are trying to get themselves the best deal... which in some cases would backfire or, they become sloppy as you mentioned...

jeff belonger

Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) over 9 years ago

You have a point Randy.  When I purchased my own home, I finally got the transaction together late on Christmas eve.  I started out with a low ball offer, and then shot copious amounts of counter offers back and forth with the seller's agent.  Finally, when we were only $500 a part (because I was taking it so personally), I delivered the last counter to the seller agent's house, at 8:00 pm Christmas eve.  The agent, who I had known for many years said, "Myrl, it's Christmas."  I knew he was right, signed the darned counter from the seller, and bought my house.

It took the other agent to put some sense in my head. . .I wasn't any problem during escrow however:-)



Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 9 years ago

Great post!  Many times all of our experience goes out the window when we are doing our own transactions. 

Posted by Diane Bell, Hilton Head Real Estate, Bluffton (Charter 1 Real Estate, Hilton Head, Bluffton, SC) over 9 years ago

Excellent points. When you represent yourself you have tendencies to lose perspective.

Posted by Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC, ... a small office, delivering big service! (Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC) over 9 years ago

I believe Cameron Novak said it best. (post #5)

While we are expected to be objective for our clients, sometimes our short sightedness stands in the way of our best personal judgement. I believe this is not true for some, but if evaluated objectively by some, they may realize there is a time when the water gets to deep, and its time to call in another professional.

But I run across agents daily that are not competent enough to sell someone elses home, it makes it hard to believe they are near competitent to show mine, much less represent me.

I don't consider myself a control freak, but I do consider myself a full time real estate agent with standards and the 80/20 rule holds true.

Posted by Brady Pevehouse, Your Orlando Real Estate Professional (RE/MAX Downtown) over 9 years ago

It seems that what you have outlines is often so true.  Especially those agents who list their own property -- I can remember on a few that were priced for today's market --

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 9 years ago

Our E&O policy actually has a clause that gives the insurer an out if the agent represents themselves and there is a problem. I'd think that alone would make most people stop and think, but in my office agents still do self representation. 

Posted by Cat Zwicker, CRS, Down to Earth Service; Out of this World Results! (Desert Sky Real Estate, LLC) over 9 years ago

A lot of what your stating is not only true in residential but also commercial realty.

Posted by Richard Halpern (Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT) over 9 years ago

I could not have agreed with you more!! I have worked with an agent that represented her own home, that was not fun.

Posted by Nelya Calev (John L Scott) over 9 years ago

I'll give you a perspective from a home inspectors point of view.

If I happen to be inspecting a home and the seller is at home but not an agent, I will ask questions about the home and get information that can be useful. The seller is usually forthright and willing to disclose and at times even add more information then I asked for.

If the seller is at home and is also the listing agent, it is like pulling teeth when I ask a question. I have inspected homes where the listing agent is the homeowner. I would say that in 75% of those inspections  I was treated as a district attorney trying to get to the bottom of a crime. The three answers to any question I ask is usually, yes, no, I don't know.

Posted by Louis Agudo, Roswell Home Inspector (Home Sweet Home Inspection Services) over 9 years ago

Laurie C. - She was wise to bring you in.

Tom B. - Agents can't go FSBO here, but I agree in the areas they can it is hypocritical.

David M. - I sounds like a consist condition from the comments.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

Lane B. - So true.

Sharon P. - The best of luck.

Roland W. - Some days it is amazing.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

Jeff B. - I have seen several go smoothly, but have seen a even more good sideways.

Myrl J. - It is easy to not be rational.  No different than many of our clients who are feeling the stress.

Diane B. - It is quite an interesting phenomena.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

Gary W. - It happens all too often.

Brady - The bad agents will be bad on their own.  It is amazing to see the good ones lose it when it is their home.

Joan W. - There does seem to be a pattern of bad pricing.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

Cat - Our broker is pulling our E&O policy to check for that.

Richard - I don't deal in commercial, so I didn't have any experience in that area.  I am glad you gave your input.  I might have guessed that to be true.

Nelya - The one I just did was challenging to say the least.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

Louis - Great point.  I just saw that with the home inspector and the termite inspector.  The seller/ agent wanted to challenge both reports.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

Agents here are getting more and more into the habit of not representing themselves.
I certainly would not put my own house on the market. 
I would like to have a Professional Realtor :) represent me, negotiate on my behalf and deal with the other agent and buyers, if necessary.  It's like having a 'shield' between me and the buyer.  I think it will be less stressful and less emotional (or at minimum, it will help me keep my cool, because I know, without a doubt, I will behave as a typical seller.  It is my house, after all.)
I think the E&O Insurance likes it better that way too.

Posted by Sylvie Conde, Broker, Toronto Real Estate (Sutton Group-Associates Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 9 years ago

great points - and you are right we often see our home differently than others do and we are busy - do we have time for our own houses?

Posted by Thesa Chambers, Principal Broker - Licensed in Oregon (Fred Real Estate Group) over 9 years ago

Sylvie - I have not seen many agents here list there homes with other agents.  After Lenn's comment about E&O insurance we are pulling our policy to check it.

Thesa - In the slower markets agents have more time.  Possibly that is part of the problem.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

I have always heard your E&O does not cover you when you list your own home. Not sure if that is absolute or not. Anyway, when you draw the parallels to doctors and lawyers, hiring a good realtor starts to make sense. Besides, how are you to be unemotional about your very own property? Aloha from Kauai

Posted by Ronnie Margolis, Kauai Realtor - CDPE, ABR, RA - On Top of the Aloh (Keller Williams Honolulu on Kauai) over 9 years ago

Ronnie - All things that should be considered when selling your own home.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

I think you are on the right track, Randy.  I did however, sell my own home four years ago.  What I did first was to consult on listing price with my manager and two other agents in my office.  And then I said I wouldn't do my own open houses. I got lucky, it was at a time when supply was down, and then I set the listing price where it should have been.  I would not have, under any circumstances, handled a buyer myself.  I'm not saying no one should, I just know it would not have worked for me.

Posted by Carole Cohen, Realtor, ePRO (Howard Hanna Cleveland City Office) over 9 years ago

Carole - I could not even consider a dual agency on my own home.  I am sure the E&O insurance company would not even accept our calls.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

I've sold a number of my own properties and would never hire another Agent to sell them for me. That said, I think it does require an objective view that many Agents don't have when it comes to their own properties. I think all of the complaints you listed are common with many Realtors, even if the home is not owned by the listing Agent.

Posted by Sandy Blanton about 9 years ago


Excellent points.  I was literally just thinking about the subject the other day.  Even though we are professionals, I think it is good idea to remove ourselves from the emotional attachment and practice what we preach.


Posted by Billy Jalbert (The Maui Real Estate Team, Inc.) about 9 years ago

Sandy - I am working on another one as we speak where the owner lister hired another agent to represent them and they are still did some things that are scary.

Billy - It is definitely something we must all consider when selling our own property.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) about 9 years ago

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