Don't Blame Me if Your Picker is Broken

Industry Observer with RETIRED / State License is Inactive Inactive License Oregon

Elizabeth went to round table discussion of which she had interest in.  Her attendance was voluntary, and made to gain some insight on protecting buyers who are purchasing in HOA's. 

One very disgruntled woman gave our poor Elizabeth a tongue lashing . . . berating Realtor® due to several of her first-hand experiences.

Got me thinking . . .

Don't blame me if your picker is broken.

Seems like the woman picked some agents who she felt didn't have her best interests at the forefront . . . like FIVE times!!

I've been practicing real estate since 1999.  My first home in Oregon was purchased in 1995.  I HATED my agent for what she DIDN'T do for me.  The home I purchased was not insulated, although the listing sheet said the home had been "PGE weatherized for efficiency."  (Portland General Electric had a highly publicized weatherization program at the time.)

The flyers also stated the home had been weatherized.

Was it?!?

NOPE!!  I purchased in April . . . come October the place was a freezer.  I was a young, single mother at the time.  Finances were limited.  The cost to heat the place was over $135/month . . . an exorbitant amount.  I had to close off the back of the house, the bedrooms, and my young son and I slept in the living room -- he on the love-seat, and I on the couch.  For TWO WINTERS!!  I could not afford to heat the entire home.

Talk about having a real estate agent NOT COVERING MY BACK . . . and MY BEST INTERESTS!!

What did I do . . . I became an agent!  I became an Exclusive Buyers Agent, and SWORE I would NEVER let what happened me happen to any of my clients!! 

My picker was broken when I engaged the services of that agent.  I didn't have a CLUE on the home buying process.  Many people don't!  Which is why a GOOD AGENT will take the time to consult with you, and talk to you in detail about the process.  They will look at things . . . like listing sheets, and ensure statements are truthful.  It's called due diligence . . . and a good fiduciary will provide this service to you!

The woman in Elizabeth's post had FIVE agents that she disliked.  FIVE!!

Lady, don't blame Elizabeth if you're picker is broken

THERE ARE good, competent agents out here.  

Use the 3 R's to find a Realtor®:

  • Referrals

  • References

  • Resources  

Posted by



Carla Muss-Jacobs has RETIRED effective May 1, 2018

Representing Buyers in the Portland Metro Real Estate Market | Clackamas Multnomah and Washington Counties | Since 1999

Carla Muss-Jacobs, REALTOR®, ABR, CEBA, ePro
Principal Broker/Owner ~~ INACTIVE

Carla Muss-Jacobs' retirement became effective May 1, 2018

Direct: 503-810-7192 


All Rights Reserved © 

Comments (41)

Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

We've all had a bad pick in our history.  I had a bad agent that represented me for a month, before I fired her.  I think I'll write about that today.

Mar 03, 2011 04:22 AM
Kathryn Maguire (757) 560-0881 - Chesapeake, VA
Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach

This is such a great post!  And your reason for going in to real estate is wonderful!  It is a service that we provide to our clients to make sure that their interests are put above our own.  At least I thought that was what we are supposed to do as a FIDUCIARY.  It's a great word.  All agents should understand what that means!

Mar 03, 2011 04:43 AM
Cindy Marchant
Keller Williams Indy NE 317-290-7775 - Carmel, IN
"Cindy in Indy" , Realtor, Fishers Real Estate

And of those three...references.  I print mine out and take them with me on the listing appointment.  REALTORS are known for embellishing...we do it every day on the property description.  So, don't believe what you hear...check me out.

Cindy in INdy

Mar 03, 2011 07:47 AM
Michelle Gibson
Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. - Wellington, FL

Carla - You are right, there are so many buyers and sellers out there who are clueless.  That's why I really like to work with clients who've worked with another agent before me because they are amazed by the process.  "My last agent didn't tell me that," "My last agent didn't show me that," the list goes on and on.  Education is key and unfortunately not all agents themselves are educated let alone educate their client.

Mar 03, 2011 09:05 AM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Carla - It seems to me a lot of people get into real estate after having a bad experience themselves.

I expect a bad "picker" has something to do with it.  I also think that blogs and reviews should help them do the picking.

Mar 03, 2011 02:17 PM
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

A question I try to remember to ask a potential buyer or seller is "Have you ever had a bad real estate experience?" It helps to flush it out and find out what their concerns might be from the beginning. Wow, Carla, that was so bad! Hope that agent didn't stay in the business long to do that to many more people.

Mar 03, 2011 03:08 PM
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


Loved your post.  My husband, who is an attorney and thinks he knows it all, and I bought our first house in 1973.  It was a Victorian farm house and had some deferred maintenance.  Out situation wasn't as difficult as yours, but I did feel that our Realtor did not represent us fairly.  He was the listing agent and double ended the sale.  But his representation of us was minimal.  Maybe he thought my husband did know it all. 

Mar 03, 2011 05:39 PM
Nevin Williams
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation - Cary, NC
Senior Mortgage Advisor

Carla - I couldn't say it any better.

Mar 04, 2011 03:04 AM
Dawn Brenengen
Dawn Brenengen - Trailwood Realty - Raleigh, NC
Sales and Management


I love your title too.  You must be a fan of "Millionaire Matchmaker."  I'll admit I love trashy TV if you will!

Mar 04, 2011 03:50 AM
Lynn B. Friedman CRS Atlanta GA 404-939-2727
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty - Buckhead - Midtown - Westside ... Love our City - Love our Clients! - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Dear Carla -

Thanks for sharing your personal experience.  
Your posts always offer an interesting and strong point of view.

Hopefully with all the on-line information available now, people will begin to make more informed choices. As you can read - I am a perpetual optimist!

Really - the issue for me is responsibility on both sides - consumers choosing intelligently and agents acting responsibily.*

Have a happy day -

*After commenting here, I went back to read the comments on Eliz's post and focused on this one sentence in Bob Stewart's comment: "Today, it's almost laughable to think people end up using service providers that don't meet their expectations."  The internet is an amazing resource!  

Mar 04, 2011 03:54 AM
John Grasty
for real estate results in the Tri-Cities. - Port Moody, BC
Your Tri-cities REALTOR, neighbour and volunteer.

I'd suggest that we do in fact own some of the blame here.

I believe that the reputation of REALTORS®, and our industry as a whole, requires the establishment and publication of accountability metrics.

I'm hopeful some sort of "reputation" ranking will be available for consumers sooner rather than later, which should go a long way in helping consumers (the pickers) select a REALTOR®.

For example, if our job is to sell (not list), and we know it is, then the failure to sell is a failure and obviously not in the best interest of the client, or the reputation of the industry! Is it any wonder consumers are p____d?  So why do local boards and brokerages mainly recognize volume of dollar$ and sales?  Do you think that these awards might encourage some REALTORS® to get a listing at any cost?

From a selling perspective, surely it would be in the best interest of selling clients to know how many times a REALTOR® has failed to sell a listing, which is why the sales to listing ratio should be published for every REALTOR®.


Mar 04, 2011 05:10 AM
Antonio McGriff
360 Real Estate - Fayetteville, NC

Just like you, I am a REALTOR® today because of a horrible experience with an agent.  I too have run across folks like "the picker" who take great pride in saying that everyone in the real estate business is no good. Using the three "Rs" is the absolute best approach and most of the folks that eventually have an issue did not take the time to do so. That's how my wife and I made the mistake with our horrible agent.

Great post!

Mar 04, 2011 08:33 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

I don't think the average consumer has any idea how to develop a good picker.

Do they know that Active Rain exists? Even if they did, in our area it wouldn't help. In our entire town there is only one agent on AR - and he doesn't write blog posts. Guess I should check and see if any of them have personal blogs on their websites, but I doubt it. Mostly they have company websites.

Mar 04, 2011 09:00 AM
Maya Swamy
Funds Available - Long Beach, CA
Ph.D. Long Beach, CA -

My mind is on the poorly insulated house. Wondering what the Realtor could have done. Maybe she could have pointed out to the home inspector that the property was supposed to have been reinsulated reacently. But beyond that it isn't our job to inspect insulation.

Mar 04, 2011 02:21 PM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

WOW Long Beach First Time Buyers . . . I wasn't saying it was the agent's responsibility to perform an inspection.  But, DAMN (frankly) you would think they would have done a little more . . . oh what's the word I'm looking for . . .what is it, what it is?!?  Oh yeah . . . DUE DILIGENGE.  Since they were REPRESENTING ME as my . . . oh, what's the word . . . what IS that word . . . oh, FIDUCIARY!!  Don't know how your "represent" your first time buyers there in Long Beach, but I would certainly perform some due diliginece and provide counsel to my clients on ALL SELLER MADE REPRESENTATIONS ABOUT THE PROPERTY.

Mar 04, 2011 03:20 PM
Karen Baker
Sunset Beach and Beyond Realty - Sunset Beach, NC
Professional Help with Rapid Responses...

Carla ~ Your Three "R's" are the best way for a consumer to find an agent ~ We also work exclusively for Buyers and understand all of our clients needs before we even start researching homes for them ~

Mar 05, 2011 04:46 AM
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans

Carla.. some good points here... I see some and some in the past say AR... not that I don't love AR and thing many are good at what they do, but again, just because someone writes something good, does that make them good? That they are a true knowledgeable expert? I know of a realtor that lost a client on AR when referring to another agent on AR, who was top of their points and wrote good stuff.. got featured, etc, etc. I guess it should be asked.. where the does the beginning end. But I do believe in the fact that people should shop better, even if they get a strong referral. It also comes down to trust and so much more. Good post, because I am writing a series on this.. thanks

jeff belonger

Mar 06, 2011 04:01 AM
Kate Bourland
Marketing with Kate - Redding, CA
Onlilne Marketing Mobile Marketing

Carla, what a great story.  My guess is that quite a few of us got into this industry due to bad experiences with people that were supposed to have our backs.  I'm sure that lady will someday find her agent but it will be a long row to hoe!

Mar 06, 2011 04:51 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Reminds me of a client I took after hearing all the things wrong  about the other agent. Guess what? It was the client who was wrong..and I made the mistake!. Had to get rid of that toxic person.


Mar 06, 2011 04:53 AM
Rodney Mason
Guaranteed Rate NMLS# 2611 - Atlanta, GA
VP of Mortgage Lending - AL, FL, GA, SC, & TN

It does sound like she was the one with the issues.  Its a little hard to believe that she actually ended up with 5 of 6 bad agents. 

Mar 06, 2011 06:11 AM

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