Seven Things To Know About Real Estate Teams

Don’t be deceived; real estate agent teams are no better and sometimes worse than independent agents.  They will have listing and buyer agents, transaction coordinators, closing experts, staging experts, and various other administrative people dividing up the work. It all sounds so efficient doesn’t it?

Does having all these people and their overhead help sell your home faster and for more money or better serve you in finding and buying a home?   What these teams are best at is making life easier for them  by dividing up responsibility.  Choose wisely because not all teams are created equally.


Not All Real Estate Teams Are Created Equally
 Often the John or Jane Doe Team is nothing more than a name.  Behind the name is one agent, a list of vendor contacts and maybe a virtual assistant to handle the paperwork. The assistant does things like enter your home’s details into the MLS or be a long distance project manager tracking the process toward closing. Independent Realtors have the same resources but don’t tout themselves as a team.


You May Never See Your Agent Again
Teams are formed when the Realtor is overwhelmed or they want to make more money by bringing in other agents. The theory is other people can handle the minutiae while the main agent just does listing appointments. The problem is that may be the last time you see your agent because they are more focused bringing in new listings versus giving personal attention to yours.

Congratulations, you have been handed off to the office help.  You see, bringing in more listings is good for the team leader but not necessarily for you.  Sometimes, the agent you hired to look out for your best interests doesn’t even show up to closing. If you are lucky, a closing coordinator may attend.


Inaccurate or Delayed Information
You are now dealing with an office administrator who may never see your home or understand your buying needs or home selling urgency. They may be wonderful handling the teams back office but not necessarily putting your needs first.

Recently, I called a listing agent for information on utilities cost and the best closing date for the seller to make our offer more attractive. The agent didn’t want to be bothered taking calls so I ended up with the transaction administrator. She had no clue about the property or seller’s situation and had to get back to me.  When a buyer is considering multiple properties, you don’t want them writing an offer for your competition vs. yours because of information delay. 

Remember that old game where you tell one person something and that person passes their version on to the next until it’s nothing like the original at the end? That is the problem with a lot of real estate teams, things get delayed and garbled in the translation.


Who Is On First?
I had a client make an offer on an active home on market over 300 days. After an appropriate time without an answer I investigated to find the MLS revealed the listing was cancelled!  The team dropped the ball . The agent thought we were notified. My buyers could have been looking at other properties versus cooling their heals. Who knows if the seller ever saw the offer before cancelling the listing?

Strangely you would think husband and wife teams would be the best. I haven’t found that to be true either. In one case the husband sent me a withdrawal while the wife team member sent me a counter offer.


Unreachable Agents
Frequently a simple discussion between the listing and buyer’s agent can give you insight in how to structure an offer or to easily obtain additional information. Team listing agents can be unreachable and don’t always return calls.  It is not unusual to encounter full voice mail boxes  as well as agents who just seem too busy courting the next seller to return calls.
Declined Showings
On a recent week-end showing request the seller declined. There are legitimate reasons to decline a showing from sick kids to Fido just ate the couch. Since my calls weren’t returned I tried a text to the team listing agent inquiring about an alternative time. The reply was it must not have been a good time, completely ignoring my request for an alternate. When I asked again I was assured he would check and get back to me but I never heard from him again.

This was a second showing for a 300K home.  They lost a sale by not offering an alternative time and the agent’s lack of follow-up.  The buyer moved on, offering on another property they could actually see.

Lack of Showing Feedback
Part of effectively selling your home is getting agent and client showing feedback. While this is not a problem only specific to teams it is an important consideration. Team buying agents must burn and churn to meet the goals set by the team leader. Often they have shown so many homes to different clients that they don’t have time or care to provide feedback. Some even say, “the only feedback that is important is an offer”.

While an offer is the ultimate feedback, many times buyer’s agents can float trail balloons with feedback. They may say something like their client liked the home but needs closing cost assistance, or wishes the refrigerator was included. Sure they can write that into an offer but knowing beforehand that it will be acceptable goes a long way to quick offer.

Sellers have had strangers poking around their home and the least they deserve is some feedback, even if it is negative.  Team members often are not as vested as independent agents in offering feedback that doesn’t further their cause.  Most independent agents operate at a slower pace and consider providing feedback part of their duty in consideration for tromping through your home.


Your Home, Your Choice
When making the decision to hire a listing or buyer’s agent consider if they have your interests in mind or theirs. There are great real estate teams and great independent real estate agents. It is your choice if you want personal attention and a close relationship with your Realtor or the specialized services of various team members.

Consider the availability of the main agent and if they answer your questions or have to pass you off, and how busy with other clients they may be. A team can run like a well oiled machine or it can be a confusing mess.

I provide my clients with responsive personal service. There is no buck passing or apologizing for the inconvenience. If something goes wrong I won’t be unreachable. I will be there as your trusted adviser and real estate consultant all the way through the closing process.  You won’t be a number to discuss in next week’s sales meeting, you will be someone who deserves a dependable Realtor to lean on throughout one of the most important processes of your life. 

It’s your home, your choice – choose wisely.  Check out my testimonials. Reach out to Keith Laursen at 469-233-1234 for the service you deserve.

About Keith Laursen

I am a Fathom Realty Realtor specializing in town and country properties in the cities of Van Alstyne, Anna, Melissa, Howe, Gunter, Tom Bean, Whitewright, McKinney and Plano, TX.

My trusty horse and I will help you "spot" the best in real estate. Remember, it can't sell if it's not spotted!
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