Agent2Agent in Detroit>Question Details

Anna, Other/Just Looking in Detroit, MI

What is one part of selling homes that you dislike?

Asked by Anna, Detroit, MI Thu Mar 19, 2009

I'm curious to know what being a realtor is like. What are things people like or dislike about it?

Help the community by answering this question:


Great Question! To be honest it is a love hate business. You have to be very much on your toes in the area we are in now. Buyer and Sellers are now looking more for Agents to have all the right answers. As we all know that no one can be perfect, these times are the real test for agents to be at the top of their game having experience and knowledge in all areas of the business. We are who people look for to be truthful and real and often times that can be a blessing and a curse. What is important to remember is that even though these times are flooded with people buying and placing offers at a fast pace, you can't forget the basic principals of what it is to be an agent with or for someone. It is their interests you are looking out for, yes, but you have to also remember to cover your own back; dot all i's and cross all t's . Now is not a time to be sloppy, for I have found the quick deal that you do for one that ends well can generate new clients to follow. If you have the stomach to whether the good and the bad then it may be worth it for you.

Liz Tintinalli
Real Estate One
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3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 19, 2009
For me, it's getting people to understand that we don't get paid until the deal closes.

So many people will string you along and not even attempt to understand the time and effort we put into something only to have someone vanish and never call you back, etc.

Either that, or the people that think they can do Real Estate on their own and wind up getting themselves into a whole legal mess that could have really been easily avoided.

Plus, as a buyer, working with an agent is free. People are seemingly reluctant to talk with just one agent in many cases as if it's a bad thing or something -- when in reality, you're hiring a professional to look out for your best interest and to HELP you...for FREE.

3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 19, 2009
I totally agree with Andy Hargreaves from Michigan. Many buyers and sellers think we just drive around in fancy cars all the way to the bank every day, when most of us work very hard to provide buyers and sellers with the information and help to reach their goals. And, we do it all without any guarantee of payment. The risk of not getting to the closing table is even higher today, though it may be through no fault of our own. Personally, I'm working harder and longer than ever before for less than I made in previous years. Still, I love the business and would not quit for anything!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 2, 2009
When you have a seller wanting to cut your commission. So I ask them back, "What services would you like me to cut?" How much of a service are they looking for me to get their house sold?
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 1, 2009
My biggest dislike is that buyers tend to think that real estate is like MacDonalds. They call the office wanting to see a specific house on a certain day, at a certain time. After ascertaining they're not working with another agent I explain that it's my job to make sure they're financially qualified before I show a house and that I always meet with buyers first to fully understand what they're looking for in order to successfully help them. Most times the response is "I just want to see the house" (a sure sign they're not ready, willing and able buyers). Unfortunately this industry perpetuates that behavior by encouraging new agents to run out and show houses or by plain acquiescence. It's the difference between selling houses and giving tours.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 1, 2009
And, there is not enough equity left for the Sellers to accept an offer as this Sale will become a Short Sale and then one has to deal with the Bank.
I am not really worried about the price fall as it is a free market and your house is worth what a willing, able and ready Buyer is willing to pay, but Hellllooo, One has to look at the data and then make an offer.
Just be reasonable! Am I wrong in expecting that? Then, put yourself in the Sellers shoes and act accordingly.
Thats it.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 1, 2009
Dear Anna,

I don't know if you're just curious or considering entering the business. If it's the latter, I'd suggest reading "Your Successful Real Estate Career" by Kenneth Edwards. It is a really good overview about starting out in this business.

My biggest dislikes in this business are all related to Realtor behaviors actually. There are a few basic areas in which I'm referring. One is the everyday on the street Realtor behavior and the other is the behavior of our representative Associations (i.e. the National Association of Realtors, and local Realtor Boards and Associations).

There are many Realtors practicing who do not adhere to the standards of behavior and practice that the Realtor community expects (and that consumers should expect). Michael from Hamburg NY gives a great example of that in his answer. There are many things that should ALWAYS occur in any transaction (like pre-qualifying buyers over the phone and having buyers sign Buyer's Brokerage Agreements- which virtually no agents do in Illinois at least). But because of the sloppy and common past practices of these many Realtors consumers do not know or realize when they are being served well or under-served. In some cases adhering to the true standards of practice in real estate brokerage can put you as a Realtor at a competitive disadvantage against other Realtors who are not "demanding" the same things from their consumers or clients.

The second edge of that particular sword however is that if you are the agent that tends to do things by the book, you often have much more happy and well-informed clients who understand the value that you bring to transactions (as well as much less legal liability).

Our local and national associations of Realtors could and should do a much better job of setting expectations for and educating consumers about what they should expect from their Realtor. Susan is very right about educating consumers, but I think that the associations that I referred to earlier are in a much better position to do that than we as individual practitioners are. Although I can acknowledge that local practices may make it difficult to have a uniform national message about what clients should expect, the local and regional associations should be able to pick up the proverbial ball a bit and run with it with respect to local variances in real estate practice.

The only other on the street practice that I sometimes have a hard time with is people who say or ask things that are legally actionable (meaning someone in the room speaking of listening could get sued over them). This most often revolves around people making statements about someone's ethnicity, race, national origin or sexual orientation. Acknowledging what was said and dealing with it in a positive way that does not completely obliterate the relationship (either with the client or another agent)- those can be trying conversations.

The rest of the real estate business can be handled with good humor including clients who are abusive, clients who conveniently forget things that are problematic for them (or cost them money) and delivering "bad" news to clients. There is nothing to fear in real estate except fear itself (and occasionally other Realtors).

Christopher Thomas
Broker Associate, Sudler Sotheby's International Realty
773-418-0640 (cell)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 14, 2009
I hate trying to explain to sellers why their property has not sold. They see the recession news on tv, but will not seem to digest it and see how it is affecting the local market.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 12, 2009
For the last 4 years, the majority of the listing presentations I have made are to people who owe more than their homes are currently worth. Delivering this news is never fun, even though I do have tools to help them contend with a bad situation. I will be happy when the day returns where people are not upside down.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 4, 2009
Maureen Fran…, Real Estate Pro in Birmingham, MI

For me, the most shocking revelation was how many liars, cheats and thieves there are out there. Buyers, Sellers, Lenders, other Agents. Not all of them, of course, but you will run across them and it's just astounding to learn how some people think. Whenever possible, disassociate yourself from these creeps. Keep your nose clean and stay on top of the industry news. Always remember... credibility is expensive and easy to lose. Without credibility, an Agent isn't likely to build a sound business.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 3, 2009
As an agent, the most boring part of the transaction, yet the most critical, are the things that have to happen between bottom-lined offers and the closing table. Setting up inspections, getting waivers signed, amendments to the purchase agreement, review of the title insurance, review of the HUD statement, and keeping things on track is where I feel we truly earn our commission. So it's my least favorite, but the most critical to get it right...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 1, 2009
for me the only part is if the deal can not get worked out, its sad for both sellers and buyers sometimes.

To the agents just thinking about them selves~think about what is best for you customer or client and it will give you and them the best chance for things to work out. If you feel someone is unreasonable, fire them and move on to nice people. Mary
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 1, 2009
What I love about being a Realtor is helping people achieve their dreams of owning their own property or selling their assets. It may sound trite but I love making people happy...and usually its a win-win situation when I can bring buyers and sellers together to conclude a deal. Even in this economic climate there is a great satisfaction in assisting people, even if it means getting them out of a mortgage they can't afford on a property they will most likely lose anyway.
Owners in distress need to realize there are professionals like me ready and able to help them avoid foreclosure. Don't just give up or do nothing and walk away. You have options and I can help you find the best possible resolution to your situation. I know because I have been through the process myself. It is difficult but there is help. For buyers, I can often show you ways to raise credit scores and find money for down payments to take advantage of this excellent time to purchase.
I don't particularly like the way some people try to take advantage of a down market to get cut rate services from their broker but by prequalifying my clients and making clear up front the way I work and the remunerations I require for my expertise, I can usaully avoid wasted time without positive results.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 1, 2009

Are you saying that because of media and other things, people think that the prices in those areas should be extremely low (although they are not) so they are low-balling on everything and causing the prices to fall?

That would be frustrating...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 1, 2009
I guess I'm just one of those people that thinks that the best way to get a deal through is to look at it from the other person's viewpoint. Does the the Buyer ever put himself in the Seller's shoes: How would you feel if you received such an (blank) offer? They generally both know what price they can agree on, and can eliminate some of the haggling, basically using the two Realtors against one another. There is always a win-win situation, and it is more pleasant if we can get there sooner.

As for the request for commission cut (the above applies), and, let's face it, clients will never respect you more or be more likely to do business with you again for doing that. And we are certainly less likely to cultivate future customers in that scenario. I think the best thing we as Realtors should do, is EDUCATE out clients as to how the "business" really works; that is a transaction and not a "game", and there need not be a loser -- in any part of the transaction.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 1, 2009
Sometimes we seem to end up being more of a counselor than a realtor. With sellers and buyers there are times when you have to console, coddle, encourage, motivate etc. We must always be the diplomat when we tell a seller that their home needs to be cleaner and smell fresher. That the "stuff" they love so dearly needs to be packed up and put out of sight during the listing time. That the bathrooms and kitchen need to shine(and they aren't) We have to listen to the woes of the seller who may be loosing money on his home and has lost his job but must sell. So you have to help them be positive and encourage them to make the best of the situation and help them to move on. Or listen to someone whose lived in their home for 50 years and doesn't want to move but can't keep the house up any more and needs to move into assisted living. That takes alot of patience and time and sympathy. It's a part of the job that I both love and dislike. Because it is all consuming and can get in the way of me doing my job which is to sell their home or help them find the best house that fits their needs. When all I am doing is helping them adjust to the fact that they need to move into a smaller house and find a condo or leave the old neighborhood and find a larger home it can be very draining. But it is also what connects you to your buyers and sellers and makes them remember me. I was the one that listened. And that is important.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 1, 2009
Mass market and particularly towns like Lexington, Burlington, Arlington or other Greater Boston markets that I work in have held on to the prices compared to some other parts of the country (relatively speaking). Media speaks about the general condition of the market and even when I pull in our MLS data for last 3 months, the Buyers still want to low ball and there is only so much one can say even when the data points otherwise. Its lot of Burning tires and being back to square one.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 1, 2009
When my buyer who I have been working with for two weekends tells me that the economy is tough and everybody is getting paid less, so I need to give him two-thirds of my commission. What? "Oh yes", he continues, "my friend told me that his Realtor gave him a $5,100.00 check at closing. Two-thirds." Thank goodness it's only been two weekends. Never mind I found them the perfect house and a smokin' deal!

I am not new to the industry, and was in general one time before (in 2001) then left Real Estate and worked for a leasing company. Then I got hired with a builder right as the boom was leveling off, then fell completely... and after making it through 3 lay-offs, finally was too. So, here I am, feeling like a Salmon fighting my way upstream, and every customer (it seems lately, - I have two wanting this) wants my commission!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 31, 2009
Have you ever had clients who treat you like the mailman and take you for granted? Not to mention those who
lives like slobs, leaving dishes in the sink, beds unmade, piles of stuff on the floors, and a general state of uncleanliness that buyers and their agents wanting to scurry out the door before they linger more than 15 seconds? Sad, but true. Households that appear that way give the buyers more than a second thought about the condition of the house itself, not to mention what pathogen is lurking in the cracks should they buy.
That's what makes our jobs harder, particularly with careful proding and encouragement is met with
anger and unresponsiveness.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 31, 2009
Beat up the inspector? No way. That's one part of the whole process that I don't mind at all. I have rarely had an inspection done that I walked away annoyed with the inspector. To me, the more they point out, the better. No one wants a call the week after closing asking you what polybutylene pipes are and 'oh by the way, the steam from the pressure relief valve burnt my kid's leg...' Most of you guys do a great job helping the buyer figure out what is a problem and what is part of the home buying process. The only thing about the 'inspector' thing that annoys me is when people think the appraisal is an 'inspection' and say they don't need another one..
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 31, 2009
Great question! My recent dislike is when the seller tells me that since the market is so bad and economy is tough, we Realtors should cut our commission. After explaining that we agents count on the real estate movement for our income, that we should not have to defend our pay nor give it up. Needless to say, I walked away from that one, Over priced at a cut rate, no thanks. As for buyers, it has to be the arguing about the little things in front of me. I feel as though they want me to take sides.

Please feel free to introduce me to any one you know moving in to or out of the greater Everett area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 31, 2009
Wow! Nobody wants to beat up on the Real Estate Inspector?? (Chuckle)

Emmanuel J. Scanlan
PS Inspection & Property Services LLC
214-418-4366 (cell)
TREC License # 7593
International Code Council, Residential Combination Inspector #5247015-R5 (Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing and Building)
Texas Residential Construction Commission, Third Party Warranty Inspector #1593
Texas Residential Construction Commission, Inspector, County Inspection Program
Texas Department Of Insurance, VIP Inspector # 08507061016
Hayman Residential Engineering Services, Field Technician
CMC Energy - Certified Energy Auditor

Knowledge is power, but sharing knowledge brings peace!!
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 31, 2009
I have been successfully selling residential real estate since 1994. There are two places in the transaction that I arent really fond of: when the couple starts to argue over their differences in front of me. Then they argue and it makes my job twice as difficult because now I become a therapist/marriage counselor.
The second time is when they dont fully understand the paperwork. After speaking with them for hours, they come back to the original question. My patience is very good. I am calm by nature however it can be very trying at times...

If you are looking for distress properties please call me with your requests...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 31, 2009
I love this question! I for one hate that when I am representing the buyer they ask for part of the commission that I am receiving. The commission that we (Realtors) receive is our "salary"... To put it in another perspective would be like me going to your work and asking you to give me part of your salary to me if I sign on as a client.

I have never understood how people can justify getting part of the commission.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 31, 2009
I like working with buyers more only because, with most sellers, you are really saying goodbye to them when the house closes. Sometimes, the seller is gone when the house closes and you don't get to share in the enjoyment of the moment like you do a buyer..
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 31, 2009
Thank you for the answers. I never really thought throught the aspect of not getting paid until the deal goes through. That would be tough. Also, it does seem like it would be an easy time to get sloppy. You have so many properties and deals flooding in and out of your office! Totally makes sense. What do you do to prevent slopiness? Are you able to tell now when people are just leading you on?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 20, 2009
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