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Senior Buzzer
reply 2282 vote 164

Do Realtors have a bad reputation??

The always amazing @Josie Stern posted an incredible blog post the other day entitled: "WHY DO REAL ESTATE AGENTS HAVE A BAD REPUTATION?" Here:

Main reasons:
1. An agent intentionally gives an over inflated appraisal of your property to get the listing and, shortly thereafter, asks you for a price reduction.

2. An agent promises you a sale price above the list price.

3. Listing agents who exclude other agents when they have their own offer from their own buyer.

4. A listing agent with a support team who lists your house and then disappears.

5. An agent asks you to sign a Buyer Representation Agreement and disappoints you after you sign it. 

6. An agent who discourages you from including an inspection condition in your offer.

Personally, I think that Realtors have the reputation as being sleezy, and pushing for sales even if it is not the best move for their clients.

General Chit-Chat
reply 224 vote 36
The reality is that in 2013 everyone has easy access to housing information via the Internet, real estate broker and lay person alike. What makes an outstanding broker is someone who oozes integrity, honesty, humility, knowledge of contracts, great negotiating skills, listening skills. Let's be honest ... everyone with a computer knows what the market price of their property is worth. It is extremely easy to dig up info on area market info, assessed values, previous sales, a property's sales history. There is no proprietary information anymore - thank goodness.

Like any other business, people who are great at what they do have an unabashed passion for what they do ... Simple. Too many real estate brokers are in it to make a quick $, especially in the last 10 years where we have lived thru an unprecedented rise in market values across Canada. The poor brokers get weeded out when markets flatline or go down.

The cream ALWAYS rises ......
reply 51 vote 6
Every industry has bad sheep in it, hence why people who are looking to buy/sell should do their homework and chose the agent that would represent their best interest rather than his own personal gains.
reply 189 vote 53
The problem is that there are way too many realtors out there and most of them are doing it part time or just doing it on the side.
With our strong economy and real estate market and the popularity of HGTV and other shows that feature real estate transactions, many think that being an agent is an easy way to make some fast money. Getting a realtor's license is also easy and not very expensive to get.

This unfortunately floods the industry with people who are not very knowledgable and passionate about their jobs. And with amount of competition there will be many realtors that will play dirty.

That is why it is important to choose an experienced and reputable agent with a wide breadth of knowledge (such as economics, design, construction, marketing, etc.).
Senior Buzzer
reply 2282 vote 164
@Alexander Kvitnitsky ...yes, every industry has their bad sheep. However, I think the perception of Realtors is especially negative.
reply 109 vote 57
I agree with @Matthew Slutsky. I think realtors are especially disliked simply because selling and buying a home is charged with emotion, and furthermore, it involves most people's total equity. Yes every industry has bad apples but the damage that a car salesman or other sales industries can cause a consumer is negligible as compared to the financial damage that can befall a consumer by using a realtor who gives bad advise. Certainly I have heard horror stories.
reply 30 vote 10
Does anyone agree that the pay structure in which Realtors make money is part of the problem? It seems as though jobs that are commission only, can attract this sort of behavior. Car salesmen, door to door salesmen, etc
reply 109 vote 57
@Brandon Cherrington I believe the pay structure aggravates the problem but I don't think a different pay structure would eliminate unethical behaviour. I say this because, I think, that if a person without a moral fibre were in a different profession with a different pay structure he/she would be unethical as well. The only difference is that, in real estate, the consequences to the consumer of dealing with an unethical agent can be much more damaging.
reply 33 vote 14
People have very high expectations (rightfully) when making, what is likely, the largest single investment of their lives. I've met thousands of realtors across North America, working in the CRM business; and the best ones differentiate themselves with outstanding service standards that generate repeat and referral business that far outperforms their marketing/prospecting efforts.

The good Realtors know that their business relationship with a client should extend far beyond a single sale. It is in their best interest to set and meet (or exceed) client expectations. As a consumer, if you're looking to vet a potential Realtor, ask to speak with some of their past clients.

There are people in every industry that give that industry a bad name. This is amplified in real estate, because when things go off the rails the end result is often emotionally and financially catastrophic. ( as @Josie Stern mentioned)
reply 16 vote 9
I think part of the problem is the way Realtors are perceived. If the buyer is unhappy with their home/purchase, they'll be quick to blame the realtor, not themselves, and make sure everyone they know hears bout it. Real estate agents make perfect scapegoats. On the other hand, how many happy buyers attribute their "find" to themselves versus offering credit to their realtor?
reply 109 vote 57
To the top. @Gord Smart I couldn't have said it better myself.
reply 2
I agree with the other comments that point out real estate agents are, for the most part, just sales people. I've heard the arguments that real estate agents are more then just a sales person, they're a couples therapist sometimes, they're a finance/mortgage consultant other times and the list can go on. To these arguments I say meh! That is the same a painter saying they're also a cleaner because they cleaned up their paint. All of these associated roles are part of the job and don't qualify the person to claim more titles.

@Brandon Cherrington I feel a different pay strucutre would make a huge difference. Maybe some one could simply explain to me how the work load is different on a $100,000 purchase compared to a $1,000,000. I've purchased a couple of different properties at different prices and all the paper work seemed to be the same... Yep, they were the same forms from OREA.

@Gord Smart, I completely agree, the information is out there and it is just a matter of finding it and reviewing it.  I recently just purchased a loft in Toronto with out using a buying agent.  We dealt directly with the selling agent and we were able to get the loft for under asking price with another offer on the table that was higher then ours.  We were able to do this because of the commission we saved by not having a buying agent to split with, this meant more money in the sellers pocket, in the listing agents pocket and more money in MY pocket.
reply 4
I agree with Gord. It's too easy to get into real estate business and way too many people think only about profit and lack the needed experience, right approach and a long time vision, that you need in this business, not to mention good instincts and knowledge of human behaviour.
reply 3
@Gord Smart Typically in a listing agreement, the competitive agent on average will charge 1% to list the property, with 2.5% going to the co-operating agent.  In total, 3.5% (Obviously, some agents charge higher, but I am going on the average here for downtown lofts and condos).  If the agent finds the buyer himself/herself, the total commission paid will be 2.5%.  So, the seller is only really saving 1% in total.  However, in my experience, when I found the buyer the seller refused to permit me to sell the property significantly below asking (couple thousand dollars max).  On the other hand, when I was the buying agent and not related to the seller, I managed on average to get the property for $5-10,000 below asking, sometimes even more.  The seller knows his/her agent is about to go from 1% to 2.5% and I believe this is the reason most sellers will not sell for as low as when there are two completely separate agents involved.  I would love to see statistics for transactions with multiple representation (1 agent) and the list/sold % vs. transactions with two agents involved.      
reply 5
Hi Matthew,

Buying or selling a home is a major event for any individual life. Yet some real estate agents treat it as a financial transaction involving productive commissions and nothing more.

This makes it appealing for greedy real estate agents to place their interest above yours and prey on the inexperienced, uninformed or simply trusting. Although real estate agents have a disciplinary board, however, no industry can fully ethics: this means the responsibility is on you to do your homework before choosing an agent.

However there are some real estate that maintains their good reputation in the market like and that have an experienced and qualified team, which gives an accurate valuation of a home’s worth. They also help you to evaluate the mortgage, recent values and other important statistics as well.

reply 43 vote 6
I think all salespeople get a negative reputation. But I don't think they are actually bad people. I think they're stuck in a maze where they have to compete with other agents who play the same game.

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