It Takes Two, Baby, a Selling Agent and a Listing Agent
There are times in the Sacramento real estate business that I am reminded how it can really take two REALTORS to close a transaction: both a listing agent and a buyer’s agent. Just for the record –and because it tends to confuse both agents and the public alike — a buyer’s agent is a selling agent. A listing agent is a seller’s agent. The listing agent represents the seller but can’t really sell the property without an agent who represents the buyer, which would be the selling agent. No agent is an island in real estate. It takes two, baby. God, I hate that Marvin Gaye ear-worm and can’t believe that I, at any time in my life, could possibly have sung along to it.
I am very grateful to work with selling agents who on occasion can save my butt, too. I am not forced to interact with selling agents throughout every transaction, but I generally prefer to communicate directly with my fellow agents. Unless, of course, they are an asshole. Then they can talk to the wall for all I care. It is possible to never communicate through any type of technology, if one so chooses, and some agents are like that. Hi, this is Joe and I answer my phone during blue moons between 1:15 and 1:17. But I don’t run into very many of those, maybe one a year if I’m unlucky. For the most part, selling agents are professional, smart, funny and a sheer delight, even though we represent opposite sides in the transaction.
There are people who think the selling agent and listing agent need to maintain an arm’s length distance, and while we cannot divulge any confidential information about our clients to the other agent, it doesn’t mean we can’t work together toward a common goal and still have fun doing it.
Here’s an example of above-and-beyond cooperation for you. I listed a vacant home in Roseville a while back that had a series of apparent issues, fogged-up windows, no carbon monoxide detectors and no keys. The seller lived across the Pacific. To expedite matters, I hired a locksmith and paid for a new set of keys. I also bought 3 carbon monoxide detectors to install on each level of this tri-level home, and plugged them into the respective walls.
When the home sold, the buyer’s appraiser could not locate the carbon monoxide detectors. They all had vanished. Carbon monoxide detectors are a huge, huge deal, a bigger deal than whether a home has a functioning air conditioner or a solid finished floor. A carbon monoxide detector is to real estate as a door frame is to a door: without it, you’re not closing. And somebody had stolen the carbon monoxide detectors. I tried to imagine a mother collecting CO detectors throughout the tour and stuffing them into her baby bag. Why? Or, a real estate agent blazingly walking out the door carting all 3 in his hands.
Nobody broke into this house. Whomever swiped the CO detectors entered through the key in the lockbox.
Yet, the selling agent didn’t shrug once, and she replaced the carbon monoxide detectors, even though it wasn’t really her place to do it. We all do what we need to do to take care of our clients and each other. At least the professionals do. The others apparently walk off with carbon monoxide detectors.