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Paula Hathaw…, Real Estate Pro in Compton, CA

If anyone else out there in the real world can read the last answer posted, can you tell me what you think of this sort of answer to my question:

Asked by Paula Hathaway, Compton, CA Fri Oct 30, 2009

"Why is there such a negative attitude toward real estate agents?"??? Please let me know what you think? I suspect this is one very big reason we have to fight off the bad rap!!!

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Answers

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I posted a reply I think is reasonable. Not from an agents perspective, but from the perspective of one who has seen the market for awhile. You have good and bad in this and all vocations. 10% is the screwups ratio in most areas you look at. 90% do a good job, 10% are a waste of space. Some people look at the 10% only.

Others think about what has happened and who made it happen. Had real estate agents (with many ,many others) been less greedy over the past decade perhaps the bubble would not have grown and then blown.

It is true most of us do not see the hard aspects of a job someone else holds. That is true of all jobs. Those who do a job well do it so seamlessly and seemingly effortlessly that others think there is nothing to it. Well, that is until they try doing it themself.

If an agent does not listen and shows you ranches when you want to see a colonial it leaves a bad taste for all realtors. It is not fair, but how many priests got scarred by the bad ones? How many bankers are bad bankers when they did not do the things that the real bad ones did? How many poeple of many professions have been scarred (in reputation) by some bad apples in their industry? Where is the honest car dealer? Where is the honest lawyer? Where is the insurance company that pays off easily when a claim is submitted? All of those ( I hope) exist somehere, probably lots of places. But people hear the bad stories about some and paint them all with the same brush.

Then look honestly at NAR. From what I have seen they are a very dishonest bunch of cheerleaders not an industry evaluation expert. When NAR put out all of the ads they have had. And people say all realtors come from NAR ( it said real estate agent yes?) People think the realtors must be as stupid or dishonest as NAR ( that represents them) is.

Right now, how many realtors tell people there are 2.5 million foreclosures in the pipeline?
http://business.theatlantic.com/2009/09/the_shadow_foreclosu…
http://www.housingwire.com/2009/10/19/27m-distressed-propert…

The quoted paragraph shows that there are at least 2.7 million foreclosures that have yet to hit the market. Some of those may be modified, but the vast majority probably won't

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aw6_…
Or how about the 7 million to come?
http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Housing-Crash-to-Resume-… <--a forum about it.

When do real estate agents say more foreclosures are coming, wait to buy? Or if you buy now realize prices are likely to drop?

If people find out things that go against what most ( not all) realtors are saying. "Buy now, the $8k credit will disappear if you wait" "No better time to buy, house prices have dropped" "Hurry up while you can still get this deal" "this house is perfect because it has stainless and granite" and so on...

How can they trust what else is said when the above all say buy now regardless because I want my commission now?

The buy now get the $8k credit is one of the worst campaigns I have ever seen. It made people feel like they had to rush to buy somerthing before they lost out. That increased prices and decreased thinking. It is likely to be a secondary bubble that will burst in a few short years. When I saw that I felt I had to wait until the B.S. ran out.

The prices will drop to reflect economic reality. I wait for it, realtors (and teh government) preach against it.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 30, 2009
"Others think about what has happened and who made it happen. Had real estate agents (with many ,many others) been less greedy over the past decade perhaps the bubble would not have grown and then blown. "

Dan, I would like to address this statement. Not all Realtors were greedy as you put it and not all encouraged their buyers to get caught up in the bidding wars of the past years. However, you fail to take in to account that the buyer's themselves dictate the actions of their agents. We are required to do as we are asked. We can advise differently but if the buyers don't heed that advice we are bound to do what they want or let them walk away and find someone else who will. There is always another agent out there who will do anything for a sale. Please don't lump us all in that catagory though.

You are not seeing that we didn't have control of the industry during the high times. The press did, the lending industry did, and so did TV shows like "Flip this House" . Everyone in the market at the height of the market thought Real Estate was their ticket to financial freedom. Newbies jumped in to make a fast buck, new lending institutions popped up to get in on the action, and the market was just out of control. Consumers made some really bad decisions during that time and now we are seeing the fallout from those times. Markets go up and they go down and anyone who has been in this industry for a while knows this. It was the quick buck people and the inexperienced that are at the root of our market difficulties today.

Do I think this has influenced the public against the Real Estate Profession as a whole, yes I do. Can we overcome it. In time yes, but it will depend on those with experience to help people make smart decisions, not just look at the fast buck. By the way, most of those fast buck people are no longer in the market. When buyers weren't falling out of trees waving their checkbooks, they couldn't survive. You can find most of them working at Walmart or in other professions these days.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 31, 2009
JR, a question was asked. Not IF I thought things to be true. but WHY some did. A real estate agent is a salesman. All salesmen should look out for the best interests of their clients not just their commissions. That is the very reason many buyers prefer to find a buyers agent.

I know realtors work for their money. My uncle is a realtor. He told me some stories of people he dealt with. How he spent $800 to complete a sale that netted him $500. That several times over. As I said, no one really sees the hard work others do in their profession. And the bad apples always stick out. NAR has seemed to be a bad apple for the buyers. Cheerleaders who ignored the facts when those facts are not in NAR's interest.

JR, I think you missed this part. --> "It is true most of us do not see the hard aspects of a job someone else holds. That is true of all jobs. Those who do a job well do it so seamlessly and seemingly effortlessly that others think there is nothing to it. Well, that is until they try doing it themself."

Note the last part. "Until they try it." Everything I have tried ended up being harder than I thought it would be. Heck, I even fell off a bike many times before I got the hang of riding one. But whenever I saw others riding a bike it looked so easy. The same is true of most jobs. People miss a LOT of what is done and/or do not see the skill needed to do it.

In short, if a question is asked of WHY do you think this could be do not assume that anyone who answers it BELIEVES everything they say COULD be reasons. One thing I learned in college was that when you have different people look at a subject and each comes from a different perspective you get a much broader view of the issue. Sometimes one question being asked can change everyones view of what they thought was going on before it was asked.

Once you start to think outside of the box and consider many different aspects and put them together you can decide if those are correct or not. If they make sense or not. And if they apply then you can come up with strategies to correct the problems. Whether they are real or just perspective.

One last thought I did not add before. Consider that a few years ago when prices were rising the agents told buyers the comps say this. But if you want to get it you should add x% more. Now that prices are dropping do agents say the comps are this, you should offer x% less?

It is simply trying to look at both sides of the coin. If you can not see the head and the tail you have missed part of the critter you were trying to define.

I do not have anything against realtors. In time I will likely need one. That was not the question, the question was what could be bringing this bad perspective about realtors? I tried to offer things that could be valid reasons. I did not even add the idea of some realtors saying you have to sign an exclusive agreement with me you can not get out of even if I am doing a horrible job for you.

I thought of what has happened, what realtors did in that process, and how people could see things. That is called brainstorming. Trying to see the problem clearly so a solution might be found.

1 define the problem (already done in the question)
2 find out the reasons for the problem ( tried to state some of the very obvious ones)
3 find solutions to the reasons for the problem ( perhaps with some thought it can be done)
4 have no more problem ( the final solution evades me and everyone else so far)
5 repeat the process as something new always comes up
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 31, 2009
I just read the last two answers and neither one of them seemed to actually address your question. One is just griping about the way things work in one location, and another seems to feel the need to justify the first person's response your original question. I don't know either of these agents because I work in the White Mountains of Arizona. But I do think there is some validity in the statement that a few bad apples can spoil the whole bunch.

In answer to your original question I believe that many consumers just don't really understand how real estate works. Particularly sellers just see that big number under the commission on a listing and unless you explain to them about splits and overhead, they just see a big number. They are not seeing our value or how hard we work for the actual money we get if/when that transaction closes. They don't realize that we don't get paid a dime until their property sells and in today's market that can be months or even years before that occurs.

Buyers on the other hand don't have a clue how hard it is to get a sale from contract to closing. All they see is the time we spend acting as their tour guides showing them property, They don't understand rules or statues or any of the stuff we have to learn to get our licenses. They don't know how many hours we spend either on paperwork or working on the computer to find them property. They don't see the hours we spend on the phone with lenders, title companies, or in some areas Attorneys. They too don't see our value and only see the end results, they have their property and we got a big check.

So my take on it is lack of understanding and the fact that as I stated earlier, one bad apple can spoil the bunch. If someone has a bad experience one time with one agent or one company, it is human nature I think to think that we are all cut from the same cloth.

Have a Great Weekend.

Sjp
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 30, 2009
there is always an out to an unhappy homeowner on an exclusive agreement.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Exactly. All they have to do is give written notice and they're out. Who wants to work for someone who is unhappy. I have only terminated one agreement and it was me who terminated it, not the seller.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 31, 2009
Thank you all for your answers; Sandra, I found your clear statement very important.
Dan, I don't know who you worked with when you were looking or just who the person was that did your father out of his money over and over again, but I do know this: Where I am, in my business, I have made a very strong effort to try to bring to light the poor reputation that we as realtors share....Until we talk about it, as you suggested, there can be no correction or solution to the problem.
I just want to clarify one thing you said about exclusive agreements: Never, ever is an exclusive agreement given to a seller without explaining that you CAN opt out in the event you do not like the way your property is being handled---just write a letter of explaination to the agent/broker and there is not a soul in the universe who can make that agreement hold. Just as there is always the possibility to negotiate a commission you must pay, there is always an out to an unhappy homeowner on an exclusive agreement.
I have found that the main reason we have a bad reputation and our industry is maligned so much is that the average person truly does not know the ins and outs of the business. Put that together with a buyer or a seller who is buying or selling the largest purchase of their lives, who is dealing with taking on debt or letting go of an emotional attachment such as a house, and you are dealing with "fire". It is a "grass-roots" emotion too---the VERY place a person lives!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 31, 2009
Dan: I do not have anything against realtors. In time I will likely need one. That was not the question, the question was what could be bringing this bad perspective about realtors? I tried to offer things that could be valid reasons. I did not even add the idea of some realtors saying you have to sign an exclusive agreement with me you can not get out of even if I am doing a horrible job for you.

JR: No you didn't, you're very objective, LOL. @@

Dan: I thought of what has happened, what realtors did in that process, and how people could see things. That is called brainstorming. Trying to see the problem clearly so a solution might be found.

JR: Dan, brainstorming to solve a problem is done by folks who actually have experience with the issue. You are all over trulia answering questions you are not qualified to answer. You answer law questions, you answer structural questions.

Dan: 1 define the problem (already done in the question)
2 find out the reasons for the problem ( tried to state some of the very obvious ones)
3 find solutions to the reasons for the problem ( perhaps with some thought it can be done)
4 have no more problem ( the final solution evades me and everyone else so far)
5 repeat the process as something new always comes up

JR: Great Dan. What do you do for a living? Maybe some of us here can "sit down" with you and do a little brainstorming and figure out what's wrong with the perception of your job, which maybe none of us has any experience in?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 31, 2009
Paula, don't think that EVERYONE has a negative attutide towards real estate agents just because message boards such as this attract people like Dan Chase, below, who seem to spend their free time spreading their misconceptions about our business. There will always be people who think we just shovel in the dough and all we do is open doors. How many people think teachers have it easy because they get out at 3 and only work 180 days a year? How many people (usually salaried people) think that if you're self employed you get paid cash under the table and don't pay any taxes. All misconceptions born of jealousy. We can't help that, hopefully people can be educated, but if they want to be wilfully ignorant, there's not much we can do about it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 31, 2009
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