Thursday, October 30, 2008

Part Time Realtors Cause Frustration

Blogging giant Kris Berg out of San Diego posted recently about the phenomenon of the part time agent.

"Real estate is my only job, but I am feeling like an anomaly today. I see too many signs. Perhaps they are just signs of the times, but they sadden me nonetheless. When we recently noted in a listing that the "seller would cooperate with a 1031 exchange at no cost to buyer," we fielded no fewer than four calls in the first week. "What's a 1031 exchange?" the agents asked. Three times this week I have had to brief a cooperating agent on either a new form or on a new law that made an old form obsolete. Trying to negotiate an offer with an agent's full voicemail box is becoming a routine frustration."

In boom times, it was very easy to make a lot of money selling houses. Sign the sellers to a listing agreement, enter the data in the MLS and bammo! in a day or 2 tops, you'd have buyers tripping over each other to buy the house, often above list price with no contingencies. Everybody and their brother in law got their real estate license. In fact, my broker, Jay Thompson posted some stats and a nifty chart proving that back in March 2007 "you can not swing a dead cat in the Phoenix metro area without smacking a licensed real estate agent upside the head."

The housing bust has caused many, many Realtors to flee the business. Why? Because it's actually hard work to sell a house. Deals are fewer and farther between which means incomes are plummeting. Getting "another job" is commonplace.

I don't fault anyone with a real estate license who decides they need to pay the bills in other ways. But, please, if only out of pity for those of us who remain in real estate full time, please exit the business completely. Hang up your license and transfer your remaining clients to someone else.

I'm sick to death of calling for information on a home, reaching the pseudo-Realtor's voicemail and never hearing back. That happens on roughly 1 out of every 10 or 15 homes I call about. Pseudo Realtors,  you're doing your clients a huge disservice. The home will never sell if no one can reach you for showing and other information. Importantly for you, if it doesn't sell, you'll never get paid.

Pseudo Realtors, you're also making me sound & look like an idiot becuase I'm left to explain to my buyer clients, "I don't know how we can get in to see that house. It's a combination lockbox and the listing Realtor isn't returning my calls asking for the code, and nobody in his/her office knows it either. I know it looked like a great bargain. I'm really sorry."

<rant over. back to normal programming tomorrow>