2017 Apr 2nd

What Else Won’t Your Hoboken Agent Do For You?

I received some troubling feedback on a showing of one of my listings the other day.  It said, “We didn’t make it because of the hurdles needed to get the keys.”

Alarmed by what I read, thinking the keys may have been lost or the electronic fob needed to open the building door not functioning, I immediately called the agent to ask what had happened.

Now mind you, this is a million dollar property.  Even a brand new agent with the most stingy split stands to earn at least $12,362.50 (by my calculations) if they sell this property.  According to the MLS, this particular agent has never sold or rented a property in all of Hudson County.  You’d think she would be a bit hungry for some business.  The agent’s response left me speechless.

“I had to go to the office to get the keys.”

My office is exactly 3 blocks from the property.  3 short blocks.  And it wasn’t even raining.  When agents receive confirmation for a requested appointment, they are told the key is in the office.

Yes, sometimes to show properties in Hoboken, you need to pick keys up at the brokerage office.  That is your job.  If that is too big a hurdle for you, and you are too lazy to pick up a key to show a million dollar property, you need to find another job.

In law school, I learned a phrase – Caveat Emptor.  It means “Buyer Beware”.  Buyer Beware has taken on a whole new meaning here.  If your agent can’t be bothered to pick up the keys to show you a property, what else won’t she be willing to do for you?


  1. Mark

    Serious question: why do educated buyers need agents today? If they know the market – as many buyers in Hoboken do – and have a good mortgage broker (if needed), home inspector, and lawyer, what does an agent get a buyer? I understand they’re free to the buyer and work on our behalf, but I’m also not able to see FSBO places with an agent and spammed with multiple MLS listings that I can just find on Trulia, Zillow, etc. myself.

    Obviously, an agent will be more helpful for sellers, but I’m seeing more and more FSBO’s listed and if the seller is willing to list on his/her own, why wouldn’t I go this route?

  2. Lori Turoff

    I could write a book but don’t have time. Briefly, buyers are NOT as educated as they may like to think they are. I’ve probably seen upward of 10,000 apartments over the years. How many has a buyer seen? I’ve been tracking sales statistics for over 10 years. I’ve negotiated hundreds of deals in all sorts of circumstances. I know who the good and bad agents, lawyers, mortgage lenders and home inspector are. Does a buyer? Or do they just go by the recommendation of a friend? How many multiple offer situations have they navigated? That’s just the tip of the iceberg (assuming you have a competent, knowledgeable, experienced agent and not one of the terrible ones that are certainly out there). As for sellers, do you really want to be home all day to show the property and interact with potential buyers who, simply, may not like you? Do you know how to take professional photos and video? Are you a home stager? Sure, it can be done but it is just not smart and will often cost you lost sales price in the end.

  3. Chili Agee

    I think the better question would be, if I was a buyer, why wouldn’t I want an agent? A good agent will help me cut through the clutter and save me time. The seller is paying the commission so it doesn’t cost me anything to have an agent, and the listing agent would just get both halves of the commission and would still have the obligation to get the most money possible for the seller. I’d have to be some kind of self-important, egotistical jerk not to have an agent. Lori – I’ve been reading your blog for years and when I need an agent I’m coming to YOU!

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