There’s always something to howl about

The upside of exclusives

What if sellers could list with anyone and everyone and what if only the party that brought the buyer got paid? Online listing search paralysis: no agent will disclose the address to a buyer unless they can show it.   

Sounds like the ideal place to go direct-to-sellers to list their house on the web; they’re already distributing their listing all over the place. 

It also sounds like agents really provide no service to help consumers get more for their listing there; no staging, pricing advice, etc. They’re just trying to find buyers and get it sold. Note to Spanish agents: the internet eats information withholding middlemen for lunch. Provide valuable services or die.

Related posts:
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  • Zillow says, “If you will send us your clients as web traffic, we’ll be pleased to sell them back to you, again and again, from now on.”
  • Almost famous: BusinessWeek on excessive buyer’s agent’s commissions . . .


    10 Comments so far

    1. Mark Hendriks February 1st, 2008 10:10 am

      Actually there are many non exclusive agreements for properties in England. In fact, because of the lack of regulation in the real estate industry (no NAR and no License) they actually do a better job of marketing and selling a home because of the increased competition. One would only need to see the creative offices of the estate offices to see how far ahead they are in terms of customer service and marketing in my opinion. take this site for example

    2. Heather Barr February 1st, 2008 2:46 pm

      My Hungarian friends report it’s the same there. They’re shocked at how we do business here and feel sellers are in the driver’s seat and have control of the selling process when they force agents to compete openly for the right to bring a buyer. I’m not sure where I stand on this issue but it seems we agents have a knee-jerk fear reaction to losing our monopoly on sellers & their homes.

    3. Sean Purcell February 1st, 2008 3:38 pm

      How do you account for the costs incurred by listing agents (signs, flyers, open house paraphanalia, broker’s caravan food, advertisements)?

      Buyers may waste some gas, but sellers can put you out of business.

    4. Malok February 1st, 2008 7:08 pm

      What works in other countries – doesn’t mean it will work in America. America is one of the most litigation-happy countries in the entire world.

      As is, there are already tons of lawsuits over real estate transactions. Spinning an “open door first come first serve” would create additional litigation with agents arguing over who has procuring cause for commission, increased opportunities for sellers to backdoor agents with the buyer by substituting their brother-in-laws who have a license & working a deal with the buyer, etc, etc. All of which could potentially result in lis pendens being thrown on the property to cloud the title to prevent any sale – which would in turn hurt the seller.

      The list goes on and on.

      Now, if you include a complete revamping of the American legal system to go along with this – it gets a thumb’s up from me. :)

    5. Miss Marlow February 2nd, 2008 3:24 am

      Of course the sellers have more control over the real estate buying process. The sellers are the ones who own and control the product.

    6. Greg Cremia February 2nd, 2008 10:15 am

      The buyers are the losers when information as crucial as the property address is being withheld. There has to be 2 parties for a real estate transaction to occur and both parties should be able to stand on the same ground.

    7. Brett February 4th, 2008 8:45 pm

      No property addresses and limited advertising certainly can’t be beneficial to the sellers. I can see how a seller might feel like there is more competition if there is a limited amount of supply but what happens when you get 12 months of supply? Or more? Certainly that exclusive agent pounding the pavement and marketing the full details of the property to all potential buyers is the best course of action.

      Unless you’re not a motivated seller. In that case, it doesn’t matter.

    8. Late Night Austin Real Estate Blog February 6th, 2008 12:03 am

      Yeah it seems not having the addresses out there with the internet the marketing force it is would really hurt the chances the house would sell. How does it work. Are there 5 signs in front of the house?

    9. Bob in San Diego February 6th, 2008 9:47 am

      I’m seeing two problems here…

      1. Sellers don’t see any real value with the MLS (do they even have one) system and place their listings with multiple sellers agents in hopes that those agent will bring in buyers.

      2. Those agents have no incentive to cooperate with any other agents. Therefore there is no incentive to effectively market the sellers home to the masses

    10. Bob in San Diego February 6th, 2008 9:53 am

      One possible solution for those sellers agents in Spain would be to charge an upfront fee for their marketing exposure. But then they would actually have to provide a service that is above an beyond what other agents are providing in order to differentiate themselves.