Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: Not Working with Agent, But Want Services of Agent - Real Estate Q & A

Not Working with Agent, But Want Services of Agent - Real Estate Q & A

You know how sometimes you hear something or read something and it makes you chuckle, and you keep going back to those thoughts and you laugh out loud?  I had a moment this morning like that, and I keep reading the article and laughing out loud.

Real estate Questions and has an "Ask George & Chuck" section. The public or agents can write in questions and George & Chuck will answer them, to the best of their ability.  Here is a posting from Aug 6, 2012.

"Dear George: My wife and I are selling our home. We chose not to list it in the multiple listing service because we heard it costs an exorbitant fee. We are finding out, however, that selling our home is a time-intensive process; one of us has to be available to answer phone inquiries as well as show our home. Are you aware of any services that would field these phone calls and handle showing our home?"

Doesn't that make you laugh?  These people are asking real estate experts about how to bypass working with a REALTOR®, but still get the services a REALTOR®  takes care of.  It makes me laugh to think how people think it couldn't possibly be worth their time and effort to sell their own home, but yet they don't want to pay for an expert to help them do the things they don't want to do. What about "it takes money to make money"? They might think it's an "exorbitant" amount of fees, but it's all relative if it frees up their time and energy of answering the phone, answering questions, being home for showings because how else is someone going to view the house, taking time off work in order to be home for the showings, etc...

With Q&A, I don't always agree with the answers some experts give, but that's what makes the world go 'round. We all have different views. In this case, I was giving a huge high-five to George:

"Answer: Yes. It’s called your local association of REALTORS®. Visit and select "Find a REALTOR®" at the top of the page. Follow the steps to locate a Texas REALTOR® who is not only qualified to take phone calls and show your house, but can advise you throughout the sales process and assist you with all required documentation."

I wonder what type of response they were hoping for?  Maybe a number to an answering service that takes messages? By the way, here's my profile following the directions above.

**Are You Packed Yet?**

donna harris Realtor Austin TX blog

Donna Harris, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Austin Skyline

Austin TX Real Estate and the surrounding areas of Lakeway, Bee Cave, West Lake Hills, CedarPark, Round Rock, Spicewood, Circle-C, Steiner Ranch, and everywhere in between... Hill Country Austin TX Real Estate and beyond. Whether you're buying or selling an Austin home, I'll be with you every step of the way. 

For real time Austin TX listings,click here.

** Multi-Million Dollar Producer Year after Year **
** Platinum Top 50 Finalist 2011 out of almost 9000 agents in Austin TX**
** Five-Star Professional 2011 & 2012 **
** RE/MAX 100% Club **

Copyright© 2012 By Donna Harris, All Rights Reserved. You may re-blog with links back to this post.
* Not Working with Agent, But Want Services of Agent - Real Estate Q & A 
* was first published on

Comment balloon 36 commentsDonna Harris • August 13 2012 12:59PM


Donna, that is pretty funny.

Posted by Tamra Lee Ulmer, FORCE~NRBA ~ Over 1000 REO Assets SOLD! (Arizona Resource Realty) over 7 years ago

I actually had a caller tell me "I don't want an agent.  I just want you to tell me how to sell my house.

You gotta love them.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 7 years ago

I love how Donna we are supposed to work for free and that is still a good deal for us. AND they seem to be ok with that.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) over 7 years ago

Donna-  very is amazing what people will do to use , abuse and 9discard us.



Posted by Gay E. Rosen, As Real as Real Estate Gets! (Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty) over 7 years ago
Wow how many people try to cheapen out only to find they are not the professionals they thought they were. Great chuckle Here too
Posted by Peter Matyko, Keller Williams Realty (Keller Williams Realty Advantage) over 7 years ago

I appreciate your posting this as I had a similar experience recently myself.  I do scaled down listing contracts if people are serious and ask me about them.  Business is business if I make a reasonable return for my efforts.  But I find I rarely get asked for low fee representation these days.  Sure maybe a slightly but sellers in my area seem to know they get what they pay for.

Posted by John F Muscarella, Broker/Owner, Venice, FL, Florida's Suncoast (RIVER FARM PROPERTIES, LLC) over 7 years ago

Too funny and good for George lol :)!  They are always trying aren't they lol :)!!  

Posted by Brenda Mullen, Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!! (RE/MAX Access) over 7 years ago

Hi Donna,  I also woud be laughing if it wasn't so common !  I did like the final answer though.

Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) over 7 years ago

I'm a little surprised that the answer didn't include something about real estate commissions being a matter of negotiation.   I'm glad though, this couple didn't need to be encouraged to beat up every Realtor they meet on the percentage.  Yes, I did laugh.

Posted by Julia Fordtner (Aspire Realty Group) over 7 years ago

Hhmm, wonder what it would be like to be the listing agent for ths couple's home?  Even after going through all the services an agent provides, they probably wouldn't think it was worth it. Thanks for the laugh Donna.

Posted by Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR, Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area (Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes) over 7 years ago

Hi Donna - That IS funny!  I once had a lady call me and ask how much I would charge her "just" to get her listing on MLS, advise her where to buy signs and then once she found a buyer, to help her prepare all the paperwork and get it through escrow.  I told her if she just listed her home with me I'd do all that and more for x% of the sales price, but if she wanted me to do everything but the marketing (which is what it seemed she was asking), my price would be twice my normal commission because I'd be assuming liability for anything that she did wrong in the negotiations.  There was silence for a moment, and then she simply thanked me and hung up. 

Posted by Susan Neal, Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker (RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks) over 7 years ago

Donna, it takes all kinds. I'll never get over the amount of information or help sellers want to receive for nothing.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) over 7 years ago

It is comical and another issue is as Realtors we would be liable for any free information if something went wrong, so if I am going to be liable, I am going to get compensated. I do like your reply back to George.

Posted by Kathy Stoltman, Ventura County Real Estate Consultant 805-746-1793 (Rockwood Realty) over 7 years ago

Funny...and good for George for that answer, no I'm sure they did not think it was funny. 

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) over 7 years ago


We run a business and are happy to answer a few questions.  If you want a disertation without hiring us, we are not the right folks for you.  Some folks want life for free.  It's not how it works and FREE can cost them a lot more than actually paying an agent might.  Surprising to folks, but true. 

All the best, Michelle

Posted by Michelle Francis, Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease (Tim Francis Realty LLC) over 7 years ago

Donna you rock in my book, by writing this blog...SMH.  Folks literally just kill me!

Posted by Cheryl Thomson REALTOR Army Ret, Associate Broker in Northern Virginia ( United Real Estate (703.216.5635) over 7 years ago

Donna, this is both sad and funny. People are always looking for free advice from experts but seldom know how to make it work

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 7 years ago

Ya gotta love George and Chuck.  Most of the time, when answering a question about some real estate mess, they simply say "you didn't have representation, did you?"

Posted by Jeanne Gregory (RE/MAX Southwest) over 7 years ago

Hello Donna,

This is too funny! Yea, what else we can do with our time? Just to drive people around, show them homes... Who needs pay check?

Have a great week.

Posted by Tatyana Makarov, Your Greater Hartford Area Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

I had one tell me. I don't want to use an agent. Can you tell me how I market my home on the internet? My answer, "I have NO idea how you would do it. I've never tried to sell a home FSBO before." ☺ 

Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (101 Main St. Realty) over 7 years ago

The FSBO's I've seen always wanted more money than the property was worth. I think their ego tells them they can talk people into paying that higher price. And save the commission on top of that, of course. Once they find out it doesn't work that way, they will start to listen.

Posted by Hella Mitschke Rothwell, Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker ((831) 626-4000) over 7 years ago

This seems to happen all to frequently.  NAR could go a long way to educating the public about all that we do .. This would be a good idea for their next ad campaigns.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 7 years ago

Hi Donna,

I have to admit, this one made me chuckle as well.

Selling a home is a full time job, that requires commitment, knowledge and expertise in order to sell at the top of the market quickly,

Hopefully these homeowners made the right decision.


Posted by Digital Digital, full service over 7 years ago

I guess you have to admire the gall in asking, but what are they thinking? Oh, they're not.

I had to laugh as well. I suppose they could PAY someone to asnwer the phone and PAY someone to show it.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California) over 7 years ago

Donna - I'm curious what they thought might be available.  The answer given was pretty much what popped into my head when I read the question.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) over 7 years ago
I sometimes teach a segment at a First Time Homebuyers course, that runs 8 hours. Even after that, the attendees are amazed at how much there is to learn. And they haven't even looked at homes yet, let alone written an offer or gotten into a contract. The Internet lets people think they know all they need to know, but many learn how hard it is to make sense of if you don't do it day in, day out.
Posted by Karen Crowson, Your Agent for Change (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

I think George and Chuck lost an opportunity to engage the consumer as to why they didn't want to list the property. Maybe it was a potential short sale listing or they could have taken the listing as a reduced service based listing.

Posted by Satar Naghshineh (Satar - Amiri Property and Financial Services Corp.) over 7 years ago
Duh? Clearly they could not have been thinking when they asked that question. I know there is supposed to be no such thing as a stupid question, but I gotta tell ya, that one comes pretty dang close.
Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (Keller Williams Realty) over 7 years ago

I got a chuckle. Thank you for the post.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) over 7 years ago

Donna, I have received many calls from sellers who want my advice for selling the house without listing it with me...i send them the things I do and tell them call me when they are ready to hand off the time consuming work!

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in Southern RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) over 7 years ago

I have this pain on my right lower side near my appendix that I bet needs to come out but I don't want to incur unnecessary expenses. Is there a kit or tool that I can buy to help me explore this further...thank you in advance Doctor

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 7 years ago


The person who asked the questions shows that he knows nothing about how Realtors work by saying the cost to be on the MLS is exorbitant.  The answer was short and to the point and I hope the questioner takes the advice.

Posted by Evelyn Kennedy, Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA (Alain Pinel Realtors) over 7 years ago

Entitlement Mentality!

Mr & MS FSBO this is a business a profession that I take very seriously and so should you....So here's my question back to you FSBO what do I get out of  this and what are you going to do for me? Just Asking

Posted by Monica Nunchuck, St. Augustine Buyer's Agent (Florida Homes Realty & Mtg) over 7 years ago

I wish this had a LIKE button!!!

Posted by Donna Galinsky, Make Lake Norman Your Home! (Allen Tate Company) over 7 years ago

This same scenario hits way too close to home far too often...sad but true.  Great story, thanks for sharing

Posted by Wayne Bennett, Real Estate...As It Should Be (One Home Team Realty/Charlotte,NC 704-293-3931) over 7 years ago

Thank you for all the comments. Yes, I was surprised other options weren't given like those fees for services or flat fee options, but many of those services don't offer the options this home owner wanted as they're flat fee or discounted fees for a reason, they don't want to handle the calls or the showings.

It's like yesterday a home owner asked me who she should call to stage her house if she decided not to work with me as the listing agent. I told her I didn't know because it was an added service I offer with my listings and if she wasn't going to use me, maybe the agent she picks would have a recommendation. She asked me how much it would cost. I told her I didn't know because I offer it as part of my listing services. She was like, "I hope someone doesn't charge me like $500 for a consulation when I can get it free if I work with you." It's not "free", it's just included and I tried to explain is for 20 minutes...

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - over 7 years ago