Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Real

I am not a big fan of real estate agents. I think most of them would sell their own mother for 6 percent commission. I have only been involved in a few real estate transactions in my life and at every one of them; there was always the appearance of some shenanigans going on.

I understand, that 10 or so years ago, a realtor had to do a lot to sell a house. They had to list the house in the newspaper, get the phone calls to other realtors and create flyers and what have you. They also had to meet the other agents to exchange keys as well as open the house for the potential buyers. They had to work for their commission. They had to sell.

But now with modern technology, they have a lot (and I mean a lot) less to do. They list a house on the internet and put an electronic lock box on the door and they can just sit back and wait. The buyer's agent is the one that really ends up showing the house and selling the house.

Selling a house, and especially if you watch all the house selling shows on cable, is basically the art of deception. The listing agent will tell you, to empty your closets so they "look" bigger. The closets are not really bigger. The agents will tell you remove unused furniture to make the rooms "look" bigger. Again they are not bigger they just look bigger. Some agents tell you to remove all personal pictures from the walls, so the house can appeal to the potential buyer. Art of Deception.

When putting our house on the market, we interviewed three potential agents. They were all nice and sweet, but each one of them told us their little deceptive "tricks" and then asked us to trust them with the sale of our home. So they tell us how to lie and be deceptive and then want us to trust them. Strange. Of course I had to call them out on this and getting their responses was entertaining.

The other thing about real estate agents that I find totally shady, is the fact that they can represent the buyers and the sellers. They work both ends. A buying agent knows all the same deceptive tricks that the selling agent knows, so it is very easy for them to inform their clients that the closets only APPEAR bigger, but for the most part they don't tell their clients. They want the sale just as much. Selling agents will also cherry pick houses with the highest commission rates to show their clients first. Even if the house is not what the client is looking for, they hope that they can keep the lower commission rates out of the equation, by inundating the buyer with the other houses.

Buyer agents and selling agents are all in cahoots.

I know some of the people that read this blog will disagree. Some people that read, actually may be real estate agents. I am sure there are some decent ones out there. I am not trying to offend. I am sure some will leave comments defending their real estate agents. But think about it, why is the real estate business, pretty much the only business where the business cards have the picture of the agent on the card. No other business that I know of actually prints headshots on business cards. It is not really a headshot of the agent to make you feel connected to the person.

It is their mug shot from the last time they ripped someone off or from when they sold their mother.

25 comments:

teri said...

William, you can read my mind, can't you?????

I've been trying to sell my house since October and I think the same thing about the agents, especially my seller's agent. Doesn't do much but is a smooth talker, if you know what I mean. I'm still having issues and wish I could kick them to the curb but I want this house sold!

My buyer's agent is great. Never has anything negative to say and nothing shady going on there and she works for the same agency. I guess it's on a per person basis.

Good luck and keep them on their toes, would ya?

susie said...

HAAAAAAAA I totally agree. i also love when they contradict each other on what works. "Keep personal pictures" "Don't keep personal pictures" "Remove all toys" "Keep some toys in case the buyers have kids" The process is totally irritating...esp their air of being all knowing. Bleh I hate this process!!!

Kami said...

I love this post, and I totally agree.

Chris said...

I've got friends who are real estate agents. They're the only ones I trust to work with because I'm pretty sure they're not trying to screw me.

Above Average Joe said...

Like a plumber, electrician, or a hair stylist, you got to know them personally or they will screw you over.

Circus Kelli said...

You know what's cool about Real Estate agents? Our sold our old house in less than a week. AND, the REA sold my Grandmother's house in FL for us and did a whole lot of work while we were up here in IL.

I say hey, if they can get the job done... why not.

Anonymous said...

I am in favor of the word cahoots.

Scottsdale Girl said...

And why do I have to have soft music playing a candles burning? Because you know you have to leave the house, with a candle burning? I don't think so mister!

Stacie said...

boy howdy! We just interviewed our first agent on Monday..round two coming up. I'm not looking forward to this, but there's little choice in the matter.
Good luck with the sale of your house, I hope it goes quick.
Stacie

Effies said...

true true...did you ever notice that financial advisors have headshots on their cards too?? Scary thought...

kalki said...

Word, brother.

We bought this house without an agent. The folks selling it didn't have an agent, either. It was just us and them, and it couldn't have been smoother.

momo9 said...

I'm so glad you're not a real estate agent!!! I'd have been sold a long time ago. Wonder where I'd be today? Only 6 percent....!!!

Jody said...

Insurance agants often have their photo on their business cards... And you know how highly people think of them. Just sayin'.

I still wouldn't sell a house myself. Too much hassle. 7% is the going rate here. Some places have a lower rate and they get "blacklisted" by the MLS and high rate agents.

MyBestInvest said...

On the bright side, if someone's in the market for a good mother, they can be had for 6%! Couldn't we all use the extra help that a backup mother could provide?

Sharkey said...

Have you read Freakonomics? There's a chapter where they examined the statistics from when agents sold their own homes vs. their clients'.

They found that agents will encourage you to take an offer that's lower than you might have wanted, because the extra work and back-and-forth of counter-offering, or of waiting for a better offer to come along don't net them very much cash (e.g., 3% of $10,000 is only $300).

But when it's the agent's house on the market, they're willing to wait it out for the higher offer because hello? Ten thousand dollars!

Are you moving back to PA?

Anonymous said...

i will have to disagree. although i'll give you that the listing agent nowadays don't have much work to do, that 6% is actually not all theirs; it is split between them and the selling agent.. so since you agree that it is the buyers agent that does all the work, don't you agree then that they deserve that 3%? furthermore, that 3% is then split between the agent and the broker's company (century 21, coldwell, etc.)...i can also talk about the flaky customers who use multiple buyers agents to vie for their services, as well as those customers who don't show up to appointments, etc. (no, i'm not an agent but i have friends who are, and not all of them are smooth talkers)

Anonymous said...

i mean, who vie for their BUSINESS, not services

Anonymous said...

If a train leaves Orlando with its gas tank 3% full....

ThePapaDog said...

The only othe rpeople I know tha have a headshot on business cards are struggling actors.

And we know how trustworthy they can be...

Mainline Mom said...

I feel exactly the same way. I haven't had a good realtor yet, and the last one I had was down right shitty. She blew a deal that would have got us $15,000 more than we ended up getting, because she didn't "like" the buyers. We gave her a really really bad evaluation, and yet she STILL sends us mail soliciting us for more business. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

Mothers...


3 for $10

Stepping Over the Junk said...

This is so true, I have a friend who is a realtor and we have her magnet on our fridge just because her glamour shot is so hilarious! She comes over and goes right to the fridge and hisses "TAKE THAT THING DOWN!!!"

I would never want to be a realtor. I am also very picky about which realtor I use. Fortunately, have made good choices.

Rebecca Novak said...

I am a realtor and I can tell you that I personally like making people happy and I wouldn't sell my mom for 6%. I'm in it for the smile i get when I find someone their dream home or the look of relief when I sell a home in a sliding market for more than what they thought they'd get but hey there are shady cops too so not every profession is great I guess

Jem said...

My Mum tried selling houses, but she was too honest so it didn't work out.

My boyfriend sells drums and he has his photo on his business card!

Andrea said...

My husband is a real estate agent. Don't worry, I'm not offended; he is daily frustrated by the antics of other agents, so I know a lot of what you write is not far off (except when it comes to my husband!)

I will say...the part about head shots on business cards? Dead on. My husband's is one of the worst pictures he has ever had taken of himself.