If You’re Using Neighbor City to Find a Phoenix Home, Think Again

328885_289448647732649_1438363659_oIn the effort to not contact a real estate agent directly, it seems buyers will go to any length to search for homes.

Take, for example, those folks who go to Neighbor City.com, which scrapes MLS data and sells leads from those scraped listings to participating agents for a referral fee. The site tells you “the right agent is the key to your new home”; what it doesn’t say is there are a few hurdles in the way of an agent helping a client.

Such as this … if I were to call a buyer I received through Neighbor City, I can’t call direct. I’m giving a phone number that I call that thanks me for contacting the Neighbor City client and then I’m patched through to the buyer. If the buyer doesn’t answer, I can’t leave a voice message – Neighbor City cuts in and says to try later.

Not all that efficient, when you think about it.

As for the incoming calls I received after accepting a lead? I was getting two to three calls a day through the phone number given and told it was “a call from a Neighbor City client.” Except it never was. Every single time, it was a sales call offering me advertising, or pencils, or whatever the hell the scumsucking telemarketers were offering.

Hard to see where this benefits the buyer who just wants to purchase. And, apparently, they realize the same thing though a bit too late:

“Is the home on Quail and 37th available? Why are you so difficult to reach?”

We (the agents) are difficult to reach because you’re not reaching out to one. You’re reaching out to a third party looking to collect their 30 percent referral fee for doing absolutely nothing other than constructing obstacles in between you and your new home. In the Phoenix market, the last thing you need is more challenges.

If “Mike” were to contact me directly I could answer his question. I also could then tell him the home he’s asking about sold almost three years ago. Or, hell, maybe he asked about it three years ago and he’s just being assigned now.

In any event, it’s a scam. Nothing more, nothing less. Stay away and caveat emptor.

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at allphoenixrealestate.com.