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National magazine 'news' article only hurts Real Estate Professionals

Real Estate Agent with Confidence Realty

In reference to an article I read in the April 8th, 2007 Parade Magazine that came with my Los Angeles Times Sunday newspaper.  The article was concerning what the 'journalist' felt was ending the 'myths' of buying and selling real estate, and I am particularly addressing the first 'myth' as to why a licensed real estate professional is not required.  Did you read it?  Sure there are lots of informed people that read Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek, etc., but I bet the majority of our real estate customers looking to sell a home, or buy a home, read magazines such as Parade much more often than off the rack news magazines.  Its free.  It comes in the newspaper.  What is it with the media?  They can't wait to sour the real estate market with anti real estate professional material. The one bit that got me was how the only quote concerning why there is no need for a licensed real estate broker in a transaction was from the CEO of ForSaleByOwner.com.  Hmmm...what could he say? He is selling his product.   Why is there no direct counter quote offered by the author of the article from a member of the National Association of Realtors, or even any real estate professional to give readers an informed choice of opinions?  Keep in mind that she says 15% of all transactions are FSBOs, but does she also have research showing how much of that 15% turns to a Realtor after trying to do it on their own, and realizing it is an awesome task?  Then I looked at one of the comments from readers of the same article on the magazines website.  (Thanks to the people who rallied against the inaccuracies of the text, but there was one that made me cringe.)  Its what uninformed people will think, nodding their head in agreement with what the article says.  They believe Realtors study for an easy test, pass it, and away a real estate agent goes.  Let me tell you.  The studies, the investment, the research, the schooling, the dedication I have done and still do is not any small amount of work.  Home sellers should understand that there is more to just putting up a sign on their lawn.  Having a Realtor assist them is a protection for them and their investment, and we know how to do it because we are continuously trained and held to extremely high degrees of professional behaviour.  People looking to buy a home should realize that the negotiating process to get the best home for their investment takes a trained person knowledgeable in the market to handle the transaction.

She does say to those who plan on selling their home without aide from a licensed professional will expect to do  a lot of work.  I will give her that.  Its true.  Its a lot of work.  But its work that only Realtors are completely capable of handling to reduce the risks involved in buying or selling real estate.

Why are so many people worried that there are people making an income handling a major transaction such as selling a home?  Aren't they making incomes off of people, like real estate agents, who are their customers in the business they work or are trained to accomplish? 

Karen Rice Keller Williams Real Est
Keller Williams Real Estate - Hawley, PA
Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales

Aren't they making incomes off of people, like real estate agents, who are their customers in the business they work or are trained to accomplish?

Exactly.  We all make our money off of one another, in some way shape or form.  We purchase things for business made by others.  We sell something - food, services, merchandise - to others.  Yet, REALTORS are somehow supposed to perform this service out of the goodness of their hearts.


Apr 10, 2007 05:31 AM
Adam Tarr
MavRealty - Phoenix, AZ
PC -GRI, ABR, CDPE, RSPS, ePro - Designated Broker

Maybe see if you can write a rebuttal - even if only in the 'letters to the editor' section of the paper....


Apr 10, 2007 05:33 AM
Michelle Minch
Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Home Staging Los Angeles and Orange County, CA


I saw the same article and I found it biased and one-sided. I have bought and sold many homes as an investor & flipper, and I have participated in many sales as a Stager, and I would NEVER think of listing one of my properties without a Licensed Broker, or selling to someone without a Buyer's Agent. Way too many things can go wrong (some with major liability possibilities) to have "civilians" handling the details. To paraphrase what they say in the legal profession: A Homeseller who represents him/herself in a real estate transaction, has a fool for a client...

Apr 10, 2007 05:36 AM
Karen Rice Keller Williams Real Est
Keller Williams Real Estate - Hawley, PA
Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales
I think one problem is, people see on their HUD statement that huge chunk of commission, and then assume that it's all going to the one agent, and that the agent is getting these kinds of checks on a daily basis.  They do not understand the splits with brokers, other agents, referral fees, etc., on top of all the costs involved just to BE an agent.  They see the agent as goofing off, on the phone, taking a picture, putting up a sign, driving people around to houses, and that's about it.  They do not even begin to comprehend what goes on behind the scenes.
Apr 10, 2007 05:38 AM
R. B. "Bob" Mitchell - Loan Officer Raleigh/Durham
Bank of England (NMLS#418481) - Raleigh, NC
Bob Mitchell (NMLS#1046286)

As always when I comment on something like this, "I'm sorry to have to be the party pooper here".  I haven't read the article yet, but from what I've heard it sounds like the pr firm at forsalebyowner.com is hard at work.

That said, our industry is partly to blame for the reputation that we have with the public.  It's far to easy to get a real estate license and way too many people who don't know what they are doing have licenses.  This over abundance of agents makes the competition so fierce that unfortunately it brings out the worst sorts of behaviors out of some agents, which contributes to our bad reputation!  

They might be painting us with negative information, but we're the ones' giving them the paint!

R.B. "Bob" Mitchell

ValueList Real Estate Services, Inc. 


Apr 10, 2007 05:46 AM
Phillip Cross
TBD - In transition... - Seal Beach, CA
ePRO Realtor - Relocation Spec
Darren, There is always the nay-sayer especially when it comes to us "real estate Agents" - Many people feel that we are extremely over paid for what we do. (But then I have a friend who is a journalist and I believe he is way over paid! j/k) Anyway - what many do not realize and what we must inform them of is what exactly we do and what we have to pay for in order to provide these services. i.e. There are several auto mechanics in my area that I could take my car to, one in particular that I use - they may not be the cheapest but they provide excellent service and I trust them. Same goes with any profession - if you provide excellent service you should receive proper compensation - Now I am preaching to the choir!
Apr 10, 2007 06:02 AM
Rick Grand
nowhere - Eugene, OR

I didn't read the article but the media is so biased. All they want to do is stir up drama to help increase sales. People can be naive. Would I ever read a book and then try to change the transmission in my car? HECK NO!! so why would I ever try to sell my house by myself?? Some do it, some do it well but I think the odds are against them to get top dollar. 


May 17, 2007 04:58 AM