In a recent post, I raised four issues concerning the behavior of realtors; a) the level of commissons, b) incentives, c) disclosure, and d) ethics. Becky, a realtor from Florida, has offered a defence. Take it away, Becky.......
"Ok...I will answer your questions!
Question #1-All commissions are negotiable (some people are not aware of this), and if the seller is willing to pay 6%, then that's what it is. If they negotiate it down and the realtor is willing to list for a lower commission (which all agents will not do) then you can get your home listed at a lower commission. Commissions vary from area to area. Some agents are greedy and will not list a home for less than 6%, and some agents are not so greedy (like myself) and will list at a lower commission. But you have to remember the lower you go, the fewer the agents that will show that property. If they find out they are only going to get say 1.5% on a home versus if they sell the one down the street and get 3% for that one, they will sell the one down the street and bypass the one for 1.5% all together. It's illegal to do, but agents do it.
Question #2-If a buyer is working with a true buyers agent, then the buyers agent MUST have the best interest of the buyer at hand. They must negotiate on the buyers behalf for the best price. The incentive structure is not set up to work against a buyer because the agent that sells the property is paid by the seller. The commission has already been set at the time the home was listed in the MLS on what the buyers agent will get when they sell the property. The listing agent determines that for us!
Question #3-I do not ever tell anyone that prices will go up or down. I try to stay as neutral as possible. I don't have a glass ball to predict the future, and I sure as hell am not going to tell someone one thing when I have no idea what the future holds. It will only piss someone off by telling them one thing and something else happens. And as far as loans go....I don't handle mortgages, I leave that up to a Mortgage Broker. I don't give any input on what loan is better than the next loan, because I am not a Mortgage Broker.
Question #4-No, I have not done anything unethical (I have a conscience and like to sleep at night)! And No I don't take property's off the market and re-list them as new ones. I have had sellers request this to be done though. But it serves no purpose to do it because it would only show up as a new listing for 24 hours, then it winds up back in the same black hole with all the other thousands of listings after that 24 hours is up! In the "old days" they kept a MLS book, and that that would work back then.....times have changed and everything is computerized. So one listing does not end up on top of another anymore if an agent pulls it out and puts it back in as a new listing. There are alot of sharks as agents out there that give the rest of us a bad name, but when buyers or sellers come across them, you really just need to run the other way and find another agent. We are not all bad people!"