Seller Makes Bad Decisions, Buyer Wins

It’s always puzzling when you find a house that is priced $30-40,000 below similar houses and there aren’t any obvious reasons. It’s been in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) for less than a month. It’s not a foreclosure or a short sale. It’s not in a horrible location. The neighbors houses look great, so it isn’t being dragged down by a junked-up house next door.

Curb appeal? Check. Updated kitchen? Check. Beautiful floors? Check. Nice fenced yard? Check.

So what gives?

A little background information

The MLS (called MRIS in our area, short for Metropolitan Regional Information Systems) is how we agents let other agents know all the details about houses that are for sale. It’s also how almost all of the listing sites on the Internet – like Trulia, Zillow, and – get their information as well. When I enter a listing in the MLS, other agents can search on the details about the property, including price, address, size, amenities, etc., and know that the seller is willing to pay a commission to the buyer’s agent. We call that “cooperating”.

Mystery solved

A little digging and we discover that the house had been on the market almost a year with a different agent, but for some reason the seller chose to keep it a secret. He instructed his agent to not only keep it out of the MLS but not to cooperate with any other agents – agents who have buyers ready to buy.

Reality sets in

So now the seller is really motivated and just wants to move on with his life. New agent, listed in the MLS, willing to pay a commission to an agent who brings a buyer. Check.

Bottom line? My buyer-clients are getting a great deal and some closing help to boot.

© 2011 Susan Pruden. All rights reserved.

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2 Responses to Seller Makes Bad Decisions, Buyer Wins

  1. MDSuburbs says:

    OMG! This is such a horrible scenario. I occasionally get sellers that want me to do an "exclusive" listing and keep it out of the MLS. I *always" disabuse them of the notion. The MLS is the single best advertising medium to sell your house. Not only do other Realtors (and their buyers) see it but, as you mentioned, Zillow, Trulia, and dozens of other websites pick it up complete with interior photos, exterior photos and, sometimes, even the Virtual Tour.

    Yeah, it would be great for the agent listing the house to make a somewhat larger commission (and usually a smaller commission paid by the Seller) but it's almost always a loss for the Seller. There's an old saying that people who do this are walking over dollars to pick up a dime.

  2. Funny but I don't think I've ever had anyone ask me to do an "exclusive" listing, which sort of amazes me. And I like the saying – never heard that one before!

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