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Re: RE (real estate) question
Old 09-04-2006, 06:01 PM   #41
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Re: RE (real estate) question

Originally Posted by wab

Oh, gawd forbid that a Realtor(TM) should have to do some paper work! Honobob, houses were selling in a couple days during the mania. If the median house in CA is $600K, that's $36000 for, say, a week's work. Not bad. Using your "annualization logic", that is like a salary of $1.8M a year!
Having recently sold our house in western WA, I'd have to disagree with you - I don't think "realtors" on average do anywhere close to an actual week's work per sale of the houses they list, more like maybe a couple of hours total (over a 4 month period, in our case). The whole MLS/commission/price-fixing setup is one of the biggest and longest running scams of the modern economic era. I told my wife several times during the process that we'd get a better deal if real estate was controlled by the mafia. To add insult to injury, there's title insurance (I could check county records on the internet for our title in 5 minutes, why is there a $1000 charge for this ludicrous "insurance" every time the property changes hands?), and $1600 for the escrow "service" that I believe probably involved less than hour's "work" by the escrow company.

And of course the real estate "agent" that listed the house argued vociferously when I would not agree to more than a 5% commission, even though prices (and hence the commission $$) had gone way up in just a couple of years, with the same amount of "work" on their part.

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Re: RE (real estate) question
Old 09-04-2006, 08:57 PM   #42
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Re: RE (real estate) question

timo, I'm with you. I had just such a discussion with DD a few months back but she said that in her area realtors in her area coordinated insepctions (evidently quite a list) as well as preparing and showing the home, and advising the seller. Didn't make much sense to me, but then her time is worth REAL money to her employer, and her 'spare' time she want to spend with her family. SO.. whatever floats your boat, so to speak. She is in the S. Bay and spent a couple M on a fixer recently.

When we market our home I forsee my DH pinching everyone and their fees at least three times (not Bay area residents).

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Re: RE (real estate) question
Old 09-04-2006, 09:54 PM   #43
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Re: RE (real estate) question

Originally Posted by timo
The whole MLS/commission/price-fixing setup is one of the biggest and longest running scams of the modern economic era.
And of course the real estate "agent" that listed the house argued vociferously when I would not agree to more than a 5% commission, even though prices (and hence the commission $$) had gone way up in just a couple of years, with the same amount of "work" on their part.
Let me chime in here since I was defensive of the realtor profession in an earlier post. My wife got here license and worked a short while before going back to a 9 to 5. Her broker was the "top dog" in the area and negotiating a reduced commision was out of the question. When we took a company relo package and sold our home thru thier office, we did get top notch service from a husband and wife team, albeit employer paid thier commission. Having been treated so well we were shocked when we got to the DC area and the realtors here have this mindset that after showing 5 homes, they wanna know "which one do you want to make an offer on?" Pathetic. It makes no sense whatsoever that these agents get the same per cent commision when the avg price is more than 2x where we moved from, in a seller's market, no less. So my conclusion is to go with a FULL TIME agent working for a top notch broker, and yes negotiate the commission. There were actually a few smaller brokers around here that began lowering thier fees, but that was before the bubble "burst"
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Re: RE (real estate) question
Old 09-05-2006, 08:03 AM   #44
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Re: RE (real estate) question

My most recent purchase went something like this. We went to and found several properties we we interested in. The weekend we were moving to the area our realtor said one of the houses is supposed to be receiving an offer, so we needed to make a full price offer now, without looking at the house, if we wanted to buy the house. We told her that wouldn't do. She set up a showing for the day we arrived in town. It turns out the rooms were too small for our furniture. Her answer was downsize the furniture. Uh, that's not going to happen. So we go to a second unoccupied house, which was also on our list of interesting prospects. We looked at it and were interested. The agent while we were at this house told us that she was our agent now and anybody we talked to we had to let them know she represented us. The best I could remember I never told her, she was our agent and even if she was she worked for me not the other way around. I can fire her just as easily as she hired herself. The agent told us the next day that the house was closing that afternoon. If she had done even a little work we would not have seen the second house.

We go back to and decide to look at some houses being built. We drive to the houses and walk through them without telling anybody, because the realtor irritated us. We found two that were interesting. We sent the agent the listing information on the two houses and requested more detailed information about the houses. Apparently she couldn't read the e-mail, because she set up an appointment with the listing agent and only told them about one of the houses were were interested in. By the time we had the meeting with the listing agent and the builder we decided against the only one our agent told the builder about. We're sitting in the meeting and the builder started to pull out the information sheets for the house we did not want. We told them we were not interested in that house and were interested in the second one. Both the builder and the listing agent had a look of surprise. The builder was going to pull the listing for the house we were interested in because they were going to buy it. We did buy the one house our agent didn't tell the sellers we were interested in.

Prior to the meeting with the sellers, our agent was about to be fired. I called the listing agent and if he would have returned my call first our agent was fired. What exactly did she do for her commission? Set up a meeting, show us two houses, tell the mortgage company which title cowman and appraiser she likes, and write a contract. Total time invested about 10 hours assuming there's more going on behind the scenes than I know. So I definitely think the agents are being overpaid. We did most of the work finding our house.

Back in the old days, before Al Gore invented the internet, the agents actually had to work. They had to figure out what the buyer wanted and research what was listed in the buyer's price range, style and size, in addition to everything the agents do now. All of their research was done by flipping through a book or paper files, not the computer generated databases used now. That drastically cuts their work time down, the computer search can be done in a matter of minutes, whereas before it took a matter of minutes to get the books out of the drawers.
You don't want to work. You want to live like a king, but the big bad world don't owe you a thing. Get over it--The Eagles
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Re: RE (real estate) question
Old 09-05-2006, 04:45 PM   #45
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Re: RE (real estate) question

Wow! I thought this thread would have died...

Anyway, I would just comment on two things:

1. The listing agent is one of the newer fixed-fee RE agents. When we looked at selling through them, they basically said it was $2,995 to them and 3% to the buyers agent if one existed.

2. perinova's post is spot on.


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