Should you bother with listing agents?

by MPA24 Nov 2015
When I approach real estate agents, they sometimes tell me that they are listing agents and I should not bother to call on them. Some add that they don't deal with buyers. Should I just stay away from them?
--Jocelyn from Michigan

I have heard this time and time again. Your question actually brings up several issues, thus, it will take me a few weeks to work through the answers. Let me start with these two issues: meeting and research. The first question is, how are you meeting them? Is it an encounter at an event, or are you walking cold into their office or their open house? Or perhaps you were introduced to them, making it a warmer call. Unless you meet at an event, you should not be approaching agents you don't know, at least not without doing research first.

What do you need to do in order to research? For one, are they a productive agent? Ninety percent of agents are not productive and therefore you don't want to meet with them though there are some exceptions. You should also learn something about their background--how long they have been an agent, where are they from, where they went to school, etc. But part of this research is to see whether they are focused upon listings or sales. In other words, unless it is a chance encounter, you should never be surprised by the fact that they are "primarily" a listing agent. And if they are, you need to be prepared for the proper answer. We will get to that next week.
--Dave Hershman

Dave Hershman has been the leading author and a top speaker for the industry for decades with six books authored and hundreds of articles published. His website is If you have a reaction to this commentary or another question you would like answered in this column? Email Dave directly at [email protected].