La Canada Flintridge & La Crescenta Real Estate | Harb & Co.

Family Real Estate Drama

askphyllis real estate question, real estate q and A

Dear Phyllis,

I have four siblings and am the executor for my parent’s home and there is family real estate drama. After my mom passed, my brother wanted me to list the home with one of his high school friends. I interviewed his friend but hired an agent who has a lot more listings and mails frequently to the neighborhood. My parent’s home has been listed for two months. It’s vacant so it’s easy to show. My agent hired a photographer and the home is listed in the MLS.  Each day I get a call from either my bother or one of my sisters asking if we have offers. Of course my brother is blaming me for not hiring his friend. What else should our agent do to get this home sold?

Thank You,
One of Five

Dear One,

Has your Realtor® had a broker’s open house? New listings are made available for the real estate community to view each week. If the home has not yet been on broker’s tour, your agent should do so now (better late than never). If the broker’s tour is months after the fact, your agent should offer an incentive for agent’s to come: refreshments, lunch, raffle, etc.

Has the home been open for weekend open houses? As the home is vacant there is no reason it should not be held open every weekend. If your agent works for one of the larger real estate companies, this is simple enough. There are always agents wanting to hold weekend open houses in the hopes of obtaining new clients. Weekend open houses make it easy for buyers who have seen your parent’s home online to visit in person.

The internet has changed how buyers search for homes. Buyers no longer canvas neighborhoods. Your first showings are online (good that you have professional photos). Ask your agent to improve the marketing description; perhaps you can give him some ideas.

Unfortunately, listings quickly, become “stale” and the longer the home is on the market, the less exciting it becomes. Your agent should explain what they are doing to get your parent’s home sold. It’s your agent’s job to keep you informed, and let you know why the home has not sold. Ask your agent to update you on his efforts and also the market assessment. Which homes have sold while you have been on the market? Ask your Realtor® why he thinks those homes have sold and not your parents. You hired this Realtor® and insist that he do his job: sell the home or explain to you why it hasn’t sold.

Best of luck on your sale and the end to your family real estate drama.

Call Phyllis @ 818 790-7325 or email her at with your real estate questions.