RealtorsThat Don't Return Your Call!!! - Posted by John Estell(Denver)

Posted by Doris - Va. on January 15, 1999 at 18:05:57:

Thanks for clearing that up for me. I was really confused but now I see.

You learn so much from this site. I love it.

Doris - Va.

RealtorsThat Don’t Return Your Call!!! - Posted by John Estell(Denver)

Posted by John Estell(Denver) on January 13, 1999 at 23:26:56:

I know you have experienced this. When you are interested in a property and call to inquire but the realtor doesn’t call you back. I’ve called several times after recieving a fax about a listing and then have a buyer who’s interested call and the realtor doesn’t call them either. Do you have your own realtor check the place out and forget about the realtor that has the place listed? This is frustrating!! Thanks. Please tell me what you do in this case.

Re: RealtorsThat Don’t Return Your Call!!! - Posted by Rob FL

Posted by Rob FL on January 15, 1999 at 21:40:52:

I got my license to circumvent the whole other realtor process. I just call the listing office and tell them I will be showing the property to a prospect (myself). At least half the realtors out there are bozos who won’t be in the business a year or two from now.

Re: RealtorsThat Don’t Return Your Call!!! - Posted by SCook85

Posted by SCook85 on January 14, 1999 at 19:44:51:

I deal with 3 realtors. One of them I use 80% of the time. By establishing a relationship with one person they will bend over backwards to help you out. When I am interested in a property I give her the address and she gets back to me right away. Not everyone will do that for you. Mine is a relationship based on performance and trust. Besides I wouldn’t want to deal with the listing agent anyway. They represent the seller and have no loyalty to you.

Look below also to see my response to HR’s post.


Re: Thanks a Bunch to You All… - Posted by John Estell(Denver)

Posted by John Estell(Denver) on January 14, 1999 at 08:09:00:

I try this.

This works great for me - Posted by HR

Posted by HR on January 14, 1999 at 02:33:33:


After being frustrated about this happening to me, I eventually decided to skip the realtor altogether. Works fantastic!!!

Walk up to the owner’s door and say, “Hi I’m interested in seeing your home and I’ve had trouble contacting your realtor. Would you mind showing it to me right now for a quick second?” The first time I did this, it was the truth. (Everytime I’ve used it since, it’s a lie.) I skip the realtors because the seller tells you so much! I’ve NEVER had a seller say no.

They will tell you why they are selling. They will even point out defects in the home. It’s amazing what people will tell you. I notice it promotes a bonding with the homeowner, too; you are leaning on their natural inclination to feel that their realtor has not done enough for them.

When I used this the first time (with a house I eventually bought, rehabbed, and now live in), the owner told me, when asked why she was selling, (exact words) “Oh, something terrible has happened. The previous’ buyer’s financing fell through and I had already bought a lot at _____ and started moving my furniture into storage.” Terrible? I thought, “My lucky day!” The realtor likely wouldent have told me that. I like dealing face to face with owners. Better info gathering and negotiating possibilities.

How did the realtor feel? Honestly, who cares? I brought no realtor for me, so she got the full 6%, and when I demonstrated I was a serious buyer she got over her bruised ego. When you really have not tried to contact the realtor, and you pull this, they will call you afterward (assuming you leave your name and number). If I’m no longer interested in the house, I don’t return their calls. Now how’s that for a reverse of fortune!

Now when I drive down the street and see a house for sale, I don’t wait for a meeting with the realtor. I go right up and in. If I’m interested after first inspection, I will schedule with a realtor for second follow through. Works great for me. I only wish it was adaptable to vacant homes.

Good luck,


Re: RealtorsThat Don’t Return Your Call!!! - Posted by JPiper

Posted by JPiper on January 14, 1999 at 01:53:13:

I’d do one of two things:

  1. Call the broker, and explain your interest in the property and your difficulty in getting hold of the agent…and ask his/her advice on how to proceed. This will get you quick action I suspect unless…yep you guessed it, the broker doesn’t call you back!

  2. Call you own agent. I like this less well because it puts an extra person in the picture between you and the seller, and an extra mouth to feed. But it’s better than not seeing the property…and in my case my wife is an agent.


Re: RealtorsThat Don’t Return Your Call!!! - Posted by Dave T

Posted by Dave T on January 14, 1999 at 24:18:00:

I had this happen recently. A bank REO was listed with a local realtor. The local realtor did not return my calls.

Never found out what happened, but I suspect that this property was purchased “in house”. Purchase price was 80% of list price-- more than I would have offered.

Re: This works great for me - Posted by SCook85

Posted by SCook85 on January 14, 1999 at 19:50:38:


I like your approach but for me it wouldn’t work at all. I have not bought a single home yet where people lived in the home. Every single listed home that I have bought has been vacant. Because of this I tend not to even look at the homes that have occupants unless they have ridiculously low asking prices. What I have done is to learn all the combinations that realtors use on there lock boxes.
Reason being is that there are about a dozen agents that list 90% of the foreclosures and handymans in my area. When I know the combos I just go in (Don’t tell anyone). I also use these same combinations to show the properties to prospective buyers once I have the home under contract. I’ve gotten permission from most of the listing agents now to just go into their homes without appointments. Once you establish relationships with all of them, you may be able to do the same.


Re: This works great for me - Posted by JPiper

Posted by JPiper on January 14, 1999 at 13:39:37:

Just thought I would point out that in most listing contracts there is a clause that requires the owner to refer all inquiries about the property to the listing agent. Not doing this causes the owner to breach his contract. Not that I suspect a Realtor would file suit over this breach. I’m just pointing this element out to you.

Interesting technique. I might try that myself.


Re: This works great for me - Posted by A Miller

Posted by A Miller on January 14, 1999 at 10:51:12:

I definitely like your style.
I sometimes get a realtor that trys to protect their
whole 6% commission or wants another offer within
their office to get the property, etc.
I get very direct and go right to the owner and explain
the situation.
Even after the sale goes down and I suspect foul play
I go right to the seller and expose the situation and
hope they sue the broker.
I have been screwed by so many realtors I refuse to
take it. It takes very little time and effort to expose
the roaches.

Re: This works great for me - Posted by phil fernandez

Posted by phil fernandez on January 14, 1999 at 07:16:22:


That is an excellent technique. If the realtor is too lazy to return calls, why not. You will gain alot more information by knocking on the sellers door and talking to the seller. A realtor wouldn’t and can’t relay this type of information back to you.

Sure you’re stepping on the realtors toes abit here, but as you say who cares. What I have found by using your technique is that sellers will talk. They are happy you might be interested in their home. And frankly most do not like realtors. The perception of their laziness is out there.

Re: This works great for me - Posted by Carol

Posted by Carol on January 14, 1999 at 07:12:29:

So simple - so elegant!
Even on vacant or multi’s it can work.
A friend of mine looked up the owner in the property records, called him, put a deal together with the owner and THEN they called the listing agent to tell him he had a commission coming! (it was two 4-plexes … he fully financed the first one so the buyer could then spruce up and refi it and use the cash out to have a down payment to buyer the second one with convnetional financing - nice, huh? Trust me - the Realtor would NEVER have come up with that one!)

Electronic lockboxes? - Posted by HR

Posted by HR on January 14, 1999 at 21:05:59:


I love your idea. I’m seriously considering getting my re license, so I can have access to not just the MLS but vacant homes. As I understand it, if I get my license, I can no longer circumvent realtors first and talk to owners. This will dampen my little technique; I have to think about this.

Anyway, in my area, they use electronic lockboxes where you stick in your “key” and your code opens the box. There is no combo to pick. Is this the system used in your area? If so, how do you get around/through it?


Ps. Your secret is safe with me. I love it!

Good tidbit - Posted by HR

Posted by HR on January 14, 1999 at 14:01:59:

Thanks Jim,

That’s a good piece of info to have (which I didn’t). For the future, I’ll make sure the seller knows to inform the realtor of my visit and intent. I’ve found they always do.

Also, as far as the upset realtor goes, I find that they are initially miffed that I did an end run around them. However, when they discover that it was not to cut them out of the deal (their big fear), but to talk directly to the seller, and MOST IMPORTANT, when they learn I don’t have a realtor and they start getting visions of 6% commissions floating in their heads (double their anticipated paycheck from the deal), I find they get over it real fast. In fact, they can become real cooperative.

I play dumb. When I tell them I had difficulty getting in touch with them and ask them their number, I say, “that doesn’t sound like the number to me. And you don’t sound like the man/woman on the answering machine.” Again, they get over it fast when they know Im serious and they get two pockets full of commission instead of one.

Finally, it’s much easier talking to the homeowner again for a second or third time after making that first contact.

Good luck,


Re: Good tidbit - Posted by Doris - Va.

Posted by Doris - Va. on January 14, 1999 at 19:45:41:

What double commission? Please explain? Just because you do not have a “realtor of your own” how does that bring the seller’s realtor a double commission?

I have always been under the impression that only the seller pays the realtor. Even if you have a buyer’s broker to find deals for you - it is the seller on that deal who will be paying the realtor.
I am really confused now!!!

Am I missing something here? Please straighten me out as I am a newbie and still learning.

Thanks — Doris - Va.

6% not 3% - Posted by HR

Posted by HR on January 14, 1999 at 21:00:25:

Hi Doris,

I consider myself very green at this, too. By double commission, I mean the agent gets the full 6% listing. When an agent (“listing agent”) gets approval to market a home for a homeowner, they sign a contract that stipulates the percentage the agents will get for the sale. In my area, it’s 6%: 3% for the listing agent and 3% to the buyer’s agent. Because I don’t bring in an agent, the listing agent gets the full 6% commission. Thus, if the house was to sell for 100k, instead of each agent getting 3k (3%), that listing agent gets 6k (6%) because no other agent is involved. That’s why their bruised ego recovers real fast.

Good luck!