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Old 02-10-2007, 08:19 PM
 
1,174 posts, read 6,944,865 times
Reputation: 1104

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Hey guys, I've thought long and hard about posting to this issue. My instincts say that I should just stay out of it. However, I've never been known for following my better instincts. So here's my take and impressions.

My impression is that it's all about culture and expectations. It's my guess that things are a little more laid back in S/W MO as compared to some other areas of the country. People's approach to life would tend to follow through in their business practices. Tell me if I'm wrong, please.

For someone that expects an agent to act and deal with things a certain way, perhaps quick, decisive, and tenacious, and willing to do the extra due diligence that is expected of a more experienced investor, they may be disappointed. However, that same person's impression remains valid as a warning to others who also expect that type of relationship.

Conversely, not everyone agent can be painted with the same brush. Although one consumer's experience lead to certain conclusions, it not applicable to all agents. Sometimes we feel that it's not necessary to point that out because we feel it's obvious, but it can be good to do so as a reminder.

It still remains a fair warning to others, especially less experienced potential home purchasers who might be left frustrated if a real estate agent doesn't meet their expectations. What might be a further suggestion would be to remind them that, even though they've contacted a real estate agent, they have the ability to fire that person. It's just business, not a marriage. Of course there's certain limitations related to ethics, even with the consumer, but that's another topic.

Although I have been nowhere involved in as many real estate transactions as an established competant Realtor like Randy appears to be, I have bought, sold, and rented-out more than my fair share. I have seen real estate agents that run the spectrum from an ultimate professional to those who I doubt have an understanding of the word "ethics." I know that if I was on the other side, as a Realtor, I could say the same thing about clients.

I have also seen an increase in unprofessional behavior ever since the boom started a few years ago. I think it's undeniable that, when the market becomes hot, every Tom, Dick, and Harry enters the market. They see a fast and easy way to make the "green." It's when things slow down that they get shaken out of the business and go away. That's when the more professional guys remain.

I think what needs to be noted, is that Randy has taken it upon himself to become an active participant in this forum. He has taken the time to offer valuable information from the perspective of a gateway member of the community. Since he's a Realtor, I could imagine many other ways of spending his time that would have a greater potential for developing $$$ in his pocket. I want to personally think him for his interest and efforts!!!

I have seen other agents attempt to post in various state forums on the site. More often than not, their posts are grossly edited or completely deleted. Why is that? It's because their posts were more advertisement or requests for business rather than helping us clueless individuals. That hasn't happened with any of Randy's posts that I can remember.

So, are all real estate agents jerks? IMO, nope. Are some jerks? IMO, yes. Can they be fired by the client? As a matter of fact, of course. Conversely, they can fire the client too. I would simply suggest that when you come to the area, do your research, get some referrals, ask questions, and find one that works well with you or has already developed some kind of a relationship that you respect. They are out there, but if it doesn't pan out for whatever reason, fire them and move on as MoMoark did.

Again, it's just business and not a marriage. As long as your business goals remain the same, and you're both willing to work towards those goals in a complementary manner, you've found a good partner. For some it might be slow and easy; for others it might be fast and decisive; and yet others it might be without any ethical standards. It's those last guys, both as an agent and as a consumer buyer or seller, that you want to avoid . . . at least IMO.

Last edited by garth; 02-10-2007 at 08:30 PM..
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Old 02-10-2007, 09:44 PM
 
Location: 55 Miles East of Sanity :D
791 posts, read 1,820,155 times
Reputation: 817
MoMark & Garth, your comments are very helpful, and add positively to the content of this thread. Nicely written and well put. Thanks

Randy,

Please don't take personal offense to the comments regarding realtor experiences expressed by some of the posts.

As a current homeseller and future homebuyer, I highly value this information! We will be relocating to the Springfield area as soon as our house sells. And as you well know, buying and selling a home is a complicated endeavor, and requires the skill and knowledge of a true professional. Our livelyhood will be in their hands.

There are details, both legal and technical, that the average homebuyer is not prepared to consider, and we therefore rely heavily on the experience and guidance of our realtors to help us make informed decisions & choices. Too much is at risk to take chances. Whether a buyer is in the market for a $65k home or $500k home, it's a big deal to us.

We were going to relocate to North Carolina, and found a realtor that was not only very nice, but VERY knowledgeable about the area. However, they didn't use their skills to their full potential. I won't go into details, but let's just say it didn't work out...even after we'd gone to the expense of making 2 trips back there. Because of our experiences, we've decided to leave the area entirely, and go to MO.

Now, to me, as a homebuyer, that's not good!!! And although you might not appreciate the 'bad rap' created by your less ethical brethren, they are out there, and people like me want to know about it. I DON'T want to repeat what I've just been through. I'm too old, too tired and unwilling to play these games. If I'm expected to be on the level, then I expect more than the same in return.

With this knowledge, I'll know to keep a sharper eye out for warning signs. Because bottom line...we've got some money to spend, and we've worked too hard to earn it to turn around and lose it all because of a deal gone wrong. Surely you'd feel the same should the shoe be on your foot.

Luckily for us, we've found a realtor in Mo., and are so far very happy with the experience we've had. Time will tell once we get there and are getting down to real business.

Randy, In closing, let me echo the sentiments of MoMark and Garth in that your input and contributions to these forums are not only welcomed, but very valuable. Your time and willingness to help in is extremely appreciated by those of us seeking answers. The information you provide is not falling on deaf ears. And the fact that you are here on your personal time, not seeking, nor expecting compensation speaks volumes.

Thank you very much, everyone, for their generosity and time.

Respectfully,
Boof
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Old 02-11-2007, 12:51 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas, NV
76 posts, read 394,770 times
Reputation: 52
Very well said Boof (and Garth). I have to agree that not all of the realtors are bad, however, it is helpful to be informed of issues and experiences that others have had. I personally have had dealings with both the good and the bad. I currently have a realtor that is helping me my search for a home and she has been great. She answers my questions right away and if she doesnt' have an answer to my questions, she will do some research and get back to me as soon as she can. I had a few realtors that I was in touch with in regards to purchasing a business and I was getting so frustrated because they would not be direct in answering my questions and they would send me listings of things that had nothing to do with my search. I have since then met one in this forum to be exact, that has been nice, helpful and very professional. I'm hoping that he will be able to help me in my search for a business.

I don't want to put words in anyones mouth but I do feel that MoMark didn't mean anything by his statements. He was just trying to be honest and describe his personal experiences.

Randy, I can appreciate the fact that you and others in your profession are trying to lend a helpful hand by offering information about the area. The fact that a few of us have had some bad experiences doesn't warrant the idea that "all realtors are bad." In fact, since you came back with a response it just shows me that you are a true professional and take pride in your work.

This forum has been helpful, informative, inciteful and definitely interesting.
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Old 02-11-2007, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Springfield, Missouri
2,815 posts, read 12,987,857 times
Reputation: 2000001497
No, I don't mean to insult realtors across the board, only explain why I was so disappointed and disgusted! I'm assuming Randy is a good one And, I appreciate someone who shows pride in his profession.
I understand what Garth is saying too. That was extremely diplomatically well-written!!!
But... believe me, people in Southwest Missouri expect service when they're on the paying end just like everyone else!!! They may be politer at first about noticing problems, but they are no more likely to tolerate bad service than anyone else...I promise you!
Now for my experiences, just to be more clear so everyone knows where I'm coming from:
-First realtor showed me a home I'd seen on line from Las Vegas, then told me it was already sold... Then told me she was leaving the state, had her own house up for sale, and did I want to buy her business? NO. Oh, and her assistant was a love-sick young mother who inundated me with invitations to go out by email and phone calls.
-Next realtor. Chirpy, energetic, bouncy...I thought..GREAT! We click! Showed me three houses that I'd seen on the web. I didn't like any of them after having viewed them in person. She was out of energy and glad to see my back at the end of that long afternoon. Never had a followup call from her.
-Another realtor. Seemed professional, saw homes east of town. This realtor droned on and on about her church and overcoming various illnesses, then asked me if I was a saved Christian? I am in fact a saved Christian, but I wasnt there for church or to debate theology, I was there to find a home. I let her know I wasn't interested in continuing the conversation. We got back to her office and she had her son (not a realtor) take me to see another place as she had "things to do". I didn't go back.
-Coldwell Bankers. I just walked in thinking...heck, it's like fish in a barrel...with my luck so far, I've GOT to get lucky sometime. I was assigned immediately to a realtor. He seemed nice, I explained what I was looking for, gave examples, we browsed the MLS together and I told him what I'd already seen and what I wanted to see.
We made arrangements to go out and look the next day. Well, I found a home I was very happy with, but the surrounding land was owned by another owner who was willing I was told to sell ten acres surrounding the house I wanted which was on two acres. I said: GREAT! Here's my offer, please call the other guy as my offer was contingent on the other owner following through. The realtor got iffy and indirect and just mumbled a bit when I asked him if he'd called the landowner. I never got a straight answer out of him and the offer never got off the ground. When I pressed, he just said; "he won't do it.". I don't think he ever even called.
He also took me out in the country to see homes that clearly weren't what I wanted to buy and he got us lost twice. He also had taken me to a property and when there was no lockbox, he called into the office to ask about it and the property was already under contract...!!!!!
I dropped him.
-After that, I worked on my own until I found the house I am living in now. I had to call the representing realtor in order to do more than peek through the windows, so I did..WITH GREAT RELUCTANCE at this point!!
The realtor who answered asked me to come in and see her. I did. I was frank with her and told her about the above experiences (there were more actually as this had been over six months). I told her I wasn't happy with the realtors I'd encountered and had zero trust in their competence so far.
She seemed to understand and said.."Give me a try. I've been doing this a long time and I'm pretty good". I said ..ok. but I refused to sign an Exclusive Buyers Contract until I saw the house and was sure I wanted to make an offer on it.
We saw it, I was blown away and I said..Yep, I want to make an offer. We went back to the office and I showed proof of funds (cash offer) and then she put the offer contract together. It had the Exclusive Buyer's Contract again and I asked her about it and told her why I was leery of signing it. She explained she had to have some reasonable protection to cover her as well. So I said. OK, but I crossed out the time period she had written and inserted 30 days and then wrote an addendum stating that that contract only pertained to that specific house. She agreed to that.
Eventually the sellers accepted my offer after having initially refusing.
That's my experience here! There ARE realtors who are true professionals and competent in Springfield. I know as my last one...by luck...is. Randy may very well be as well, but there are many who aren't and anyone moving here should not expect less service and professionalism with their money just because it's "southwest Missouri".... This area is no less sophisticated than any other. It just looks folksy!
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Old 02-11-2007, 07:05 PM
 
Location: Ozark, MO
100 posts, read 494,406 times
Reputation: 98
A great tip for anyone using a Realtor is this: If you see a home you like, call the company that has it listed, and ask to speak to an agent that is either a GRI (Graduate, Realtor Institute) or a CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) or both. Less than 10 percent nationaly are GRI and less than 2 percent are CRS.

It took me over a year of training to get my GRI, and I will finish my CRS next year in Vegas.

Generally speaking, only serious career Realtors with lots of experience go after these designations, and might lessen the chances of a bad experience.
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Old 02-12-2007, 08:52 AM
 
Location: 55 Miles East of Sanity :D
791 posts, read 1,820,155 times
Reputation: 817
Thumbs up Thanks for the Tip...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Henderson View Post
A great tip for anyone using a Realtor is this: If you see a home you like, call the company that has it listed, and ask to speak to an agent that is either a GRI (Graduate, Realtor Institute) or a CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) or both. Less than 10 percent nationaly are GRI and less than 2 percent are CRS.

It took me over a year of training to get my GRI, and I will finish my CRS next year in Vegas.

Generally speaking, only serious career Realtors with lots of experience go after these designations, and might lessen the chances of a bad experience.
Randy,

Being a Realtor must be a difficult profession. It seems that the true professional must possess many skills, wear many hats, and have nerves of steel. You must also possess the ability to read people very quickly.

Although I've never met you in person, I am impressed with your Honesty....Professionalism....Friendliness. Some of the essential traits most people are looking for.

The information you've just shared is something that many people might not think to consider, and will surely help to instill a sense of empowerment when choosing a realtor. Everyone needs help sometimes, and you've just given us a tool that will help guide homebuyers/homesellers in choosing a professional, especially one that will meet their individual needs. Thank You!

Would you agree that 'Brokers' be included in your list of serious career professionals?

Thanks Again,
Boof
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Old 02-12-2007, 10:27 AM
 
Location: SW MO
339 posts, read 1,424,927 times
Reputation: 158
I cannot help but chime in. Too many people jumped into real estate in the last few years. There are many inexperienced agents in this area. Further, there is a mentality among realtors that they can make a deal happen no matter what, and they cobble together deals without involving an attorney. I see cases regularly of inexperienced eager agents steering people in the wrong direction and then abandoning them when things go south.

I have a half dozen friends (good, close friends) who are realtors in this area. I know they agree with me that there is a problem.

1. No realtor should ever suggest that an inspection is not necessary. NEVER!
2. No realtor should modify the form contract beyond price and keeping the curtains without at least talking to a lawyer. For owner finance and other conditions beyond the norm, both buyer and seller should have a lawyer.
3. Realtors should not comment on house payments unless they have a background in banking or finance.
4. Realtors should not engage in "dual agency". It is a contradiction in terms.

Randy, you get no sympathy from me when it comes to attacks on your profession. Mine is attacked relentlessly.
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Old 02-12-2007, 11:51 AM
 
Location: New Orleans, LA
1,846 posts, read 3,940,853 times
Reputation: 3376
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozarks21 View Post
Randy, you get no sympathy from me when it comes to attacks on your profession. Mine is attacked relentlessly.
What do you do?

I work for the federal government, so I can sympathize.
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Old 02-12-2007, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Ozark, MO
100 posts, read 494,406 times
Reputation: 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozarks21 View Post
I cannot help but chime in. Too many people jumped into real estate in the last few years. There are many inexperienced agents in this area. Further, there is a mentality among realtors that they can make a deal happen no matter what, and they cobble together deals without involving an attorney. I see cases regularly of inexperienced eager agents steering people in the wrong direction and then abandoning them when things go south.

I have a half dozen friends (good, close friends) who are realtors in this area. I know they agree with me that there is a problem.

1. No realtor should ever suggest that an inspection is not necessary. NEVER!
2. No realtor should modify the form contract beyond price and keeping the curtains without at least talking to a lawyer. For owner finance and other conditions beyond the norm, both buyer and seller should have a lawyer.
3. Realtors should not comment on house payments unless they have a background in banking or finance.
4. Realtors should not engage in "dual agency". It is a contradiction in terms.

Randy, you get no sympathy from me when it comes to attacks on your profession. Mine is attacked relentlessly.
I never asked for sympathy from anyone. I simply asked that, to preserve the quality of the information that comes from this board, it might be better if we not disparage the people that are likely supplying the information. There is a difference between saying that a buyer needs to exercise caution when choosing a Realtor, and a person saying that, because of their bad experience, all Relators are morons.


I agree, no Realtor should suggest that an inspection not be done. Good ones don't.

I'm not an attorney (and I am assuming that you are). I have never modified the preprinted contract language - that would be practicing law without a license, and highly illegal.

You lost me on the "Don't comment on house payments" comment. I check rates every day, and always know, generally, what they are. Based on that, I'm quite capable of the multiplication that is involved in figuring a payment. Besides, by the time my clients are having that conversation with me, they have already been to a lender.

Dual agency is a controversial subject in Real Estate. However, its legal, and neither party enters into dual agency with me without understanding it 100 percent. Frankly, I almost never practice dual agency.

I agree that Real Estate license requirements are too easy to obtain. However, some new agents making mistakes hardly condems the entire industry. One of the biggest questions I have always had is -"Why would someone that is making the largest financial investment of their lives, not investigate the agent that is propelling the sale? It is not difficult to find a Realtor with a proven track record and professional designations, and EVERYONE ought to interview their Realtor (and attorney and plumber, for that matter) before hiring them.

Last edited by Randy Henderson; 02-12-2007 at 01:08 PM..
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Old 02-12-2007, 02:35 PM
 
Location: SW MO
339 posts, read 1,424,927 times
Reputation: 158
I'm sure you are perfectly capable of having an intelligent discussion with your clients about interest rates and house payments. I know of some who think they are capable and end up commiting clients to a home they really cannot afford. It is better for you to defer to the lender. You can give a guestimate and make clear that is what it is.

I hope you will find a constructive way to use the candid statements made in this thread. This is not the first venue where I've heard disparaging comments about realtors in Springfield. Generalizations get made. That's never fair, but if they weren't aired, maybe you wouldn't realize the perceptions.

And I agree with you 100% about people spending more energy educating themselves about buying a home. The level of financial ignorance alone is embarrasing. What are our schools teaching?

I'm glad to see you involved in this discussion. I hope I'm not making your blood boil.
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