Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Ouch!

Did I touch a raw nerve when I posted that "happy realtors" photo? I think I did. Judging by the feedback on my last post, there is a lot of hurt out there.

America has some issues with realtors. It would help if we discussed them openly. So we are going to do a little role play now. I am going to be Dr. Melfi and all you realtors out there will play Tony Soprano. I will ask some really difficult questions, and you are going to try to answer. Meanwhile, everyone else gets to watch at home.

Issue 1 - Commissions. Why are commissions 6 percent? In every other country in the world, commissions are much lower. Typically, they are around 3 percent? In Britain for example, commissions are less than 2 percent.

Issue 2 - Incentives. Do buyer's agents have the buyer's true interests at heart? Or are they coordinating with the sellers agents to hype prices? Do you think that the incentive structure is set up to work against buyers?

Issue 3 - Disclosure. We are going to go deeper now. Have you realtors ever misled buyers and sellers about the true returns on real estate investments? Have you realtors ever misled buyers and sellers about the true returns on real estate investments? Have you ever scared ordinary Americans by saying that house prices will keep on rising?

Issue 4 - Ethics Have you ever done anything that was ethically questionable? For example, have you ever taken a property that wasn't selling out of the MLS system, then relisted it and claimed that it was a property that had just come onto the market. Have you ever talked people into buying houses that they could not afford? Have you ever been involved with selling or encouraging people to take out inappropriate loans?

Remember, silence will condemn you. The rest of us are waiting for your answers.

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