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You are correct. Most people (buyers & sellers) do not take the time to learn about the process, and rely too heavily on a licensee. Congrats to you for taking the time and learning as much as you can, the same as what new licensee's know.
I encourage new investors to take the class too. Don't take the test, just the class(es). There is no requirement to disclose you have knowledge, there *is* a requirement to disclose you have a license.
State regulatory agencies are charged with protecting the public. They are duty bound to investigate complaints in writing. Recently, the Real Estate Commission in Colorado has had staffing/budget problems. They have a back log of complaints to investigate.
If you have a dispute with a licensee, you can make a complaint with the Dept of Real Estate or the Real Estate Commission. If the licensee is also a Realtor, you can make a complaint to the local Realtor Association, especially if the Realtor has violated the Realtor Code of Ethics.
In Colorado you can look up the license information and disciplinary record (if one exists) online.
There are wonderful, helpful, ethical licensees everywhere. PM me, I will find one for you.
Thank you for responding. First, I'm not in Colorado and our "regulatory" agency is anything but that. (I'm on this forum because I was looking to relocate to CO). Secondly, our court systems don't care about civil matters too much. Even if I could get a hearing, other Realtors would come forward to claim how wonderful their peer is and I would not have access to other Buyers who were treated the same way so why would the courts pay attention? Besides, do you know what happens to people who report bad apples? It gets around quickly and the buyer is placed in an even more precarious situation.
As far as interviewing Realtors, I interviewed at least twenty over the telephone and dissolved relationships with at least six out of the 12 I decided to meet. I am not "picky" per se, but I can not in good conscience overlook discriminatory practices (e.g. one Realtor realized the house we were in was owned by a lesbian couple. He proceeded to pull his jacket sleeves down over his hands so he would not have to touch anything else in the house. It was awful. I'm not a lesbian, but his behavior was mean, childish and inappropriate) or blatant ethical issues (some mentioned in earlier post). Then, I had the problem of being preapproved for an amount higher than I wanted to spend. Despite my requests to see properties in my chosen dollar range, several Realtors INSISTED on showing me properties solely based on the preapproval amount. Needless to say, my first home buying experience was a nightmare. The ONLY reason I knew how to handle these problems was because I chose to take a Real Estate class (prep for licensing) and Mortgage course prior to buying so I could understand the process better.
Finally, I think it's wonderful that you are not willing to accept referral fees, but many, many people do that all the time. Until there are more stringent rules for becoming a Realtor and more overall regulation once licensed, most Buyers are basically at the mercy of whatever "their" agent wants to tell them and most are not in a position to even recognize the problem.
WOW! You really did get hooked up with some bad agents. Once again I apologize for your bad experiences with real estate agents.
As 2bindenver mentioned the board is obligated to investigate all complaints. You also don't need to sue an agent and go to court to report their misconduct, you only need to write a letter documenting the agent's improprieties. There are also so many real estate agents working in any particular area that I think it would be unlikely that other agents would know that you reported an agent.
I too am disgusted with your agent's response in the lesbian's home. I have worked with several lesbian couples and I am happy to shake their hands or even give them a hug. Discrimination against anyone is wrong!
I do think it is too easy for people to become licensed real estate agents. Real Estate school only teaches you how to pass a test, not how to sell real estate and managing brokers do far too little to supervise their new agents.
By taking a higher road I have found that I am much more successful than the vast majority of agents because I get numerous referrals from my past clients and repeat business. I am also happy when I run into one of my clients in the grocery store and I have become close friends with many of my clients.
I was at an inspection once when the house caught on fire!
I've also seen where the seller/owner tapped into the electricity of the neighbors house, so he wouldn't have to pay for service.
I have also seen where the master bathtub plumbing wasn't hooked up (new construction), and when the bath was turned on it rained into the kitchen.
One of my buyers thought the back bedroom wasn't being heated properly (HUD owned) so went looking into the ducts and found about $30,000 in loose unbundled cash. Yes, they did make a police report, and when no owner could be identified...they had one heck of a wedding & honeymoon.
This information is off the "Choosing your Inspector" page of my website. Hope it helps, I've tried to be objective...
Anyone in Colorado can legally call themselves a Home Inspector. Because there are no licensing requirements or oversight of any kind, consumers bear all responsibility for protecting themselves.
Protect yourself by choosing your Inspector carefully!
Value for your money
Naturally, you want to get the most value for your money. In paying for an inspection, you should receive a professional Inspection Report meeting industry standards provided by a qualified Inspector. You may find a cheap inspection or you may find a high-quality inspection, but you won't find a cheap, high-quality inspection.
What to Look For in a Home Inspector:
1. Membership in a Professional Organization
A qualified Home Inspector will be a member of a professional Home Inspection organization, such as:
NACHI (the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors) or InterNACHI (NACHI's international sister organization).
Professional Home Inspection Organizations provide:
Industry Standards- Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics to which members must adhere. These standards ensure that your Inspection Report will meet certain minimum guidelines.
Proficiency Examinations- These examinations ensure that your Home Inspector will have basic inspection skills.
Educational Opportunities- Classes, workshops and seminars allow Inspectors to expand their knowledge and to develop and hone new inspection skills.
2. Web Site
Qualified Inspectors will have a web site on which you can view details such as:
The Inspector’s credentials
The Standards of Practice/Ethics followed by the Inspector
A list of the various types of inspections offered
The scope of the General Home Inspection
The Inspection Contract
Instruments and equipment used by the inspector
A modern reporting system
A description of the Inspection Report
View a sample report
The areas in which the Inspector works
Last edited by Mike from back east; 04-11-2007 at 04:42 PM..
Reason: No advertising your own website or soliticing business is allowed.
I believe Kenton is a bit naive if he believes members of NACHI are the most qualified inspectors out there. Any one with a credit card and a minimal knowledge of homes can become a NACHI "certified inspector" by passing their online test. The test, again given online, is not proctored and absolutely is not psychometrically valid. Check out Tom Martino's feelings about NACHI. When looking for a Home Inspector contact either ASHI or NAHI or lookeat a three year old phone book, if they are still in business they are probably decent inspectors. Experience is the main issue here. Do not skimp on price, remember this is most likely the biggest investemnt of your life.
we're in the process of buying our third home, our first home here in CO. experience has taught me to be skeptical of all the inspectors, lol. we just hired two different inspectors and a structural engineer. We may also have another inspector do a final walkthru with us to check if all the requested repairs have been completed. in addition, we also asked for an environmental report. imho, it's really important to spend the cash. it's a huge investment.
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