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Old 09-10-2010, 04:26 PM   #15
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So why do sales people try such absurd tricks? Well if baby holds out candy might as well take it, and if someone is green enough to pay you for nothing why not?
I would guess if everyone was as well informed as you there would be no need for real estate agents.

I'm not a realtor, but I know one very well. She spends an incredible amount of time educating buyers and sellers who lack your in-depth knowledge and expertise in the real estate field.

And lots of times she puts out all that effort with no paycheck at the end. There are moochers on both sides of these transactions. There are lots of FSBO's who expect the "buyer's agent" to take care of all the coordination and put together a closing with next to nothing.

And during all this they need to be pleasant, steady as a rock, and provide emotional support during one of the most stressful events in someones life.

My hat's off to them. There are crooks in every profession, even the ministry. Unless you've walked in their shoes, don't be so quick to condemn.
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Old 09-11-2010, 06:07 AM   #16
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I'm sure there are good realtors. And I'm sure there are people who need the help. What I see, however, is the real estate agent going the way of the travel agent. And I think the same dynamic is at work. At one point, travel agents had access to information that consumers didn't. This changed with the Internet. Now, I can book an extensive trip entirely online, read reviews, consult professional opinions--all for less cost than using a local agent. What's happened in real estate is that the balance of power has shifted. The MLS is the last competitive advantage for most realtors... and most consumers have access via a flat fee listing. Just to clarify, I don't think realtor are any better or worse than any other profession where a week's worth of coursework will get you a license. It's just that they are an increasingly unnecessary profession.
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Old 09-11-2010, 08:23 AM   #17
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I would guess if everyone was as well informed as you there would be no need for real estate agents.

I'm not a realtor, but I know one very well. She spends an incredible amount of time educating buyers and sellers who lack your in-depth knowledge and expertise in the real estate field.

And lots of times she puts out all that effort with no paycheck at the end. There are moochers on both sides of these transactions. There are lots of FSBO's who expect the "buyer's agent" to take care of all the coordination and put together a closing with next to nothing.

And during all this they need to be pleasant, steady as a rock, and provide emotional support during one of the most stressful events in someones life.

My hat's off to them. There are crooks in every profession, even the ministry. Unless you've walked in their shoes, don't be so quick to condemn.
As I said before I have been investing in real estate for 35 years. My dream is to find a RE agent who will help put a deal through, not prevent it or try to dictate what they think the buyer and seller ought to do.

If I could find such an agent he or she would get commission check after commission check after commission check.

I did know one agent who was dumb as hell, and not much help putting a deal together, but did get the paperwork done on time without criticizing and second guessing the deal. She's the best I ever met, and she was very popular and made tons of money.
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Old 09-11-2010, 08:30 AM   #18
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Where real estate agents get their ideas I don't know. I had a new experience just a few weeks ago that I found unbelievable.

I listed an old hotel that has been empty and out of use for at least 5 years. The agent put on the listing, "this building must be torn down".

I asked him where the hell that came from. I never told him to put that in the listing. He didn't have an answer, basically he thought it up all by himself. So I asked him, do you think that makes the property more valuable, because it doesn't. He had to admit that that statement depreciated the value of the property by at least $85,000, the cost of demolition. So I asked if he was an architect, or an engineer, or on what basis he figured the building had to come down? Once again he was stuck for an answer. Basically, he pulled an idea out of his ass that could have cost me over $85,000 for nothing.

The building was solid brick, built in the 1850s. The roof is solid, the foundation is solid, everything is solid. No way it needs to be torn down. I guess he just thought it would be fun to make the property harder to sell. Or maybe he never thought at all.

Fortunately a buyer came along who is smart enough not to pay attention to real estate agents, and I got it sold. I can't help thinking I would have got more money if he hadn't chased away potential buyers with his stupidity.

By the way this is a man 70 years old who has been selling real estate for 40 years, and came highly recommended. You don't want to know what the green ones are capable of.
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Old 09-11-2010, 08:40 AM   #19
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"She spends an incredible amount of time educating buyers and sellers"

There's the problem in a nut shell. That is not her job. Her job is to help buyers and sellers put a deal through.

If she helped her customers get what they want she would drive a lot fewer customers away, and would collect a lot more commission checks with a lot less effort.
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Old 09-11-2010, 09:54 AM   #20
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"There's the problem in a nut shell. That is not her job. Her job is to help buyers and sellers put a deal through."
You put everyone else in your narrow frame of reference. Not everyone has your expertise. Not everyone sees education as a "problem in a nutshell".

And thank you for taking it upon youself to define her job. It's not YOUR job, is it?

Someone needs to help first time buyers, which you are not. A lot of people appreciate the help. You've obviously had some bad experiences with realtors. I'm sure they share your opinion of the interaction.
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Old 09-11-2010, 10:25 AM   #21
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I listed an old hotel that has been empty and out of use for at least 5 years. The agent put on the listing, "this building must be torn down".

Granted, so far I've only sold 3 properties in my life... but I haven't yet allowed my agent to post a listing I haven't proofread first. As dumb as your agent was for including that line in the listing, you were a party to the transaction and have a duty to look out for your own interests.

Personally, I think many agents add little or no value to the transaction. The last time I sold a house, I had a hell of a time with the buyer's agent. The last straw was when he came back 2 days after closing howling about some cans of paint left in the garage (paint in the colors of the house's interior, exterior and trim, mind you.) He seemed to think it was my responsibility to remove them, from 300 miles away. I don't think he at all expected my response of "First, it was YOUR responsibility to either inspect the house before closing or recommend that your clients do so. If your clients are inconvenienced by having some touch-up paint around, since I just paid you $4800, you can do some actual work for a change and go get the damned paint yourself."

I didn't begrudge my own agent her commission, since the house hadn't sold before we had to move, so she was handling things that would have been very inconvenient for me to deal with remotely. The buyer's agent never did much for me but show his buyers the house and make me mad.
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:39 AM   #22
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Granted, so far I've only sold 3 properties in my life... but I haven't yet allowed my agent to post a listing I haven't proofread first. As dumb as your agent was for including that line in the listing, you were a party to the transaction and have a duty to look out for your own interests.

Personally, I think many agents add little or no value to the transaction. The last time I sold a house, I had a hell of a time with the buyer's agent. The last straw was when he came back 2 days after closing howling about some cans of paint left in the garage (paint in the colors of the house's interior, exterior and trim, mind you.) He seemed to think it was my responsibility to remove them, from 300 miles away. I don't think he at all expected my response of "First, it was YOUR responsibility to either inspect the house before closing or recommend that your clients do so. If your clients are inconvenienced by having some touch-up paint around, since I just paid you $4800, you can do some actual work for a change and go get the damned paint yourself."

I didn't begrudge my own agent her commission, since the house hadn't sold before we had to move, so she was handling things that would have been very inconvenient for me to deal with remotely. The buyer's agent never did much for me but show his buyers the house and make me mad.
I already told you, it wasn't in the listing agreement I signed. The broker made it up himself out of his own head. Then he included it in the listing he published on MLS, in the ads he put in the paper, and in an information handout he prepared to give to potential buyers. I found out about it when I read it in the local newspaper, along with 50,000 other people. By that time the cat was out of the bag. He never asked if he should do it and did not tell me before hand. If I had even suspected he was thinking of such a thing I would have stopped it but by the time I got wind of it, it was too late. Hope that is clear.

The agent yelling about the paint does not surprise me a bit. The only thing surprising is that he waited until it was too late to screw up the deal. I'll bet that wasn't the only little "educational suggestion" he came up with. In other words your house sold IN SPITE of him, NOT because of him.
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:50 AM   #23
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You put everyone else in your narrow frame of reference. Not everyone has your expertise. Not everyone sees education as a "problem in a nutshell".

And thank you for taking it upon youself to define her job. It's not YOUR job, is it?

Someone needs to help first time buyers, which you are not. A lot of people appreciate the help. You've obviously had some bad experiences with realtors. I'm sure they share your opinion of the interaction.
What planet are you from? When I hire someone it certainly is up to me define her job. If she doesn't do the job properly, it is up to me to correct her. As a professional real estate agent she answers to her client (me) and to the law. She is supposed to represent MY interests as long as what I ask her to do is within the law. It is actually illegal for an agent to side against her client or to take money from the other party without permission.

I'm not even talking about education. I am talking about agents refusing to sell a client the house they want because they (the agent) prefers a different style of house. I am talking about agents refusing to present an offer because if it was their house, they would prefer a higher offer.

The real estate business is not about educating the client. A lot of first time home buyers have been railroaded into buying houses they should never have bought, because it was in the agent's interest not the clients. If you do not believe me just look around at the number of people now in foreclosure and losing their homes because they got suckered into buying way more house than they could afford. This was gravy for the banks and the real estate industry but murder on the poor suckers who trusted them.
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Old 09-12-2010, 03:05 PM   #24
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@Ganaraska: By proofread the listing, I mean proofreading the MLS listing before it is posted. I don't know if I have had thorough agents or if it's because I'm a control freak about things like that (I am) but I have read and modified the MLS listings before they were posted. In 2 of the 3 cases there were errors on the proposed listing that concerned me because they were things that would piss me off as a buyer if/when I found that the property wasn't as described in the listing.

The listing AGREEMENT is another document entirely. In Texas it's a standard form with blanks to fill in, not a lot of freeform text and checkboxes like the MLS data for the MLS listing itself.

If my agent changed an MLS listing in any material way from what we had agreed on, I would summarily fire him or her. Whether intentional or accidental, that's malfeasance.
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Old 09-12-2010, 03:45 PM   #25
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What planet are you from? When I hire someone it certainly is up to me define her job.
Excuse me? I'm from Earth, and it's apparent you are from some different place where you write all the rules and everyone does things your way.

I'm sorry you had such a negative experience, but I don't feel it's my fault, nor do I feel it's the real estate industrie's fault if you are in foreclosure.

Maybe you shouldn't have refinanced every three years and used the equity in your house to fund your vacations and trips to Vegas.
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Old 09-12-2010, 08:23 PM   #26
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Easy, gents. There are about a zillion realtors out there. I'm sure some are great and some are not-so-great. And maybe I'm not a careful reader, but I didn't see where anyone on this thread is in foreclosure or taking routine trips to Vegas. The mortgage meltdown involved a wide range of factors... including gov't intervention into the marketplace. It wasn't just a case of realtors selling people houses they didn't need, or mortgage mills falsifying financial data, or the monetization of sub prime mortgages. It was a systemic failure... and individual homebuyers deserve some of the blame for making old-fashioned poor decisions.

My point is that I'm trying to sell my house without carving out a check for $20k... and I just wanted to know who had been successsful with what FSBO web sites.
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Old 09-12-2010, 09:10 PM   #27
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I'm sure there are good realtors. And I'm sure there are people who need the help. What I see, however, is the real estate agent going the way of the travel agent. And I think the same dynamic is at work. At one point, travel agents had access to information that consumers didn't. This changed with the Internet. Now, I can book an extensive trip entirely online, read reviews, consult professional opinions--all for less cost than using a local agent. What's happened in real estate is that the balance of power has shifted. The MLS is the last competitive advantage for most realtors... and most consumers have access via a flat fee listing. Just to clarify, I don't think realtor are any better or worse than any other profession where a week's worth of coursework will get you a license. It's just that they are an increasingly unnecessary profession.
Very good cogent points. We're all watching Blockbusters and Barnes & Noble - going slowly down the drain.

However - we cannot all be experts on all things. Sometimes it is better to save the "learning curve" time and spend the bucks.

Our business "Answer Center" exists because of that idea. A plumber CAN answer all of his own business calls over a cell phone, BUT:
  • it is a bit inconvenient when he's one of four guys carrying a 300lb bathtub up a flight of stairs
  • it sounds SO wrong when he's lying flat on his back in a musty crawl space.
  • when the sewage backs up at 1:00 AM he'll lose sleep that he needs to work effectively the next day. It makes good sense to have US negotiate and make sure the caller will pay extra for "night work" before we wake him up.
  • he never gets big jobs as long as he sounds like a "one man/one van" owner
  • he loses jobs every time callers go to voice mail instead of having his "secretary" set an appointment.
Einstein not withstanding to the contrary - time has fixed limits. An Assistant can really help your throughput.

Paula
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Old 09-13-2010, 10:11 AM   #28
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Excuse me? I'm from Earth, and it's apparent you are from some different place where you write all the rules and everyone does things your way.

I'm sorry you had such a negative experience, but I don't feel it's my fault, nor do I feel it's the real estate industrie's fault if you are in foreclosure.

Maybe you shouldn't have refinanced every three years and used the equity in your house to fund your vacations and trips to Vegas.
Definition of the word agent:
  • a representative who acts on behalf of other persons or organization
  • a businessman who buys or sells for another in exchange for a commission


A real estate agent is supposed to represent the client's interests and do things the client's way.

This is actually rather amusing. I have 2 people here who think I am a fool, one for wanting to tell an agent anything at all, the other for not proof reading every ad and vetting every word out of the agent's mouth.

What I expect is somewhere between the two. I expect the agent to act as an agent, to represent my interests as I would myself. If I have to stand over them and watch every word out of their mouth I might as well do the job myself. If they want to get ideas of their own that go against my interests, then they are worse than useless. I don't see what is so hard to understand.
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