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January 8, 2016

Would you let a car mechanic perform heart surgery on you?

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Category: Owning a Home, Real Estate Info


If this is the extent of your real estate holdings, you probably don’t need this article. If you have, or want, more — keep reading to find out what you need to know.

Would you let a car mechanic perform heart surgery on you?  No?  Every day many consumers unwittingly put themselves in a similar position when they become involved in a real estate transaction.

Below is an excerpt from an email I received, apparently exhorting me to abandon the Associations of REALTORS® that are largely responsible for upholding standards of professionalism within the real estate community.

No NAR, CAR, local AOR and Realtor dues. Stay in business.

It’s that time of year again! You have to pay your NAR, CAR and local AOR dues. We know that this is a costly expense and many agents choose to quit the real estate industry rather than paying these dues. Don’t quit, our brokerage will help you to stay in the real estate business without having to pay unnecessary expenses!

If you would like to keep your real estate license active, but do not want to pay even for MLS access, we have an option for you too. This option will permit you to stay in the real estate industry, buy/sell houses, and receive commission without having to spend any money on a single membership. 

Frankly I find the entire message offensive and chose to share it with you so that you could have a glimpse of what goes on “behind the curtain” in the real estate business.  To be clear, I am a licensed Real Estate Broker in California, so some of this may not apply to other parts of the country.

For me, it starts with the subject line.  It indicates that abandoning the professional organizations that are in place first to protect the public is somehow going to benefit the agent or the consumer.  And that somehow, by doing this, that agent will be able to “stay in business.”

Seems much more likely that it’s a fast road to leaving business.  By disassociating themselves from the Associations of REALTORS® (AOR), these agents are losing a lot — but the public that deals with them stands to lose even more.

A quote from the Danger Report sums the issue up nicely:

The real estate industry is saddled with a large number of part-time, untrained, unethical, and/or incompetent agents. This knowledge gap threatens the credibility of the industry.

The company that sent that email soliciting me to join them seems to be promulgating the problem.

37% of the agents did no business in 2015 according to our local MLS statistics.

According to the Danger Report, an agent with no more than 2 years experience is earning a gross median of $9100 annually.  What about more experienced agents?  The overall median gross income is approximately $45,500. Combine that with the average $6500 in expenses and it becomes more apparent why the email I received may be appealing to so many of the non-productive agents.

I suppose it’s possible that I’m wrong, but it seems to me that the agents’ earnings do have a bearing on their competency.

  • If the earnings are so low, how much experience with different issues can they have?
  • How up-to-date are they on changes in law, necessary documents, disclosure requirements, etc?
  • What kind of familiarity and relationships do they have with other area agents?
  • What is the likelihood that those agents would even recognize the validity of these questions?

I’m not going to tell you that all REALTORS® are great, or that all of those who heed the lure of lower fees (as advertised in the email) are horrible because you already know that’s not true but I will tell you that overall there is a difference and you deserve to know what kind of help you are getting.

This is just scratching the surface of the differences between REALTORS® and those that are governed merely by the state provided license.  To find out more, feel comfortable giving me a call (661.375.REAL), sending an email (ProsBlog@YourRealAdvantage.com) or commenting below.

 

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