Washington Post Asks Why Americans Can't Write - Can Your Agent Write?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Wayzata Lakes Realty: Eric Kodner Sells Twin Cities Homes

Washington Post Asks Why Americans Can't Write - Can Your Agent Write?


Don't think it matters whether a real estate has writing skills or not?


Washington Post Opinions Page - Why Americans Can't Write


A real estate agent will write your offer for a home.  That agent will draft written language which will legally bind you in a real estate transaction. 


Your agent will need to communicate in print (electronically or otherwise) with the other agent in the course of a transaction.  He or she will also communicate with title/escrow company personnel, land surveyors, home inspectors, lenders, even attorneys. It doesn't matter if they communicate by text message, by email or via snail-mail.  Your agent will still need to know how to express your wishes in writing, clearly and in a manner that looks after your best interests.


Some brokers advise their agents to blog, to write about what they know.  But many, many agents who can't write hire a ghostwriter to write their blog posts for them.  How's that for honesty and integrity?


Welcome to an era when a real estate agent will hire a company to send out "personalized" letters and greeting cards on the agent's behalf by mail, bearing the agent's machine-generated signature.  Welcome to an industry where agents hire a service to "auto-post articles and images to your social networking site..tested and proven to increase customer engagement".   And many of these services are endorsed by the largest real estate companies in the United States.


Whose content are you reading, that of a real estate agent or some sort of canned, prepackaged solution that is generated by a marketing mill?


How will you choose your next agent?


Maybe it doesn't matter to you. But when you're spending thousands of dollars for the services of an agent who is handling one of the largest financial transactions you'll ever make, maybe it should.




Posted by

Contact Broker Eric Kodner with Wayzata Lakes Realty about Minneapolis & Saint Paul area properties, including Lake Minnetonka, Edina and the Minneapolis City Lakes area (Lake Calhoun, Lake of the Isles, Lake Harriet). We also sell on the Saint Croix River and on Lake Superior, including Bayfield, Wisconsin and Madeline Island homes.  With sixteen years experience marketing and selling waterfront properties in Minnesota and Wisconsin, we know Lake Minnetonka and Madeline Island real estate.

Wayzata Lakes Realty LLC (Minnesota) and Madeline Island Realty LLC (Wisconsin)

Real Estate Brokerage licensed in Minnesota & Wisconsin

Phone or Text Message 612.670.2539

EMKodner@Gmail.com  or


Wayzata Lakes Realty






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Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Eric Kodner Technology has diminished ones ability to write. Many of us are lucky because we learned writing in our schools growing up. Today with texting, tablets, etc., it will be interesting to see what the future brings.

Sep 25, 2015 11:48 PM #18
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

When I was growing up, I discovered how to combine writing with printing. I didn't even know I was doing it until a teacher pointed it out. In the more advanced stage, it went to hen scratch but always made good sense. Still does.

My mind moves at a speed way in advance of my motor skills. The only time it synchronizes is through verbal speech...either way, I am getting things done

Sep 26, 2015 12:22 AM #19
Thomas F. Scanlon
Borgida & Company P. C., CPA's - Manchester, CT

Eric Kodner - Well done. Sadly for many it appears this skill has declined through the years.



Sep 26, 2015 04:37 AM #20
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Very insightful post, Eric, I am so glad it was featured.  We write everything ourselves, do still handwrite.  A

Sep 26, 2015 07:55 AM #21
Gary Coles (International Referrals)
Venture Realty International - Las Vegas, NV
Latin America Real Estate

I think more of our sellers pay attention than most agents realize. They also notice the spelling, grammar and punctuation. And when agents don't even use spellchecker, they may easily lose a prospect to another agent.

Sep 26, 2015 09:15 AM #22
Les & Sarah Oswald
Realty One Group - Eastvale, CA
Broker, Realtor and Investor

It only takes a few seconds for a buyer to decide if they like a house. Agents also only have a few seconds to make that first impression. Punctuation, grammar, attire...it all matters.

Sep 26, 2015 09:48 AM #23
Fred Griffin, on leave of absence from ActiveRain
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker
Several thoughts occur after reading your post. (1) UPL or Unauthorized Practice of Law. Let's not kid ourselves, we practice "Law" all day every day. But, don't push the envelope by writing in "special clauses" or lining out/adding clauses to the pre-printed Board forms. (2) Ghost Writing. It shows; I don't care who you are. If you can't write it, don't post it. (I am not against "Assistants", but the content needs to be your own). (3) Pour Grammer. If you cain'[t spell good or am not good at writting then get somebuddy to hep you wid it.
Sep 26, 2015 11:28 AM #24
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

Writing is definately part of our job.  What about how to write an ad to sell your home?  That's pretty important too!

Sep 26, 2015 12:01 PM #25
Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Very well put!!!

It doesn't matter if they communicate by text message, by email or via snail-mail.  Your agent will still need to know how to express your wishes in writing, clearly and in a manner that looks after your best interests.

Sep 26, 2015 09:02 PM #26
Frank Castaldini
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in San Francisco

This business is relational if it's going to be a real business.  If you BS someone that's not building a relationship.  If so you're transactional, on a treadmill and will blow yourself up sooner or later.  The first word in real estate is REAL.

Sep 27, 2015 12:54 AM #27
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Hey, Eric!

I included this post in today's "Last Week's Favorites".  Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Sep 27, 2015 01:25 AM #28
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com

I know people may not believe me but I hand address every mailer I send out. Hundreds of them every month. It's time consuming but it's the personalized touch that people like and respect. 

Sep 27, 2015 01:34 AM #29
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Eric, I have loved two things for as long as I can remember, reading and writing. I prefer to write using pen and paper, but it is not practical for many reasons. By the way, I am a horrible speller, always have been so actually using a computer makes me appear to be smarter than I am! 

Reading is an important part to ones ability to write. At least I believe it to be. 

I want to add one thing to all the comments here. I admit to times my emails are less than what they could be. When I am using my cell phone to write an email it often doesn't turn out to be something I could be proud of writing! 

Oh, one more thing I wanted to say, I may exel in reading and writing (at least in my own mind) but math is an entirely different thing. We all have something we are good at, and other things "not so much". 

Sep 27, 2015 02:05 AM #30
Shirley Coomer
Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az

Thankfully we use standardized state forms for Real Estate transactions and there is little if any drafting of wording when submitting an offer.  Now the counter offer can be another situation. Often counter offers have several points to be stated or added for clarity. The same is true when asking for repairs. Be careful what you ask for because that may be what you get!  You will get what you asked for, not what you "intended", and this may cost your buyer (or seller) a lot of money.

Sep 27, 2015 05:20 AM #31
Sybil Campbell
Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia - Williamsburg, VA
REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia

THANKS FOR THE BLOG! I agree that being able to communicate in writing is very important for REALTORS.

Sep 27, 2015 12:29 PM #32
Dan Derito
Success! Real Estate - Brockton, MA

I agree with you Eric, and enjoyed reading the comments.  

Sep 27, 2015 12:46 PM #33
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

Eric Kodner  Outstanding points in this post . I don't think the public is fooled by the canned reports either . Looking for an agent with know how or one that is too lazy or busy to tell their clients what is happening .

Sep 28, 2015 04:24 AM #34
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

English is not the first language for many real estate agents in the DC Metro area. Some contract clauses are very poorly written.

Sep 29, 2015 10:19 PM #35
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Let's bump this nice post into 2016!
I have a REAL problem with agents who are functionally illiterate. This is a communications  business!

Apr 19, 2016 12:24 AM #36
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Good points about possible mishaps arising out of bad drafting or communication skills. 

Apr 19, 2016 05:42 AM #37
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Eric Kodner

Wayzata Lakes Realty: Twin Cities, Madeline Island
How Much Is Your Twin Cities Area Home or Condo Worth?
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