Question Details

Robert Bagwe…, Other/Just Looking in 97035

How much longer will the Multiple Listing Service servive?With the advent of sites like Zillow.com etc, is

Asked by Robert Bagwell, 97035 Sat Jan 5, 2008

the future of the real estate brokerage world bleak?

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26
Robert:

"It's simply too easy to market a home without having to pay 5.7%."

Tell that to the FSBO that has missed my attempt to show her $825,000 home for the third time because a) she was on vacation; b) she couldn't get off work; and, c) she had a prior commitment she couldn't break and I could I PLEASE re-schedule? Tomorrow I take out my clients and her home has been taken off the list. Oh well.

And,

"Some of you are fooling yourselves to think that you offer a valuable service and some of you are nothing more tha [sic] snake oil salesmen."

Were you really looking to hear opinions, or was your question a set-up to give you, a former agent, the opportunity to "stick it to us"?

"Either way you can't feel good about your profession as it stands today."

I feel just fine, thanks, and for as long as the consumer who still sees value in what we do will have me, I'll happily be of service to them.
7 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 5, 2008
Patti Pereyra, Real Estate Pro in Chicago, IL
MVP'08
Contact
Robert

You seem very bitter and I feel really bad for you. Is that why you did all the thumbs down?
5 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 5, 2008
Robert... I truly hope that 2008 brings you more joy and allows you to release your hatred for agents. I can only assume that your hatred originates from you once being an agent because you perhaps did not succeed as an agent? Just guessing...most people do not leave the industry when they are successful and are are making a good living.

Lawsuits are nothing new. Every industry has experienced lawsuits... does that mean that every industry will disappear? Every industry has good and bad seeds...and that would include real estate. The internet is a great tool and enhances every industry but it is not a replacement. No one can predict the future; however, my bet is that real estate brokerage companies will remain and the MLS will remain. It will change and evolve with the times and the demands. This market will push out many agents... it already has and I agree with the others that stated we welcome that. I also know that when the hot markets return the agent count will increase once again leading us right back to this conversation when the market declines again. I would welcome harder guidelines for individuals to become agents and to remain agents.

Robert... I always feel it is best not to generalize either. I do not know what you do for a living now; however, my bet would be that there are bad seeds within your current industry...does that make you bad? There are so many great agents that work hard and have their clients best interests at heart. Just like when you choose a bank, choose an accountant, choose an attorney, choose a doctor, choose an insurance carrier etc... a consumer needs to interview and determine whose personality, whose services, whoses rates, whose experience, whose knowledge etc is best for them. If at anytime they determine this person not to be a good fit then all consumers have the ability to fire who they hired. We are all guilty of enabling those that provide bad service to continue by not firing, by not reporting, by not telling others, and by sometimes going back for more bad service. I see it in real estate... I hear people complain about their agent and yet they continue to work with the agent thus giving the agent the paycheck to stay within the business. I see it in restaurants... people get horrible service but the food is good so they can continue to go back and continue to pay 15% or 20% tip versus demanding better service.

It just is interesting Robert that you wrote a great question to start a great thread and you turned it into a negative thread against agents because agents answered you. Do you not know that agents are on Trulia?

I tell you what. You take my email address and you email me when the "real estate brokerage world" ends. I will probably be dead before that happens...but just in case.

Happy New Year!
4 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 6, 2008
Robert,

Of course all of the answers are from brokers. You asked a broker related question. Joe public could care less about the MLS... oh, except for the information part, they really kind of like that part, but they really never think about it much past that part. Maybe you should!

Come in acting like you have the low down. Just another burn out failure. My clients enjoy not having to check 8 sites, 2 county offices and contact a title company to find out what they want to know about a specific piece of property. They enjoy knowing that a great deal of effort, a few of laws and a commitment to ethics, stand behind the information that I gather and supply.

If I asked you to provide information about a specific property, it would take you a week, to gather all of the info contained in an MLS sheet. Unless you pay for all of the sites, Boards, counties and databases that brokers pay to access. Oh, and as brokers, we are kind of contractually and ethically bound to provide accurate information. The MLS sheet, with the exception of the descriptive portions, better be fact or the broker that provided the info could very well be sanctioned, fined, expelled or criminally prosecuted. Don't remember reading anything about jail time on any of the post-it-yourself sites. and maybe that is why they all pull feeds from the MLS, and don’t forget, these sites also charge brokers for the benefit of marketing on their sites. We must be in some kind of crazy capitalist nation where I am expected to contribute some kind of goods or services in exchange for the resources to care for myself and my family. How can I escape the madness!

Which brings me to your point about how much brokers charge to "market" a house. Just one question, If we make so much money, why did you quit? Or how about this one: If we make so much money, why didn't you start listing and selling homes for a half a percent and take the market by storm. This is not Walmart. Brokers can not buy in bulk and pass the savings along. If you are not satisfied with product, you can't simply return it within 30 days with proof of purchase for a full refund or in-store-credit. In order to protect the public, the law is very specific about how selling a piece of real estate is to be handled and recorded. Each transaction presents at least 3 obvious and countless hidden possibilities of ending in legal action between the seller and the buyer. This is not something you want to try for the sake of giving it a try. Do it if you know how and have the time, otherwise call professional.

And always avoid the angry ramblings of the uninformed quitters.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 6, 2008
Elv!s wrote: Yes, this is the same company that relegated Travel Agents to telephone operators. But Travel information has always been public information. House sale information is privately owned, and unless the public plans on ponying up plenty of money to gather all of that information (like Zillow has attempted to do with billions of dollars), MLS's across the country are here to stay for quite a while, in my personal opinion.
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And buying a house is way more complicated/expensive than buying a plan ticket or making a hotel reservation.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 6, 2008
I agree with you,Tman, that there will be some shake outs for Real Estate professions - we are aleady seeing a lot going on here; and trust me, as professionals, I have to say that I am happy to see some of the lower quality realtors leave the profession. .

When I was in my company's training program, the first the traning manager did was to ask us count by twos and have the ones stood up. She proceeded to tell us that those are the ones who won't be there after a year. She was right, and those were the boom times.

When the going gets tough the tough gets going.

I just finished a transaction with one of the top brokers in my neighboring county, she is a real prof. Out of curiosity, I checked her statistics for the last year, she closed about 60 transactions (she does work with her son and has a four person team), but her team was very professional and effective. She did well.

No matter the technology, the good ones are going to stand out, survive the tough times and continue to be appreciaed; just like any profession. The day will come when the computer will make all decision for human beings, then that's the real sad day.

Sylvia
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 5, 2008
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Novato, CA
MVP'08
Contact
Projections.?

A lot of real estate agents will leave the business. The National Association of Realtors is predicting about 15%, but I think it will be higher.

When homes are selling quickly, prices are rising, and everyone qualifies for a loan, selling homes looks like an easy way to make a living. When the market turns and it requires actual work, knowledge, experience, intelligence, patience and caring about the client’s best interests, there are many who won’t want to stick around, or just don’t have the reserves to make it between closings.

It’s lots easier and safer to be on someone else’s payroll and collect a check each month than to actually learn how the market works, how to react to change, how to solve the problems that you can, and let go of the ones you can’t.

The real estate industry will continue to become more “transparent” with more information being shared openly and honestly with consumers, and much of the hype disappearing - and that will include the MLS, changes and lawsuits are happening as we speak to support the consumer - it's about time.!


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3 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 5, 2008
Robert, I think the one large point that's being missed here, is that the MLS is not one large national service... it is over 700 small regional independent services that are made up and supported by local agents and agencies. It's going to take a national MLS to "replace" them, and it'll have to be a good one. When that happens, they will still have to depend on getting their information from Realtors and agencies.

Zillow certainly has the ability to one day become that type of service, but I think that even you will agree, it's nowhere near that useful yet. Their zestimates are a joke, and their information about properties even funnier, wrong addresses, wrong locations, wrong room counts, houses with no bedrooms... if it weren't so serious it'd be laughable.

But let's assume, for the moment, that Zillow get's its self together, and becomes accurate. They'll still have to rely on ongoing information from Realtors/Agencies, and I can guarantee you, that short of legislation requiring it (and I believe that would qualify as restraint of trade) no Realtors or Agencies will voluntarily provide the housing information required, as long as the model for Zillow includes free access by the public.

Yes, this is the same company that relegated Travel Agents to telephone operators. But Travel information has always been public information. House sale information is privately owned, and unless the public plans on ponying up plenty of money to gather all of that information (like Zillow has attempted to do with billions of dollars), MLS's across the country are here to stay for quite a while, in my personal opinion.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 6, 2008
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in 60201
MVP'08
Contact
Hi Robert:

I agree with Patti, sounds like you have your mind set up. Which is fine each to his own.

However, just want to let you know that you have a bit of misinformation about me - I feel just great about my profession and what I do for my clients.

It's always heart warming for me when my clients thank me for the houses they purchased or sold through me - and guess what, not tryinig to be biased, but since you mentioned zillow and internet sites; most are ery well educated, professionals, some are very internet savvy; and they are all glad that I am around to help them!

That;'s the best part about my professon - my clients and how i can help a person realize their dreams.

I am very sorry that you don't feel about what you do. Cheey up. Hope things will be much better for you in 2008 then you might have a better outlook for youself and others ;-D

Best,
Sylvia
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 5, 2008
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Novato, CA
MVP'08
Contact
It is good to be grown ups - we can agree to disagree. Sorry to hear that in your time as an agent you didn't learn that there is more to agency than the MLS. Hang onto this thread for a few years, whichever way the industry goes, it will be public.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 5, 2008
Robert....

Considering that many of these sites scrape information from our MLS and some are direct feeds I do not believe the MLS is going anywhere. The main reason is the MLS provides a more accurate information to the Realtor and consumer. Most sites get the information second hand, public records or scraped from somewhere else. Zillow's information comes from public records and does not provide all listings available much like Trulia does not have all the info. Most consumers when considering relocating will start their search on the Internet and with a local Realtor. I do not feel our future looks bleak and with the use of technology it looks pretty bright.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 5, 2008
Pam Winterba…, Real Estate Pro in San Ramon, CA
MVP'08
Contact
In the second home market, which I deal in, sellers will probably opt to use a realtor because they simply aren't there to show their homes. As to your basic question, how much longer will the MLS survive? As long as Realtors continue to pay for it.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 5, 2008
Not bleak at all.

Have you ever moved to a new city? Most buyers go to a local Realtor to help them find a home in a neighborhood that suits their needs and to negotiate a good price and terms. Most people are not trained negotiaters and mediators (what happens when x buyer has a home inspection with a laundry list of items that need to be taken care of and y seller is refusing to do anything, but x buyer is mad as heck because he's paying a fair price for this house and will walk if the y seller doesn't do everything on the inspection list???). A Realtor does more than list a house or find a home...they negotiate for their respective clients, keep the deal together.

Even if I wasn't a real estate agent and was looking for a home, I would use an agent. I would have representation, I wouldn't use every minute of my spare time trying to locate properties, I wouldn't have to get my own restrictions/paperwork, set my own appointments, use my own gas, negotiate an offer myself, have to look up comps myself, go to my own inspections, secure my own title company, stay on top of the loan and title work--only to save a few percentages--when my agent would probably negotiate a better deal for me anyway.


I think there's a huge difference between trying to book a $500 dollar flight online or shopping for a $20,000 dollar car and buying a $300,000 home. I'm going to search a couple of websites for a flight, search a few weeks and go to a couple of car lots, search some websites, read some reviews and buy a car...but I'm going to take several months to buy one of the biggest investments of my life--and I can't devote that much time to searching out properties, driving by them, setting appointments, getting to know neighborhoods, when I can get all that for free... Nor would I advertise my own house, have anyone come through (pre-approved or not!), and take a long time to sell, when I could just pay for service, minimal or full-service to have Realtors bring qualified clients that are ready to buy, and I'll probably make more... Zillow.com, etc is great as a starting point...but certainly lacks a live person doing the actual work it takes to buy or sell a house.
Web Reference: http://www.RotarTeam.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 5, 2008
Great question Robert, that idea has been around since the demise of so many travel agents with the advent of online travel planning sites. As an agent - of course, I am biased (DUH!) - but feel that a real estate transaction - no matter what state you are in - is so much more complicated than just finding Joe Buyer to make an offer which you - John Seller will accept. I think there will be work for agents - and the need for MLS 's for a long time.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 5, 2008
The real estate industry will continue to become more “transparent” with more information being shared openly and honestly with consumers, and much of the hype disappearing - and that will include the MLS, changes and lawsuits are happening as we speak to support the consumer - it's about time.!
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I agree with everything except your last sentence. You are forgetting who pays for and supports the MLS. I see the MLS disappearing if it is not an asset to the folks who pay for it: me for example. Many agencies do not use the MLS, such as in the South Fork of LI, the Hamptons. They co broke like they always did. The don't want an MLS. The MLS didn't even exist for much of Suffolk county until not too long ago.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 6, 2008
These answers are 100% from brokers and of course you're attempting to protect the proprietary nature of the MLS and your incomes. I don't blame you. I was one of you so I know how it works. The service is becoming less valuable over time and as with travel and other industries the world of real estate brokerage profits will be going away. It's simply too easy to market a home without having to pay 5.7%....Some of you are fooling yourselves to think that you offer a valuable service and some of you are nothing more tha snake oil salesmen. Either way you can't feel good about your profession as it stands today.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 5, 2008
The MLS system is a service and benefit of being a member of the Board. It exists to facilitate the trade of information and cooperation between brokers. Unless the other sites have some way to make sure that the overwhelming majority of properties are posted and that the information posted is accurate, the MLS will continue to do just fine.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 5, 2008
JR your answer is very accurate; however, I would just like to add that consumers need Realtors for so much more than just access to homes. We earn most of our paycheck from offer to contract to closing. I just do want consumers to read your post and think that is the extent of what we do.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 5, 2008
Robert... 7 years ago it was thought that the internet would do away for the need for Realtors by many. Statistics have only proven this to be just the opposite. More than 85% of all consumers use a realtor for their real estate needs. It is actually proven that the internet buyers have higher household incomes than those that do not use the internet and that their education level is higher. For the fact that most of these buyers are then hiring an agent to represent them one could conclude that it is smarter to use an agent then to not use an agent.

Additionally, most real estate websites feed from the MLS in each state so it could be concluded that without the MLS the other websites would not have been developed. The internet has made for better educated clients and I welcome educated clients.

We are a society that appreciates service.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 5, 2008
honestly, although I use zillow at times, I do find it not to be has accurate, they also hav the zestimates attached to adult communities, so it gives a false value. I just hope it doesn't happen in my lifetime..
: )
also: as far as posting on Trulia, I haven't seen any FSBO on there . BUT hey you could be the first one.! challenge it..
Web Reference: http://www.soldbypattie.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 5, 2008
No joke JR... I have never needed representation to buy an airline ticket or book a hotel room. A travel agent simply provided a service... a one stop shop...make one call to a travel agent or several calls to book it all yourself. Service is just the tip of iceburg for what Realtors do for their clients.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 7, 2008
No offense taken, Lorie, that's why I included a smiley at the end. :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 6, 2008
JR... I was not adding to your statement as an insult. You are very wise and professional. I was adding to your statement for the anti-agent consumers on Trulia that enjoy getting on a wagon of taking a few words and reading more into them. So many consumers think that all we are is a key to a home... I did not want a single consumer to read your post and say "we were right".

Absolutely, no disrespect intended:)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 6, 2008
Lori wrote:
JR your answer is very accurate; however, I would just like to add that consumers need Realtors for so much more than just access to homes. We earn most of our paycheck from offer to contract to closing. I just do want consumers to read your post and think that is the extent of what we do.
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Of course, you are correct, I was simply giving one example and getting on to answering Mr B's question rather get into a long explanation. :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 6, 2008
Dear Robert, You really should use an agent; unless you are pretty savvy. However, don't hesitate to supplement your agents efforts to expose your property with your own free listings, on places like zillow.com. Be creative and remember: "some 'real estate agents' need a lot of support :-)! Danny
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 5, 2008
Most if not all of the other sites such as Homes.com/ Zillow and others do pull from the MLS. The point to be made here is that there are standards that have been set up by the governments Dept. of Insurance and Banking . With no protection of the consumer these other sites would be like the Wild West and people would be taken advantage of pretty frequently. Not to say those sites would be not be considerate of some sort of standard but I don't think it would be a stringent as what all of the Local MLS boards adhere to.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 5, 2008
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