“Why are Realtors so arrogant and such assholes?”

I can’t believe I am going to print this letter to the Editor, because, well…we’re mostly a community of Realtors bringing this information to you. But, I think there may be something to gain from this little quote if we get some good comments.

“Dear Editor,

I really like your blog and think it is a great resource and nice to see a Realtor trying to do something other than just sell, sell, sell, and cheer the market on. But maybe you can help me answer this question, why are Realtors so arrogant and such assholes? I mean, driving around in the bling, bling cars all the time. Constantly talking on the phone about loans, property features and what they’re worth, clients’ needs, etc., in the most un-private of locations (bathrooms, checkout lines, airports.) Always interupting a good conversation when the phone beeps, vibrates, or rings with “I gotta take this call…” Is it really that important?  Why do they think they are so cool? Other professions have their arrogant pricks too (attorneys, doctors, entrepreneurs), but Realtors somehow seem more obnoxious. Maybe it is the easy money you guys make.  Or maybe, you all truly are a bunch of assholes. Anyway, just thought you could shed some light on the matter for me.


Justin T.”

I’m hoping we can gain some insight into where the disconnect often lies between Realtor-client, Realtor-public.  Why is there such a negative perception  placed on Realtors?  I hope we can learn things like how we can better serve you during a transaction, rather than just “making easy money” (it’s never easy money by the way). How can we earn our commissions in your eyes?  Things we can do during the process of buying/selling your home for you that would make a difference. Things you like to see in our advertising. Things you like at the close of a transaction…that kind of stuff.

By giving you this open forum, I’m hoping you’ll spread the word, link to this post, and give some good feedback.  The more the better.

If somebody (Justin T.) feels strongly enough to write us with this question, I’m assuming he/she is not alone.  So let ‘er rip!


Alexander Clark

Should the full MLS be available to the public? [theFrontSteps]

194 thoughts on ““Why are Realtors so arrogant and such assholes?”

  1. I’ll kick this off by saying it is not the Realtor that is the a$$hole. It is the person that just so happens to be a Realtor. I know many a dentist, pharmaceutical rep, lawyer, disgruntled cashier, and the list goes on and on that is both arrogant and an a$$hole. So you shouldn’t base your perception of an entire profession off of your experiences with a few individuals. But being a Realtor, I’d like to hear what some others have to say, so I’ll leave it at that.


    1. Normally I would agree with you that in all walks of life people of low character can be found. However, the Real Estate game has a higher instance of people void of ethics, character and truth. They suck and in the days we live in all they do is pass you searches you can do yourself then stand in the way of the transaction with their hands out. They make used car salesman instantly altruistic.

      1. I’m looking to purchase a house and haven’t found 1 realtor that isn’t arrogant and an asshole (Liar should be added to the list).

      2. I think used car salesmen are actually more honest, I think all these real estate people pass listings around to their friends and buyers who have agreed to pad their pockets for letting them know about great listings before it ever hits the market.I think half the reason everything is so overpriced is because this happens so much. I think all agents should be fired and some company just list property for sale by owners in their local areas and let people just buy from each other without some fat lady in a wool skirt unlocking a door for you to look at a house that you are actually gonna sell yourself by liking or not liking it. I think realtors are lazier than preachers, car salesmen, telemarketers and perfume counter clerks. All they do is drive their SUV to a house, unlock the door, walk through the house while non stop interfacing with a phone and most can’t answer any questions about the house at all other than the price. I only buy from individuals anymore because I despise dealing with anyone in real estate. We do not need them when buying a property .

    2. M
      wife and I have bought and sold our homes in 6 states, and by far Alabama realtors are the worse, they are the laziest, they never say what they mean, they never listen to your input, I told this realtor that has my listing to stop listing my home at 3 bedrooms, it is not 3 bedrooms, the room he keeps calling the 3rd bedroom is in the middle of the house between the kitchen and living room, but this arrogant jackass keep listing it as 3 bedrooms after I told him 4 separate times to stop, then he tells me at the initial signing of the contract that he calls his clients every Monday without fail, lies I have been with him 4 months he has only called 2 Mondays more lies. i mean the literal just sit on their asses and wait, every other state i have sold homes, the realtors were out there hustling to get clients, not these lazy SOBs, this is the 2nd realtor I have had to sell this house and the 1st was just as bad. I am totally disgusted with the realtors in this state .

      1. I think Virginia realtors are the most stupid, lazy, and psychopathic. They sell houses here that should be condemned and act like you are trash if you don’t have 300,000 dollars. It is a power trip for them all the way, just like the health profession.

    3. Not true, it’s the realtor. I was a loan officer for many years and they used to treat us like total garbage. Bossy, mean, angry, PUSHY, demanding, you name it! Quite frankly, they’re all monsters, worst than any other industry folk I’ve had the pleasure of hanging out with.

    4. IMO, people dislike realtors or any real estate professional because there is absolutely no governing body a person can complain to when the realtor does sleazy things, that can actually get the realtors licensed removed.

      With financial advisors, there is FINRA and the SEC and the state finance bureau to complain to. You don’t need a lawyer. They simply investigate. If the complaint is valid, the advisor’s license is pulled and/or they put a notice on his/her license for the public to see. Also you can still file a civil suit, if you wish.

      I recently listed with an agent, that consistently brought me offers late…..at 10 p.m. with an answer needed by buyer’s agent by midnight. Hardly time to review it to see if buyer is pre-approved and credit worthy. Or to review the contingency requests.

      She also completely forgot one offer, and presented it after the stated deadline to respond. She actually admitted she did not see it in her email.

      Another offer SHE THOUGHT was too low, so she did not even present it, until much later after the deadline.

      I did talk to a lawyer and I could have sued, But the listing was almost up so I found another agent.

      That second agent was a little better, but She too had issues. She made many mistakes in the ad copy…. The type that could cost me money if not corrected. She tried to say they did not matter, but I insisted she correct them. she did. At least she was polite.

      Also, many times an agent will book a showing than cancel five minutes prior to the showing, or fail to cancel at all.

      The other issue that irks me about some realtors, is why do they show the house to people who could never afford it, in this life or the next?

      I kept having agents give feed back such as…client not interested, Price too high. Well, if they knew the price, and if they looked at the extensive photographs and video and thought the price was too high…..why did they waste everyone’s time looking at it?

      The house eventually sold at full price. So obviously the people who thought the price was too high, only had an opinion. Hence, why would the agent share their ignorant feedback, instead of telling the clients they were wrong or unrealistic in a seller’s market with very limited inventory.

      Maybe she thought she would soften us up to lower the price….Wrong. My husband and I discussed it and we said to each other that if an offer comes in with her name on it, we will simply ignore it or worse come back with a higher counter offer, just because she was too blatantly manipulative.

      On the buying side, some realtors are either ignorant of the listing they are showing, or they lie a lot by omission.

      I once looked at a house that was advertised as 9 acres. When I went to view it, the listing agent was at the home, and he apprised us of the fact that it was 3 acres exclusive to the property, but the other 6 was a right of way that was not developed.

      We left, and when I complained to my agent, saying that Had I known that information, I would not have bothered to visit the home, she got huffy and of course defensive. Why would she want to waste her time as well as ours?

      Another Time, with another agent, I looked at a house that had 20 acres with an older home on it. We wanted to buy it, rent out the older home, and build a new home.

      When we looked at it, and agreed to buy it, then and only then, she told us the property had a minimum 20 acres and another house could not be built on the land. In addition, there was a kennel next door. I heard barking dogs at the viewing, but I thought it was a pet occasionally left outdoors…not a 24/7 kennel with barking dogs, 24/7.

      Had she apprised us of this information on the phone, we would not have bothered to look at it. Did she think we would overlook those issues?

    5. I am a lawyer who used to act as closing agent in real estate transactions in Florida. The most dangerous place to sit at the closing table was between a real estate agent and his commission, as that is the only thing that motivates him. Real estate agents are generally uneducated and stupid, and they think the class they took to obtain a real estate license makes them “experts” on real estate law. In reality, a real estate license is the easiest state license to get, except for that of notary public.

      1. Thank you. You are correct, especially about the stupid part. It is easy for them to become realtors, one course, and easy for them to majorly screw up someone’s life. The do not care about your schedule for moving or anything else that doesn’t suit THEM. Their communications skills are nil and they do not possess conscience, either.

      2. I worked as a Real Estate Agent briefly, but left due to the lack of oversight for the entire profession. The broker will hire anyone with a pulse and never truly trains or vets any sales agents. It was embarrassing to be associated with such a profession.

        I recently interviewed a Keller Williams agent to list my home. I called him because he claimed at an advertising event that he showed up for each showing and stayed in the home during the showing.

        I had recently been the victim of Identity theft, and the police said it is a common thread that recent identity theft victims have had a home on the market. Hence, security was important to me.

        I had discussed this on the phone with the agent before he came to look at my home. I told him I would not allow anyone to have a key and since he would be present for each showing, I would let him in and leave the home for the showing, waiting in my car, parked in the street.

        Still, He kept insisting, however, that he needed a Key. Why?

        I suspect he planned to give the key out without my knowledge, otherwise there was no reason for him to have a key.

        I told him he only needed a key, if he was not going to be present as promised. Also, if he was not going to be present for each showing, I or my husband would be. He did not like that, either.

        In addition, he was dressed carelessly, as if he did not care. He also insulted several original, expensive, high-priced oil paintings on my wall. Laughable considering that he was dressed in such a slovenly manner. One that showed he lacked taste and sense of presence.

        He did not get the listing, but kept calling for weeks, requesting the listing. He had no clue as to why he did not get the listing.

  2. My take is people think realtors dont deserve the amount of money they are making. In SF, houses go for roughly $800k. Commish on that is roughly $20k. What do they do for the $20k? Write a contract? Send a link from MLS? Drive them to and from a house? What is it? Esp. when the market was hot, most realtors dont give the indiv. attention people want. I think that’s why companies like Redfin will work in the future. I’ve bought 2 houses from different realtors, and both I’ve found on my own. They wrote the contract and made the money.

    I do have a good story about a realtor in San Mateo/Hillsborough. When I sold my house, the agent paid for staging, landscaping, printed marketing materials and got me more than asking. He did alot of work and deserved every penny he made!If all agents was like him, I think the perception of realtors will change.

    1. I think you’re wrong, I think a majority of realtors are arrogant incompetent lying assholes.

    2. That’s where I was a loan officer and the realtors were all pricks. Lazy, lazy, lazy! The loan officers do ALL the work, they just throw around demands and collect a check in the end. Pricks!

    3. I agree I used to be agent. They lie, lie, lie. Last year I bought a mobile home and it was a estate sale, I asked the agent if the owner had passed away in the property she said abosulty not I knew her and the family and she was a lovely person. After moving in I found out she had, I am selling the home due to strange activity, in my state you don’t have to disclose strange activity. They also don’t need to charge the amount of money they do for filling out paperwork and phone work and showings there commission is way to much.

  3. Part of this commentary probably stems from the sheer number of realtors who entered the profession in the last ten years. I don’t have the ratio handy but as volume has dropped in CA, the number of deals per month per licensed agent is down to 1 (or somewhere around there). In other words, there are a lot of “agents” who jumped in just for the money and who are not true professionals. I had a good experience with my agent and I couldn’t have sold my property without her…

    All that said, what’s more frustrating is the rampant cheerleaderism. I know that more transactions = realtor-livelihood, but it’s frustrating to see. It starts at the top (e.g. former chief economist David L.) but the truth is, it’s not always a “great time to buy”. It would be refreshing to hear that and it would convince me that a realtor may actually have my best interests at heart.

    This blog, for example, likes to showcase huge properties that sell in two weeks and go for “way over asking”. I believe that this happens, but this is not the market of 2 years ago so we should all stop pretending that it is. Plenty of places sit around now for weeks. Plenty of places get pulled off the MLS with zero offers. It’s not all doom and gloom, but balance would be nice.

    [Editor’s note: We hope to show more of the “Stalefish” in the future, to balance out our reporting. So check back…and thanks for the comments!]

  4. If someone writes a letter to the editor I guess its fair game; but I don’t know about printing his name and last initial…. but I’m not the editor…[Editor’s Note: As with many comments/emails we get, the email was justin at timberlake dot com, so we’re assuming a fictitious name was used. Unless of course the pop mogul is really reading this blog and not happy with their Realtor, but somehow, we doubt that. ;-) ]

    Anyway, JT has obviously had a series of bad run-ins and experiences with R.’s and I think Dave hit the nail on the head about the number of people that hit the scene over the past few years. I’ll defer to a related post I made a few days ago that didn’t get any responses (except from the editor, thanks!).


    This pretty much sums up my thoughts on what a R. needs to do to earn their commish.


  5. It’s entirely because of the obscene amounts of money made off of each transaction. Because housing prices are so high here (and by here, I don’t just mean SF, I mean everywhere in the Bay) realtors don’t even need to sell one house per month to be bringing home 200k a year. I also don’t like that competition is ACTIVELY discouraged by realtors – as in, blackballing agencies that may want to charge less. Better service for the same price is great, but if an industry is unwilling to offer lower prices, that smells of monopoly and evokes hatred from the populace – because they feel helpless and exploited.

  6. I think there are two separate issues.

    First is the perception that realtors make money hand over fist for doing nothing. Surgeons and lawyers are perceived to make comparable amount of money, but at least the public realizes that it’s difficult job (in case of surgeons anyway), and it requires years and years of education. The realtors have to take what – a couple of tests to get the license?

    But that perception is only partially true. The barriers to entry the profession are so low, that the number of realtors is reaching ridiculous levels. There is something like 1 realtor for 50 Californians now. But that means there are fewer sales per agent. The last numbers I saw was something like 1 sale per agent per year. So it’s not easy money, by any means.

    Second issue is the trust. There was a public opinion poll not that long ago that showed that realtors are among the least trusted professions, on the same level as used car salesmen. The main reason for that is that it’s pretty clear that the only thing realtors care about is making the commission. That starts from the top level with all the endless cheerleading by David Lereah and others, down to the local agents will always tell you that now is the best time to buy AND sell, and that San Francisco (Fresno, Tulsa, etc.) are unique and will always be doing great.

    The anticompetitive practices that NAR is being sued over by the Department of Justice are not helping either (http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2005/realtors3.html). To summarize the lawsuit, you guys have monopolized this field and do anything you can to keep the current commission structure (which is absolutely ridiculous by the way – in the rest of the world it’s way less) at the expense of the consumers. And you have the guts to wonder why these consumers dislike you? LOL.

    1. Right on. The realtors should be sued for more than just monopolizing the market, let’s try price fixing in regards to commissions, artificially skewing the market by literally refusing to take commissions or list a house for less than what the precursory and pedantically moronic CMA shows, and for blacklisting, steering customers away from FSBOs or any other property just because they dislike the homeowner, or got fired by the home owner. How can anyone take a profession seriously when all it takes is 60 hours and a few interviews with seriously arrogant brokers whose sum total experience revolves around pushing boilerplate documents and high pressure sales tactics that resemble something out of a jihad indoctrination textbook.
      Whatever happened to the concept of “obedience and care” do realtors even comprehend customer or loyalty much less the two strung together in a defendant relationship. Seriously if you asked realtors to take an IQ test the results would prove conclusively why they are assholes if the hypothesis that assholes and stupidity are codependent variables. Realtors…here is some advice…..you are handling an asset that constitutes the largest portion of a persons estate , EARNED WITH SWEAT equity, so stop acting like you are as good or better than the customer, or better yet learn what customer means…..you are in a service industry. Servitude implies providing service. The book of proverbs sums up what I like to refer to as “executive secretary syndrome” where the secretary begins to condescend to customers since her ego has assimilated her bosses power inappropriately to her own status. The book of proverbs challenges all realtors thusly, “Is a servant better than his master? ”
      Your customers are paying you ridiculous sums of money for work that most would not even consider work, they are entrusting you with their hard earned money…..show some respect for that! Stop gossiping about your clients, stop blacklisting homes, in short stop being such immature and irresponsible assholes. In fact go get a real job and get your fingers dirty doing actual work and the perhaps you will stop being realwhores and avoid Sheol.

  7. This is great! Keep it coming. I’m taking notes and hoping a lot of other Realtors read this, and hopefully some will chime in with a little defending here. You guys/gals are making great points. Thanks!

    I hope when you (anon 11:03) say “these consumers dislike you”, you are referring to “you” as the Realtors and not me, as the Editor.


  8. I should qualify my comment, alex. I know plenty of nice realtors and some that really do a great job. However, I dislike the structure of the industry because it discourages innovation and real competition.

  9. JT’s comments are an unfortunate generalization. There are plenty of a-holes in this industry – perhaps more so than others – but I’d venture to say there are a-holes in every industry. I take offense with being called an a-hole — until you meet me. If you meet me and want to call me an a-hole — so be it — until then, ease up and realize no two people are alike.

    I disagree that this industry doesn’t promote innovation and competition. In my opinion, it’s the opposite. Being a successful Realtor or Brokerage doesn’t come easy – you have to be innovative – you have to compete on a daily basis for every buyer or listing. The people / companies who are the most innovative, who adapt to the changing market, who present buyers and sellers with more information and tools will be the most successful one’s. Consumers are in control in this industry – they have the right to choose among countless Realtors. In my opinion the industry captures the essence of competition and demands innovation.

    Just my two cents — for the record – i think EVERYONE in our country misuses their cell phone — not just us A-Hole Realtors!

  10. Greg,

    You are right that the best will rise to the top. However, in an industry where charging less than a certain amount is simply NOT ALLOWED, that eliminates a HUGE incentive for innovation and competition. Price is a huge motivating factor, and in the NAR world, it’s simply off the table. You’re right that consumers can “choose among countless realtors”. But the realtors can’t choose how much they charge and therefore, consumers are lacking an ENORMOUS potential choice. If things were changed, it’s quite likely that some realtors would charge the same amount now and people who determined that it was worth it would pay (and in some instances, it would be worth it). However, there would be some people that decide that they would like to pay thousands less for a slightly (or significantly) lower quality of service.

    The current system merely helps the “bad” realtors make FAR more than their service is worth. That’s my problem with it.

    Also – the mere fact that EVERY realtor (and the NAR) is vehemently against opening things up to price competition tells me that many of us are paying WAY too much. Would you realtors here be opposed to price competition? And if so, why?

    1. In the California Association of REALTORS Residential Listing Agreement (C.A.R. Form RLA), which is a very common contract used in real estate transaction, there is a paragraph that clearly states that commissions are negotiable. In paragraph 3 under the Compensation to Broker heading it states:

      “Notice: The amount or rate of real estate commissions is not fixed by law. They are set by each Broker individually and may be negotiable between Seller and Broker (real estate commission include all compensation and fees to Broker).”

  11. Greg,

    Are you saying that realtors by and large (or at least…you) are welcoming Redfin as competition?

  12. Chris – there are companies- RedFin / ZipRealty are two that come to mind, that offer significant discounts on commissions — perhaps they are calling them “rebates” – but they are essentially discount brokerages who have changed the commission structure. It wasn’t too long ago that the typical listing was 6% — the current market dictate 5.5 or 5% commissions — so changes have occurred.

    It’s illegal for a Realtor to negotiate sales price based on commission. That said, as a seller, you can interview every Realtor in the city and see if someone will list your property for less than 5%.

    My personal stance -charge what you are worth. I’ve done my share of Redfin mystery shopping and formerly was a web designer for ZipRealty. I’ll be tactful – you get what you pay for. No different than flying Southwest — you give up some of the “finer” things for price – so you fly through 3 cities and get stuck in the middle seat for the 9 legs of the flight, but ya pay 70% of the standard fare.

    I’m not afraid of the discount brokerage or the potential to changes in the commission structure – it’s not a threat to my business plan as i’m offering a full range of services. Goes back to thinking this is just about putting up a “For Sale” sign and cashing the check. If it was that easy, I’d have retired by now!

    There is no doubt that the industry is changing with the advent of so much technology– an intelligent Realtor is one that is positioning himself / herself to be ahead of that change. If the commission structure is altered, how will you compete — what do you offer — are you innovative — are you willing to compete?

  13. Greg,

    Fair enough. And I realize that there are discount brokerages – my main problem is with the NAR kicking discounters off of the MLS, as has happened in some places. I certainly wasn’t suggesting negotiating the sales price based on commission – only being allowed to advertise a lower commission without fear of reprisal from the NAR.

  14. Ha — just mentioned that. Bring it on Redfin! I’ve mentioned that I’ve done my share of mystery shopping and have some insight into the “national” discount brokerage world through one of my former jobs.

    Fact – the Realtors at Redfin and Zip are focused on the entire Bay Area – check a resume and you’ll quickly see they are “experts” in a variety of cities in the Bay Area. I’m not an expert in any real estate outside of San Francisco.. and to be 100% honest, I wouldn’t call myself in expert in every neighborhood in San Francisco. I don’t know Sea Cliff- – not fluent in District 3 or District 10. If you walked into my office and asked me to help you sell a house in the Bayview – I’d refer you to a colleague that is focused on the Bayview and you’d get the best advice and service out there. That said, there’s no doubt in my mind that a buyer or seller working in my area of expertise has a better chance of having an offer accepted or selling their house for the best price by using my services as opposed to a Realtor who services the “Bay Area.” I’m spending my time focusing on 6 / 7 neighborhoods — not 11 cities within the Bay Area.

    I’m not trying to tell you I’m alone in being an “expert” in certain area’s of the city. There are plenty of talented Realtors who know their stuff- – compare any of us to Redfin / Zip. It’s a great test — pick a property out of the MLS and call / e-mail for additional information – call a national discount brokerage and call a local SFAR Realtor. I’ll put my money where my mouth is – you will hear back from a quality SF Realtor in under 3-5 hours. You will hear back from a national brokerage in 2-3 days. Doesn’t seem like a big deal — it is in this marketplace. Ask specific questions about the unit / neighborhood — see who has better insight / advice and information.

    I love elements of both of these companies by the way. I’m a firm believer in empowering the buyer and seller with all the information we have readily available to us as Realtors – I also like some of the web tools and mapping that they offer. As for real time information / insight and advice – I’ll take the Realtor challenge anyday.

  15. Chris – I hear ya. I’m familiar with some of the issues some local MLS Boards have with the discount players. As mentioned above – I’m all for allowing the information to be dissemeniated by all players regardless of what they charge — with one exception. Become a member of the local Board of Real Estate. There are some real estate blogs out there ….which will remain nameless…. that are offering information to the public that they don’t have the right to display. I pay a chunk of money every year to have access to the MLS database — if you intend to showcase your knowledge base and share data, pay the monthly and annual fees to our Board. This money assists the local community in a ton of ways as the Association does a great job of giving back.

  16. Well, let’s start at the very top. Lereah! “Why the Real Estate Boom Will Not Bust” is simply a work of art. And Yun is appearing to be just about as bad. How many months in a row will they call bottom? We’re at 9 and counting. (Do you suppose Yun will catch on eventually?) The NAR monkeys with end-of-month graphs, revising downward a weeks later every downward-trending graph that I’ve seen published in the press ends with a hopeful uptick. Also, remember earlier this year when the NAR was cheering “sales are up 4%” while YOY was 14% down? The NAR knows that YOY is the only reasonable way to compare sales numbers, yet they kept advertising MOM. That’s called lying.

    And what about the MLS? Why does this supposedly professional service look so much like Craigslist? You’re about to make $22,000 commission, can’t you at least learn to spell and type in lower case? I love seeing “Instant Equity! Won’t Last!” on listings with hundreds of days on market. And what happened to the words “Condo” and “TIC”? Why are realtors are now calling everything a “HOME”? Are you all hoping that prospective buyers will call asking for clarification? If it’s a TIC, just call it a TIC in the listing! Stop wasting my time.

    (as an aside, please your fellow NAR-member to quit trolling for calls by listing preposterous properties on Craigslist. “I’m sorry, that property is already in contract, but I have some similar one that I’d like to show you.” In contract? Public record shows that escrow closed 8 months ago! That’s happened to me twice. That’s flat out lying, but it seems to be pretty common.)

    Finally, let’s talk local. Why do Realtors all want to drive me in their expensive cars to view properties. Is it just so they can listen to themselves gush about how wonderful it is? Has a Realtor ever walked into a place and told his client “wow, this dump ain’t worth the price! Let’s keep looking.” (I’ve seen around 20 properties with Realtors, many of them dumps, and this has not come close to happening even once). No, every time you walk through the front door, you Realtors start glowing about how wonderful the countertops are knowing FULL WELL that your buyer would be getting ripped off if he bought. I think most of you started your careers with pretty good consciences but the extra $3500 from upselling your buyers eventually becomes a little more compelling.

    If you’re a buyer, never ever trust your Realtor. His interests are not aligned with yours. If the industry wants to make improvements, this is where to start. Why not incentivize Realtors to find their buyers the best deal on a property instead of the most expensive property possible?

    In two years, when the market finally bottoms, I’ll look to buy again. However, I’ve absolutely had it with the preposterous amount of spin that comes from the NAR and Realtors(R). The sooner you guys go the way of the travel agent the better. (Good travel agents still exist and earn their wages. However, because the industry no longer has a monopoly on airline tickets, the shady bottom feeders have moved elsewhere (probably become mortgage brokers). Once the A-holes have all moved on, that’s when I’ll start trusting Realtors again. Until then, I’m sorry to say, the vast majority of you guys are A-holes.

    In my experience, anyway.

  17. My favorite real estate slogan comes from a Zephyr agent’s ad when he mentions its a waste to rent. I wonder did he use the buy vs. rent calculator that was posted a few days ago? Its true, the perception of realtors is the same as a used car salesman. Of course there’s a few good/great agents out there that deserves everything they get.

    Honestly, its time for a company like Redfin to get in. For all the realtors out there, I have a question for you? Would you show your clients a property if the comission was reduced????

  18. Couple quick thoughts though:

    1. It’s in a Realtors best interest to find a buyer the best possible “deal” out there — that seems fairly obvious to me – you want this individual to enjoy their living space and ultimately sell the home with you down the road / refer you to other people / etc. I’ve walked into countless homes with buyers and told them the property was over priced. Not sure why the general public seems to think the quality Realtors are so short sighted that we’d want to push someone into buying an overpriced property for 1 commission or as you say the “3500 upswing” when a job done well could result in many more deals.

    2. I agree that posting “fake” listings on Craigslist or any other website in an effort to attract phone calls and potential leads is both inapropriate, sleezy and it’s a violation of Code of Ethics. Is it done – constantly – but not by the majority of the members of the SFAR.

    3. The issue of showing a property based on commission is a joke to me. I’ve helped my clients purchase a for sale by owner property and made ZERO money on the deal. When these clients go to sell their unit, I’m certain they will seriously consider selling it with me. It’s no different than any other business- the goal is to establish a relationship that lasts years – not weeks. Goes back to the first point – if you do quality work for a client, you will get repeat business and referrals from that client.

    There are a-holes in the industry — but show me an industry that doesn’t have people who take advantage of the system and give it a bad name. Lawyers? Dr’s? Car Dealers? Financial Advisors?

  19. This is good stuff. Where are the other Realtors? Isn’t anyone else willing to stick their neck out like Greg?

    To answer anon 16:41, “would you show your clients a property if the commission was reduced?” Yes


    We’ll do a different post for your MLS questions tomorrow.


    Good call on the “Craigslist” catch, and lack of the use of the word Condo. For the record, I drive a beat up old 1997 VW Golf. I spend more money on surfboards and bicycles than I do cars. Is it the Sprite commercial that said, “Image is nothing, thirst is everything?” I tend to modify that saying quite often. The vast majority of us (at least in my circle) are not a-holes, but I appreciate your honesty. That’s not to say I don’t know of a few. But they’d be a-holes if they were buddhist monks. It’s just the way some people are.

    It seems a lot of the animosity stems from the Mother Ship…NAR, and what comes out of there. I can’t help with that, just like I couldn’t help get Al Gore into office. Some things are out of our control.

    I thank everyone who is contributing, keep it coming!


  20. Interesting discussion. I’ve always wanted to expound my thoughts on realtors.

    A-holes exist in every walk of life. So, I don’t buy the fact that all realtors are a-holes.

    We have dealt with a total of 4 realtors in the past 5 years. Only one of them has been truly amazing and helped us efficiently sell our place, just in time, down in So Cal.

    The most recent one we are working in with in SF has an uncanny ability to show us the highest comps available in the neighborhood, when we are in the process of making an offer on a property. Why would someone do that ? Why not show us the lower comps too, so we can make our own decision on how much we would like to offer?

    Isn’t it all about getting the most out of every transaction – client be damned ? And then there is the sense of false urgency that is created. That is clearly akin to used car salesmen (or women). If we get outbid on a property, it is not the end of the world !

    Also, all this grandstanding on this blog about these properties in Pac Heights, Presidio Heights and my neighborhood – Noe, that sell within days. There are people in this city who have tons of money, and they will always be around, and they will continue to buy trophy properties on Vallejo and Jackson and Sacramento. They don’t care about the state of the market, much less mortgages, et al. These are not representative of the majority of properties being sold in SF.

    We all love the Stalefish list. Let’s have some balance, by featuring properties that are still on the market, more regularly.

    [Editor’s note: Diablo, there are ways for your Realtor to send you all the comps and give you complete access to MLS. Tell your Realtor to either send you the sfnewsletter (my other company…yes that is a plug), and/or set you up on MLS to receive all the comps. If they’re not doing that, they should. ]

  21. This is the type of structure that I would like to see – and one that I think would lead to more people believing that realtors are not all a$$holes:

    Seller’s agent receives 2-3% (or somewhere around that)

    Buyer’s agent receives flat amount based on Region – in this area, I would say somewhere in the $4-6,000 range.

    If the agent represents both, they get the percentage plus the flat fee.

    All of my bad experiences with Realtors have been on the buying side, where I did all of the work in finding the place (or at least a very large part) and then my Realtor got paid 20k!

    On a side note – about five years ago, my wife (who is Catelonian) and I sold our place in Barcelona for around 900k USD. The TOTAL commission (one agent represented both us and the buyer) was about 20k – and he did an EXCELLENT job (got us a quick buyer 10k more than an identical unit two floors above ours in better shape that sold two days prior to ours) and was considered somewhat “expensive”.

  22. Greg, I’m very glad that you don’t go for the upsell. In my experience, however, most of your colleagues do (especially in the Central Valley — the three Realtors my brother went through were simply awful).

    I agree that there must be Realtors out there who think longer term. It’s just that they are very, very hard to find. If the commission structure were changed so that there wasn’t such an immediate incentive to upsell, I think this would really help. Realtors would then be more interested in working for the buyer rather than working for the close. Even the short-sighted ones.

  23. I wish more clients were like you, Chris. A lot of buyers take a lot of time, and so a lot of agents won’t deal with buyers. Sometimes an agent like me, who works with a lot of buyers — and by the way, I makes nowhere near $200,000 per transaction, thank you very much — ends up spending months showing properties to a client, who eventually decides not to buy anything. Or one shows a property, and only finds out later that “My sister has a real estate license, so she’s going to write the offer.” Other times it just takes one showing, and the whole thing goes quickly, and it makes up for folks who take more time. You’re the guy who makes up for all the un-easy clients, so thank you for that!

    But the question was — Why are Realtors so arrogant and such assholes? I’ve asked the same question, myself! There ARE a lot of arrogant asshole agents — and they seem to all work in the same offices. Some offices seem to breed more difficult agents than others. And those agents end up with bad reputations in the community. It would be fun if TFS did a poll on the most difficult, but we’d probably all get sued!

  24. “It’s always a good time to buy, or sell!” That is the favorite realtor quote. And why not? Realtors are paid on transactions.

    The realtors I’ve come across have been very nice and professional. They could have easily NOT given me the time of day walking into multi-million dollar homes, but the large majority have been very courteous and helpful.

    I do believe realtors are overpaid given the surge in property prices. There should be a more flat fee structure i.e. $10,000 for under $1mil, $15,000 for 1-2 mil etc. With such little inventory, i’m sure realtors would be willing to agree to this type of structure.

    Don’t generalize. It isn’t good practice.

    Now, about those wagers on 1771 North Point?! 4.65 mil… anybody else??!! REmember when we were guessing it wouldn’t list for over $3 or $3.5 mil? lol Blows 3221 OCtavia’s 3.7 mil selling price out of the water!

  25. Another note… I venture to say most who hate realtors are renters, or unsuccessful buyers. Anybody care to prove me wrong? B/c as a buyer, if you buy your place, you’re reliefed and happy. If you sell your place using your realtor, you’re pretty happy too generally.

    The only people who are bitter are those who come away empty handed.

  26. (sorry for the dual post)

    Alex, I feel that the NAR is casting a dark cloud over all Realtors, even the good ones. Their chief economists spin the numbers to within a hairsbreadth of outright lying in an attempt (I assume) to maximize immediate sales. Talk about short sighted! Why not just provide the best, most unbiased information they can and allow buyers and sellers to make their own educated decisions?

    You pay your dues. I don’t see why you feel that you can’t control what comes out of the mother ship. If enough Realtors complain, I bet change would come quick. Until then, however, I can only assume that the vast majority of Realtors agree with what the NAR says and their motivations for saying it.

  27. I am a Marin County agent. This is a great post and very informative. As I often say- not all real estate agents are created equal. Some are honest, some are not. Some are great, some are not. This is true of all professions.

    I agree with SB that the MLS should not have misspellings and realtors should be honest and up front in their advertising. If a property is sold, move on agents! Craigslist should be for current, active listings.

    SB- I am an agent who walks into properties all the time and I say- what a dump. I preview properties for my buyers and tell them- don’t bother coming out -nothing worthwhile to see this week. When I walk my buyers through properties, I point out all of the negatives as well as the positives. Because I see so many houses, I can often see things my buyers don’t- and often they aren’t good. Sometimes my buyers get emotional and want to write offers on things that I know are a bad investment and I will tell them so. I talk myself out of commissions all the time. I am incented to find my buyers the best deal and the best investments because I want them to tell everyone they know how honest and qualified I am. I know some bad agents who I would never trust, but I also know many very honest, intelligent and quality agents who work very, very hard for their clients and deserve every penny they make.

    Real estate is extremely easy to get into. There absolutely needs to be more requirements to enter the field. It drives me crazy that someone can take a few classes, pass a test and call themselves a real estate agent. Until the system changes, buyers and sellers should take the time to interview the agent they hire to find the best one for them- they should check their qualifications and references. I can’t tell you how many times I hear from buyers that they walked into an open house, met an agent and “it just happened” – they wrote an offer with that agent after knowing them for a total of about 10 minutes. Hmmm. Check the references and get recommendations from friends. You might be surprised to find a great agent who works hard and puts their clients needs ahead of their own every time. If you don’t trust your agent- don’t hire them, find someone else you can trust. Buying and selling real estate is too big of deal to work with someone you don’t trust.

    On Diablo’s false sense of urgency comment- many buyers do feel like it is the end of the world if they get outbid. Buying a house can be very emotional. When buyers get emotional, they often overpay. I am sure there are agents who push their clients to make a move today so they don’t lose it- but sometimes there is a genuine need to do so- particularly if a client isn’t willing to lose the house. It should be the buyer’s choice- not the agent’s.

    And Damion- you are right. There are many, many arrogant agents and it stinks when we have to work with them. (I get so tired of “I am #1” ads! )

  28. Sadly, I have to agree 100% with sb’s post. To say that you have no control over NAR actions is a copout…plain and simple. And they are the primary reason that people feel most Realtors are a$$holes. At best, most of their actions are disingenuous, at worst – flat out lies.

  29. Dual post all you want. Not a problem at all. The whole point with this post was to see what kind of sentiment was out there. We’re seeing that and opening up a whole bunch of other topics to discuss, and I think it is great. It’d be nice if NAR were reading this.

    Everyone has their side of the story. It’s no different than any other profession. When I was losing my shirt with mutual funds (money I should have used to buy another rental in the then searing hot AZ market), my broker kept telling me, “you’re up YOY”. (He was real arrogant, but not an a$$hole.) But he couldn’t explain how my $54k, turned into $40k in two years, and I sure as hell couldn’t figure it out. I sold all that, and bought some property in NC, which are actually doing pretty well.

    I’m trying, with this blog, and my other business to really try to cut to the truth of the market. Provide that “unbiased information”. I’m always riding the media and NAR and other blogs to take a close look at SF, and not the Bay Area, and sure as hell not CA. The good thing about what NAR is pumping out, is that it, like most national housing reports, doesn’t apply to SF…but that is a different post altogether, and I just went totally off-topic, but c’est la vie…at least I know I’m not an a$$hole. ;-)

  30. Chris,

    I, as one individual person with three businesses, wife, and kids, do not have the time, energy or desire to take it to NAR. I do have the time, energy and desire to help my clients, my readers of this blog, the members of the Stammtisch, and those that are in this circle to cut through the clutter and rubbish that comes out. Beyond that, I’d rather be outside doing something active. I could, I suppose, submit this chain to NAR or SFAR and see what happens. That much I can do. Beyond that, I’m not that kind of person to pursue something like that on a larger scale. No copping out here. Now if you’ll all excuse me, I have a newsletter to write.


    p.s. Just read Ginger’s comments…welcome and thanks for chiming in!

  31. alex,

    I didn’t mean to suggest that you “take them on” or something like that. I just feel that the “I can’t help with that” comment that you made before is a little bit of a copout. I don’t expect you to drop everything and create a huge deal out of it, but little things (like you mentioned) would help. If hundreds of Realtors did little things, a lot could change. The unwillingness of most Realtors to do anything is to me an implied acceptance of NAR tactics. If no Realtors tell them that they don’t agree with their tactics, why would they ever change?

    [Editor’s note: I understand, and thanks for clarifying. I plan on forwarding this post, and possibly getting another discussion going in the future with regards to NAR…]

  32. I suspect that boom is correct on the large majority of vocal critics are renters or scorned under bidders….. but that doesn’t take away from the fact that there is a general disdain for the R.’s out there that ARE in it for the quick buck. I like the idea of a flat fee for home price ranges, but this is the USA and its a free market. And Realtors are just playing by the rules that currently exist. I also think that the current model will change in the next 10 years as technology and the tech savvyness of the buyers evolve.

    I do agree that even the most pro-buyer agents are generally not your advocate once you decide that you are interested in a property. There are a lot of Realtors that will patiently work with you for weeks/months/years, but the second you decide that you like a property… you and your buyers agent have different motives. Your goal is to get the property at the best price… the agent’s goal is to get you to buy the property. But then again, that’s why your working with an agent so that they will help you buy a property. A lot of psychology goes into buying a place and rarely will a successful winner feel bad that they ‘won’ the house. it’s just psychology. You jusr have have to know that at a certain point your agent is committed to getting you in the house and make decisions that you can live with (and afford).

    Alex, I think you owe JT a note of thanks!

    [Editor’s note: Speaking of JT…oddly absent from this discussion. I’d send him/her a note, but the email was bogus. Oh well, we’ll take the glory.]

  33. Eddy – Not obsessed, just would like to hear other estimates of the price. If North Point sells for over $4 million, this will be the new record high for a SFH row house in The Marina which is not on Marina Blvd., or facing the Palace i.e. a “typical” but super done up row house.

    2 years ago, the most we were talking about was $2.7 million.

  34. I was kidding…. as I’m the one that keeps posting about it (too). I think there is no doubt that it will go for above 4M. It’s a pretty sick house and despite some geographical issues; its one of the nicest houses I’ve been through. Contractors in the Marina better start preparing for a flood of calls!

    [Editor’s note: You guys ought to continue this conversation about North Point over here. ;-) ]

  35. Here’s the architect’s POV:

    We’re hired by a client to design a $1M house (it makes the math easy). We meet w/that client (usually after a lot of marketing costs, interviews, etc.), hire a team of consultants (structural, mechanical, plumbing, electrical, landscape, etc. – not to mention our in-house staff). We spend 3 months conceptualizing the design, another 3 or 4 documenting the design for construction, nurturing the client literally every step of the way. We shepherd the project through the planning and building departments (which is sort of like beating yourself over the head w/a hammer), arrange for and interview contractors (if there’s any available), observe the construction for another year (losing what little hair we had left), and often help the owners pick furnishings, hang art, arrange furniture, etc…

    And then, after this 18 to 24 month period (or longer), the first time it rains, usually at 2AM, we get the call when the window leaks. And we usually get sued.

    All this for, say, a 10% fee, of which we might get 75% (after paying consultants). $75K. Then they turn around and sell the place two years later for $1.5M (because it’s SF, and the design rocks, it sells immediately). The realtors split 6% ($90K), or more, for what, one month of work?!! And the Owner pays for the staging…

    Oh, and by the way, in order to even call ourselves Architects, we spent at least five years in undergrad, and often a year, or more, in an esteemed ($$) graduate school. Interned for a number of years before we started taking the architectural exams (9 sections – a process that usually takes about three to four years). Then, after an oral exam administered by fellow architects making sure we’re worthy, we’re eventually licensed!


  36. I dislike real estate agents because I don’t trust them. I have numerous examples were agents (especially selling agents) tell falsehoods.

    Case in point 1: I attended an open house recently where a pest report had already been completed. I asked what the report found and the selling agent said $20K in damage. I later read the report: $28K in damage. That’s 40% off.

    Case in point 2: A house I was interested in had tenants. I was interested in performing an OMI. The selling agent said that there were three people living there: mother, father, and minor son. Wrong. The selling agent later told my agent that there was the mother, ADULT son (who was disabled), adult daughter, and the daughter’s children. That’s quite a different deal.

    You don’t need to lie to make a sale. Don’t misrepresent your properties.

  37. AnonArchitect, further – your commission is based upon the construction price, whereas the realtors is based upon the total property value. Given that the land cost represents at least 30-40% of the total project cost (if not more) the 10% (+/-) the architect charges is actually more like the realtors 6% commission on the property price. . . . . . So. . . . . . the comparison ($/level of service) is worse than you feared ;-) Just saying, is all.

    Not saying that realtors don’t have their place, nor that there are not many good eggs; but there is most certainly a disparity between their commission structure and level of risk and service when compared to other professionals engaged in the real estate and construction realm. IMHO it’s the ‘perception’ that Realtors get paid a lot of money for not doing that much that leads people to notice that they also take calls loudly and at inopportune moments. Just kidding!!

    More curious to me is that the market has not ironed the money wrinkle out of the equation. As noted by previous posters the barriers to entry to become a realtor are not that high and there has been a flood of people joining the game. It seems like it should follow that the commissions would fall rapidly. Maybe to date that was offset by a robust market, lots of volume and rising prices. . . . . .

    I agree with Greg that to an extent San Francisco is an unusual market (though I am sure we are all tired of hearing that) and so I believe there will remain a niche in this city for great realtors. . . . . But I have to wonder if elsewhere in the country, the likes of redfin and zip might reach a tipping point, due to their low cost structure in a down market, and truly redefine the national market.

  38. There’s a sayings that you can’t please all the people all the time, or be all things to all people. Some Realtors (especially those in other areas like Tahoe or Hawaii) are terrible at communication. You would like them because they RARELY use their phones! People in San Francisco are lucky to have so many great agents who can communicate!

    Besides, the fact that we are constantly on our phones is by request (no, make that by demand) of our clients to be available no matter where we are. Believe me, we would rather be somewhere else and doing something else sometimes. But I am not one to take calls in public places unless there is absolutely no other way to do it. In my car I use a hands free device for just the reasons you describe. And your seeming annoyance that Realtors jump when the phone rings only shows that you have not lost a deal by the inability of a client to reach you at that particular moment. Real estate is a very emotional endeavor. And try going a few months without a commission because you refused to pick up the ringing phone. Then you might understand.

    Most Realtors get into real estate because we love it. That’s why I did. And there is a lot of knowledge required to counsel our buyers and sellers before we can choose a price to offer for a buyers or make suggestions on how to get the best sales price on a listing for our sellers.

    Having been in the business for over 35 years, I am quite familiar with many areas of the City and know most of the buildings, even without seeing them again. And we lose more deals than we make, so the hours we put in is certainly not reflected in the seemingly high commissions.

    As I tell my clients, I only work half days… that’s 12 hours a day. I have people calling me early in the morning and often work late into the night to try and help people purchase their dream homes. If that makes me a bad person in some people’s eyes, then that’s how it goes.

    Janis Stone

  39. For all of the realtors out there, tell me why should realtors get 6% on a 2 million dollar home when as an architect my fee for the drawings and construction obersvation would be about $55,000. (I know your fee is split, but that is still more than my take with weeks and weeks of work. As for office costs, insurance , etc. , I have to carry those costs also)

  40. It’s no longer correct to say “why are Realtors(R) such arrogant a-holes” anymore… From the looks of http://www.realtor.com/ the correct phrase is “why are REALTORS(R) such arrogant…” DOCTORS(R), LAWYERS(R) and ARCHITECTS(R) don’t seem to have this sort of stigma… I wonder why REALTORS(R) do! :)

    [Editor’s note: SB, can you fill in that blank for us? We’d all appreciate it. I’ll make sure it gets past the spam filter. ;-) ]

  41. I’m not quite sure what blank I left unfilled… Let me try again.

    It just seems strange to me that lawyers go to school for 7 years and are happy to be called lawyers. Same for architects and (I think) every other profession out there. On http://realtor.com and affiliated sites, however, it’s clear that REALTORS® want their spelling in shouting caps with a restricted copyright attached. Doesn’t this seem weird to you? All caps makes my eyes tired.

    I’ll admit that this is offtopic since it offers no evidence as to whether REALTORS® are a-holes or not. Feel free to ignore.

    [Editor’s note: Ahhh. Got it. It simply wasn’t clear, but now I see. I believe, I’m probably wrong, it can be in lower case with the (R) as well. Don’t pay much attention to it really.]

  42. As a resident of a Hot Market Neighborhood (HMN) I’d like to chime in. It’s all about parking. Every Tuesday, realtors swarm in and park in every driveway within site. If the house for sale is within half a block from me, I can pretty much forget getting in or out of my garage.

    Contrast that with the anxious home buyers who have to see as many houses as they can on the weekend. They seem to be able to park without blocking driveways or impeding traffic flow unreasonably.

    So what’ the difference? Apathy.

    At least the buyers recognize that they may have to live around the people they are inconveniencing.

  43. Wow!! A heated discussion.

    It seems like most think Realtors are overpaid.

    A reality check about our very challenging profession: we’re always “on call”, we work most weekends & evenings, we work more than 50 hours a week; 50% of our commissions go to our company-from the remaining 50% we pay association dues, marketing expenses, insurance (E & O, healthcare), retirement, savings (to get us through those 3+months in between commissions); hopefully we’re married or with a partner who has a steady income, don’t have kids, and can quickly cut expenses when needed since it’s a “feast or famine” business at times & hopefully, we aren’t erroneously sued by a disgruntled buyer.

    Our fault if you didn’t know where the commission goes. Good Realtors make the profession look easy-as we should, since we are the “shock absorbers” for our clients, here to absorb all the bumps that go along with a purchase or sale so that their experience is as stress-free as possible.

    If we’re committed to being in this business, it’s not for the “quick” buck (which is far from quick) but for the gratification of helping a client enter this challenging market.

    I’m in agreement, the standards need to be raised-it’s too easy to become licensed but there is consolation in that 70% of new agents drop out after the first year of being licensed. But, 10% of agents are doing 90% of the business-a tough ceiling to break. That also means, you, the consumer, need to do your homework in seeking out a full-time, experienced, professional, ethical Realtor.

    As to the topic of arrogant R’s, yes, they’re out there and it’s not fun working on a sale with them but in the interest of “getting the job done”, it’s a 4-6 week test of endurance.

  44. Here’s a thought on the payment of realtors:

    The amount of your 6% commission has doubled/tripled due to market prices increasing within about a 5 year span. You are getting paid 2 to 3 times what you did before (where, in the Bay Area, prices were above average to start with). Are you suddenly doing 2 or 3 times the work for this money?

    What other profession has had this luxury? I’ve never sat back and doubled my salary in 5 years without working for that increase.

  45. I’ve been in real estate for 25 years and always the business has been 50% good people and 50% losers. It’s just that the stories about the losers get spread like wildfire, like any juicy morsel about a lowlife scumbag.

    Case in point. I am a mortgage broker. Client recently made an offer for, let’s say, $1,500,000. Appraisal came in at $1,400,000. Client could still have closed on the loan with no change whatsoever: same rate, same amount, etc. because their downpayment was substantial, However the comps did not support the $1.5M price.

    Here’s where the a$$hold realtor stories are born. Not only does the listing agent berate me (I’m the top broker in my town: you guys dont know what you’re doing…I have backup offers…people ready to close) and my appraiser (highly qualified guy with decades of experiece) but, get this, buyer’s agent also does the same.

    The agent supposedly looking out for client’s interest is not only verbally abusive (perhaps she spent her commission already) but is trying to figure out why we can’t get the appraisal to come in higher so she can convince her clients they’re not overpaying.

    Excellent a$$hole realtor story that I will tell for years to come.

  46. As I read the comments here (especially the one from Janis), I’m thinking of two things:

    1. Remember years ago during the NBA lockout when several NBA players started to run out of money? In an attempt to gain some public sympathy and force the owner’s hands, the Player’s Union held a press conference when Patrick Ewing dropped his famous quote: “NBA Players may make a lot of money, but they also spend a lot of money.” Of course, after that priceless quote, public opinion swung entirely to the owner’s side from there on out.

    2. Muni. Right now, even though I know that all of Muni’s problems are not caused by the drivers, I have a VERY negative opinion of them because they are GUARANTEED pretty good pay regardless of how hard they work. I know that many work hard, but the few bad apples that are protected by the union and rewarded for their laziness shed a bad light on ALL of the employees.

    A similar situation exists for realtors. Most of the public has a very negative (and in my opinion, correctly so) opinion of the mothership, NAR. NAR has shown many times that they are unwilling to allow change, innovation, and price competition into the industry. At the same time, we all know some realtor who is a lazy-ass who made a ridiculous amount on some random transaction – under a commission structure GUARANTEED by NAR’s actions. I don’t care how hard some realtors work, it’s the guarantee for crappy/lazy/substandard work that helps me form the “Realtors are assholes” thought. My thought is always: “If these realtors really are working so hard – why do they feel the need to show support for the assholes at the NAR that want to keep the industry in the 18th centruy? If they’re that good, they would rise to the top and make as much money under any pay system…”

  47. http://sfarmls.rapmls.com/scripts/mgrqispi.dll?APPNAME=Sanfrancisco&PRGNAME=MLSPropertyDetail&ARGUMENTS=-N241179273,-N206880,-N,-A,-N9371493

    This is why Realtors are shady. The realtor lists this as a 4 bedroom!!!! MEanwhile, when he shows it, the ‘two bedrooms’ down below are being rented, and are NOT connected to the top floor! WTF?!

    The top floor is like 1,300sqft. Who the hell pays $1.5 million to live in a 1,300sqft house, with tenats below for $1,300/month, and on the same block as the firestation?

    4 bedroom!! lol

  48. Just sold my home in Pennsylvania for 2.5 million, no brokers (relo would have paid $75,000). Saved $150,000 in commissions (paid lawyer $2000)

    We’re relocating to SF area and have not hooked up with a broker. My husband (who has been out in SF for over a year) has been to 20 or 30 open houses and I’ve looked at 1000’s of properties on the internet (Zillow, Redfin, Google Street View, brokers websites, Property Shark). I’ve also spent about 3 weeks over the last year and a half out in the SF area driving around looking at houses and areas.

    We’re in a good postion to buy, 1.9 million in cash and I am renting back my house in PA for a year, but I can get out of my lease with 30 days notice.

    We’ve found a property we like. My husband has viewed it twice at open houses and I’ve talked to the selling broker. (I’m flying out Friday to see the home in person).

    Here is what I was able to find about the property on the internet. The following was all news to the listing broker.

    I was able to see that the property had a trail easement on the Marin County website and confirm the details about open space around the property. The property also has an easement over another property for assess. The county approval for the original development limits sq ft to 4000 sq ft.

    The listing broker also originally told my husband and me that the house has forced hot water radiant heat and no air. I could see vents in the pictures and had asked the broker why there were vents. He called me back to tell me he was wrong and the house was air conditioned and had forced hot air heat with electric radiant.

    I noticed an opening in the mudroom ceiling in the pictures and asked if there was a storage space there. The listing broker told me I was mistaken then called me back to say yes there was a storage space over that entire section of the house.

    Regarding storage space, the broker recommended we build an illegal storage building (this was before he realized there was a storage attic in the building) since properties aren’t inspected on transfer in unincorporated Marin and most people just built storage buildings without a permit.

    I also know what the property sold for in 2003, what it was listed for, and the names of the owners. Actually I can find the listing and sales prices with dates sold and DOM for every property in Marin County.

    I can also find the hazard information for every property in Marin on the county website (landslide, liquification, flood) and see an aerial view with the property lines

    I certainly did more work than the listing broker and most likely more than a buyers broker if we used one.

    We will very likely use Redfin and receive close to $50,000 back at closing if we make an offer on this property.

    I hope to have saved close to $200,000 by not using brokers for this relocation.

  49. Polly — Your experience is an interesting one especially since I’m working on a newspaper story about FSBOs in the Bay Area and beyond. I would love to speak with you – if you have a chance please email me at [email protected]

    thanks, Carol

  50. I just succeeded in finding two clients a property. I had been working with them for a year and a half. They had written five or six offers, all of them very lowball. ( I am cool with that. Why not roll the dice?) Nothing even came close to sticking. Their economic muscle also fluctuated over that time … one client went back to school during this period, completely changing their buying power. Ultimately, I got my clients a 475K 2/1 with incredible views, in a very desirable neighborhood. I did this by noticing an anomaly within the system. In my opinion, that is how good deals are had. You have got to be on it. I was. My clients won out — big time — because of it. All told I put in probably 7-8 weeks of work for $9500. You do the math. I think I earned it.

  51. kenny,

    You worked on nothing else during this time? All work done by you during this 7-8 weeks was for these clients?

  52. Of course I had other clients. This wasn’t a linear 7-8 weeks. It amounted to 7-8 weeks, all told, I figure. My point is that some of us work really hard, and earn it. Some of us know what we’re doing.

    Should I mention the month I spent helping another client who made three lowball offers to no avail? He then decided to rent for 3K a month until further notice? I didn’t care, that’s the profession I’ve chosen. It’s zero-sum. I’m cool with that.

    But it isn’t easy. It’s ultra-competitive. We don’t all have access to recent CEO tech hires who absolutely need to buy, in a great neighborhood, quickly. A lot of us work with people just like us. People with restrictive budgets who want to buy something they will be happy with. Guess what? That aint easy to find. It often takes months.

    Oh, and by the way, there are a ton of a-holes in this industry. I haven’t been around so many unfriendly people in all my life.

  53. Kenny,

    All of us, in just about any business, can tell you a sob story – I spent about 12 weeks of work on an client who promptly went bankrupt and stiffed me for 75% of the bill – it’s just a part of any business.

    It’s just a little strange to me that your sob story would be one that equates to around 60-70k a year, indicating that you typically get paid far more per minute of your time on an average transaction. That’s fine, but someone who has one transaction that only made him $9500 for seven to eight weeks of work isn’t going to get much sympathy from most people if it’s known that he typically makes more. That was my point.

  54. That’s cool Chris, point taken. But also factor this: 60-70K a year in SF isn’t much. I’d call it about average, at best. It’s not enough to buy a house with. And certainly what it isn’t is hate-inspiring, or jealousy conducive.

    No. To return to the main point, I think that the reason so many realtors seem like jerks is because so many realtors really are total lame-o’s!

    ‘Cause we aren’t a bunch of richy rich’s. Don’t let the fancy car fool ya.

  55. Fair enough Kenny :) And I wasn’t meaning that your salary would be 60-70k, but significantly higher, if your numbers represented a bad 7-8 weeks. No, I don’t have a problem with a good realtor making several times that, so long as they’re not a$$holes…


  56. My experience as a buyer with realty agents has been very good. I have purchased two homes in the Bay Area, one in SF and one in Sonoma. For my first purchase, though I actually found the house myself, the agent was invaluable in helping me to get the purchase in a multiple-offer situation, without over-bidding. In the second case, my agent – who was very aggressive – arranged for me to view the home prior to the open house and to negotiate a preemptive bid – before 40 people showed up for the official open house. I don’t think I would have gotten it otherwise. I would use either agent again.

  57. 3 points: First: Realtors do not make money “easily”, it is often incredibly hard work trying to negotiate for ones clients (buyer wants everything for nothing, seller wants everything for nothing). This is particulary so for Commercial real estate transactions. Second: eventhough most clients aren’t necessarily aware of this, the reason for hiring a licensed real estate professional is so that the liability for the real estate transaction falls squarely on the shoulders of the realtor (whether buying or selling). Since there is no statute of limitation on real estate (or the transactions which affect/effect them), hiring a realtor ensures that you won’t be haunted by the sins of your property years after you have forgotten about it. This is the reason that Realtors carry liability insurance (like lawyers, doctors, et. al.). Carrying the responsibility for the liability for life, is one of the reasons that realtors charge what they charge, and deserve their well earned commissions. Like law, a client is always welcome to represent themselves in (this case) the transaction, but like law and a client going to court, “a person who represents themselves (in court or in a real estate transaction) has a fool for a client”. Finally, just like lawyers, just because there are lots of them doesn’t mean that they are all good: the smart and good ones stand out, the rest of them DON’T make any money and cycle out of the profession almost as fast as they got into it. Real Estate is an expensive profession to be involved in, and if you aren’t any good, you’re not going to last.

  58. Kenny:

    In my experience, putting in lowball offers only serves to waste both your and your clients time, and time as you know, is a vital commodity in the Real Estate profession. It’s been my experience that, unless a seller is WAY off base about the value of their property (often due to the emotional attachment people place on their property, (and it’s a realtor’s job to inform and educate their clients about the value of a particular property and the reasons for that valuation)), its better to put in an offer that is realistic and can be backed up by observable facts (market conditions, condition of property, location of property etc…). Your story about spending 7 – 8 weeks working with a client are not anything that I haven’t experienced myself either, and serve to illustrate another reason why the money realtors earn isn’t earned “easily”. Additionally, the challenges posed by the current real estate crash in CA should help to separate the cream from the crop.


  59. Rupee, you make a very cogent point about liability. I hope everybody took the time to read that one.

    As for “lowball” offers, I hear you. For the most part, at least around here, they are pointless. But opportunities present themselves from time to time even in a crowded marketplace. Right?

  60. I am one of the most cynical people out there when it comes to sales people, but when we moved here 8 years ago, we interviewed three Realtors. One was insulted that we were interviewing her, and the other two were great. We picked the one we thought worked best for us. She was amazing. We wanted more than we could afford, and she educated us on a multi family with rental income to pay the mortgage, something we never would have considered on our own. four years later we were ready to upgrade. She came in, got painters, stagers, carpenters, told us to stand back, this was her job. She got 13 offers over asking, and found us a new home at asking. Frankly, she saved and made us a bunch of money. We know we lucked out, but if you don’t like your realtor, fire them, and get one you like. The good ones more than deserve their commission. (And as an added extra she has become a great friend)

  61. I dont have time to read all of it. but I’ll add a few thoughts.

    buying a SFH in san francisco means selling your own life/time/fortune/credit history (even your actual life when you buy a most likely rambler vs a earthquake-resistant house) away for a thing made of wood and plaster that cost 1 million bucks (let’s assume an easy number).

    Let’s take another situation. Your wealth is around 2 millions bucks, and your spouse is leaving you for JLo or JT (whichever gender is needed here).

    For your divorce, wouldnt you choose the BEST POSSIBLE LAWYER to keep your 1rst million safe, and keep a much as the second million on your bank account?

    In the divorce case, there will probably be a correlation between the hourly chinchin that goes in your lawyer’s pocket and the chinchin that stays in your pocket…

    Now back to real estate. what is WRONG in my opinion is the flat 6% commission. YES YES YES – there are many agents who DO NOT DESERVE the amount (the most obnoxious are always the most visible guys in any job) – but there are a big bunch of SF Realtors who are worth every single penny of the deal. Any idiot can close a deal – but there are not so many deals that BOTH the seller and the owner are very happy with several months/years later. There is always a party that feel cheated – and of course, not only do you need to protect your assets, but most likely, you need to shield yourself from the idiot-other-agent of the deal .. (I know the situation – our seller’s agent was the laziest of all and I resent her to this day. If I had the choice, my agent would have gotten 5.9%, and she would have gotten 0.1%)

    So my point is dont look at what the others are doing. Protect YOUR OWN PERSONAL LIFE AND WEALTH WITH THE BEST POSSIBLE AGENT – and guess what? you do NOT pay extra for an EXCELLENT agent!!!! so you feel your agent was a lazy a* or b* ? it’s your problem, and your choice.. because I can point to you many many many agents you SHOULD have interviewed before choosing one.

    How to choose? (I wont give names… but Alex, you have a good spot on my list of prefered agents)

    – pick a real estate company that is FOCUSED on your own micro/nano market. As friendly as your realtor friend is, if he’s working at “WP’s B” he’s NOT the agent to buy in the Infinity towers.

    – in that company, interview at least 2 agents. Not all agents are reflecting the politics of their own company – but you’re future deal WILL be stamped with the company’s name – for the better, or for the worse. For each agent, ask their portefolio and check that they participated in the closing of a few properties within your OWN nanomarket; and/or ask the trick questions about a couple of recent deals and what they think about them (HINT: use theFrontStep to prepare your exam questions!). A lack of specific knowledge is the end of the interview no matter how much sweete talking and % rebate they offer. ANYBODY claiming that they are able to buy/sell ANY property in san francisco is lying to his/her teeth. Yes they might close the deal – but certainly not as well in your defense as another more appropriate agent (that said, in many company, agents will team up to offer you the specific help if ever needed – like you end up out of your chosen nanomarket but wont change agent). I’m not sure being the buyers’ agent of the maximum overbid of the week is something to brag about…. with money, you can buy any BayView houses at $5M cash – and that’s stupid – and to some extend, it’s a professional fault for the agent. (not sure about the fault of the seller’s agents in that case… because he’s supposed to get the most money for his client – right?)

    – then interview the “divas” (most of them are ladies, but there are some great guys too) of your specific nano market. You may not hire them as your agent, but you’ll be most likely meeting them again during an open house. Knowing your enemy is the first step to the victory – and it can be a deal maker if they remember your name while having to choose between 14 offers.

    – pick an agent that you will TRUST TO DEATH. Not all agents are competent. But you will eventually find someone that you like, appreciate, respect. Someone you can be stucked in the elevator with for 3 hours (… PG&E rotating black out !) without killing him/her within seconds. . and remember… it’s like a divorce, and a good realtor will be your attorney for many many legal decisions to come – decisions that you will be stuck with for a long time.

    – while picking our agent, check that your agent is commited to you in a way that suits you. email vs cell phone, vs face to face meeting etc.

    To end my babble, I’d like to answer the original question. “they are NOT!”. No agent on my list of prefered agents is arrogant nor a$$hole nor obnoxious. To be honest, our last deal was made thanks to 2 agents that most of the public will never ever hear about – but that are very known and respected in the Realtors circle… And when my mom met our agent at our housewarming party, she wouldnt believe the “young kid in sandals and shorts who drove a tiny car” was the extremely talented and patient (we visited over 350 houses over 7months!) and competent guy that got us our house.

    Last and to be very mean.. the public should start to be serious and check the lies going around. Not all well-talkers are Realtors(R) . PLEASE CHECK THE REFERENCES AND LICENSES AND LIES before picking your agent. A bachelor in medecine doesnt make a doctor – regardless of the knowledge and natural talent of the person; but in the legal eyes of a judge or any mediator if problem should happen, you’ll be the moron who hired the incompetent agent.

    Why should you pick a Realtor in San Francisco? (other market might indeed be a good redfin and such territory – I believe this blog is about SAN FRANCISCO only!) because IT’S THE SAME PRICE – SO GET THE BEST! (you’ll need him/her to keep you soul alive thru the market bumps)

  62. Here’s a thought…

    why don’t Realtors get rid of the percentage fee basis of compensation and just charge a fee, whether a building sells or NOT?

    As an architect, I charge a fee to my client ( fixed fee, not percentage of construction), and produce construction drawings for securing a permit.

    If the project does not get built that’s entirely up to the client. But I still get paid my fee for the professional services I render to the client.

    why not? That way no more whining about working so hard, and then the deal falls thru.

    1. A good explanation about being paid on percentage is that some sellers whose homes at the lower price point will be able to afford the fees. The lower the price, the harder they are actually to sell, too. Most buyers want a move in ready homes, not one with a hideous carpet( sometimes, as simple as that but seller won’t heed your advice) As for the higher priced homes, I always try to provide as much service as I can to show my worth. That fact is, if you don’t bother to interview and find the best agent, you won’t get the best service. If you just don’t trust any realtors, don’t use one. Just make sure you have the time to show your home, to market your home, to read the contract, to negotiate the price, to deal with buyers from all walks of life, to handle the unreasonable demands from buyers…etc, all that yourselves; or to drive around in your spare time, to make calls to all listing agents or owners on the homes before the homes are snatched up by other buyers that have realtors to notify them the minute the home gets on the market, to schedule time to see the homes, to negotiate and to go through the process until the end all by yourself. And they don’t always go through till the end. A deal could fall apart any time after all the work a realtor has done. I concur with many replies that there’re are lousy people working in ALL professions. Many people have indeed the misconception that we realtors make too much money for what we do and for the amount of education we receive. That’s true. 90% of them enter real estate thinking that and drop out within a year. let’s brainstorm the reason behind that. The numbers tells you a simple fact that it’s not as easy as you think. Maybe those people think that every home is a half a million dollar home for the 6% that they’d get paid. My first transaction was a $144,000 condo. I was paid 3% the listing agent shared with me after 4 months working with the buyer. ( He’s very particular but we found the place nonetheless) I ended up getting $1,700 after broker split. I just got started and had nothing going on yet. 2 months later, I lost one transaction due to inspection. The buyers just moved on to the next house because they didn’t appreciate me. I was just like another disposable sales person to them. I closed 2 more houses 2 months later. All this time, I had talked to lots of people, some were very rude buyers. One saw the house with me and decided to deal with the listing agent behind my back hoping to get a better deal that way. One called me to see a house and wouldn’t wait for 2 hours so I could come back from the airport. “I’ll just call someone else!” This is a buyer I had shown over 10 houses to and had written several offers for. I was just replaceable to her. I just kept my professional composure and replied” Sorry I can’t help you right away” I had a buyer loudly complained to me that I didn’t answer his calls right away. I called 3 hours later as soon as I got the voicemail. “What kind of sales person are you?” when I was at a spot with no cell signal. I could go on and on. All I know is I chose this profession because there’s no limit to the income ceiling. Jump in if real estate is that easy and try it out yourself. If you are making good money, all the power to you. You can work part time if you can’t leave your current job for the benefit, the vacation and the retirement plans that real estate doesn’t provide. I work hard for my $26,000( actually harder because it was so hard to find one, let alone that the buyer was willing to buy. It was all he could afford. It needed a lot of repairs and out of multiple offers) and my half a million dollar clients. Most importantly, I know I had never called anyone ” A$$holes” I was taught to treat people that provide me service extra well. The fact I pay them doesn’t give me the right to mistreat them. The fact that some of you want to use Redfin already tells me one thing is that the cost is more important to you than service. Then, don’t complain if you don’t get the service you desire.

  63. I see that there are many people out there who don’t understand the Real Estate profession at all, there is also so much jealousy about the amount of money a realtor may make. No one seems to “pick” on the hoards of business people who make tons of money in the investment banking business, venture capital or other businesses. Realtors work no less than these people but always get a bad wrap. Most good realtors I know work a hard 10-12 hours per day and don’t have weekends off to go to the beach.

  64. As a Vancouver real estate agent I’m working very hard (more than 10 hours a day) and try to do my best for all my clients. I agree with JV, because I really have an impression, that people here don’t understand how hard this job can be. I also think, that maybe many of you have had a bad experience with real estate agents, but in all professions you could find people, who are not doing his job properly. And if you are not willing to pay a commision, you are not forced to do it and you can sell or buy condos by your own.

  65. they say that people who can’t sell, sell real estate.


    i know there are 100’s among the 100k realtors that actually hustle and do a great job. it’s the 90k of them that give the few of you a bad name.

  66. I love this thread! I’ve come to the conclusion that based on Tuesday Broker Tour – where Realtors double park their cars and essentially block street traffic the entire day – and then bitch and moan when they get a ticket or deal with a pissed off neighbor – that should be the # 2 reason why Realtors are A-Holes.

    I’ll stick to my guns on the # 1 reason — and it’s a perfect time of year to bring to light – the Top Producer moniker. Yes only in real estate is it acceptable to advertise how good a year you’ve had in every possible forum. On your business card, in your ad’s, on your For Sale signs – just go ahead and BLAST it everywhere. Only in real estate!

    So we can join in the reindeer games, Garrett and I are anointing ourselves, KING OF ALL PRODUCTION, Home San Francisco, ’07. That’s right – not Top Producer, or “Gold Circle” no “Top 1% of the 1% of the 1 %” – oh no — KING OF ALL PRODUCTION, Home San Francisco ’07. (Note – We are the top two producers world wide for Home San Francisco as well)Here’s to the countless Top Producers — may you all brag about your success in the years to come.

  67. Mike, I hope for you that Michele is extremely polite and helpful on the phone:

    “She also has been President of the [xxx] Domestic Violence Shelter.”

    I wouldnt always judge someone one one single phone call tho. Because it might be the wrong moment, and it might give the wrong impression. (to be honest, I wont call).

    This is different from face to face meetings, when the agent KNOWS he’she will be judged on the spot. (I think of an open house for example). In that case, it’s unforgivable to be rude to potential clients.

  68. Answer honestly… When presented with multiple offers where you are representing the seller… how many of you have recommended against the offer from the buyer represented by the discount broker?

    Real estate in San Francisco is so local. Theoretically, buyers have choice and can choose a discount broker. In reality, in a multiple offer situation, buyers using a discount broker risk discrimination. When representing the seller, do you take offers presented by the Zip agent as seriously as the offer presented by the Zephyr agent? Do you prefer/recommend acceptance of the Zephyr offer over the Zip offer?

  69. For me, it comes down to dollars, sense, and financials of the buyer. I, and my clients, could care less where the offer comes from.

  70. I’m sorry, I have dealt with many realtors and to my surprise they were all assholes or snooty bitches. I can’t believe the arrogance that most of them seem to have. I hope they all go broke in these rough times. It would serve them right, especially after creating such a housing bubble. Within the next 10 years or so Realtors will find it very hard to find clients due to the buyers and sellers conducting the transactions on their own. With the right information anyone can buy or sell a home without the expense of an arrogant asshole.

    Do some research … Save some headache.. Most Realtors don’t do shit after they put a sign in your yard… You can advertise in the same areas they do with better results… Internet, use it….

  71. “I see that there are many people out there who don’t understand the Real Estate profession at all, there is also so much jealousy about the amount of money a realtor may make. No one seems to “pick” on the hoards of business people who make tons of money in the investment banking business, venture capital or other businesses. Realtors work no less than these people but always get a bad wrap. Most good realtors I know work a hard 10-12 hours per day and don’t have weekends off to go to the beach.”

    Clown.. only 10-12 hours.. and no weekends.. poor baby. I own my own businesses and work a minimum of 10 hour days. I make a good income without being a dick to people. Realtors jerk people around for their own

    monetary advancement. Have you heard of Karma?

  72. If you don’t sell privately you are crazy. All this garbage about paying a little bit of commission or being sued is absolutely crap and as for taking longer because agents have more customers is complete and utter #$%^&*it.

    Most of these entries above are written by agents..

    I sell every property I own myself because it is easy and the best way to go.

    You are in control of the sale price, there are no pressures to drop the price or you might miss out, you deal directly with the buyer.

    Tips: Use a Conveyancer

    Advertise online with a No Commission Company

    Get a good for sale sign

    Advertise in Newspapers

    Link your website Name & ID Number to your advertising

    Use brochures to pin about at petrol stations ,take aways, windows near real estates,High pedestrian Traffic Areas

    Take names and numbers of all enquiries and call them back in a few days NOT WEEKS

    Hold open house days, give out brochures on these days and take names and numbers.

    Agents= Greedy Assholes!

  73. Jeez. How do you really feel Shanda and Mike?

    Good on ya for not getting sued, yet. Keep buying and selling. It will happen sooner or later. Someone you trust will fuck you over. Why? Because most people suck, buyers are liars, everybody wants something done for free, and sellers are usually greedy.

    Hey, realtors are people. In fact I’ll go as far as to say that I have encountered an incredible amount of douchebaggery within the SF realtor populace. I’ve also met some very capable good people. People are people.

    Some folks are equipped to sell themselves. Some are not. I have made so many people big bucks in this town it isn’t even funny. Whatever though. I could really care less what a couple of anonymous realtor slaggers have to say on the fuckin Internet.

  74. I’ve dealt with/met plenty of pleasant, cheerful real estate agents. However, I recently had the displeasure of dealing with an agent who was such a curmudgeon, I refused to return to his office and only dealt with him via fax. Worked like a dream… All professions have a**holes. Spend some time in the Financial District.

  75. I know great people and less than great people in many professions.

    My perception of the public view of Realtors is that many of them are less than professional in relationship to the important role they play and the compensation they “expect.”

    Having attended 5 yrs worth of Northern Calif Realtor Association (breakfast) Marketing meetings the best example of what I call Realtor “disconnect” is the lack of effort many Realtors exhibit and the sense of entitlement to “their commission.”

    The example at these meetings? During listing presentations the majority, this is no joke, of Realtors would beg and plead for somebody to sell their listing.

    No attempt to sell the property, no knowledge imparted, just a whiny “somebody help me” plea.

    The other problem is that the majority do not run their businesses like businesses. Appointments are often not kept, often postponed, or often blown off.

    If anyone in corporate America as a sales rep, account rep, or consultant did these things they would be fired or at the very least demoted.

    The rest of the Realtors are fantastic, hard working, passionate, helpful professionals. But it’s the others that ruin the perception.

  76. I did not read over the hoards of posts. but i would like to leave a comment! i really do not care how much realtors make. maters not. But, i do care that in fact, my realtor is a PRICK. i am in the process of buying a house. (within a couple of weeks of closing, supposedly) and my realtor called me, YELLING at me, telling me I’M lagging behind and not working towards getting this loan closed. Although Every single fucking stressful day i’m getting two or three calls from the lender wanting “just one more” document of some kind to “get this thing pushed through”

    would you believe that the sellers/realtor expect ME to paint over the window frames to pass an FHA inspection? yup, the buyer who doesnt even own the house yet……….. two weeks ago my friend went and built a HAND RAIL on the front porch for me, becuase the sellers, and the realtors say it is my job to put the house up to code, not theirs.

    meanwhile the realtor, if he actually is a realtor. (nick Miller at Remax Select, flint michigan) is beligerant with me, rude, and forceful, telling me that because they are willing to sell the price for “so Low” and willing to agree to “all my terms” which they didnt anyway!! that i should just march my happy ass over there and make sure their house passes an inspection.

    alas, i will paint the fuckin windows. because i want the house. but i’ll tell you what i dont want…….. i dont want that cocksucker to get one cent commission when i close. so, i am up at 5am researching if it’s possible to change realtors right before close… because u know what? i wanna stick it to the fucker and teach that little man a lesson.

    [Editor’s note: Ouch! I know a few of the types you speak of. You in Michigan?]

  77. Sorry to hear about that. You, the buyer, should not be doing ANYTHING to the house. It isn’t yours yet. Very odd. A word of caution tho — don’t do anything to get yourself into a lawsuit. It won’t be worth it. Just get the house, kick back, enjoy it, and forget about the poor service.

  78. I am really sorry to read about the buyer who was yelled at by his Realtor to bring the house up to code before it is even his. Wierd, unacceptable, and ridiculous.

    That being said, regarding the letter to the editor, that is unfortunate. Easy money? I don’t think so. I know sometimes I don’t even want to think about how much I got paid hourly after the time I put into the pre-transaction and escrow period combined. However, I’m doing what I love to do, and I’m not going to change it. Some transactions are smooth. Some aren’t. However, I do agree that there has been a downfall in customer service across all channels. I am not the bitch Realtor that the post refers, too, but I there are some out there as there are in every industry. I do agree with the above comment that it is not the Realtor, it’s the person. I have had problems with service providers in the past few years, and am working to really build a network of professionals that I trust and can refer business to. I just don’t know why it’s so hard to provide quality customer service whether you are a doctor, realtor, financial adviser, lender, etc. If you can’t follow up, then find a new profession, because obviously you are in the wrong one. My advice, when you find a great service provider, keep them, follow them, don’t lose their info.

  79. I stumbled across this blog mostly because I am still fuming about my experience with realtors in New Mexico.

    TRUE – Realtors present themselves as the “gatekeeper” to getting housing.

    TRUE – Realtors try to control all sides of a deal : buying, selling, inspections, financing and insurance. They also try to control/prevent communication between the buyer and seller.

    TRUE – The realtor knows NOTHING about a specific house.

    TRUE – Realtors drive expensive luxury automobiles (paid for with pre-tax dollars), and wear a $300 pair of sunglasses.

    TRUE – A Realtor does not lift a single shovel of dirt, while others do the “real” , many of which have MUCH MORE experience and training than a Realtor.

    TRUE – When you sign a listing contract with a Realtor, you are signing away your most basic rights as the owner of the property!

    TRUE – When you are buying a home listed by a Realtor, the agents on both sides know each other and DELIBERATELY CAUSE HARDSHIP FOR THEIR OWN CLIENTS IN ORDER TO ASSURE THAT THEY WILL RECEIVE THEIR COMMISSION.

    (If they were honest, the sale would not close).

    TRUE – If you get a bad house, the Realtor is IN NO WAY RESPONSIBLE, and has no interest in your problems after he cashes the commission check.

    TRUE – If you use a Realtor to buy and sell your home, 20% of the price of the house is expense from using their services and HAS NO VALUE AT ALL.

    TRUE – Realtors OVERSELL.


    Simply, a Realtor is a narcissist. He/she thinks she is above people who do “real” work. He/she is unable to sustain stable relationships and usually has a string of failed marriages with estranged children. They are abusive and dishonest. They lie and take advantage of people who are inexperienced.

  80. I take issue with each one of those, and my $30 polarized shades are amazingly still in my possession six months after I purchased them.

  81. Jl,

    You should see my car…and I just pulled out my Vuarnet Cateyes I had as a kid. Guess what? They’re back in fashion! I think my iPhone does more than my car.

    Sorry to hear about your experiences. I’ll remind everyone again. Everything with a Realtor is negotiable, and listing contracts can be amended.

    How is New Mexico, btw?

  82. vuarnet !!!! iPhone!!!!

    Bling! Bling! Flip! Flip! Flip!

    I didn’t ask for a Realtor – I bought in a hot area near the University and Realtors were swarming in this area like maggots.

  83. oh btw

    When you Preview a house for your client, do you go into the crawl space or remove outlet covers … or is it just to make sure there are granite countertops and stainless steel appliances ???

  84. Settle down now. My Vuarnets are probably 20 years old, and well my iPhone….you got me there.

    Why would I go into the crawl space? I’m not an expert on that. There are trained, qualified property inspectors to do that, which your Realtor should have told you.

    If you haven’t noticed, I’m not a big fan of granite…..

    Regardless, I’m thrilled that you found my blog all the way down in New Mexico, and am sorry you had a bad experience with an agent. True to form, one bad apple can, will, and does, spoil the whole bunch.


    I was driving through this neighborhood almost every morning looking for a house to buy. All the seller had to do was put a sign out front, or tell someone that he wanted to sell. More than $17k WAS WASTED BECAUSE THE SELLER MADE THE CALL TO A REALTOR.

    Realtors are not lawyers. How much skill does it take to drive a Lexus, slip on a pair of Vuarnets. or use an iPhone ???

    The success of Realtors is predicated on the fact that most buyers and homeowners do not know what they are doing. Maybe they deserve to get screwed.

    The whole idea of bringing in a middle man and giving him control of a property in which he has NOTHING INVESTED is imbecilic.

  86. So did you get the house?

    “The success of Realtors is predicated on the fact that most buyers and homeowners do not know what they are doing”….which is exactly why I do what I do to provide so much information, free of charge, available to anybody, anywhere in the world. I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count how many people email/contact me directly and end up buying a home (usually in a new development) without using a Realtor or me. I’d be a millionaire for sure, if I hunted them down for commission for the countless hours of free advice I provide. I like to educate, and would encourage you to tell your friends about theFrontSteps, particularly this thread.

    “I was driving through this neighborhood almost every morning looking for a house to buy”…I would have driven you around, but you’d have to sit in the back seat, because my surf boards get shot-gun. Sorry.

  87. Yesterday morning I walked in to my lab and mentionned that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were seized over the weekend.

    Someone quickly responded, “Were they seized by terrorists?”

    I wish you luck in becoming a millionaire – I hope it brings you the happiness that you deserve.

  88. provide the service for a reasonable price – then we will talk

    I work with a very talented builder and I do a house a year.

  89. ““Were they seized by terrorists?””

    then a quote from Mrs P. who announced that her target is to reduce the size of them and stop wasting fed money on those “gov agencies”….

    so should I conclude that Mrs P is a terrorist?

    (I’m out of here…)

  90. wow jl, so angry!

    there are all kinds of brokers.

    there are all kinds of buyers and sellers.

    there is free choice to match the parties as they see fit.

    for example; don’t know much about houses/neighborhoods/recent prices? talk to someone who does.

    know all you need about buying/selling? do it yourself or negotiate a price you are comfortable with.

    hope that helps to dry your tears…

  91. This is my rant about Realtors and their industry. They truly are the scum of the earth. All of them. Yeah, I know what you’re going to say, but given all the hell these people have put me through, I feel completely justified in what I’ve said here.

    I’ve had to work with you scumbags on a daily basis for your insipid websites during the last 3 years loathing every bile-churning minute of it. I’ve never met more stressed out and ignorant people in my life!!! I’d say you guys could give air traffic controllers a run for their money but that would be an insult to air traffic controllers! Fortunately, I have a life outside all this where I can leave the Realtors behind and deal with real people again. I have this to say….

    Fuck you, you miserable, stupid, screwed up, uptight, joyless, mongoloid, Real Estate twits!! Is it possible for you to actually read or listen to anything given you by clients or colleagues so you might learn something to help your business? Or have your television and media addicted, comatose minds simply squeezed out any potential for new information to be introduced?!?

    You’re all so terrified of technology and refuse to use it to it’s fullest extent that any failure you experience will be justly deserved. You’re a candlemaker in the age of the electric light! While you enjoy the monetary benefit of your chosen profession, keep in mind how very brief it will be. Once your market totally collapses and you’re left contemplating how to best end your existence after completely alienating everyone who once had respect for you. How about instead of continually bothering the poor individuals who have to endure your inane bullshit on a daily basis, you do us all a favor and drown yourself in the foundation cement for one of the homes you sell.

    You are a worthless waste of air and have no place in this world. Once all your clients wise up and realize they can handle every aspect of home buying and selling on their own, your existence will have been for nothing. Your only contribution will have been keeping the ditch diggers employed. Never forget the “little people” who make it possible for you to get 6% commission on a 2,000,000$ home. That although we may assist you. We may answer your questions. We may even pretend to care. We all hate you! We wish you nothing more than unhappiness, despair, and eventual suicide, due to your failure to behave as a decent human being!!!
    Pray we never meet on the street. I’ve got a storehouse of hate to unload on you! I’m declaring open season on Realtors.

  92. Geez Phil. How do you really feel? You know this is a realtor’s blog, right? A particularly technology savvy, well liked, and well respected realtor’s blog?

    As far as meeting people on the street, be careful what you wish for. I know a 70 year old lady who teaches wing chun from her house on the side of Twin Peaks who would kick your ass. She isn’t a realtor tho. So I guess you don’t have to worry about it.

  93. Phil,

    You sound like a pleasant chap, I’m glad your not unhappy and stressed like all of those real estate agents

  94. The job would be great if it wasn’t for all the fucking Real Estate Agents! There’s nothing worse in this world than having to be nice to people who don’t deserve it. And trust me when I say this…none of you deserve it! Bunch of demanding, whiny, lil bitches. There is no justification for what you do. You’re all whores and thieves. Kill yourself, kill yourself, kill yourself. Or maybe the bad market may do work for you and help push you over the edge:)I’d like that.

  95. That’s the way to pick yourself up and shake it off there Philip, sounds like you really got over your earlier rant. We should hang out.

  96. Actually, we speak a different language – it is not always the best time to buy or sell. This market is way down from where it was 20 months ago – So if you are a seller, can wait a few years, you need to do so, or you will take one hell of beating with regard to your equity.

    If you are a renter – you might be best to stay a renter depending on your circumstance.

    If you are a buyer and do not have to purchase now – the market is still in a decline so wait. – Who would of thought. This is how we have built our business – One Client at a Time!

    Thanks – Connor MacIVOR (clever name – but no good with tools)

  97. Hey Phil – your words are hurtful and you’ve ruined my self image and self worth. I suggest you go to the Dr – and in Johnny Drama like fashion, get yourself a medical maryjane card – then go and find some of Cali’s finest – and take a few to your dome. You need to chill the F*CK out and keep in mind that you are making a giant generalization. I don’t mind ya havin at Realtors in general — hell we laugh at our colleagues everyday in my office — but ez there big dawg.

    Pretty soon you are going to say we should have our own schools!


  98. Coach A,
    Very funny scenes from two very funny shows. However, I don’t think we should lose sight of one thing. That although there are exceptions to every rule, it’s not the exceptions that make the rule. Your industry is full of assholes. So many in fact it’s difficult to distinguish good from bad. They give any decent agents who exist out there a VERY bad name. Tell you what, you guys do a little housecleaning and work on improving your industry, and I’ll improve my attitude towards realtors.

  99. The reason people hate your guts is because all you parasites do is continually figure out new ways to cheat people … and you call this work.

    You don’t know what work is … yet you look down on the people who do it.

    It takes real work to make nice things. The work that goes into making a house is hard, dirty and sometimes dangerous. The only dangerous thing you assholes can do is drive while you talk on a cellphone.

    You strut like peacocks, and brag about how much you know about real estate. The truth is that you could not build a house fit for a dog with your own hands if your life depended on it.

  100. My dislike of Realtors was handily solidified in my early twenties. I started up my web business in my mom’s basement fresh out of college; within a year I had $20k banked and set out to move into a very basic studio in Boston.

    I was 22 at the time, with no means of verifying my employment. I also have a young face and, well, was VERY scruffy during those years. I was a web guy. What can I say?

    Anyway, needless to say I couldn’t get any realtors to take me seriously. I understand risk management and all, but they were pretty much all assholes about me wasting their time. I just gave up dealing with professionally managed listings – which left me with extremely little choice in Boston.

    I’m 30 now, and thankfully have only rented from owners since. I truly dread the day I’m ready to buy a home and have to affiliate with realtors again.

  101. Fuck you, you miserable, stupid, screwed up, uptight, joyless, mongoloid, Real Estate twits!!


    really? really? wow!

    [Editor’s Note: Not quite following you. No really, we’re not…following you that is. Really.]

  102. As you people, some friends and I worked as admins in a couple of different industries. For me working realty was the worst. Friends that didn’t work for attorneys agreed, but I think there is an aggressive, pushy personality type that is attracted to both fields. The devil doesn’t wear prada, she drives a Lexus and wears a headset.

  103. i love the fact that those of us who question realtors and their claims that the market has turned around are classified as ‘pessimistic buyers’. how about ‘realistic’ or ‘smart’?

    some of us have stellar credit and ample down payments, but are smart enough to realize that the longer we wait, the less we will be paying as prices are going down for a long time in overpriced SF still…(but the realtors will make less for all their ‘hard work’, so they will call us pessimistic.)

    dont worry, there are a lot of idiots out there who will buy in (just like they have for the last 2 years)…… BWAHAHAHAHAAA!!!!

    [Editor’s note: Jacob is referring to the most recent issue of sfnewsletter.com. Sorry Jacob, but there is a difference between people like you that are “smart” and those that are pessimistic.]

  104. a special award for the @#%^%$& idiot who tonite stopped her car in the middle of an intersection to get her “for sale” sign – while she could have driven about 7 more feet and get her obnoxious RE agent car aside from the traffic before opening her door and throwing her body at the coming cars. (but then, she might have broken her ankle perched on her mile-high heels).

    My husband was commenting that she’s probably an agent because she doesn’t have enough brain to get another job.

    Whoever needs an agent. PLEASE INTERVIEW AND SPY as much as you can. Choosing your agent can well mean your financial security or death, according to his/her IQ and experience.
    Criteria are diverse, but I can’t imaging trusting someone who claims to be an expert in ALL the market, an agent who will not argue about price (your asking or your budget) or an agent who drives like a mad mad (or woman) -> reckless driving equals to me reckless management of money and of life in general. etc.

  105. i stopped reading the comments about a 1/3 of the way down…. sorry if similar comments are in the bottom 2/3’s… but here goes

    i WISH our commissions were lower so that i could compete with FAR FEWER realtors. every friend of mine knows 2+ other realtors. we spend 90% of our time on marketing and networking – look at how much time Alex spends on his blog. most of us would rather sell 10 properties a month for 1/10th the commission vs 1 per month for what we earn now. and if we did, there would be 1/10 as many realtors and i’d have fun just listing and selling homes – not asking one friend to hire me over another friend. friends would call me first, and i’d go to work, and that would be that

    additionally, this is ENTIRELY in Sellers’ control. all they have to do is hire the cheapest realtor. but generally redfin, zip and other discounters attract newbie/rookie/inexperience agents who can’t earn a full commission on their own, and it’s scary as hell selling your most expensive asset with someone like that. once those folks cut their teeth, earn their stripes, they strike out on their own and get replaced by another rookie

    but sellers had their chance in ’04 and ’05. a monkey could sell a house then, but they were making so much friggin money they didn’t bother to negotiate. now they are rightfully leery of hiring anyone but the best, and we charge 5% because we only get one or two cracks at this a month

    as for flashy cars….. don’t hire the agent with the flashy friggin car. i’m like Alex… i hate my car, but my clients tell me they appreciate that i drive a crappy car, so i keep it. ones of these days it will break down for the last time and i’ll get a new one, and it will likely be a prius or something that makes sense. i don’t get cars, they are a depreciating asset that is a tool to get you from one place to the other. i don’t live in it, and i don’t need to impress douche bags who are impressed by that sort of thing – then again, most of you do hire that realtor don’t you?

    finally – you know why europeans think american’s are loud? because you can only hear the loud ones. i’ve stood next to you in line, had dinner at the next table over, was introduced to you at a party, and you never knew i was a realtor because i wasn’t loud and obnoxious about it

    too bad too because i am a douche bag :)

  106. good god, i should have read the last 1/3 of the comments, not the first 1/3.

    the good news is we realtors see the likes of Phil a mile away, and we run. chances are girls he wants to date run from him, or he’s divorced after beating his wife and kids.

    you’d think with all the hate and haters it would be easy to make a killing in real estate just being a thoughtful, honest, hard working person…. which i am (just ask me). and i’ve had many a job, working 60+ yours a week in other industries before becoming an agent a number of years ago. this job is both harder and easier at the same time. long story that most of you won’t give a crap about. but being an agent ain’t peaches and cream

    the fact is, you hire the douche bag realtors and you keep them in business. not us

    by the way phil – if you are dealing with tech UNsavvy agents, then i have to assume you work for one of those schlocky template web site companies who con unsuspecting agents into thinking paying $100 a month for swill is a good business decision, but an even better one is paying $2,000 or $5,000 or $10,000 for a custom piece of crap from you. your sales people over promise ease, and instant web success – they start discovering the truth after they meet you and their credit cards are already hit. So blame your own company for what you are experiencing

    Alex with his own blog ought to teach the realtors you hate how to really earn web business so that you’re out of a job, and your crappy web building company that does NOTHING for the realtors you hate goes out of business.

    oh the joy of spreading spite and hate on blogs anonymously… i really love it

  107. So we don’t deserve what we make???
    First off, get educated before you let your mouth flap in the wind. We deserve every God Damn penny, and I’m going to tell you why!

    First off, thousands of dollar in fuel to drive clients. Desk fees, insurance, dry cleaning, vehicle repairs, DRE fees, office supplies, postal fees, and more. Oh, I forgot to mention the fact that I also volunteer plenty of my time to social functions, and to the city in which I live, work, and pay high taxes. So I don’t deserve a mere 3% commission? You are the asshole, not I!!!

  108. OMG. I can tell you exactly why they are such pricks. Give me ten minutes. I am an escrow officer. I wish I could give you my cell number but don’t think it’s a good idea. Happy 4th but mines been ruined by those pricks. Have a great day.

  109. I don’t know you but I love your comment! I’m an escrow officer and I know I need to have them in my life to stay in business but they are THE most arrogant, stupid assholes in the world. They are making my life miserable. Can they do anything themselves-NO. I have to do freaking everything!!

  110. Do you actually deal with your clients? Because most of my agents want me do everything, ie home warranty, zone disclosures, and even ask if we can order appraisals? (and we know that’s not up to escrow). They don’t seem to do anything except get the contract in and then that’s it. If not, I want to work with you!!

  111. Good post I am not a realtor, real estate agent and/or broker. But I am fed up with the whole industry. They have become a mandatory go between that has cut me off from the client I am selling or buying from. I have real estate attorney that does a fabulous job for $1500 dollars a sell flat fee and if he messes up I have another attorney that will sue him right out of his multi-million dollar home. Simple!

    Now here is the list of properties I have bought and purchased over my lifetime.

    20 single family homes
    1 160 acre parcel of farmland
    4 personal single family homes

    I still cannot figure out what you guys do? Buying property is a crap shoot regardless of how you do, disclosure is a joke. I can take every property I buy to arbitration and get $10-25K settlement because you did not do your job or the seller or buyer lied or was to stupid to realize the problem.

    So please stop with all the precanned marketing speal, in reputation realtors, agents, brokers are at the bottom rung below attorney’s, & life insurance agents…etc. As for the cars you buy and drive, who cares, you can write off the miles and depreciate the vehicle and then dump it for cash, that IMHO is good business. Drive a Lam Murcielago for all I care but don’t scam me.

  112. I have been a commission salesman all my life and when I look at the lousy commissions realestate agents get …truly … I would not get out of bed …. I would want a hell of lot more.

    Maybe these people work very hard for their money .. with education, licencing, requalifying, office costs, etc. and those cars are usually leased not owned. creative sales is a lot harder than people who haven’t done it think .. you have to chase every dollar.

    On the other side of the coin .. agents should not let themselves get desperate so that they start treating clients like second class people (especially renters) these people are your bread and butter .. sales are jam .

    If you don’t have the skills or you don’t have the disapline or tenacity to do it right .. get out of the business … your shady practices (incorrect or misleading advertising, tricky deals, shiv bidding, etc.) are damaging the reputation of hard working people.

    And renters should remember that the agents obligation is to protect the interests of the landlord .. the landlord is paying him not you.

  113. i don’t care if a real estate broker brags since they’re the ones with leverage… but real estate agents don’t have the bragging rights to do so.

  114. Hey,
    Not all real estate agents drive huge luxury sedan. I drive a Mini and I find that customers appreciate being able to park quickly and easily. Time is money.

  115. Wow. $800,000.00 sale for $20,000.00 Commission … That’s 2.5% …. I have been a salesman for 40 years and I would never consider working for less than 27.5% … All the people who think Realestate Agents get paid a lot should try paying the agents costs for 12 months …. I should add the I am NOT a realestate agent and at the tiny commissions they get I never will be..

  116. ALL REALTORS ARE ARROGANT ASSHOLES, even more so when dealing with tenants, showing little to respect, treating people like second class citizens. Why do RE agents think they have a golden bunghole? I hold the opinion if you want a really easy job that requires no skills or brains, become a real estate agent! Good money for being stupid and clearly their mothers taught them NO manners as a child. Like wipe your feet before you come in … turn the light off … all tenants are not bad, in fact, good tenants are generally pretty smart by living in a 1/4 million dollar condo for peanuts! I hope the real estate market folds in its entirety and all RE agents have to go to work at Burger King, though that would be a difficult job for them to handle because it would require thinking!

  117. All realtors are not arrogant, but there seems to be an unusual number of them among the top producers. We tried to screen realtors to sell our house, using a short survey with some simple questions from an online article. Only four of 8 realtors bothered to respond and one of them turned out to be extremely overbearing/ controlling when we met them. Another one said she didn’t have time for the survey, gave us some information about herself, told us she “only works with motivated sellers” and basically gave the impression “I’m a busy person/ take it or leave it.” You can guess how fast we crossed her off the list. The problem seems to be that some realtors forget who the client is. If we’re going to pay several thousand dollars for a service and someone can’t take half an hour to give us a few stats about themselves and the houses they’ve sold – well, that’s arrogant.

  118. Seller,
    There are plenty of agents who want your business and who can and will do a great job for you. The best advice is to get referrals from your friends who have bought or sold recently. In my opinion, the number of homes sold and years in the business is not as important as an agent’s attitude, professionalism, and work ethic. As many in this thread have pointed out, some quite unkindly, real estate sales is not rocket science. It does, however, take hard work, long hours, and dogged determination. Indeed, many newer agents have drive that seasoned agents lost years ago.
    Good luck.

  119. Tenant, there was not a single grain of truth in your entire tirade. Regarding your first, all caps statement: we are not.
    I’ve never seen my bunghole but I’m quite sure it’s not golden.
    We are not brainless and unskilled and if you think the job is easy I invite you to try it.
    Our mothers did teach us manners, at least mine did.
    If I ever do end up working at Burger King I’ll be your boss so you better be nice to me.

  120. At least 85% of “realtors” I had honor to deal with as a buyer and a seller were typical arrogant and teasing (!) assholes. I had experiences anywhere between a realtor showing me a middle finger in his office attached to his mouth (no joke) to teasing me repeatedly ignoring my requests, sending me info that I did not request or completely did not match my needs, to ones that threatened to sue me for canceling the contract because they were acting fraudulent and to the ones that were just plain arrogant and the ones that used language such as “yes, but its not available for the average looker”. And to the ones that played mind and little games by avoiding to show me the property yet teasing me to buy it. And the ones who would not disclose dangerous pollutants on or near the properties. All kinds of evil and weird “realtors” are outthere and I am always GLAD and LOVE to sell and buy FSBO!

  121. The original letter to the editor was obviously SATIRE. I’m surprised the operator of this blog hasn’t picked up on that, then again, he is a realtor. (more satire I promise)

    Let’s examine the phrases “Justin T.” is using:

    “But maybe you can help me answer this question, why are Realtors so arrogant and such assholes?”

    Justin T. makes a kind request, “maybe you can help” followed by an offensive question. This is classic structure for a humorous sentence.

    “driving around in the bling, bling cars all the time.”

    The expression “bling bling cars” made me laugh out loud. My father is a realtor and never once have I seen a “bling bling car.”

    “Constantly talking on the phone about loans, property features and what they’re worth, clients’ needs, etc.”

    This detailed list of a realtor’s “script” makes me feel that Justin T. may actually be a realtor himself.

    “Always interupting a good conversation when the phone beeps, vibrates, or rings with “I gotta take this call…””

    If Justin T. hates realtors so much, why would he be having a “good conversation” with them?

    “Why do they think they are so cool?”

    This objection is humerous because the author is using language associated with teenagers, “cool” as the finishing question of a long line of “serious” objections.

    “Anyway, just thought you could shed some light on the matter for me.


    This candidly nice and polite sign off is the cherry on the SATIRE sunday.

    When a human is being personally attacked, or feels they are being personally attacked, the satire is lost. I can understand why the editor never picked up on this.

  122. EdOl.
    if you read a bit more about and from Alex, you’d notice that of anything, Alex takes satire and jokes and humors very well. How many Realtors you know would end their comments back with http://thefrontsteps.com/2008/01/15/san-francisco-its-time-to-harden-the-f-up/ ?

    His own decision to post was deliberate and a way to fish for comments on the subject. It’s easier and more respectful to his own title to throw to the crowd a ridiculous letter (to which he replied professionally) than to actually write his own words about the same subject and with the same content.
    Ever heard of PC-passive aggressive?

    BTW – I sent another letter to Alex about one specific Realtor in our neighborhood that was way less PC … I used the B word for the female thing with a Realtor logo on her card.
    They do exist in San Francisco unfortunately. … not mentioning the other (female) thing that left the country for a more beachy sunny vacation with our money-fee BEFORE the transaction closed properly, leaving OUR agent clean up HER mess.

  123. Just read the blog and all the comments. I bought a house in the East Bay late last year, after 4 months of solid looking. My realtor is one that I have worked with before, buying, and then selling the same house. She had originally been recommended to me by a coworker, and she has earned every penny of her commission. She is an experienced realtor in the area of the East Bay in which I bought, knows lots of top quality inspectors, mortgage brokers, and other service personnel (roofers, chimney inspectors, electricians, plumbers), and I have never been dissatisfied with of her recommendations. Buying right now is a very tough thing, from the standpoint that most of the homes out there are overpriced junk (still). My realtor also is not afraid to point out the flaws of a home we are viewing, differences in the asking price and comps in the neighborhood, etc. She also went out on the weekly broker tours and gave me her recommendations of which homes to see.
    While I was looking, I will say that I met some really crappy realtors, both male and female, who I would never want to work with. One guy showed up late to open up for the Open House, and was crabby beyond belief! Absolutely no sense of customer service at all. I had considered putting an offer in on the house but having to work w/ him as the seller’s agent was a big deterrent.
    Buying/selling real estate is a people business, and unfortunately too many people working in real estate do not have the personality for it.

  124. What pisses me off are the retired teachers and public employees who decide to go into real estate to make a “little extra money”, and to have something to do instead of watching Oprah and eating Cheeezits all day while laying around on the couch in their stained undies. The problem is they are all receiving FAT pensions that I, a working Realtor, and the rest of the poor souls in the dreaded private sector are paying for. We are paying for our competition to go into business against us! These “kiss in the mail” pensioners who don’t have to work are being subsidized by us to go into business to compete against us and take away, by diluting the business, our livelihoods.

  125. I don’t understand what a realtor does exactly.

    1. They can’t offer any legal advice when buying a house.

    2. They can’t provide any financial advice or products when buying a house.

    3. All information on houses is readily available on the Internet: Zillow + local websites. So there’s no information they are providing that I don’t already have myself.

    4. Their “organization” requires passing only 1 test which can be taken as many times as needed if failed. No additional education requirements. Seems a bit light to me.

    5. They don’t have any regulation beyond a “code of ethics,” I signed one of those when I became a boy scout at 12.

    Can someone give me a good reason to use a realtor? I’m serious here, looking for answers from the realtor crowd.

  126. Realtors are “middlemen” who make a living through “perception” of their value. They have every incentive to sell at the highest price they can get for a house. They work for themselves and the seller, not the buyer. No one in real estate in fact works for the buyer. Yet no one gets paid until the buyer buys. Realtors rarely preview homes these days and me, as the buyer, find my own houses online and all an agent does is make the appointment for us to get inside. All paperwork could be prepared by a Title Company person. All real estate contracts contain language protecting the Broker, Agent and seller. Very little protects the buyer. Realtors say they are professionals and provide so much invaluable information for a buyer or seller and then the contracts say they are not responsible for anything. The contracts are CYA. They try to charge flat 6% commission on a sale despite the value of the property and the process is the same for a cheap house versus an expensive house. They argue that it takes longer and more advertising to sell an expensive house, but not thousands of dollars more. Paperwork is identical. It is a cartel of sorts, protecting commissions. This is why many Realtors target high end homes so they make a killing on fewer transactions. Realtors are like fishermen, just casting out a huge net (MLS) and many listings, hoping to catch a few fish. I have never found that a Realtor improved my buying or selling experiences and they did nothing me and a Title COMPANY could not have done alone.

  127. This may not be the best place to ask this, but, I’m searching for a attorney in Fresno and I don’t know where to look do you have any info on this a attorney in Fresno? Its address is in Fresno, only 15 minutes from my house I can’t find reviews on them — Fresno Attorneys, 1713 Tulare Street #215, Fresno, CA 93721 – (559) 460-0529

  128. FIRE THE BAD ONES. Listen, if you’re in the market to buy an expensive property, you’re likely smarter than most agents. Don’t let them stear the emotion against you. If you get some kid, ask for a more experienced agent. If you get some baby boomer in a cadillac, ask for someone with more incintive to actually help. If you get an asshole, go to another agency and make very public why you are doing so. If an agent has a spot on their sweater or a mole you don’t like, fire em. You are about to spend a lot of money. They should act like they want some of it. You kiss the banks ass and the house broker kisses yours.

    The rah rah has to stop. The market is going down, and brokers must stop lying about it. That might have fooled some people in 2008, but even my dog knows better now. While they’re at it, get those musty ass properties off the internet; and show us what we can actually buy. The market is going down. If I want to reflect that with my lowball offer, STFU. And hey, if someones in the market to spend 2M on a property, it wouldn’t hurt to bring them a cup of coffee. There is money to be made by house brokers who want to work. However, it’s apparent that big paydays have these people thinking they are equal to real professionals and thus too good for customer service. If they don’t want to work, it will not be long before something a little better than craigslist comes along and we just need a title company.

    I was truly enjoying a good portion of the posts. I really thought the editor cared. Then came that stupid 4M post. Then came the post informing us how we should buy a house and more rah rah rah. Really? This is the arrogance consumers are talking about. A person doesn’t know a one issue; so they must be stupid and in need of whatever info you can bestow from your last siminar, pertinent or not. You should keep the smarmy lessons to yourself. You should stop calling yourselves realtors. Housing prices do not yet reflect the produc. The lie you are pushing is no more real than the youngster pictured on your business card.

  129. Other Broker’s and Realtor’s are so bad because you have not chosen the right one. You need to interview good ones and you will know when you do.

  130. The real estate industry in general cultivates the worst out of people. Every single real estate agent I have ever met (and I have met alot of them), are pure immature, over reactive, narcissistic assholes. Even the women. It’s just an amazing phenomenon. I am trying to think of a industry that attracts so many assholes and it is tough. Even the police have many, many decent people. But real estate offices are completely saturated with complete jerks.

  131. Here’s another FUCKING letter you can print!

    Realtors are indeed assholes! I know because I am one! They cheat, they lie, they steal your clients, they are LAZY, and they do almost nothing for the money they make! Listing Realtors do between 4 and 8 hours or less work to sell a home! Buyer’s agents put in more time… sometimes!

    Realtors are unsuccessful at anything else they have ever tried! Realtors are realtors because they are unqualified to do anything else! Unable to do anything else! Real estate is not a profession, it’s a hobby.. a lazy mans’ hobby!

    Been doing it for 8 years and before that I was a servie provider for realtors…. ASSHOLES EVERY ONE!

    KMA and PTL!

  132. Besides realtors being a-holes, a better description is vulters,praying on people’s misfortunes,to make a profit.The one’s I’ve dealt with lately,I do believe are working for the seller when your buying thru them. They will try and sell you crap,and even go to the extint of saying they will buy it if you don’t and pay cash,just another presure tactic. I hate each and everyone of them,problem is I need there so called help. I’m not a realtor thak God

  133. Every realtor I’ve dealt with has been an asshole – basically a used-car salesman/woman except with added smug. They’re basically parasites on society, making money off the rest of us who actually have the money to spend. Of course, there are exceptions; it’s just that you or I will never meet them.

    Realtors probably served more of a purpose in pre-internet times. Now you just find a house online and ask the worthless asshole to show it to you and listen to their ridiculous bullshit while deciding for yourself. I actually had a realtor tell me that I didn’t want a house that I wanted and that I “needed to listen to her.” I fired her ass. YOU AREN’T SPENDING THE MONEY, YOU ARE JUST THERE TO SUCK OFF OF MY HARD-EARNED MONEY AND THE MONEY OF THE SELLER. So, bite me.

  134. Most of you are disgruntled whiners who really don’t have a clue about what realtors do. Why don’t you just ask your young “entitled” friends for a few of their bay area stock options and oh, by the way ask how hard and what experience they have to deserve them?

  135. Hey JV, piss off. Most Realtors are liars and over-estimate their value. I know exactly what Realtors do and don’t do. I was one. I then got into consultation trying to turn around the negative image of the industry since the 1970’s, per Gallup polling. All I got was resistance to change. I was expecting too much to insist on Realtors actually telling the truth in MLS and their various website listings. They insist on inflating descriptions, exaggeration, misleading statements, etc. A house has 2-bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms, yet they insist on listing it as 3 bedroom and 2 bathrooms, just a rounding error, right?? The third bedroom is a dark bonus room with no windows and a utility closet with a furnace and water heater inside, but they call it a bedroom because someone could put a bed in it and it does have a closet, although no clothing would be put inside. LIES. 1.5 bathrooms is not 2.0 bathroom, but they intentionally muck up other Realtor searches with their inflated listings. I brought such examples to agents and their Brokers and they arrogantly defended the practice of lying in listings and refused to change. Realtors screw over each other and waste each other’s time every day. A tank of lying, back-stabbing sharks.

    Realtors are “middlemen” who make a living through “perception” of their value. They have every incentive to sell at the highest price they can get for a house. They work for themselves and the seller, not the buyer. No one in real estate in fact works for the buyer. Yet no one gets paid until the buyer buys. Realtors rarely preview homes these days and me, as the buyer, find my own houses online and all an agent does is make the appointment for us to get inside. All paperwork could be prepared by a Title Company person. All real estate contracts contain language protecting the Broker, Agent and seller. Very little protects the buyer. Realtors say they are professionals and provide so much invaluable information for a buyer or seller and then the contracts say they are not responsible for anything. The contracts are CYA. They try to charge flat 6% commission on a sale despite the value of the property and the process is the same for a cheap house versus an expensive house. They argue that it takes longer and more advertising to sell an expensive house, but not thousands of dollars more. Paperwork is identical. It is a cartel of sorts, protecting commissions. This is why many Realtors target high end homes so they make a killing on fewer transactions. Realtors are like fishermen, just casting out a huge net (MLS) and many listings, hoping to catch a few fish. I have never found that a Realtor improved my buying or selling experiences and they did nothing me and a Title COMPANY could not have done alone. They have earned our mistrust and continue to reinforce the negativity each day.

  136. The Realtor I’m trying to buy from won’t place my offer says they rejected others in the same range. I guess it doesn’t matter if the house still isn’t selling. Realtor people are pieces of you know what, I don’t even want to buy a house anymore.

    1. You need a Realtor representing you to handle this other jerk. If you’re in the SF Bay Area we’d be happy to help. If not, we’ll refer you to someone good in your area. Just contact us.

  137. My realtor gets mad if I ask too many questions. If I start to ask questions because I don’t understand the numbers he yells at me and makes me feel like an idiot. This is the same guy who let me make an offer on a house for $302K that later appraised for $270K because he was too lazy to pull comps and do the research. When I told him I was disappointed in this, he said “We tend to let our clients who love the home pay what they are willing to pay for the house”. He used to not be like this last time we used him 7 years ago but I think he doesn’t enjoy his job anymore.

  138. There are generally three basic types of mentally ill people who end up working in competitive sales jobs. Psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists. Sure, there are lots of empathetic people who have real estate jobs too (somewhere?), but they don’t have the same lack of empathy that makes lying and kniving so easy and gives that extra edge.

    Although all three of these mental illnesses can usually be atleast vaguely physically detected by a neurologist by the dead area in the frontal lobe of the brain where things like empathy happen, there are simple differences between these three mental illnesses that can only be determined by knowledge and observation.

    A psychopath enjoys hurting other people and likes to see them suffer, which makes them very competetive and open to taking risks. They can be dangerous becasue they will let nothing get in their way. They don’t care at all what others think of them, only their own success. They have a big ego and are very independent and often seem illogical in their decisions–but it may just be that their motives are unconventional.

    A sociopath doesn’t necessarily enjoy causing others pain, but will do it if they have to as long as it benefits them in some way. They also do not care about what other’s think of them unless it affects them in a way that hinders their success. They will not hesitate to cause suffering if it is the only way to get what they want. They are generally less emotional and more logical than psychopaths and narcissists.

    Narcissists are the bottom feeders. Like psychopaths and sociopaths, narcissists don’t have empathy or care for others, but they do a really nasty buttox licking job of pretending they do. This is becasue their ego relies so much on what others think of them that they do everything they can to impress other people and get them to like them just so they can weasle behind their back and suck out every last drop of life from the person all while attempting to never let that person know it happened at all. If successful, they can go on to gloat and then screw the person over and over again for as much as they can get. They are the weakest of the three becasue their self-worth relies on facade they uphold to trick others into thinking they are nice when really they’re all snake. Plastic, phony, fake.

    I understand that not all real estate agents are incapable of empathy. But like politics, real estate and other forms of competitive sales are occupations that these creeps tend to flock to. People who can lie constantly without any ethical reprecussions can more easiy succeed in competive sales than those who actually care about other people..

    1. Makes absolute sense ,thank you for this information
      I have met of the 3 in the industry

  139. well, I would like to say that I am stung and stymied by the lecture I received from my millennial broker when my listing agreement was about to expire and I magnanimously offered to extend it; I hope to never have to resort to using another real estate broker; you would think that someone whose vocation requires access to the commodities that we have (our houses) would acknowledge our concerns, listen to our pointed observations, and make meaningful statements rather than project blame onto US regarding why the house didn’t receive acceptable offers….accusing us of failing in some way, not a good idea, given we really brought it getting the house ready for each showing appointment on time without hesitation (all 5 appointments in 90 days)….don’t get it, don’t want to….

  140. There are many valid posts. But I do have to share that realtors are not making money hand over fist. Many have the perception that Realtors walk away with the entire commission, when in most home sales the Commission is split in half, then the selling/ buying realtors receive a fraction of that half a percent. Say for example, The home is listed at 6% of the final sale price. Then, each company receives half of the commission, removes fees and commission split. Now, that realtor walks away with A fraction of half a percent. One other note, those realtors driving around in blinged out cars are most likely deep in debt. But, the persona is if you don’t drive around in a fancy car you do not appear successful.

  141. This post never grows old. 10 years later, and not surprisingly, my fav Realtors are still around. (love you Alex! and K and R and L etc)

    Another encounter this week with pricks. We own the house Mr AND Mrs. Yet, we got several calls directly to Mr cell phone, or to the home phone requesting Mr. asking to list our house for us to sell.
    Oh .. and all the callers where male agents.

    Not one agent either asked to speak to the female owner, or at least ask to speak to BOTH of us. SERIOUSLY?

    For the few calls I was lucky to intercept, I was floored by the density of stupidity said in a few seconds. “it’s a buyer’s market” “it doesn’t sell high” “you don’t understand” “you don’t know anything” etc… all that in 30 seconds flat.
    Oh well … you call me from a non 415 number, or worse, from an hidden number, so sorry if I’m assuming, at your first word, that you are arrogant and such an a$$h##.

  142. Well, I live in an affluent city and there is a major movement to sell and buy without realtors. So far there have been a myriad of fluid transactions, including our house, which we just sold for $1,495,000. What a dream. We are putting these dip-shits out of business!

  143. Ouch, ouch ouch!!!!
    I am a Realtor. I believe I am ethical to a fault. I will assist my buyers from day one with every piece of information needed. I have cut my commission so many times I cannot even remember. During the “depression” as I call it I cut commission for sellers and did just about everything I could to assist as no seller was untouched from crashing prices. I live in an area where I could be listing/selling a million dollar home or a mobile home. I put the same efforts in to selling both. I am new to sales from a corporate position. I cannot even tell you how hard it was to survive 2007-2011……..even today I may spend a year with a buyer when they are visiting and when you take away company fees, commission splits, marketing , gas, lunches etc etc it can be very little that one makes in most areas of the country.
    I am so taken back by these comments and saddened that we have been lumped together in this way. Boo.

  144. Realtors and agents work FOR THEMSELVES, not for the sellers or the buyers. They are so good at making shit smell like roses (“You’re so fortunate you got your price and only have to put out $10,000 in concessions”) and conversely making roses look like shit (“your new tile floors are OK, but look at these comps, what beautiful floors they have and they put in new counter tops, they show so nicely.”). And thinking they’re god’s gift.
    “Why haven’t I gotten a thank you for all I done for you so far?”) Maybe at the closing? But after what you’ve put us through, I doubt it. Stop being so condescending and arrogant.

  145. Real Estate agents generally over state what you should list the property for (so that they can list & try to get sole agency), then after a few weeks they will tell you that the property is over priced and that you you need to reduce the price,
    During this time they want the property to be presented in pristine condition however they do nothing to help ,and then they except highly inflated commissions for showing a few clients through the property ( at least car salesmen have to buy and maintain the cars they are trying to sell , R/E agents are busy having coffees or whatever, and signing up new suckers to fund there highly over paid lifestyle ( why do they drive merc’s , Bm’s and such , to reduce the the tax they have to pay on the over priced commissions that they receive for the fuck all work that they actually do ) then when they get an actual offer they pressure you to accept the first offer so they can get there commission as quickly as possibly without least amount of effort.
    REAL ESTATE AGENTS do not have your best interest in mind , they just want to feed off what ever they can get from your hard work and investments to feed there EGO’s.

  146. …Because they are nothing but uneducated Car Salesmen & they want your money$$! Listing agents should, by all means, especially if they pay to be on Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia….desire to show you their listings, NOT shun you away by stating that you are wasting their time since you have another appointment with another listing agent at another home earlier in the day. I am the one driving all over the FUCK looking at houses not them! REALTORS ARE PARASITIC, BOTTOM-FEEDING, BROWN-NOSERS!!!

    1. At one time a true profession, then with the high influx of part-timers, hobbyists or realtors just in it for the social aspect of the business it became more of let the MLS do the work. Now with the advent of Trulia and Zillow, me the buyer does all the leg work and then I have to call the Agent and get a viewing. We don’t really need Realtors but 90% people refuse to educate themselves on how to purchase a home. I use an attorney for large property transactions and he will do a single family home for $800 dollars. Of course I am stuck with an Agent that wants to get the full 6% commission for doing nothing as the selling agent. So I have to do some negotiating usually down to 1.5 to 2% just to get them off my back. I really do think that as more and more internet based applications make real estate purchasing easier the realtor will be relegated away to obscurity and replaced entirely. I purchase and sell a lot of real estate and frankly they are more of a hindrance than a help.

  147. My husband and I have been trying to find the right house for over a year now and I’ve dealt with more than my fair share of bad realtors, not signing with any because of the attitude they carry. The thing I find the most contemptible about them is the fact that they can’t seem to ‘wait’ or have no patience with us. I’ve had four realtors give me an estimate on our current home and then acted as if I was slighting them because I didn’t sign on the bottom line right then and there. Most took phone calls while looking through my house and most, at times, seemed to be looking their nose down at my house. I have a lovely 3bd home in a wonderful neighborhood, so why that happened still confuses me to this day. When I keep telling ‘new’ realtors exactly what the goal is it’s amazing how they won’t give me the time of day if I don’t immediately jump through the hoops they display before me, which I won’t. And then if I dare to cancel a showing or change my mind, they will ignore me as if I was never born. I’ve tried telling them, repeatedly, that this will be my husband’s and my retirement home, so it’s important we get just the right one. Currently, I want to be shown a house about 2 hours away and have emails into three different realtors. You’d think one would contact me, but no.

    I know there’s a site where realtors can go and rate the homes that they’ve seen with a client, but I’m wondering why someone doesn’t come up with a website where we clients can go and rate realtors. I could have saved myself a lot of heartache had there been one.

  148. I understand it’s a Realtor’s “bread and butter”, but why to neighbors who are realtors seem to think that “I want/need/must be in NEED of buying/selling my home and moving? I JUST DON’T GET THAT. WHEN I NEED A FRICKING REALTOR, I KNOW WHERE TO FIND THEM! QUIT BUGGING ME ABOUT “DO YOU WANT TO SELL AND BUY ANOTHER HOME”? ********NO*********, I DON’T.

    And I agree with the initial poster’s “problem with realtor’s attitude”. You folks shlep real estate. Real estate that YOU DON’T OWN BUT THINK YOU’RE SOMEHOW ENTITLED TO SHOVE EVERY FRICKING GODDAMN PIECE OF LITERATURE AND WHAT THINGS ARE SELLING @ IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD.


    1. Spot on…Spot on…..but it’s the nature of our beast. I wish it would stop to. It’s why I started this blog, so I don’t have to door knock. Actually I started it to show some transparency in the industry. I still have to, actually I guess I don’t have to, send some mailers from time to time in areas where I have done a lot of business. But it’s comments like this that really make me think of how/what I can send that would be different and not entirely annoying. Thanks for your comment!

  149. Real estate agents are not like other professions where you are going to have some bad apples. Due to the fact that it is a way to make a decent living without having much in the way of formal education, it attracts a lot of low end people with low rent ethics. It’s not our imagination that that there are a lot of scumbags in real estate and in similar businesses (car sales, mortgage brokers, insurance salespeople). I’m an attorney and I have dealt with my share of real estate professionals over the past thirty years. About thirty percent a really good. The next tier is about forty percent who are competent but nothing special. The balance are jerks. They are backstabbing, dishonest and disloyal opportunists who don’t care who they inconvenience or piss off, so long as they get their check.

  150. People think lawyers are bad. Realtors are absolutely the lowest creature on earth, dishonest, with low IQs. Both of my realtors put me through he__ when I sold my old house and bought my new one. A five-year-old could do much better. Never will I use a realtor again. Ever.

    1. Part of the reason for that is that a real estate license is the easiest state designation to obtain, except notary public.

  151. Yes I have met sooooo many assholes and Backstabbers in this industrial and liars,coworkers that are assholes ,bosses that are assholes, I am a realtor myself ,I sometimes just wish I am just Fired so I don’t have to do this anymore ,I don’t think the money is worth it dealing with all these People in the industry
    I would never in a zillion years would treat the People like some of these People have treated me
    I really don’t get it
    But I set my mind to it
    Next year if God wants I’ll be selling my own clothing line instead of being in this industry
    It is so bad ,some of the People are just discusting in their ways
    If I would get fired right now in this instant I would never go back to it
    But I have made marketing contracts that I need to keep paying until they are finished
    It is a shame
    I didn’t know how really low People will get in this industry
    The LORD told me to give it 5 months more
    So 2022 Here I come and will not go back
    Also I have met really nasty clients too ,usually the ones who can barely make the payment are the ones nasty , all I am doing is helping ,putting my sweet and tears into this ,at least some respect ,but I have decided to not follow up on those clients it is just too much
    I am glad I can get this off my chest in this website
    I am glad in Heaven we won’t be having this anymore or People like that
    There are People who really love death and being evil
    It is just who they are
    And I have been opening my eyes more and more during my growth in this life

  152. I’m not close to realtors/real estate agents, but this is the highest-end sales job of all, especially in a ridiculously overpriced place like the Bay Area. It attracts sleazy, rude, unethical assholes with personality disorders. Trump is like an ultimate realtor.

    Good, honest, detail-oriented people tend to be risk averse, have a knee-jerk kind of morality, and are more comfortable with low-end, low-paying analytical jobs in government, etc.

    Lots of high-end entrepreneurs, founders, and celebs are big-thinking and overly bold, and that tends to go with dishonesty and lack of ethics. Real estate is like a high-end entrepreneur, CEO, and salesperson rolled into one.

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