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Good Real Estate Agent are helpful

Original post made by Good Real Estate Agent are helpful, Another Pleasanton neighborhood, on Mar 5, 2011

How can you quickly ID one who is NOT?
Look at the flyers on the yard sign. What do you want to know when you read one?
The real estate agents name? I donÕt think so.
You probably want to know the asking PRICE.
I asked a real estate agent why anyone would leave that off. She said she wanted the buyers to call her, and that if that house was not suitable, sheÕd try to sell them another one.
How self serving is that?
My suggestion: If you stop and get out of the car, only to find youÕve been suckered, do NOT call that agent. They have already shown what kind of ethics they use. Call any other agent, or just look it up on Zillow

Comments (25)

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Posted by Help the next guy
a resident of Livermore
on Mar 5, 2011 at 3:09 pm

You can save the next guy some trouble if you just take ALL the flyers,
then find out the price, and write it on there.

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Posted by Stacy
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 5, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Good Real Estate agents are helpful,

You might find this helpful in addressing your concern:
Web Link

Google powers...awAY!!!

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Posted by Get your own Buyers Agent
a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Mar 5, 2011 at 3:39 pm

IF there's a "standard" listing agreement, (wildly in favor of the agents) , then it costs you nothing to have an agent on your side. The Selling agent represents the seller.
If she manages to do "both sides", the typical payoff is 6% of the sale price.
On a $500,000 house that is $30,000, without regard for how long they worked! There's a reason agents drive fancy cars.
The commission is negotiable, but the seller has to do that. Once the contract is signed, it is too late. 6% might've made sense in the 60's when houses were $30,000 to $50,000, but it doesn't now. Is there any reason they should get so much more money for the same work?

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Posted by What about the time travel?
a resident of Danbury Park
on Mar 5, 2011 at 6:07 pm

(Post makes no sense and has been removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff.)

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Posted by Jerry
a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Mar 5, 2011 at 10:27 pm

"6% might've made sense in the 60's when houses were $30,000 to $50,000"

I couldn't agree more. The small amount of work agents have to do these days is not worth 6% of the home value. Imagine selling an average house in Birdland and collecting over $40K in commission. That is insane!

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Posted by Use to be
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2011 at 10:38 pm

Using 2 agents pretty much guarantees there won't be any bartering down with just 1 person. Yup, in the old days gas was 50 cents/gal, but 8 times higher, you're not going to find anybody to drive around tire-kickers and lookers @ $4/gal.... The 'stagers' cost a fortune, since buyers can't seem to visualize a room when it hasn't been clean up.

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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Mar 6, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Wow. I agree that the commission is high. However, I don't agree that selling real estate is the same now as in the 60's. The agents I worked with in the 90's and in this decade had a lot of specialized knowledge regarding real estate, laws, mortgage loans, etc. etc. My understanding is that they have gone through some sort of training and need to pass tests. I'm thinking there are a lot more legal issues involved now than previously. Life in general is more complicated. If you don't like paying the commission, there is no law that says you can't sell it yourself...though you may be begging to pay 30k if you try. It's like, you *could* save money and represent yourself instead of spending tons of $$ on a lawyer....but would you want to?

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Posted by Dr. VanNastrand
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2011 at 9:30 pm

A realtor ignored my 'no solicitors' sign. Only a person with a screw loose would think they could get someone's business by ringing their doorbell and leaving a flyer when there is a large 'no solicitors-no flyers' sign.

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Posted by Anna C.
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2011 at 8:30 am

Negotiate the commission! We have sold houses by owner and also used agents in the past. When the market is down, there is no way I would pay an agent 6% - we have never had a problem selling on our own, although I know many people would not be comfortable doing this and certainly the agents will tell you it is not a good idea! Bottom line, you have to look out for YOUR OWN best interest and make a decision based on numbers, etc. And I agree - annoying when the price is not listed on the flyer!!

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Posted by hybrid owner
a resident of Valley Trails
on Mar 7, 2011 at 8:41 am

It is pretty rare that a selling agent works both sides of the transaction and represents the buyer too. If you are a buyer, it is in YOUR BEST INTEREST to get your own agent. How can one expect a listing agent represent you fairly when they are representing the sellers interest? Many listing agents are NOT getting 6% listings these days due to the amount of short sales & foreclosures. The banks are dictating the commission on those sales, and I can tell you they are cutting them down to 4 and 5 percent to be split between the lising and selling agents. Not only that, but the listing agents are having to carry all of the up front costs to market that home for the bank or upside down seller. In addition, on a short sale, it can take upwards of 6 months to sell with the agent doing all of the negotiation with the short sale lender which means 100's of hours on the phone with the banks and asset managers and reams of paperwork. So the misconception that all realtors drive fancy cars beacuase they all make 6% is a falicy. It is correct that real estate is not the same as in the 60's and if you do a little research you will find that a real estate contract in the 60's was a one page document. Now they are an 8 page legally binding contract with upwards of 30-100 pages of legal disclosures & addendums attached. That means liability on the part of the broker/agent to make sure all parties understand what they are buying/selling. There is much more to selling real estate than showing a home and signing a contract. There is a reason the 'do it yourself' real estate companies are no longer on every corner........

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Posted by Larry
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2011 at 8:51 am

A "short sale" is an entirely different transaction than the basic home selling process. I would think an agent would be a must in that type of situation. But selling your home on your own is not an impossible task! We just had two "by owner" sales in our neighborhood. Some sellers just cannot afford the commissions paid to a Realtor unless you can negotiate a commission that works for you, the Seller.

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Posted by Questioning
a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Mar 7, 2011 at 8:55 am

Most persons look on the Internet to see the information about homes and do not go out driving with Realtors (saves gas and time), until they see one they like - i.e. Redfin, Zillow, Realtor, Movato, etc. It is legal liability on Realtors/Brokers part, now, that is the issue. It costs money for Realtors to take classes to be updated on new laws, etc. You are paying for that knowledge. Also, many requirements for pamphlets and hazardous issues to be supplied to the Buyer are needed which the Realtor must obtain/pay for. They are the ones who have the lists of persons to do what is needed. Staging is not always required and some Realtors help out with the expense, as with Warranty Insurance. Some Realtors work and some are just salesman wanting a quick sale and do not do the paperwork well. Experience is key.

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Posted by no realtors for me
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2011 at 9:58 am

I recently sold one home and bought one home, both without using a realtor. We paid an attorney $500 to review the docs and saved more than $120,000 that would have gone to the realtors. We had a ready buyer and we were willing buyers of the other one, no "sales" effort needed. Why would anyone pay $60,000 per house to a realtor who does not find the buyer and does nothing other than push papers around.
I have never yet had a good transaction with a realtor in this town. The slimy dog who sold me my original home hired his loser friends to do some required work -- and they did not do it, just charged for it and signed it off. What kind of protection did that broker provide to me? But he collected his commission and is still selling homes here.

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Posted by "Realtor" is now a Trademark
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2011 at 10:16 am

Sounds like "Doctor", doesn't it? (but not the kind that's good for anyone? :-)

The term was in general use to describe salespeople, brokers, etc, when it was "trademarked" in the '50's by an Ass'n, called the NAR- who now set the terms for most Multiple Listings, controls the data, and issues the title to people who apply and pay them.
Their control of the listings is one reason they have been so effective at keeping their prices so high. Now that the Internet can provide the same info to anyone, this should change. I've bought several houses without a Real Estate professional, for less and without hassle. You don't need to know that much to point and say: "And this is the kitchen"-while pointing to the den!
In California, the state licenses brokers, agents, salespeople.
"Realtors" have no more standing than any others.

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Posted by You don't have to be slimy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2011 at 10:18 am

to be a "Realtor!"

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Posted by Marina Guevorkian
a resident of Livermore
on Mar 7, 2011 at 12:44 pm

I am a Realtor in the Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin area and I would like to clear up some of the misconceptions that a few of you have.

1) Real Estate is a lot of work at all times of the day. Yesterday, Sunday, I left the house at 10am and returned after 9pm. After an hour of rest I spent another 3 hours in my home office following up with my clients. For a good agent this is a common schedule.
2) I don't care to double-end any of my transactions. Since most of the time we do both sides and get only about 4%. Most of the buyers that are writing offers with the listing agent are asking for credit from commission (towards the closing cost or repairs).
3) About 70% or transactions now are either REO (foreclosure) or Short Sale. They take months of constant work, lots of paperwork and calls with the banks to get approved. Many never get approval so guess who doesn't get paid at all.
4) A lot of good agents are now in survival mode just like the rest of the work force. We could be working on 5 transactions but only 1 or 2 get through.
5) There are a lot of Great agents in the Tri-Valley but there are some not so great ones too. Just do your research before starting to work with one. Referrals are the best way to go.
6) Be loyal to your Realtor and you will reap the rewards. When the buyers are using 10 agents none of those are fully committed to your success.
8) Don't fool yourself with 'for sale by owner' signs. Most of the time the buyer will come with an agent and you will be paying his/her commission. The only difference is that YOU will not be represented.

All considered, I LOVE what I do.
Not because of the commission but because of the reward that I get from my client's gratitude along with a few other perks like a flexible schedule and running all aspects of my business.
I am a care taker by nature, be it for my clients, my children, my parents, my husband, or patients at ValleyCare where I volunteer.
I would love to just take care of people around me and not worry about paying the bills. The reality is that just like most of you I have a mortgage and kids going through college.
In each of your transaction, even the ones that don't close, I bring to the table enough experience and hard work to earn compensation to take care of my family.

I guess after all this the main question remains "How to recognize a Great Realtor?"
My best bet is "Ask your friends and family who had Great experience in their transaction" or look me up on-line:)

Marina Guevorkian
RE/MAX Accord

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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2011 at 1:45 pm

In the housing boom everybody and their brother was becoming an agent. I don't know the numbers, but I'm sure the growth was huge (and who wouldn't want to do it when houses were selling the day going on the market and all loans were being approved). I guess the good news of the bust is that it should be weeding out many of the bad agents.

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Posted by Response to Real Estate Agent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 8, 2011 at 10:28 am

To Marina Guevorkian,
Thanks for posting the Industry side. I'm sure there are some helpful agents out there. It's the others that give a bad name.
However you said "Don't fool yourself with 'for sale by owner' signs. Most of the time the buyer will come with an agent and you will be paying his/her commission. " Not true. Biggest problem for those owners is Real Estate Agents who want a contract anyway and become pests. And the Buyer does NOT pay the commissions. The money comes from the Seller, unless the Buyer can hire an agent himself.
Many Realtors will refuse to work by the hour or by the job. Guess why?

AND the biggest concern is the AMOUNTS of money the real estate people make versus the time it takes. Most people don't make $50K-$60K for a few weeks or a month of part time efforts. Many people don't make that much in 6 months or a year.

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Posted by shelly
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 8, 2011 at 10:35 am

Who cares how much a Realtor gets paid if they get the job done? I don't care what my Doctor, Auto repair company, banker, etc. gets paid as long as they do a good job for me. Don't compare what YOU make per year to anyone else. If you want to make the money that is earned in a certain career, you have the ability to make that career choice too. Don't fault someone else for chosing to do what they do.

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Posted by reasonable
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 8, 2011 at 11:10 am

The commissions may look good but agents have to work hard for months, not knowing whether or not the sale will actually go through. It is not an easy way to live, not knowing when or if the next "hit" will come through. Which is why this is often a family's secondary income, with the other family member earning a steady, less glamorous income that can keep the heat on and the fridge full while waiting for a sale to go through. Any job with this much uncertainty has to offer a big "upside" or no one would do it.

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Posted by Gary Schwaegerle
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 8, 2011 at 11:55 am

Gary Schwaegerle is a registered user.

Wow do I dare touch this Subject so many comments I didn't read all of them. Price fixing: By Law Real Estate Commissions are Negotiable up or down, depending on economic times. I'm working 10 x's as hard for 1/10th the pay or so it seems. I earn my keep & been in RE 31 years this year. Web Link Let's Blog on REALTORS becoming more Professional by using Buyer Broker Agreements and not Free Taxi Service showing homes to non qualified Buyers. Sincerely Your Compassionate REALTOR Gary Schwaegerle DRE# 00789588

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Posted by Hey, Shelly
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Mar 8, 2011 at 2:11 pm

How fair is it?
Would you gladly pay for a Lincoln Continental, but just get a Falcon? Both are Fords and can "get the job done."
What if I told you you can not have a choice and try to make it hard for people not in a private organization??

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Posted by no realtors for me
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 10, 2011 at 10:51 am

No one here faults realtors for choosing their career. What we find reprehensible is that there are so many realtors who are complete slime dogs and unless you get lucky you will end up working with one. You don't even have to have your home for sale to be impacted. I recently came home to find my driveway completely blocked by an "open house" sign -- for a house a block down the street. The "professional realtor" put the sign in my driveway because the visibilty was much better. When I asked her not to do that she shouted at me and called me a racist!
Yup, I will sure be looking to use a realtor for my next transaction.

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Posted by Just REMOVE the sign
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2011 at 10:08 am

Real Estate agents do not have any right to put up signs, except perhaps on the sale property. If you put up a temporary Yard Sale sign on a post in Pleasanton officious people will take them down. Q. What are the rules? Are they following them?

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Posted by No Price means they're ashamed of it
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Or, If you've got to ask, you can't afford it!
Most legitimate people selling something tell you the price up front. Even gas stations! Saves everyone time and trouble. Why deal with anyone who does not?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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