I guess I shouldn't, but I feel depressed about our industry!!

Education & Training with Real Estate Expert Witness Support

Sometimes I feel tainted by my expert witness work,  where I see agents that are involved in lawsuits.  So, often they are untrained and just not ready to do the heavy lifted that is needed in today's real estate.  This is especially evident when agents get outside their residential home sale area.  Too often they run across a client that wants to buy a business,  an office building,  raw land,  and income property and the list goes on.

Instead of being honest and telling their client,  that they are not specialists in that area,  they dive in the pool and usually hit their head on the bottom.  In California,  not only can an agent do any type of real estate with their license,  they can even do loans.  How crazy is that concept.  I know when I am brought in on the plaintiff side (the one who is suing),  it is too easy to show the agents mistakes and how their lack of understanding led to the problem.  When I am hired to defend an agent,  it is frequently difficult to help their attorney build a credible case to support their behavior.  Yes,  in every case,  there is usually enough blame to pass around between the Seller lack of disclosure,  the Listing agent's lack of proper advice to the Seller and in many cases,  the buyer themselves who were too dumb or too cheap to protect themselves.

But,  someone who is frequently overlooked in these cases is the manager or broker.  First,  the brokerage is legally the agent.  So,  when the managing broker allows one of their agents to represent them on a transaction beyond the capacity of the agent,  in my humble opinion,  the broker/manager is equally liable.  First,  they have a duty to train an agent to the level where they can't hurt the public.  Until they hit that level,  they should be let out of the house.  Secondly,  a broker has a duty to monitor and supervise the agent. That doesn't mean that they have to go out on all their calls but they should watch them more closely.  One of the best ways to do that is to seriously review their transaction files.

If you read my prior post,  we had an agent on a biz Op forget to provide the buyer with a copy of the existing lease,  only to find out that there was no lease, so  the landlord kicked the buyer out after they moved in.  And the franchise that they purchase,  was not a legal franchise. Oh,  and I forgot to tell you that this was a dual agency,  as is common in Biz Ops. And,  the agent testified in their depo that they never turn in their files to the broker until the transaction was closed.

OK, I ranted long enough.  It is still way too easy to get a real estate license,  at least in my state.  And, until they start extra training and licensing for these specialty areas,  our reputation as an industry will continue to be damaged. It is not OK and we are the only ones who can change it.   Agent leadership at each state level needs to ask for stronger training requirements.  Yes,  we will be accused of the "I got mine" syndrome but thank God that we make doctors go to medical school before they can be doctors.




Posted by


Guy Berry

Email - guy@guyberry.com

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Comments (5)

SacramentoCommercialLoans Bank Turn downs welcomed
Sacramento commercial loans - Sacramento, CA
Quick closings 916-847-7212

Hey don't you feel better you got it all out. 

Jul 26, 2009 03:58 PM
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

Agents can do loans in CA? Yeah. That is weird. And in FL, they've done all they can to get rid of single agency. We operate as Transaction Brokers (the replacement for Dual Agency. We have no Dual Agency here.) about 99% of the time. It was a process of several years that brought us to this point. And the reason for this was to protect agents from so many law suits. It also protects brokers from what the agents do. And we too can sell any type of real estate.

Jul 26, 2009 04:13 PM
Matt Grohe
RE/MAX Concepts - Des Moines, IA
Serving the metro since 2003

Guy: I read the whole post. I can't see why you'd feel depressed. Many folks are out there doing a good job. If a broker has a lot of agents it is completely impractical to ry to keep the broker abrest of every development in every transaction. I turn in my paperwork as soon as I get it all together signed by all parties. From my experience almost all agents do the same. It's OK, you can open your eyes now. Everything will be alright.

Jul 26, 2009 04:22 PM
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

Thank you for the heads up!!  This has been happening in the property management business for years!!!  Agents who want to keep clients and listings so they mis-rent a property that ends up costing the owner thousands of $$$.

There is a reason it cost more to insure property management as a real estate service and brokers need to know when their agents are stepping OUTSIDE of the knowledge base!

Jul 27, 2009 04:54 AM
Cathy McAlister
Cathy Ashley McAlister, GRI CDPE - Broker / Sacramento - Sacramento, CA
Sacramento DRE#00648507

Professional agents realize that we really have is a "license to serve".    Earning, while always important, should always come second.

Jul 30, 2009 04:23 AM