I understand your frustration, disappointment & even your anger about Realtors. You have been let down, lied to, and in some cases stolen from. And I do not feel sorry for most of you.
Let me share this story with you:
I had a computer that was constantly losing memory. It is now with it's 3rd technician. Like you, I know very little about "the industry." In fact, I know nothing about computers except what I've read online. Once in awhile a friend or relative will try to give me advice, but the result is always the same, more frustration. The first COMPUTER TECHNICIAN charged me $250.00 to fix my problem. He told me I had a leaky motherboard and to "throw it away." Unconvinced I took the computer to Best Buy ($150.00) where they simply said they needed to reconfigure my cpu and "wipe it." This would basically delete everything on the hard drive and restore it to day one. Guess what? That didn't work either!!
On the third attempt I dropped it off to yet another technician, referred by fellow Realtor. I was so angry with the entire process that I was determined to get to the source of the problem, no matter the cost..... Finally I was told I had a VIRUS in my BIOS system, whatever the hell that means. My situation was now solved.
I very easily could have said... "all computer technicians are stupid liars looking to STEAL from me," but I did not. To be honest, I'm very, very angry about my experiences, but....
---->I have one person to blame for my misery, myself.<-----
I rushed, trusted and didn't do my research when looking for the RIGHT guy to fix my computer. I was stupid, careless and too trustworthy. When I was growing up my parents always warned me to SHOP wisely. They reminded me that only fools make quick impulsive decisions with their money. And they were right.
Now that I've found my trusted computer technician I feel redeemed. If I ever need a computer repair, I'll know who to call. I'll refer him over and over again & even though I'm angry with my past experiences I harbor no ill will towards the industry. I would NEVER consider trying to nickle & dime him as I now know he's worth the money he was paid. I won't rely on my uncle in Nebraska who worked on computers in the 80's as he's "just trying to help."
The moral of the story is simple.
Ask lots and lots of questions before you hire a Realtor. Don't just sign paperwork assuming we are all bred, raised and educated the same. The 80/20 rule applies to our industry as well. I believe you get what you pay for in Real Estate. If you don't do your research than you are asking for potential problems. Learn from other peoples horror stories and not your own.