the Realtor Two-Step.

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential

I was over on Trulia for a spell yesterday, defending the integrity of my chosen career, and a regular commenter, who agrees with me, about as much as he disagrees with me, but whose opinions are often well-founded and I respect, made a statement.  He said:

I believe there are excellent people/Agents/ other Pros in the Industry
it's just some Agents work so hard to prove me wrong. LOL

Now, it was said kinda tongue-in-cheek, but the sentiment was true, and I believe far more widespread than just his own opinion.  I rarely see any disrespect for the Realtor crowd out on the street, and haven't run into it in real life, but you see it in spades on sites like Zillow, Trulia and others, as well as finding it rearing it's ugly head here on AR, every now and then.

We're rated somewhere slightly below used-car-salesmen, and slightly above whale excrement (you know, the stuff that floats to the bottom of the ocean!?).  Most people, like my friend on Trulia, want to believe that Realtors and Agents are professional, ethical, honest and hard-working, they really do ... but then along comes that doofus of a Realtor who'll make some ridiculous statement like:

"Of course I look at the co-op commission first.  I have a right to make a living don't I?  So sure, I won't show FSBO's, and I won't show any property that co-ops less than 3%... 'cause I'm worth it", and with that statement, down plummets our reputation again.


"Yer dang right I don't want an inspector to find any problems with the house.... just gloss over 'em... it'll be okay, and I need the paycheck... after all, how bad can it be... there's someone living in it now!", and down we go again.

Two steps forward, Three steps back.

Some agents are working soooooo dang hard to prove him wrong.  I wish they'd take some time off.

Posted by

 ALAN MAY, Realtor®   
Specializing in Evanston Real Estate and North Shore Real Estate

Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, 1710 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201
847.425.3779      Cell: 847.924.3313      Email:

Evanston Real Estate & North Shore Real Estate
Licensed in Illinois



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Jim Shaw
Premiere Plus Realty Co. - Naples, FL
Real Estate Sales Associate, Naples Luxury Real Estate

Good post Alan! 

The Realtor's who put their client's interest above their own are the ones we respect.

Three opposite examples happened to me recently lower the ratings for all Realtors.

1.  A long-time Naples Realtor has admitted to $11 Million dollars of fraud and will be sentenced in January 2010.

2.  I was the Listing Agent and received a low-ball offer for my client.  When I spoke with the Selling Agent he told me he had a Short Sale listing and told his buyer how much the offer on the Short Sale listing was to help guide her in making an offer on my listing.  I argued that is afoul of the Code of Ethics and he just smiled.  He told me he has had several Short Sale closings so he knows what the banks will accept.  I asked to see his crystal ball.

As it turns out, his crystal ball had some flaws as the lendor turned down the offer on the Short Sale and his buyer for my listing wouldn't budge so my seller lost the sale.

3.  Do any of you know Realtors who only show their own listings?  Another Code of Ethics violation but it doesn't seem to stop her.


Nov 23, 2009 01:01 AM #7
Sidney Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula
Realty Works Temecula - Temecula, CA
Realty Works Temecula

Good Monday Morning Alan:  I used to let the public dis-trust of Real Estate Agents bother me but now I don't and here's why.....Almost every profession has it's bad apples and almost every profession has a bad reputation:  Car Mechanics, Lawyers, Psychologists, IRS Agents.  To name the most popular professions who are dis-trusted.  So now I do the best job I can do by communicating and being ethical, honest and keeping up on my specific market and with educational requirements so I know I am providing the absolute best servcie I can provide.

Nov 23, 2009 01:09 AM #8
Janna Scharf
Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene - Coeur d'Alene, ID
Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert

I bump into those agents from time to time, but for the most part the agents I deal with are professional.  Thanks goodness.  Ever noticed how clients who have been well served by a good agent are the first to sing our praises and defend our commissions?! 

Nov 23, 2009 02:24 AM #9
Larry Story
Total Care Realty - Greensboro, NC
Total Care Realty, LLC, Greensboro, NC Real Estate


As my favorite quote from another "as water reflects a man's face so his actions reflect his heart".  I to run into those agents and struggle through those transactions just being very careful to take care of my clients and CYA at the same time.

Nov 23, 2009 02:30 AM #10
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

Steve - but those bad apples sure do stank!

Tim - amazing, indeed.

C-tann - try to hold back there "c".

Team Honeycut - I basically agree.  A bad apple, is a bad apple, regardless of which profession they choose.

Suzy - the sooner the better.

Jim - it's just difficult to watch when one or more of those bad apples, ends up making tons of money.

Jane - you're right.  The best thing we can do to counter those bad appless, is to be the very best, honest, ethical agent we can be.

Janna - I also notice that bad clients, tend to have bad agents... obnoxious clients tend to gravitate toward obnoxious agents.  It's an immutable law of nature.

Nov 23, 2009 02:31 AM #11
Steve Loynd
Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., - Lincoln, NH
800-926-5653, White Mountains NH know how I feel about the home inspection issue as I commented on that yesterday, but as far as checking the commission structure before scheduling a showing (rolling my eyes-here) Who are these agents clients. Are we not supposed to be showing what the client has identified as there perfect match. Sometimes that property pays better (or Worse) than other available places...that's real estate, and its our job not to eliminate the best place because it doesn't pay as well as something else. No wonder the public thinks we suck.

Nov 23, 2009 03:00 AM #12

This is the bestest Blog ever and whoever said what you said they said is obviously handsome and very observant.

BTW don't worry about the times you disagreed with that charming person because you shouldn't feel bad about being wrong sometimes.........

Nov 23, 2009 04:23 AM #13
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Alan, it happens in ALL professions---not just real estate.  It has more to do with the human condition than any one profession I am afraid:)

Nov 23, 2009 04:23 AM #14
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Alan~ Unfortunately there is good and bad in every single profession.  Our job is to be the absolute best we can be for each and every single one of our clients!

Nov 23, 2009 05:20 AM #15
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

Steve - it's that perception

Dunes - I'm glad that statement resonates with you... and I'm not worried... as my wife keeps reminding me... "I ain't perfect...  I ain't even close".

Charles - yep... but every now and then one of those doofuses has to stand up and wave his arms around.  sit down.

Vickie - and we do that each and every day.  And then a doofus rises.

Nov 23, 2009 05:53 AM #16
Ann Allen Hoover
RE/MAX Advantage South - Hoover, AL
CDPE SRES ASP e-PRO Realtor - Homes for Sale - AL

I ran into one of the doofus types a few months ago.  My client already liked me, but after tangling with her on a deal, she made me look even better in my clients' eyes.  I hope I don't have to work with her again.....awful!

Nov 23, 2009 08:43 AM #18
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

Ann - they're everywhere, they're everywhere!

Nov 23, 2009 09:13 AM #19
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Alan, I like to think that the bad apples in the business get run out of town or starve because they aren't getting any referrals.  But every once in a while I do run into one who is a real pill.  And about once every five years, oh my, I might be the real pill! 

Nov 23, 2009 09:18 AM #20
Melissa Brown
Helen Adams Realty - Charlotte, NC
Realtor - South Charlotte NC Homes for Sale

Alan, it's kind of like how Americans, as a whole, LOVE to disparage Congress and all things politics, but when it comes to their OWN representative or Senator, they LOVE to rattle off all that he/she has done for his district/State.  It just reminds me of the analogy because I used to work on Capitol Hill for a Member of Congress - many, many moons ago!

Nov 23, 2009 09:39 AM #21
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

Patricia - often I find that some of the worst ones, are incredibly successful.  Go figure.

wow... I'm not gonna let this go into politics... sorry Melissa.

Nov 23, 2009 11:23 AM #22
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

Alan..Thinking,saying,and doing are  separate issues..We can wish everyone offered higher commissions .. Statics show 95% of for sale by owners list their homes...What a great source ..It also amazes me how other agents bad mouth their follow agents without seeing the whole picture...Ethic violations ??? ...discussing commissions ...that I believe is also a NO NO ...


Nov 29, 2009 06:55 AM #23
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

HH - mass violations

Nov 29, 2009 08:35 AM #24
Devil Dude

Who's right, who's wrong?

You tell me, I invite all of ActiveRain to tell me publicly on Trulia..


It's OK to say This nieghborhood has high crime but you should check out this one here that doesn't in response to a question?

Curious Guy

Nov 30, 2009 04:18 AM #25
Robert L. Brown - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic

There is good and bad in EVERY profession. It's our responsibility to do the right thing for our client. It is a choice we make and hopefully the right one everyday.

Dec 09, 2009 05:55 AM #26
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

Robert - but isn't it interesting that there are so many out there trying so hard to prove him wrong?

Dec 09, 2009 06:05 AM #27
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