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Agent Resents Advice

February 04, 1990

I am writing on behalf of myself and the other 85 agents in the Woodland Hills office of Fred Sands Realtors.

I take great exception to Robert L. Bruss' advice to sellers to only give a listing to a realtor for 30 days. As if this is not poor enough advice, admonition to sellers to "be sure the listing agent agrees in writing to allow the seller to cancel the listing at any time without cause and without cost" (Jan. 14), is nothing short of outrageous!

I am hard-working, professional realtor-associate whose listings and sales come mainly as the result of personal referrals. It is not difficult to check the references of the agent with whom you wish to list your house. A listing contract is a contract of employment. What contract of employment may be terminated at a moment's notice?

All of my listings are vigorously marketed and no expense is spared to promote them. It would not be unusual for myself and my company to spend $4,000 to $5,000 to promote each listing.

Despite constant broker and public open houses, beautiful picture-brochures distributed widely, national and local newspaper, and television advertising, in today's market, some homes do not sell quickly.

When this happens, it is never the fault of a seller for making it hard to show his property, keeping an untidy house, insisting on too high an asking price or being in a difficult location (i.e. backing to a freeway). No, it is always the fault of the real estate agent!

The clause Bruss advocates would allow a listing to be canceled perhaps within 24 hours of a large sum of money being spent. This is hardly fair to the diligent agent.

I would be grateful if Bruss would cease to belittle the efforts of myself and my colleagues, and instead, devote himself to assisting buyers and sellers to realize the dream of the American home ownership.

HEATHER SIMMS

Woodland Hills

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