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Media Said What?!

Real Estate Agent with Melissa Schnieders Photography

I read this article via a link from MSN.com that's a warning to buyers to watch out as agents try to sneak in Administrative Fees that are in essence, junk fee.

My company is not one that charges admin fees for sellers or buyers, but there are local companies that do.  There is even one company in town that forces the buyer to pay hundreds of dollars to have the house re-keyed and de-winterized, and they represent the seller!  (Yes, I have a problem with this!)

I have an issue with sneaking in fees of any kind.  I do agree with the author's opinion that as agents, we offer a bundle of services and therefore, shouldn't expect clients pay more money on top of the commission.  I also know "a la carte" agents... in that they offer a customized list of things they are willing to do and the clients can pick and choose from the list thereby setting their own services and fees.  (I find that one a head scratcher - why wouldn't I want to provide all the marketing that I do to every one of my clients?  Would having a seller that doesn't want an open house justify reducing my commission a few hundred dollars?  What about a seller that chooses to not want print ads? Should he be able to reduce the fee by that value?  What about a home that goes through 5 times the amount of color flyers that I budget for? Should I charge the seller more?)

My real complaint with the article is what I tend to take issue with the media's low opinion of Realtors and  their choice of inflammatory words... i.e.

  • "Sellers pay steep commission" and
  • "It's nice to go shopping with an agent without having a signed agreement, as that keeps you a free agent" and
  • "Remember, no matter whose relative the agent is, he or she has a strong incentive to persuade you to buy something -- anything.  Agents make money by closing deals, period. So maintain an arm's-length relationship."

I'm confident that buyers are savvy enough to figure out that agents make money by doing their job.  I do not (and most of the top agents I know) view clients as dollar signs with legs, just waiting to pounce on the next couple that walks by.  My job, my career is much more than a commission check.

Comments (6)

Lynn911.com ~ Dallas Real Estate Agent Top Team
Dallas Houses for Rent Dallas Apartment Rentals Lynn911.com - Dallas, TX

Dallas homes for sale, Call 972-699-9111 Lynn 911 Dallas Top Real Estate Agent, Dallas homes for sale, Dallas home foreclosures for sale, Dallas homes for sale, Dallas foreclosures, Dallas apartments for rent, Dallas apartment rentals, http://www.lynn911.com , http:// dallasapartmentforrent.blogspot.comI love your meez it soooo prefect for us here in real estate.  I do agree with the junk fees that other agents charge, we don't we are just a flat fee listing agent be done with all of it. have a great weekend.


Jul 11, 2008 05:40 AM
Joel Weihe
Realty World Alliance - Wichita, KS
Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits

This recently came up in my office.  I think it sucks, but some agents thought it was a great way to recoup losses from the slow market and transactions not closing.  Thank goodness it's not a requirement of my brokerage like some in the article comments indicated!!   I'm passing the article around so they can feel crappy about how they were thinking about it. ;)

Jul 11, 2008 03:47 PM
Aida Pinto
Independent Real Estate Broker - Los Angeles, CA
Real Estate Broker (562) 884-6196

Great post Melissa---thanks for sharing.

I agree---but unfortunately where I am from-that has been the norm for years, which has always bothered me, as well!

Some Brokers want to nickel and dime every one to death---even their own agents---that's sad! And that is why I became a Broker-so that I wouldn't have to deal with it! 

Some of the misconceptions and mistrust the public has of Realtors has come from the unethical real estate agents who run down the real estate profession -especially in the last few years of the buying frenzy.  It's the old adage: one bad apple spoils the bunch!  This makes our jobs harder!  But I've learned to accept that there will always be unethical agents.


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Jul 12, 2008 02:54 AM
Claudia Lawson
teachers pets llp - Wichita, KS

Hi Melissa,

I just joined active rain and have posted two blogs, which is a completely new experience for me. If you have time, I am listed as Teacher's Pets, which is the name of our small business. My friend and business partner and I started our business selling home accessories and pet supplies early this summer. We would like to expand into the home staging area, especially curb appeal. We are both Biology teachers and know Botany, iwhich gives us great knowledge on the types of plants thrive in our area. We also have  landscaped our own properties and successfully sold our own homes over the years. What we don't have is a portfolio. We would like to offer our services to local realtors or home owners who have properties that have been on the market a "wee bit "too long. We would appreciate any advice you could give us in order to get started. Other than improving the landscaping, we are also eager to paint, clean or do small cosmetic improvements in order to attract buyers.

I am looking foward to hearing from you or anyone here at activerain.

Jul 15, 2008 02:39 AM
Chris Lengquist
Ad Astra Realty - Olathe, KS
Kansas City Real Estate Investing

Headlines grab attention.  I write with headlines in mind...and I'm not even a professional headline writer.  :)

Aug 03, 2008 01:50 PM
Ralph Nudi
Success Realtors brokered by eXp Realty - Kenosha, WI
"YOUR success IS our success"


I can't believe the disdain for our chosen PROFESSION... expecially in the media. That is still what it is... a profession and although there are many of unprofessional agents out there screwing this stuff up. There are those of us who take pride in doing good work.

Perhaps the media is sore because in this day and age... anyone with a laptop can be a journalist and more and more frequently... stories are being broke, not by media professionals, but by bloggers.  No profession is safe from proliferation.

Aug 06, 2008 09:06 AM