Careful! Brokers Are Sleazy…..Apparently

Whoever comes up with this sh*t?! Are you people out there REALLY having experiences like this that lead you to create videos and rants bashing Realtors on such a scale? There are sleazeballs out there for sure, but this bad? Come on! You gotta be kidding!

Off for the weekend. Happy Labor Day!

10 thoughts on “Careful! Brokers Are Sleazy…..Apparently

  1. Really???? Who has time to do this? I’d also like to nominate the perturbed client in the video for a Razzie. The flared nostril thing as he was getting upset had me convinced to never use a Realtor…Jebus!

  2. Unfair for sure. The same comments could be applied to stockbrokers, pharmaceutical salesmen, mortgage brokers, investment bankers – but I rant. The tough part is that honesty, ethics and competence seem to be in short supply generally – and it’s hard to find someone who has the whole package. I’m hoping the silver lining to the current economic woes will be to knock some of the “Wall Street” out of folks generally.

  3. Apparently this is not too far off. I’m out of town again talking to Realtors that have had to deal with a lot of short sales and these type of sleazy agents are simply going around the homeowners straight to the bank! Cutting out the owners altogether. Next thing they know, their house is sold out from under them.

  4. Huh. The way this video jumps between a buyer’s worries and a seller’s worries can’t be particularly helpful to a novice. Also the part about keeping offers from a seller? Man, I know that it happens sometimes but the agents who pull those type of moves can’t be long for the business. And slipping inspectors money? Really?

  5. Oh, the feigned outrage is predictable from the realtor world! Qui moi? Never!

    Everything noted in the video is quite common. The problem with the video is it leaves out a whole bunch of stuff that brokers do which is against their clients’ interests: steering them toward a mortgage broker or title insurer with whom they have some sort of financial arrangement, steering them toward a contractor they know who gives a kickback, selectively sharing “comps” that do not fairly represent the market, pushing clients to make a deal with another client of the agency without disclosing that fact, watering down disclosures on the seller side or minimizing disclosed problems on the buyer side as “normal and not a concern.”

    With any of these, the realtor may even sort of believe, i.e. he has talked himself into it, that he is doing his client a “favor” by “getting the deal done.” Realtors, particularly on the buyer side, are desperate for clients now. Get it in writing in the contract that your realtor is either doing none of these things or must disclose it, with a 100% commission forfeiture as liquidated damages. Those feigning indignation above would readily agree to that because, of course, THEY would never engage in such tactics!

  6. thanks anon… true.

    but what about INTERVIEWING AND ASKING FOR REFERENCE AND making a reasonable effort?

    I can’t believe the number of transactions leaving friends sour… and when you ask them “why did you pick THIS agent?” answers go from “I had a card in my mailbox”, “he was presenting the first house we visited”, etc.

    IMO, NO TRANSACTION EVER should have the same agent representing both sides. If the situation happens to present it that way (your agent gets the listing of a property matching your needs) – then you should talk to your agent and ask him to renounce to you OR to the property – giving either one to another agent. The other agent can be the first agent’s partner, colleague, friend etc .. Agents who truly work solo are rare (and I’d even say those shouldn’t be picked in the first place).
    Then make your expectations clear – regarding who’s working on which side – making sure each side is well represented and protected.

    When you’re interviewing, DO YOUR HOMEWORK!
    When you ask an agent to estimate a value – DO YOUR HOMEWORK! … and keep it in your bag. Then drill the agent and ask HOW he came out with the valuation and what is the list of comps and WHY.
    It takes 10 mn to figure out if you are in line with your agent or not. If you are not – move on. There are 4000+ registered agents in this city. It’s not that anybody is forcing you at gunpoint to work with any single agent… you have the CHOICE and you have the RESPONSIBILITY to choose/interview/hire the best possible agent.

    The big stars of the city are not random top dollar advertisers… they are professional with experience, referrals, they are respected by other agents, they have a team working hard for them…
    There are about 100 names to pick from … interview AT LEAST THREE – from three different companies and ask for their client-agent contract copies.
    AT HOME, read your three contracts (Zephyr, McGuire, PacUnion, Pru, Hills etc), and ask questions before you sign anything.

    Yes anon – I agree with your list – but I maintain that nobody forces you to work with a bad agent – and in SF we have been given enough agents that you can find 3-5 out of the 100 stars that match your need (sfh, TIC, lofts, etc)
    Even Barbara sells properties in the 6 digits!

    ((nobody is paying me ;-) but I still say that if you read this blog, you should interview Alex no matter what, as one of the three, or as an extra. He’s not the perfect agent for everybody, but he’s among the top 100. Vice versa, even if you love Alex, make sure you interview at least one more agent))

  7. I loved the clandestine, dark-alley meeting to payoff the home inspector. Of course, these meetings never take place like this. No, to do it properly, one needs to setup a chain of meetings so the illicit money can never be traced to the broker. I like to give my inspectors a secret page of codes — e.g. “the yellow parakeet sings at day break” = “meet my assistant at the starbucks at 7AM”. Of course, I require my assistant to disguise herself (blond wig, short leather skirt, knee-high leather stiletto boots, etc) for the hand-off.

    Alas, we can spend hours/days passing a $20 to the inspector. But, that’s how we all are… aren’t we? :-)

  8. “Oh, the feigned outrage is predictable from the realtor world! Qui moi? Never”

    Where did you see that? Nowhere. “Outrage” ? Please. Your bias is much more pronounced than anybody else’s.

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