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We recently received a call from an individual who was selling a property and they suspected that their realtor was not reporting all the offers to them and that he was slow to respond to agents who wanted to show the property to their clients. They wanted us to investigate what was really going on. Why would a real estate agent do this? It has been said that the root of all evil is money and this situation is no different. A listing agent is the realtor who lists the property for sale on the MLS (multi listing system). The typical real estate fee is 6% of the total final sale of the property. If an offer from a buyer’s agent is accepted and the property is sold then both the listing agent and buyer’s agent have to split the commission. However, if the listing agent sells the property to a seller they found then they get to keep the full commission.

How can a seller protect themselves from this sort of nefarious behavior? Here are some tips for finding a realtor before listing your property for sale with them:

  • First and foremost – VERIFY THEIR LICENSE. We can help you do that at Miami PSPI. Just call us! Only list with an agent with the right license. There are realtors, agents and brokers and they do different things.

  • Research if they have a criminal background or if they have any civil suits. We can help with that also. We recently posted a blog about a realtor who ripped off many people for a lot of money. He is not a fugitive and there is a warrant for his arrest because he failed to appear in court after he bailed out. Little comfort to all the people he ripped off.

  • Try to find a realtor who comes recommended from someone you trust and who has sold real estate with them in the recent past.

  • Test their knowledge of your area and ask them about houses for sale in the area and ask how that affects your sale.

  • Some real estate companies offer an online service where requests to show the property and even offers are submitted through their website and all communications are submitted to the seller and the listing agent simultaneously.

  • Ask them if they have staff, a partner, or if they are a one-person operation.

  • Ask them if they are planning any vacations in the near future.

  • Ask from references from recent clients. If you ask for a reference and their reference is from a long time ago and they are unable to provide recent references, run for hills.

  • Make sure they have experience. Consider how long they have been in the real estate business.

  • Ask and verify if they have another job or if selling real estate is their only business. Admittedly, a realtor can have another unrelated business and still provide great service but if they have another full-time job you may want to consider if that job will interfere with selling your property. There are a lot of deadlines set forth by mortgage companies and banks when selling real estate and if your agent is too busy they may miss something.

  • Look at their current listings.

Selling real estate can be complicated but if you list with the right agent it can be smooth sailings. Good luck and please call us for any background checks or investigations you may need.

Miami PSPI, LLC Process Services & Private Investigations T. 305-285-4321 / F. 877-626-7582

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