Realtors. Trained Professionals? Or Licensed Hacks?

When I was training to pass my licensing exam, our text referred to this article.  Looking for fodder for marketing copy, I searched the internet, and state websites for similar articles and came up with nothing.  Actually, it took a few hours to find this article.   

So I’m curious, do most real estate purchasers feel good about the service they received from their real estate agent?  Because written evidence of complaints is decidedly absent.  Even this report is light on the numbers.  I mean, they are saying what the most common complaints are without really saying anything about how prevalent they are.  It’s simply a fact that most real estate legislation starts with the licensing commission, which is made up of real estate agents and real estate attorneys mostly.  And the complaints are managed by the same office.  I spoke to the attorney at the licensing office that handles complaints, and he said most of what he saw was mostly the result of things being missed on the inspection, and that in most of those cases, the real estate agent helped with the selection of the inspector…so the customer suspected some sort of collusion.  I don’t make any money being a reporter, so I didn’t follow through on compiling the list and generating a well researched article.  It would have take probably about 20 hours to do that, which I just don’t have to spare. 

Around the office, I hear everyone’s horror stories about their worst deal.  If you could help me, that would be great.  On my team, we are constantly on the lookout for how to adjust our standard practices to try our best to make sure everything goes smooth, and the customer is left with the impression that they recieved insanely great customer service. But the reality is, we don’t really run into that many problems.  So we don’t have much material on which to base trouble shooting. 

So, if you could tell us about your experiences, that would help everyone try to avoid them.  We have about 100 visitors/day to this blog, and it would be very helpful if we could hear from you. 

Real Estate Council Compiles List of Consumer Complaints Against Agents
by Realty Times Staff

The Real Estate Council of British Columbia, the Canadian equivalent of a state real estate commission, has compiled a list of the most typical complaints consumers have against real estate professionals, with ignorance and misrepresentation topping the list. The list was published in the May/June issue of Outlook, the in-house publication of the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials, based in
Montgomery, Ala.,. The list was compiled from a focus group hosted by the B.C. Real Estate Council.
According to the Council, the major points of contention between consumers and real estate professionals include: ·  Ignorance or misrepresentation of property features. The Council warned that, “licensees should verify facts provided by the seller or the listing information, especially in regard to square footage or items remaining on the property.” ·  Unwillingness to release seller from listing contract. Said the Council, “Consumers wish for simpler dissolution of the listing contract when the licensee they hired provides inadequate service, such as insufficient advertising or lack of communications. ·  Poor drafting of contracts. “Contracts often contain ‘subject to inspection’ and similar clauses which leave consumers feeling vulnerable. Others create logistical problems by setting completion and possession dates on the same day.” Also listed among the grievances was: ·  Misinterpretation or failure to communicate material information, such as what fees are for in the transaction. ·  Mortgage fraud, including brokers falsifying documents. ·  Withholding deposits without having adequately pre-explained the terms of the deposit. ·  Negligent property management. ·  Difficult transaction closings. ·  Lack of research assistance to help chase down government records. The Council also said a major concern was “Self Interest.” Said the Council, “Consumers’ perception is that licensees’ advice and actions are influenced more by self-interest than out of concern for the client (e.g. pressuring a client to buy more expensive property simply to increase commission).” To subscribe to Outlook, contact ARELLO at: 334 260 2902. Published: July 6, 2000 


2 responses to “Realtors. Trained Professionals? Or Licensed Hacks?

  1. Hi
    How many real estate agents or real estate
    brokers are actually Investors?

    When an agent has a listing due to his repesenting the sellars property;Has their been
    a real estate agent that brings their buyers to look at the sellars property and in advance the
    agent representing the buyer and the agent representing the sellar have a plan to get an agreement between
    the sellar and the buyer? I have found to often the agents don’t really know the other agents or
    their real estate companies. They have not done their homework and Sales are lost
    to frequently. I have experienced some agents
    doing real estate like a side job to supplement
    to their retirement; its not really
    a dedictated real estate professional and they show up 30 to 40 minutes early no warning
    to the sellar or agent representing the sellar.

    Why do some agents only show a house but do not
    sell the features of the house ;example nice
    new windows or nice new floors and new bathrooms.
    the agent just shows the house.

    My moto if you only as an agent or Investor,
    or broker if you show and no tell about the features of the house its not going to sale.


    Chad & Angela
    Real estate investors/Golf coach
    937 879-3430

  2. I’m trying to understand the overall gist of what Chad and Angela are trying to say, so correct me if I’m wrong. Basically, are you asking, “Is it a problem that many licensed agents do not have proper training and/or experience.” and in my experience the answer is a resounding yes. The question is, what to do about it.

    When I get an offer on one of my listings, I always check the MLS to see how much business that agent is currently doing and how long they’ve been in the business. I find that quite frequently, I have to do some coaching with less experienced agents to make sure we get through the negotiation and ratification process. I’m sorry if this sounds a little arrogant, but I’m simply trying to take care of my seller clients…and myself. The implications for seller clients when deals fall through are very serious in most cases, more serious than for the buyer. So when we take their home off the market, it’s a very tense time. So yes, I think it’s a huge issue for the public that it’s so easy to get a license. And complicating matters further is the public perception that it really dooesn’t matter who is representing you, they’re all pretty much the same. I’m hoping to hear more dialogue on this.

    As for the issue of courtesy, yes that’s an issue too. The bigger issue for me is people just not showing up for schedule showings, when all they have to do is call centralized showings to cancel if they’re not going to make it, or even if they drive up and don’t want to go in. We all have cell phones, and it’s just a quick call to say they won’t be looking at the house. I admit, I’ve forgotten at times myself, when we’ve been out looking at a lot of houses. When I do, I call the agent and apoligize and ask them to please pass on my apology to the seller. I really don’t want to miss showings. It’s easier in Charleston, now that most brokers are using centralized showings. Pretty much one number does it all.

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