No, That Is Not My Listing. Yes, You’ve Come to the Right Place.

Realtorsaywhat?

A disconnect that will sometimes occur when a Scottsdale Real Estate consumer lands here on the Scottsdale Property Shop site, not all of the properties you see listed for sale here fly under the banner of Realty Executives.  Matter of fact, of the forty some thousand home listings that you can trawl in our home search engine on a given day, only a handful are likely to boast a Ray and Paul Slaybaugh sign in the front yard.

So what gives?

When you land on an individual Realtor’s website, the home search results display the feed from what is referred to as an “IDX” solution.  Technical aspects aside, this is essentially a streamlined version of the local MLS for public consumption.  Brokers have the option of opting out of the IDX agreement, thus not allowing their listed properties to be displayed on the sites of competitors and aggregators (Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, etc).  As such posturing would be tantamount to internet marketing suicide for a brokerage on behalf of its seller clients, however, few and far between are the active brokers who do not participate in the open proliferation of their listing feed.  There are rules and prohibitions in regards to what information can be displayed, etc, but by and large, this allows the consumer to visit most any Real Estate site with a capable IDX solution to view inventory.

Where misunderstandings can crop up is at the intersection of convenience and marketing.  You go to Google.  Type in the street address of a property you saw (forgot the name or number on the sign) or some specific criteria such as “3 Bedroom Homes For Sale in McCormick Ranch.”  If an agent has a search engine friendly IDX solution (such as yours truly), you land on his/her site.  Plastered next to all of the property information you seek is the agent’s smiling mug and contact information.

This is not necessarily, and most likely not, the listing agent.

If you scroll way down to the bottom, you will find the slightest nod to the brokerage that has the home listed for sale, but all of the contact information will be directed to get you to pick up the phone and call the agent that owns the site upon which you just landed.

For some of you, this is neither here nor there.  You just want the property information and don’t give a fig who provides it.  If the property looks interesting, Bigfoot himself could show it to you for all you care.

Where it can become an issue is when the consumer has specific reason to approach the listing agent directly.  There is typically an awkward silence, followed by a mild rebuke at a perceived misrepresentation.  To this house hunter, I say you found me just in time.  Why?  Because if left to your own devices, you would have unwittingly blundered right into the lion’s den with no representation.

Perhaps you think the listing agent will be a more direct conduit to the seller.  Perhaps you think the listing agent will have more information to provide regarding the property.  Or perhaps you think the listing agent will willingly cede a portion of his commission with no other agent involved in the transaction, ultimately saving you money on the purchase.

Were I better at HTML coding, neon lights would illuminate this next sentence.

THE LISTING AGENT REPRESENTS THE SELLER.

I repeat.

THE LISTING AGENT REPRESENTS THE SELLER.

Whatever seemingly helpful information the agent provides, make no mistake that it is his fiduciary obligation to separate you from as much of your money as possible on the seller’s behalf.  And he does this for a living.

When shopping for a new home in Scottsdale, it is not possible to overstate the value of the internet.  In addition to the tools and resources that are more available to the consumer than ever before, it could just be the chance encounter with a local agent’s IDX search that proves most fortuitous.  Contacting the floating head next to the listing that interests you might be the thing that saves you from overpaying or getting embroiled in transactional hell on your purchase.

No, the listing you are looking at is most likely not mine.  For that you can thank your lucky stars.  I’m quite adept at squeezing money out of buyers for my sellers.  Since the shoe is on the other foot, let’s go get you that house for a price that will make the seller limp for a month.

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  • My pet peeve: Buyers who only want to work with the listing agent because they think that we have some magical power to get them a better deal.

    Reality: I work for the seller.

    In my opinion, every home buyer should have their own representation. Always, always, always, always.

    Always.
    Lisa Heindel´s last blog post ..New Orleans Real Estate FAQ Are Lockboxes Safe to Use When Selling My Home

  • It’s a perplexing phenomenon, Lisa. I’ve lost track of how many replies to property inquiries are met with the “Oh … you’re not the agent?” response. Most just want the property info, but some truly have no interest in speaking with me further when they learn I am not the listing agent.

    I hate to say it, but another rationale for that is creeping into my market. Those who don’t want to “bother” their agent while they do the preliminary legwork. For some reason, they feel it is okay to waste the listing agent’s time while their alleged agent catches up on the kids’ scrapbook.

    Anymore, if someone is adamant that only the listing agent show them the property, I pretty much know they are A) naive, or B) shady.

    I hope to reach those in the former category before the seller’s representative takes advantage of them. Those in the latter category can keep on movin’.

  • Leslie Ebersole

    Very good post. But how do you make this a simple explanation to someone? It drops so fast into “you need me to represent you because….”

    I’ve had an extraordinally tough couple of weeks on representation issues. And internet crap, lots and lots. Perhaps a nice pandemic racing through the agent population would solve the problem ;-).

    Thanks for your words and thoughts.

  • Funny you mention it, Leslie, as one of the primary purposes of the post was to head off as much of the confusion/discussion as possible. I find the inevitable segue from agency explanation to solicitation distasteful as well. I would like folks to know in advance that I am not necessarily the listing agent on the properties view on my site. How to do that without chasing them off into cyberspace to find the listing agent (which I hope the reader will now realize is not always the wisest decision) is the conundrum of IDX. I’m hopeful that I can successfully promote the message that I display listings from all cooperating brokers as a service, not as an advertisement of my own personal inventory (hence the featured properties arena many of us utilize to draw the distinction). I sure want the business of those who land on my site to look at property, but I want to attain it in a manner that does not seem to employ sleight of hand. So, in short, I attempt to impart the message that “no, that is not my listing, but I can show it to you or answer any questions you may have about it.”

  • interesting post, good one

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Paul Slaybaugh is here to sell houses and chew bubble gum. He's all out of bubble gum. More About Me >>>

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