IN SEARCH OF INDIANA JONES - What The Real Estate Industry Needs Is A Few Heros!

Real Estate Agent with Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate 303829;0225082372

                               * * * *    DANGER:  HARD CORE REAL ESTATE TALK   * * * *

What would the real estate market look like today if agents and brokers and lenders said what they mean and meant what they say and gave the consumer accurate and worthwhile information that was in the best interest of the consumer?   

What would the real estate market be like today if experienced agents and brokers used their skill to perform valuable services only for cooperative buyer and sellers and limited their representation to sensible consumers who respected our knowledge and experience? 

What would the mortgage industry be like today if agents and brokers and lenders used their skills and knowledge to perform honest and experienced services to consumers and helped the consumer obtain only loans that consumers could reasonable be expected to repay? 

What would the real estate market look like today if the Senate and House of Representatives performed their statutory oversight duties and monitored the entities that formulate the guidelines under which mortgage companies make home loans and actually represent the interests of the consumer?

What would the real estate market look like today if the Wall Street investment banks did not sell Mortgage Backed Securities like so many chicken parts, making a market for off balance sheet products sold to investors relying on the repayment of mortgage loans of which many will result in foreclosure?

WHAT WOULD INDY SAY?? mortgage mess

  I've decided to list my house for $749,900.  I know that you said that the highest sale in my neighborhood is only $639,000, but I want to have some negotiating room.  Broker Slick said he would list my house for my price and he is charging a lower commission than you. 

 Listing Agent Indy:  I just listed a property identical to yours just a block away for $599,900.  The market is still declining.  My fee is, indeed, higher than Broker Slick.  So, I understand why you would want to list with Broker Slick.  Good luck. 

Buyer:  Indy, I have a list of homes that I found on the Internet and I want to see all 17 of them Saturday.

 Buyers Agent Indy:  Your time is valuable so I'll preview the list over the week and identify the best six homes on your list.  I'll review the full listings and make sure they are all available.  You don't need to spend time looking at homes with pet odors, wet basements, foundation problems, aged appliances and other problems that would cost you a lot of money after settlement.  I'll get the disclosures and eliminate the homes with serious defects or that are significantly overpriced for the area.  Be prepared to spend at least 15-30 minutes looking at each home so you know the homes well and can limit the selections to the best two or three to investigate further.  I'll send you photos of the interiors of the best homes so you'll have an idea about upgrades and decorating matters. 

Loan Officer:   Hello Indy.  Ms. Hopeful contacted me about loan approval.  I used the XYX program which will give her a low payment for the first few years.  All you have to do is be sure to get 6% closing credit from the seller of what ever house she selects to buy. 

 Buyers Agent Indy:  That program will cost my buyer about $5,000 out of pocket more than she has available.  You've got almost $2,000 in junk fees on this thing and 2.5 points. What if she wants to buy a home for sale where the seller doesn't have an extra 6% to contribute?  This home is in FHA range.  Please redo the qualification for an FHA loan.

Senator Longspeech:  I have long championed the working men and women of our country and my state and I believe that what this country needs is a moratorium on interest payments on home loans for all Americans.  The mortgage crisis in this country is caused by the greedy real estate industry, the greedy mortgage companies, and the greedy investors on Wall Street and it's time to do something for the working families who shouldn't
be forced to pay for homes that they can't afford.  I'm going to present a bill that will provide $25,000,000,000 to pay for mortgage payments for working men and women for the next year.

 Citizen Indy:  Senator, With all due respect, has the $11,000 in campaign contributions from various banking and financial  influenced your bill to subsidize mortgage payments for a year?  I see you accepted a trip to the golf resort in Arizona from several lobbyists for the Banking Industry.  I see also that the head of your reelection campaign is headed by a lobbiest who represented several Wall Street iinvestment houses.

Chairman Saynothing:  We believe that the market will continue to see significant fluctuations for the coming months leading to a moderate disruption in indices causing investors to limit consideration certain instruments influenced by a rise or fall of some rates leading to disruptions in certain sectors sensitive to these forces at particular times in the cycle of reporting statistics that may or may not reflect consumer pressure on the prices of some commodities or consumer goods and services. 

 Senator Indy:  Chairman Saynothing, you have just presented a statement that says nothing about anything.  What are you doing here?

Chairman Saynothing:    I was invited by Senator Longspeech to testify. 
 I don't know what I'm doing here. 

Investment Banker Slink:  We have a fantastic new investment opportunity for you.  It's known as a "Mortgage Backed Security".  These securities are backed by the home owners of the United States of America.  Everyone knows that the American home owner is the best consumer in the world.  The Federal Reserve has lowered interest rates to a point where everyone wants to buy a McMansion and lenders are able to give loans with no income verification and no down payment.  These stocks cannot lose. 

 Senator Indy:  Wait a minute!  You're telling me that you're not selling me a loan, but just a tiny piece of a loan.  In fact, you're selling me an interest in a security that is backed by a tiny piece of many mortgage loans, many of which were are going to see an increase in payments in a couple of years?  What happens if the home owner can't make the payment. . . . . . . . .

TO BE CONTINUED. . . . . .

Courtesy:  Lenn Harley, Broker,

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Richard Pino
RE/Max Advantage Real Estate - Gloucester, MA

 Lenn, read your comment earlier about your states Real Estate commission taking three years to move forward with a complaint. Here in Mass. they move quicker and do give harsh penalties. There were another dozen actions taken against Realtors this past July. 


Massachusetts Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons Announces Recent Enforcement Actions

September 4, 2007

Kevin Carey, Medford: The Board by decision revoked the real estate broker's license of Kevin Carey. Carey's license was revoked following his temporary suspension as an attorney for misuse of client funds.

Carlton Dascent, New Bedford:By decision, the Board refused to renew the real estate broker's license of Carlton Dascent. The Board took such action against Dascent's license as an attorney broker given his disbarment in the Commonwealth as an attorney.

Rodney DaSilva, Braintree: The Board revoked the license of Rodney DaSilva. DaSilva's license was revoked because of his criminal convictions for sexual misconduct and trespass with a motor vehicle. Additionally, DaSilva falsley stated, under the pains and penalties of perjury, on his examination/application for licenser that he had no prior convictions.

Donald Jackson, Jr., Hanover & Rockland: The Board entered into a decision in which they revoked the license of Donald Jackson. Jackson's license as an attorney broker was revoked following his temporary suspension as an attorney in the Commonwealth for misuse of client funds.

Theodore Jarrett, Jr., Hatfield: The Board revoked the license of Theodore Jarrett, Jr. Jarrett's license was revoked due to his conviction in United States District Court (Massachusetts) for two counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to launder money.

Leonard Lakin, Wellesley Hills: The Board revoked the license of Leonard Lakin following his resignation as an attorney in the Commonwealth for misuse of client funds.

William Mullen, Dedham: The Board refused to renew the license issued to William Mullen following his indefinite suspension as an attorney for misconduct in three unrelated real estate transactions involving the commingling of client funds with his own and improper record keeping.

Quang Nguyen, Brockton & Everett: The Board refused to renew the license of Quang Nguyen following Nguyen's disbarment as an attorney in the Commonwealth.

Peter Schofield, Grafton:The Board refused to renew the license of Peter Schofield following the misappropriation of $84,000 in client funds he held in escrow in a real estate transaction.

Stuart Sojcher, Winchester: The Board revoked the license of Stuart Sojcher. The Board revoked Sojcher's license following his temporary suspension as an attorney in the Commonwealth for misuse of client funds.

Harold Weinstein, Charlestown: The Board revoked the license of Mr. Weinstein for failing to remit escrow funds and maintaining an escrow account.

Consumers are urged to visit the Division of Professional Licensure's website and select the check a license option to determine whether a professional they are considering doing business with is licensed and in good standing.




Mar 02, 2008 12:00 PM #39
Jolynne Photography, Creative Wedding Photography, Family Portraits, Bar Mitzvahs
Jolynne Photography - Hemet, CA
Bat Mitzvahs, Senior Pictures, Event Photography

Lenn, do you know where I can get that sweet leather hat.

Indiana Loans: Raiders of the Lost Arts (Honesty, Integrity, Compassion)

Mar 02, 2008 12:04 PM #40
Jesse & Kathy Clifton
Jesse Clifton & Associates, REALTORS® - Fairbanks, AK
Lenn - Another great post.  I've come to the conclusion that the real estate profession would benefit greatly from being able to clone you.  :)  We could definitely use more Indy's in the game.
Mar 02, 2008 12:44 PM #41
Gary Bolen
McCall Realty - South Lake Tahoe, CA
CRS - Lake Tahoe Real Estate Information

it's still all about the search for the holy... price...grail. we just need to use indy's whip to get'em in line.

really good read, Lenn... even for a Sunday!


Mar 02, 2008 01:54 PM #42
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI
A very entertaining post Lenn. I always like reading your stuff. You must type 90 words a minute!.
Mar 02, 2008 02:39 PM #43
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services
Lenn- I just knew that this post was featured when I saw the headline! Super creative! How do you come up with this great stuff! A great satire and sadly, true. 
Mar 02, 2008 04:10 PM #44
Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation
RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate - Victoria, BC
Accredited Real Estate Consultant

Hi Lenn...Great Timing, with the real estate market in turmoil, a little wise cracking goes a long way to hit a nerve with a consumer that wants to be serious.

Cheers, Maybe a great Marketing DVD for Listing Agents!


PS: Love your Indiana Jones Role Players

Mar 02, 2008 04:47 PM #45
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Fred.  If we lose our sense of humor, we're doomed.

Katerina.  I suppose it's how I see things.  I love satire. 

Wayne.  Bingo!!  Typing helps.  I know a few folks who would blog if only they could type. 

Gary.  Isn't it sad?  I hear so much that is just simply said that is pure nonsense.  I do scream to the TV regularly.  Blogging gives us opportunities to "get it all out there".  I would love to see someone in the media telling us the truth without bias. 

Jesse and Cathy.  Indeed we do.  We need some heros.  All we have is folks promoting this interest or that one for their own benefit.  Real estate agents who perform as fiduciaries are, of course, the exception.  Unfortunately, our voice isn't heard. 


Suzi.  Thanks for stopping by.

Mar 02, 2008 09:19 PM #46
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Richard.  I'm not sure what point you're trying to make with the list of convictions.  Misuse of funds and disbarement are known crimes that all boards will go after quickly.  But, that's not what has caused the mortgage mess.  The real estate commissions can't prosecute lenders for steering consumers to bad loans.  It can't do anything about agents taking overpriced listings.  It has no power over the characters on the hill or at the fed, whose policies have significant impact over our markets. 

When was the last time you saw a sanction against a listing broker for misleading a consumer about the value of their property.  That's a COE violation.  When was the last time you heard of a loan officer fired for steering buyers to bad loans??  I've seen many examples of both.

For these abuses of the public trust, we need Indiana Jones.


Mar 02, 2008 09:25 PM #47
Melissa Grant
A Serendipity World - Greenbackville, VA
The Law of Attraction In Life & Business
So sad but VERY true ! What a great post Lenn and great analogies ! Love the role playing, it makes it easy reading !! Thanks for sharing this with us all. Thanks for answering the nagging questions of what the market would really be like had eveeryone practiced ethics ! And at the very least MORALS !
Mar 02, 2008 10:48 PM #48
Richard Pino
RE/Max Advantage Real Estate - Gloucester, MA

I was referring to your comment #9, where as your real estate board took three years to act on a single consumers complaint. comparing your state board to ours that has suspended or revoked well over thirty brokers, salesperson and lawyers licenses since June of last year. 

Mar 02, 2008 10:55 PM #49
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Richard.  Thanks.  I was referring to the MD Real Estate Commission.  Complaints before the Associations go much faster, usually in a few months following filing of a complaint.  One thing we may be confusing is Boards and Commissions. 

In MD, we have Associations of Realtors.  We also have the MD Real Estate Commission.  The Commission is the only entity that can remove or suspend licenses, so that may be your board.  I believe our Commission moves much more quickly in the case of deposit money, escrow, co-mingling funds, etc.  It's complaints by consumers against Realtors that take forever to investigate.

I suppose they prioritize their actions.




Mar 02, 2008 11:22 PM #50
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland
Melissa.  Thanks.  The least we can expect is that the agents, brokers and loan officers follow the law. 
Mar 02, 2008 11:24 PM #51
Scott Hoyt
Founding Partner, - Cary, NC


Spot on observations!

In markets accross the country people are so excited to get a deal, they fail to take an honest look at it to see if it is a long term value for themselves, their buyers/sellers or brokers.

Short term thinking has killed the golden goose.

Mar 03, 2008 12:22 AM #52
Jean Doyle
RE/MAX House Values - Mount Arlington, NJ
Morris and Sussex NJ Real Estate
Wonderful post. I am reassured by your post and all of the comments that there is a hero among the AR community.
Mar 03, 2008 01:19 AM #53
Paul Francis
Francis Group Real Estate - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Real Estate Agent - Summerlin Homes
Another great post to help elevate standards and cut the junk!
Mar 03, 2008 02:04 AM #54
Connor T. MacIvor
RE/MAX of Valencia CA - Paris911 - Valencia, CA - (888)SCVnest

I know you are on to something when 20 people comment as I am just trying to read and digest your words Lenn - I suppose the Code of Law Enforcement - Wanting to protect the meek from the predator, could apply in your model? 


Mar 03, 2008 02:16 AM #55
Emily Lowe
The Lipman Group | Sotheby's International Realty - Nashville, TN
Nashville TN Realtor
I always enjoy reading your blogs Lenn!
Mar 03, 2008 02:38 AM #56
Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life
This is classic stuff Lenn, Harrison would be proud:-)
Mar 03, 2008 07:16 AM #57
Christy Powers
Keller Williams Coastal Area Partners - Pooler, GA
Pooler, Savannah Real Estate Agent
LOL....that was funny and too true. I love when people talk in circles for hours without ever really saying anything at all. 
Mar 03, 2008 01:00 PM #58
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