Should You Send Your Listing to Other Agents?

Will Another Agent Find a Buyer For Your Home?

couple showing real estate listing to agent
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I received the sweetest email from a seller I did not know. The seller said she met me several years ago. She mentioned that I was very helpful to her and gave her a lot of useful information. I think we could have met at an open house. This time she was writing to tell me that she had just listed her home in East Sacramento, and she was wondering if I might know of a buyer for her home.

I did not recall her, but this incident made me realize that many sellers have no idea how real estate agents work.

After I picked my jaw up off the ground, I wrote back to the seller to say that I rarely represent buyers. My work is primarily focused on taking listings, representing sellers of homes in East Sacramento and surrounding neighborhoods. I let her know that I would pass on her information to my buyer's agents who work on my own listings. I tried to be polite, knowing that my agents won't care.

However, the seller still didn't get it. She sent me another email promoting more aspects of her home. Apparently she found her listing agent through a recent open house as well. I don't think it dawned on her that we worked at different brokerages. But even if we worked at the same brokerage, we're still competitors.

It's entirely possible that this seller had forgotten about me until she listed her home and then felt it was a good idea to send her listing to all the agents she had ever met. She was probably hoping that one of us would have a buyer for her home.

Here are some reasons why it's probably not a good idea to send a listing to other real estate agents, unless those agents are exclusive buyer's agents:

  • Agents who specialize in listings expect to take listings and sometimes do not represent buyers, especially those who work on teams.
  • An agent might be offended that the seller chose a different listing agent.
  • All agents have access to the same listings in MLS and already have the information, so it's a little annoying.
  • Agents don't determine which neighborhoods to show a buyer, generally a buyer chooses the area.
  • The way an agent finds a buyer is to list a home for sale and then market that home.
  • A seller can appear too eager to sell and desperate for a sale without meaning to give this impression.

I find it useless when I receive email flyers from other agents. I doubt I am alone in that assessment. If I wanted to look at their listing, I would go visit that home on tour or pull up the information in MLS. If it's an area in which I sell, I've already flipped through the photos in MLS of the new listing. If it's an area in which I do not sell, I probably don't need to know about it.

If a home is truly exceptional, one-of-a-kind -- maybe a $50-million mansion, because there is none in Sacramento -- I'm betting other agents would find a flyer interesting, regardless of where the home is located. Otherwise, it's just junk mail and spam.

At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, DRE # 00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.