Top Three Ways to Tell

Is your agent hoarding listings?

The practice — well known to Realtors, but not to clients or the general public — consists of accumulating listings not with the intention of selling them . . . but using them to troll for clients interested in buying other, more realistically-priced homes.

It all amounts to a sort of bait-and-switch — and your home is the bait!

Here are the top three signs that your agent may be hoarding listings — including yours!

One. The other agents you interviewed suggested dramatically lower listing prices –and backed up that advice with solid market data.

Two. Your agent has more than half a dozen active listings that average more than six months of market time.

Three. You’ve had no offers — or even showings — after substantial market time (Note: market time is relative to price, but generally three months is plenty of time to at least gauge whether a price reduction is appropriate).

Wouldn’t owners of such homes know if their agent was using their home to attract other clients?

Not necessarily.

If your Sunday open house is a bust, all you’ll know is that traffic was poor, or that prospective Buyers didn’t like your home.

You won’t necessarily know that they hired your Realtor to buy something else.

Telling Homeowners What They Want to Hear

Why should home owners care if their home is a “hoarded listing?”

Time on the market is the enemy of any home owner who wants a good price for their home.

Typically, the longer a home sits at an unrealistic price — the steeper the discount down the road to move it.

It’s no accident that hoarding listings goes hand in hand with another, unsavory Realtor practice: ‘buying a listing.’

Exactly what it sounds like, it consists of telling homeowners not what their home is likely to fetch, but agreeing to take the listing at an unrealistic price in the hopes of reducing it later.

As that old real estate saying goes, ‘better to have listed and lost, then never to have listed at all.”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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