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Old 03-19-2013, 03:00 PM   #61
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I'm a full-time Realtor - maybe a little unfair to decide that all Realtors are liars just because you had a bad experience?

As for your 2nd paragraph - to me that Realtor is much more ethical than the alternative. Your assumption makes it sound like it would be better if the listing agent were to represent the buyer on a deal too. Personally, I think it's a much better arrangement for the buyer and seller to be represented by their own agents so that they can get the full benefit of someone negotiating on their behalf.

Plus, there are 15,000 agents in the Twin Cities. Doesn't it make sense that the vast majority of buyers for a property are NOT going to come from the listing agent?

I'd be happy to answer anyone's real estate questions by the way.
I've actually never had a bad experience (other than an agent one time misrepresenting where the property line was but it was no big deal). I have sold through an agent once (we had moved 200 miles away) and by owner twice. If you read my post you will note that I passed on listing with the charlatan I spoke of. I was able to see right through him. However, some friends listed their Mom's home with this guy and confirm that he talks a great game but he hasn't made any showings in addition to our observation representing our buyer. BTW, I realize that the odds are good that another agency will be the selling agency but one would expect the listing agent to have at least some showings.

Also note that I said "many" and not "all". Are you really going to try to deny that agents make up offers to induce a buyer on the fence to make an offer or to make a higher offer than they might otherwise make?

My main point is that many agents are ethically challenged and that one should be extremely skeptical in dealing with them. Trust, but verify.
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:02 PM   #62
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S/he didn't say all -- or even most -- just many, and IME (and DW's, who closed thousands of deals in her career as a real estate paralegal), and those of many (not most or all) posters to this thread, that characterization seems to fit many of them.

These observations/opinions in no way cast any aspersions on you personally or professionally.

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Tyro - I appreciate you trying to clarify but I don't think that's right.

Look up the definition on the internet of "many" and you'll see things like -

- The majority of people
- Numerous
- Multitude

If I start calling out on this forum that I think the majority of government workers are "liars and snakes who are principally out for themselves" I'd be banned in an instant for all of the people I would have offended. For some reason it's okay to say that about my profession.
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:40 PM   #63
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Sheehs1 - In regards to your appraiser question, that does sound quite shady.

I'm not sure why a Realtor should have any relationship with an appraiser in the first place - I've never needed to recommend one. A large majority of homes are financed by a lender and the rules around lender appraisals have become very strict at implementing a wall between lending and appraising.

When I'm a listing agent I will try and leave comps for an appraiser to consider but there's no guarantee that they will use them.

It does sound like the agent in your appraisal case was not acting on good faith.

The only caution I would add is that county appraisers, lending appraisals and Realtor CMA's are often widely divergent for good reasons. County appraisals are often 6-18 months behind the market. Lender appraisals often are required to use like properties which may include lender owned or short sales. They are also very rigid about evaluating features and location. A Realtor CMA tries to estimate the current fair market value that a house will sell for. Those aren't always in line with each other.
To clarify a bit. This area is a small resort area. The residents all know each other, do business together etc. It's next to impossible not to know people, recommend people...etc.
These resort areas are not local to us so we are working long distance. The previous summer when we tried on another house,I wanted a bank appraisal as we were considering a loan. I wanted the appraisal because I thought they'd be more realistic since it's their money they are protecting and wanted that additional level of protection, not being a familiar with property values in this area at the time. The very first question my agent asked me was, "which appraiser did the bank select". I told her. She said, "Oh she knows her and perhaps she'll give her a call". Keep in mind that in my mind, this was between the bank and me, not the realtor, bank and me.

It went so far as her then calling my lending officer at my local bank supposedly wanting to know his time frames for the mortgage etc. Is it normal for your realtor to call your lending bank, loan officer? They had already previously supplied a qualification letter.

I felt "crowded". Meaning I'm pretty good with boundaries and I felt she over stepped hers and was getting into my business with my bank. But I felt that way about her a lot during that process. Same agent as in the previous example.
Let's suffice it to say they are "some" very overzealous agents that way overstep their boundaries with pressure tactics. In my case, it was feeling like my agent was not protecting me and some material facts that came out and her minimizing those facts that resulted in our not buying.

That said, it's got to be a tough business, dealing with lots of personalities and bringing a lot of factors together to make a sale.
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:44 PM   #64
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....If I start calling out on this forum that I think the majority of government workers are "liars and snakes who are principally out for themselves" I'd be banned in an instant for all of the people I would have offended. For some reason it's okay to say that about my profession.
I concede that your statement above is correct, but with all due respect, are you really surprised? While you may be a straight shooter, your profession has a reputation for ethical challenges.

Just think of it this way, while you guys are behind police officers, you have most polititians beat by a mile.

Honesty/Ethics in Professions see page 5
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:46 PM   #65
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If I start calling out on this forum that I think the majority of government workers are "liars and snakes who are principally out for themselves" I'd be banned in an instant for all of the people I would have offended. For some reason it's okay to say that about my profession.
It is also generally accepted as okay to call financial advisors these things, too.
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:48 PM   #66
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If I start calling out on this forum that I think the majority of government workers are "liars and snakes who are principally out for themselves" I'd be banned in an instant for all of the people I would have offended. For some reason it's okay to say that about my profession.
Please don't take too much offense as none is personally directed at "all" of those in the profession. You just happen to be in a profession where a few can affect the reputation for "most" for those of us who run into them.
I certainly don't think all are like the agent I had the last two previous summers. It wasn't a full time thing since we lived so far away. We have dealt with her on one house each summer 2011, 2012.
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:52 PM   #67
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It is also generally accepted as okay to call financial advisors these things, too.
You're in a really mean mood today, equating financial advisors with real estate agents.
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:00 PM   #68
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It is also generally accepted as okay to call financial advisors these things, too.
And lawyers.

I have to say that my experience with realtors, lawyers and financial advisors has been very positive, for the most part. Like everyone else, customers need to keep them accountable.
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:04 PM   #69
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And lawyers.
And doctors.

I too have to say that my experience with physicians, realtors, lawyers and financial advisors has been very positive, for the most part. I've dealt with some excellent ones, many OK ones, and a sprinkling of real stinkers.
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:49 PM   #70
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OK, I'll step out on a ledge and reveal that I respect my realtor tremendously as a hard working man with a sense of ethics and pride in doing the right thing. In his opinion, if he does the right thing, even if it is to his financial disadvantage, the business will come his way. He saved me a lot of money and problems when I bought my house here by advising me that another house (that I was ready to buy) was way overpriced and not to offer so much. I later found my present home which is much nicer and cost less. Also he worked very hard trying to sell our houses in 2010 at the bottom of our real estate slump (and didn't even get upset when we unexpectly took both off the market after four months).

Frank and I also regard him as a friend by now, and enjoyed eating lunch with him a few weeks ago when we accidently ran across each other at a restaurant.

I'm sure that he is the cream of the crop, and probably there do exist realtors that are not so terrific. I searched high and low to find the best realtor I could, and wouldn't list with anyone else at this point.
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:30 PM   #71
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Sounds like you got a keeper there W2R.
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:38 PM   #72
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:07 PM   #73
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OK, I'll step out on a ledge and reveal that I respect my realtor tremendously as a hard working man with a sense of ethics and pride in doing the right thing. In his opinion, if he does the right thing, even if it is to his financial disadvantage, the business will come his way. He saved me a lot of money and problems when I bought my house here by advising me that another house (that I was ready to buy) was way overpriced and not to offer so much. I later found my present home which is much nicer and cost less. Also he worked very hard trying to sell our houses in 2010 at the bottom of our real estate slump (and didn't even get upset when we unexpectly took both off the market after four months).

Frank and I also regard him as a friend by now, and enjoyed eating lunch with him a few weeks ago when we accidently ran across each other at a restaurant.

I'm sure that he is the cream of the crop, and probably there do exist realtors that are not so terrific. I searched high and low to find the best realtor I could, and wouldn't list with anyone else at this point.
We maintained relationships with about 6 real estate agents over the years, mostly as buyers. No more problems with them than any other people. An agent who has never sold a place for us or participated in our buying has been so helpful that we have twice sent her substantial unsolicited checks.

First time was when she stepped in and negotiated a cash-for-keys deal where I was so pissed at the borrower I was ready to spend way more money just to foreclose on him through the legal system. Second time was when we sold a beat-up mobile home park on our own but she was instrumental in providing information that aided our foreclosing on the place and then re-selling it. She has had our backs and hasn't asked for compensation - now maybe that's just smart long-thinking business, but if so it is right thinking.
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:51 AM   #74
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I'd say that's smart business. Relationships are important and it take money to make money.
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:05 AM   #75
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We maintained relationships with about 6 real estate agents over the years, mostly as buyers. No more problems with them than any other people. An agent who has never sold a place for us or participated in our buying has been so helpful that we have twice sent her substantial unsolicited checks.

First time was when she stepped in and negotiated a cash-for-keys deal where I was so pissed at the borrower I was ready to spend way more money just to foreclose on him through the legal system. Second time was when we sold a beat-up mobile home park on our own but she was instrumental in providing information that aided our foreclosing on the place and then re-selling it. She has had our backs and hasn't asked for compensation - now maybe that's just smart long-thinking business, but if so it is right thinking.
I think your conduct in those cases was exemplary. It's the way things should work. If a professional works and does a good job people should want to pay them.

It also brings to light the fact that some buyers, customers, and clients are also among the population of liars, cheats and snakes. Comments have been made that it might be inappropriate for a sales professional to hold their own interests paramount. There seems little resistance to the idea that a buyer is justified in using any means to better their own position.

Those comments are generalizations and do not apply to our forum's participants.
It seems that our members are mostly exceptions to the normal stereotypes.
I wonder if a correlation between success at early retirement and exemplary business ethics can be drawn.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:43 AM   #76
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You're in a really mean mood today, equating financial advisors with real estate agents.
Hey now! I love our Realtor--a friend of mine since I was a teenager and been in the business all his life. I think as highly of him as I do myself!
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:22 PM   #77
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When we sold our home on Bainbridge Island I interviewed several Realtors who had been recommended by others. I choose a guy who was honest and highly regarded by his peers. Not flashy, he had expectations of us to make our home the best on the market. We sold at the hight of the implosion. It took a while for that reason, he earned his fee. I would recommend him as a buyer's Realtor.

However we were contacted by Realtors who struck me as opportunists.
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:11 PM   #78
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Tyro - I appreciate you trying to clarify but I don't think that's right.

Look up the definition on the internet of "many" and you'll see things like -

- The majority of people
- Numerous
- Multitude
I find no such definition, and it's a straw man argument anyway. Pb4uski did not say "all", and that is the core objection. Many -- a "large indefinite number" (from the majority of definitions I find) -- still agrees with my and others' experiences.

Tyro
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Old 03-20-2013, 03:23 PM   #79
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I think that the situation of the buyer or seller weighs heaviy in this discussion. Someone like Calmloki has made real estate operation his occupation. He has experience, and also some market clout with agents, who if they are even somewhat smart will want to cultivate his repeat business. OTOH the typical buyer may well be a one-off experience for an agent. I looked for a condo with varying intensity for 3 years or so, an area excompassing maybe 3 or 4 zip codes. Partly it is just me, but partly I think one needs time to get the lay of the land, even though he has lived there for years. Real estate and neighborhood trends can change, and unless we are actively in the market, this is going to be beneath our radar. First I intended to only go to open houses, and negotiate directly with the seller's agent, and have my own att. handle the details if I decided to make an offer. Later, I did go around and let an agent I had met and liked show me some stuff. All of these informal relationships were enventually dropped for various reasons-one woman just didn't show up for our 3rd outing, one guy I had contacted for an auction and he fairly agressively tried to get me to sign an exclusive buyer's agent contract which given the very soft market I thought was absurd. One guy totally flat out lied to me about easily verifiable matters, and also had the gall to try to push me. One woman I got along with well, but eventually discovered two things--she had no ability to make a low offer with conviction, as she seemed embarrased by not playing according to the realtor/seller friendly rules of the boom years. She also did not understand procedures for dealing with bank owned property, or short sales.

When I finally bought, I had settled on a small contiguous area of maybe 8x8 blocks. One Sunday I was out walking with my woman friend and we stopped at an open house, liked the place and liked the seller's agent. I went about my business, no longer shopping other than the occasional open house, as I thought this place was too expensive and I was tiring of looking. But finally one day the agent called me and said the price had been lowered and the seller wanted to move. I gave her a low idea of what I could pay, and she said that they already had an offer of more. I told her that I could not pay more but that I could guarantee performance as I intended to pay cash. In order to expedite things she also sent me a copy of the condo reserve study that had been done that summer. From this I could see some issues to get handled, but nothing that would be a deal breaker in my mind. Anyway, I knew she was serious and realistic and that we could work cooperatively.

So I got my place, the agent got a larger commission than she would have had she had to split with a separate agent for me, but at the same time we freed some cash so that the seller would not have to bring a check to closing. Also the seller got to move on to her new life with no anxiety.

In very soft markets, I believe that a lot of useful information can come from the listing agent especially if you are even passably good with friendly interviewing techniques.

I felt it was a win-win for all three of us, and still feel that way.

Ha
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:01 PM   #80
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I've had some bad luck in the past with this as well, but from the selling side. Sellers market, low inventory and apparently a lot of people looking to buy. We listed at what we agreed was a good price to get early action. Goal was to get a bidding war going to receive about $5,000 more than asking. Worst case, asking price was acceptable to us.

House went on the market Thursday at noon. By 3:00pm we had an offer 8K above asking waiving all contingencies (no inspection, no appraisal) bringing 25% cash. Too good to be true? It had an expiration of 9pm and verbiage requiring us to take home off market and not entertain any other offers. We accepted. By Sunday, they dropped under the new 3 day rule. Our best guess is that they put a similar offer on multiple other homes the same weekend and went with the one they liked best (frustrating to say the least).

We asked that the realtor not accept similar offers for the following weekend unless they are represented by a realtor he knew and had a good feeling about. House went back on the market Wednesday and we got another offer $2,500 above asking, waiving inspection contingency (why on earth people would wave this is beyond me... maybe a red flag?) Who are we to complain? Same thing, offer only good until Friday 9pm and house must be removed from market. This time Realtor knew other realtor and was in house while the family walked it. Said they were in love with it.

Our Realtor told us that he knew at least 3 others were in the process of writing up offers but that none of them were likely to be as good as this one. So we accepted it.

Turns out that family was pushed into submitting the offer without inspection by their Realtor who told them they needed to act fast or would lose out. They were nervous and got cold feet. Cancelled contract under 3 day rule again Sunday.

So there we were, on the market for 17 days and still hadn't had a single open house. The following weekend we went under contract for asking price, but were pressured by our Realtor being told that we look like a lemon now because of our bad luck with the first two offers falling through. Wait, didn't you say we had like 5 people on the line the first couple weekends? He essentially told us our plan to get $5K above asking was thwarted by getting unlucky (luck, right...). I often wonder what would have happened if the "game" wasn't played by the Realtor and all the people wanting to buy the house were met face to face by us. If we had actually had a legitimate opening house weekend I'm pretty sure we would have ended up with 5K more...

you live and learn. No matter how nice Realtors seem as people the incentives don't align (that said, I know there are plenty of good ones out there). They want you to sell as low as possible to make less work for them... they want you to buy as high as possible to make less work for them. Hard to get a good deal without feeling like you are punishing them, the way they play things.
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