Hudson Valley Musing


My agent did not bring me a buyer and should be fired


My agent did not bring me a buyer and should be fired.

 Many who have their homes listed often wonder why their listing agent did not personally bring them a buyer.

There was a time here in the Mid-Hudson Valley when it was the norm for a listing agent to be the one bringing the buyer because that would be person the buyer would call.

Times have changed and more and more buyers seek to get their own representation, commonly referred to as a Buyer’s Agent. Buyer’s Agents, as the name implies, will look out for the interest of the buyer, thus helping the buyer to make a more informed buying decision .

Recently, I had a couple of home sellers telling me how frustrated they were that their house was on the market for some time and their listing agents did not personally bring them a buyer.

Home sellers, I can understand your frustration, the market is challenging and homes are staying on longer. The question I asked of these sellers was: Is your home being shown by other agents? The answer both times was yes. I then told them the listing agent was doing the job, by marketing and getting responses in the form of showing appointments from other agents.

These days some buyers won’t even call the company that has the listing. More than likely the listing agent will not be the one bringing you a buyer, but a buyer’s agent will.

So, if you are getting lots of showings but the listing agent did not personally bring you a buyer, that’s not a reason to fire the agent, the agent is actually doing his or her job.


Copyright © by Jennifer Fivelsdal, all rights reserved- My agent did not bring me a buyer and should be fired


  162 Deer Run Road, Red Hook NY 12571| 845-758-6842| Cell 845-594-9947

  Jennifer Fivelsdal  |   Real Estate Broker  |  or

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Comment balloon 58 commentsJennifer Fivelsdal • July 23 2011 10:48PM


Jennifer: I have said these very same words to many a seller! Thanks for putting it into writing!
Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Anderson Properties) over 6 years ago

Some people still seek out the listing agent - Most of the time they are looking for a kickback on commission.  To be honest - this is not the quality of client that you want anyway.   If someone is running around trying to get a kickback from the commission you are paying your agent - then how is that person going to be through the escrow process.

Posted by Ruthmarie Hicks (Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605) over 6 years ago

If I was buying a house, I would want to be represented by an agent and NOT be the customer.

Posted by Debbie Laity, Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO (Cedaredge Land Company) over 6 years ago

Jennifer such a good post. It is our job as the listing agent to get buyers in the door. and who has buyers...agents do, so we sell our listing to our fellow agents to get it on!

Posted by Elizabeth Arduain, Lubbock Texas Real Estate (The Diamond Group @ Keller Williams) over 6 years ago

Excellent point Jennifer!  Sellers are often misinformed and many do not realize that a vital part of the listing agent's job is to get people through the front door.  If the agent is successful in this effort, that's half the ball game.  The sale is a collective effort!

Posted by Lisa Dunham, Associate Broker, Alexandria Virginia Real Estate over 6 years ago

Jennifer, And so often the reason a buyer did not come forward was...the seller fails to listen to their agent whan a price reduction was necessary...or will not allow you to publish the amount they are willing to take!

Posted by Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!, So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR (PK Real Estate Utah South) over 6 years ago

Joni I know we have all heard this saying many times, so I decided to but the answer on paper:)

Ruthmarie You are so right, some contact the listing agent  thinking they will pay less since only one agent would be involved.  Some sellers will look for a reduction to the commission not realizing you actually did two jobs and doubled your risk.

Debbie that is the best way to go.

Posted by Jennifer Fivelsdal, Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection ( JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571) over 6 years ago

Elizabeth the listing agent main function is to get agents and their buyers into the home .  if personally bringing a buyer was the expectation the agent could simple keep it as a pocket listing.

Posted by Jennifer Fivelsdal, Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection ( JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571) over 6 years ago

Wanda it is surprising that still so many sellers are not listening to the agent's advice especially when it comes to price.

Posted by Jennifer Fivelsdal, Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection ( JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571) over 6 years ago

Jennifer, what an excellent post! Well said the listing agent is doing their job as long as buyer's agents are calling and showing their home. 

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) over 6 years ago

Jennifer, so true.  We wear different hats and there are many agents who prefer working with buyers while other prefer working with sellers and don't like to "cross the line."  The listing agent who is getting showings on a home has done his/her job, marketing the home in through all of the proper marketing venues.

Posted by Juli Vosmik, Scottsdale/Cave Creek, AZ real estate 480-710-0739 (Dominion Fine Properties) over 6 years ago

Great post, Jennifer.  Yes, things have evolved.  And, usually, as you pointed out, the reason for the long DOM is related to price (or price vs. condidtion).  These agents should be going back and addressing the price issue (or condition or both).

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 6 years ago

Excellent post. Sellers should understand that the buyers usually do not call their agent!

Posted by Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC, ... a small office, delivering big service! (Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC) over 6 years ago

Well done reminder for home sellers that buyer agents are the ones that will most likely submit an offer.

 Blooming for you!

Posted by Roy Kelley, Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs (Realty Group Referrals) over 6 years ago

Hi Jennifer. With more 500 agents in both of our KW offices in the San Antonio area, and the interactions with all the co-brokers from the MLS, it is very likely that that the buyers will have their own agents. Sellers should understand this and be glad that other agents are showing their homes.

Posted by Jerry Newman, Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation (Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, over 6 years ago

Jennifer.....great points. I think if you tell them up front that you probably won't bring the buyer then it's easier for them to understand.....Nice post!
Hope you have a relaxing day! ---Rob

Go Vols!

Posted by Rob Thomas, Bristol TN-VA & Tri Cities Agent, ABR, GRI, e-Pro (Prestige Homes of The Tri Cities, Inc. CALL....423-341-6954) over 6 years ago

Jenniver, I came by way of Joni's reblog.  Great post and so true.  Our job is to market the property to other agents so that they can bring the buyer.  If the property is getting showings then we're doing our job.

Posted by Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528, Real Estate Salesperson (Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956) over 6 years ago

Great post, Jennifer!  This is definitely something that we hear also and I always recommend that buyers have their own agents--especially if I'm not the listing agent!  LOL  Seriously, buyers need their own representation and sign calls have dropped a bit; I think buyers are smartening-up!  Suggested!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods ( | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) over 6 years ago

I tell my sellers right up front I wont bring their buyer becasue I refuse to work both sides, dual agent, I never therefore have to defend my position. A great way of dealing with this. When asked if I attract a buyer I tell them another agent will bring the buyer through. Works for me!

Posted by Corinne Guest, Managing Broker, The Best in Buyer Representation (Barrington Realty Company) over 6 years ago



Good post, sellers need to understand the home buying process and the players that will be apart of the transaction.  Thank you for sharing!

Posted by Malik Crichlow, Maplewood,SouthOrange,Union Real estate (GoodBuy Homes NJ Essex & Union County Real Estate specialist) over 6 years ago

Great post Jennifer.  I also make it a point to tell my sellers at the listing appointment, your hiring me to get your house sold and that doesn't mean that I'll be bringing the buyer.   I, then, explain what a buyers agent is and it seems to go well from that point on.  Educating our sellers is part of our job.

Posted by Gina Chirico, Real Estate Agent - Essex County, New Jersey (Lattimer Realty) over 6 years ago

Who would complain about getting showings! Does it really matter where the customer comes from, as long as you get a buyer!

Posted by Donald Reich (Prudential Centennial) over 6 years ago

You are right - there are many who think the list agent should supply the buyer.  HOWEVER if the marketing is done correctly and the home is priced right what are the odds if there are  2000 other agents in the multi list?  :)

Posted by Joy Daniels (Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd.) over 6 years ago

Jennifer - All too often the sellers don't understand the transaction and how it works. Communication is key in helping them understand how this buisiness works.

Posted by Robert Hammerstein, Bergen County NJ Real Estate (Keller Williams Valley Realty) over 6 years ago

It is now so common, that I explain to sellers on the listing appointment that I expose their home to the marketplace and most buyers may come from other companies as Buyers agents.  I handle all my buyers as a Buyers Agent. 

Posted by Jerry Morse, BBA,GRI (The Morse Company) over 6 years ago


People who have not done business in the last 20 years would be unaware of this change.


Posted by Brian Madigan, LL.B., Broker (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)) over 6 years ago

Wonderful post, Jennifer! Great explanation!

Posted by Marney Kirk, Towson, Maryland Real Estate (Cummings & Co. Realtors) over 6 years ago

We don't have dual agency here in Florida so we can work both sides of a transaction as a transaction broker. We do like to find our own buyers for our properties but even then it will not be Nestor or myself, we will give that buyer to one of our buyers agents. We are very upfront about this to our sellers prior to signing the listing. But what we will not do is to try to get buyers by using our sellers like on open houses. I never did like that - somehow it feels sneaky- using the seller to get more buyers. 

We tell our sellers that if a buyer wants to see their house that is fine, most likely they will be a lowballer because those are typically the ones seeking out the listing agent. We had a listing for 2 million and the buyer who only wanted to see the house with the listing agent, us, made an offer of 500K. Yeah, right. Well, we tell the sellers that if the buyer does not like their house, guess what the agent is going to be doing the rest of the day with that buyer- showing all the competing listings. How is that helping the seller? I tell the seller that then I am not marketing their home if I am with a buyer. I need to be marketing the seller's property and marketing their properties to other agents is a part of the plan. They get that if you explain it that way. Katerina 

Posted by Katerina Gasset, Get It Done For Me Virtual Services (Get It Done For Me Virtual Services ) over 6 years ago glad to see this got featured.  As a buyer's agent, I can attest that working with buyers takes a lot of time & if you are working with buyers, it's hard to have the time to market your listings properly. 

Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - over 6 years ago

Jennifer - Great post. In my small market, it pays to represent both, but I definitely would use a buyer's agent personally to represent me. Not that I wouldn't trust the listing agent, but I think it's just better to have personal representation. It doesn't hurt my feelings to get both sides of a sale though :)

Posted by Scotti Jowers, Realtor - West Monroe, Louisiana Homes for Sale (CENTURY 21 Shackelford French, Search West Monroe Homes ) over 6 years ago

That is different from our norm in Texas. Usually, there will be 2 parties involved but there are some that might do dual agency. Not a big fan of that. Seems to have conflict of interest.

Posted by Mike Yeo (3:16 team REALTY) over 6 years ago

Jennifer -- The job of a listing agent is to bring prospective buyers in to view the property with one of those buyers making an offer.  Whether the listing agent brings the buyer in or the hundreds of other buyer's agents is immaterial.  It does not matter who gets the buyer long as it's done!  Excellent post and essential for sellers to understand.

Posted by Barbara Altieri, REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale (RealtyQuest, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Very good point to remind Sellers. If the house is being shown then the listing agent has done his/her job. Plus there is less conflict if buyers have their own agent :-)

Posted by Ann Nguyen, Lake Tahoe Truckee Homes For Sale (eXp Realty) over 6 years ago

I hear the same thing from time to time. Sellers really do need to understand that if a buyer sees a home, they will often call their own agent before they call the listing agent. It's just how it is. Who cares who brings the buyer? So long as you get a buyer they shouldn't complain. 

Posted by J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY) over 6 years ago

Sellers just need to understand that the listing agent is doing their job if they create interest in their home and consequently it is being shown by other agents.

Posted by Kathy Sheehan, Senior Loan Officer (Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021) over 6 years ago


I think there are some sellers who still don't realize this while those of us in the business think it the norm.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) over 6 years ago

Jennifer, sellers don't usually understand that their agent's job is to market the property not bring the buyer.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) over 6 years ago

It amazes me how little the public understands about real estate.  Just another reason they need us!

Posted by Catherine Ulrey, Equestrian and Acreage Property Specialist (Keller Williams Capital City) over 6 years ago

Good post Jennifer. Sellers need a little bit of training on how the sales process works. With all the technology these days, the buyers are a lot smarter and several have surprised me as to the knowledge about the buyer when we first go see the home!

Posted by Mo Thweny, Your Realtor in West Bloomfield (Real Estate One over 6 years ago
Showings? Doesn't matter who is bringing them as long as they're coming. Some sellers would be thrilled, no matter who they're contacting.
Posted by Karen Crowson, Your Agent for Change (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 6 years ago

It is very rare that there is only one agent on the transaction.  Should an issue arise, two are better than one.

Posted by Rodney Mason, FHA 203(k) & HomeStyle Renovation-AL,FL,GA,TN (On Q Financial) over 6 years ago

Its interesting because this post got me thinking about one of my clients.  He doesn't understand that the publicity I put out there is not for ME to attract the is to attract a buyer - ANY BUYER working with ANY agent...I don't care where they come from!  I just want a buyer.

Posted by Ruthmarie Hicks (Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605) over 6 years ago

I agree with a lot of the comments about having two agents.  I usually try to suggest this to my loan applicants.  If there are two good realtors I know that both sides of the transaction are being represented fairly.  Have a great week!

Posted by Elisha Grace, Bozeman Montana Loan Officer (Rocky Mountain Credit Union) over 6 years ago

Excellent post Jennifer!  It's funny because I've heard the same thing before.  I think your explanation is great and I'm going to use it!

Posted by Adam Mallory, Broker, ABR, e-Pro (eBroker Real Estate 619-566-ADAM) over 6 years ago

Hello Jennifer,

Great post and a reminder to me and my listings that I am doing my job when people come to see their house. Thanks for sharing these thoughts

Posted by Charles Gardner-Realtor/Investor (ZIP Realty, Inc-Houston District) over 6 years ago

Jennifer, like so many above, I hear the same thing from time to time.  Sellers really don't understand the process today.  I guess it's out responsibility to make sure they know how things work out in the modern real estate world.  Thanks for the excellent post!!

Posted by Mike Cooper, Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) over 6 years ago


You are correct as long as the listing agent is effectively advertising the property, it shouldn't matter where the buyer comes from.   Especially in today's market the seller should just be happy there are buyers looking at their property.  Expectations are always high for real estate agents because some sellers use it to justify paying us the commission.


Posted by Nicholas Caron (Caron's Gateway Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Still live where 95% of our sales are list them, sell them. Lots of empty chairs at the long table at the real estate closing. The buyers call and want to talk to someone that has seen the property, does not work part time or when they feel like it. I let them know all the videos, images, all the copy information is because we were day from day one. A to Z operation.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) over 6 years ago

Here in Manhattan we have a combination of both buyer's who will go to the open houses themselves or set up appointments to see the apartment individually and also who work with a buyer's agent to view apartments.  Each way works as long as the marketing efforts are being made to show the property as much as possible.

Posted by Eileen Hsu, LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) over 6 years ago

A few years ago I talked to sellers like this. Lately they understand that buyers agents are very often used.

Posted by Chuck Carstensen, Minnesota Real Estate Expert (RE/MAX Results) over 6 years ago

Agreed!  Most of the time another agent sells our listing.  We have only sold two of our own to our buyers in the past year, but other agents have sold MANY of our listings.

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) over 6 years ago

I make this point very clear to sellers right up front on the listing presentation.  Although, there are two seperate camps out there with respect to who a buyer is more likely to use when calling on a particular listing.  In my area it looks like things are returning to the 50/50 level. 

Posted by Bob Zorechak - ABR, GRI, e-PRO, Sells Homes in Morris/Somerset/Hunterdon Cos., NJ (Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan) over 6 years ago

The listing agent has to make sure that all potential buyers SEE the listing - that it is presented on multiple sites (has lots of Google juice) and is photographed and priced well... the chances of the sellers' agent actually finding the perfect buyer him or her self is small because even in an open house situation, the seller's agent knows the buyer deserves his/her own representation if sought. We can always hope that we find the buyers and can encourage them to buy our listings.

Posted by Ellie Shorb, Realtor DC, MD & VA Luxury Home Expert (Compass Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Jennifer, this is a very good point. It looks like buyers are finally seeing that representation by a buyer's agent is beneficial.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 6 years ago

This needs to be said. That is a clever JFive Moniker. I was studying your name and trying to figre out how to pronounce it. JFIVE is Alive with great real estate ideas and posts!

Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge over 6 years ago

You are 100% right.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of uneducated and ignorant people who, through no fault of their own, don't understand the real estate market or selling process.

Posted by John Davison, Raleigh-Cary-Triangle NC (Coldwell Banker) over 6 years ago

Thanks for all the comments.   I can see that this is a subject matter many have dealt with.  I find the best way to address this, is at the listing presentation with period reminders as things progresses.

Many people have a hard time adopting to change, agents do,so it should not come as a surprise that consumers do too.

Posted by Jennifer Fivelsdal, Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection ( JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571) over 6 years ago

I saw stats on the number of times listing agents also brought the buyer, can't find them now. Anyone know?

Posted by mreyn over 6 years ago

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