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Category Archive: ‘Realtor Training’

The Crux

Home sales that aren’t a result of a bidding war usually have some give and take in price negotiations.  It has been a seller’s market since 2009 around here, and the trend of the sellers getting what they want is baked in the cake by now.

Will it change in 2017?

Sellers want their price or close, and believe they deserve it.  Almost all of them have their own hand-selected comps to prove they are right, and will wear out the market for months or years before they believe otherwise.

Will buyers dig in, and walk away from deals over the last 1% to 3%?

When most of the sellers have been long-time owners and have loads of equity, it seems ridiculous that a seller would hold out for an extra $10,000 or $20,000 when he already has $500,000+ coming. But it happens all the time.

The listing agents are so used to winning – and used to getting beat up when they are on the buyers’ side – that they don’t think much about changes in the selling environment.  And if it’s a new listing, they are getting enough calls that their ego is brimming.

This is where the 2017 market will be made – will buyers walk away when sellers counter over $10,000 or $20,000?  If they do, will sellers give?

Sellers aren’t going to give, so if buyers are willing to walk, then we will have the stagnant market stare-down.

My guess?

If it happens, it won’t be until June.  By then, there will be enough OPTs starting to pile up, and the buyers who are still looking will be those who missed out on the other houses that were snatched up by the frenzied buyers who let the seller win the extra 1% to 3%.

Posted by on Dec 21, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Realtor Training | 1 comment

Property Descriptions

The MLS remarks are a personal pet peeve, but touchy.  I once had sellers object to what I thought was a more-crafty description, and they insisted that it sounded more like the rest. I’m glad the author included ‘boasts’ – see link at bottom:

When listing your home for sale, the goal is to generate interest and capture the attention of discerning buyers. Beyond high-quality photos and a competitive listing price, a property description can go a long way in attracting potential homeowners. To make homes stand out, agents and sellers pepper their listings with attention-grabbing buzzwords — and understandably so. “When you’re writing for marketing materials, you’re going to have to use these kind of descriptors, because otherwise the copy is bland,” explains Bruce Withey, marketing director of the Steven Cohen Team of Keller Williams Realty in Boston, MA.

So, how can you effectively use these ubiquitous popular real estate terms? For one, be wary of overuse. “A lot of agents will be inspired by other people’s descriptions, which means there’s a lot of carry-over from one property description to the other,” says real estate agent Aaron Floyd. “Buyers are seeing the same words used over and over again.” Second, be wary of the misuse of certain descriptive words. When these labels are used ad nauseam or incorrectly, they can actually hurt your home’s chance at a sale.

Below are four terms that won’t necessarily help sell your home — and some expert insight on how to make your listing more powerful.

Read full article here (and 81 comments!):

Posted by on Dec 20, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Realtor, Realtor Training | 0 comments

Most Realtors Don’t Sell


There are 80,000 realtors in CRMLS – Art Carter is the CEO. 

Here’s what he had to say about agent productivity:

But many of the MLS’s 14,000 or so member firms have no listings, he added. The vast majority of the firms are one-man offices.

“Typically, only about 48 percent of our members in any four quarters participate on one side of a deal,” Carter said.

“Historically since I’ve been here at CRMLS, that has been about the average.”

Get Good Help!


Posted by on Dec 4, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Realtor, Realtor Training, Realtors Talking Shop | 0 comments



I agree with the author about answering questions casually – agents look like idiots when they make a flippant remarks about work. The condition of the ‘market’ is relative to your own personal situation – it could be good or bad.

#5 “How’s the market?”

This is too broad of a question.

The market is never entirely good, bad, or somewhere in between. It’s always good for some people, bad for others. How the market is depends entirely upon you and your needs and circumstances.

Not a bad question really. But it certainly isn’t one that an agent can or should just answer flippantly. So if you ask it, maybe you should be prepared to get into your specific scenario so they can accurately answer it.

Too many people get flippant answers from agents and base their perspective on the real estate market, and overall economy, on off-handed answers to questions like this.

Posted by on Nov 22, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Realtor, Realtor Training, Realtors Talking Shop | 0 comments

Dual Agency Case


On the surface, this case seems unusual – the seller’s agent owes both the buyer and seller a fiduciary duty if the buyer’s agent works at the same brokerage.  It’s because the agents are working on behalf of the broker – hopefully this will cause better broker supervision of dual agency cases.

The big kahuna of cases will be when a class-action suit is filed against a brokerage for all of the ‘Sold Before Processing’ sales, where the sellers didn’t get open-market exposure.

In a closely watched case involving dual agency, the California Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that a real estate agent representing the seller of a property owes a fiduciary duty to both the seller and the buyer if the buyer’s agent works for the same brokerage firm.

The case involved the sale of a luxury home overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Malibu where the square footage was in dispute. The buyer and seller were represented by agents from different Coldwell Banker offices.

Under California law, a broker may act as a dual agent for both the seller and the buyer in a real estate transaction, provided both parties consent to the arrangement after full disclosure that the broker owes a fiduciary duty to both.

What was at dispute in the case was whether that duty extends to “associate licensees,” who are the individual agents/salespeople who operate under that broker’s license. The court ruled 7-0 that it does.

Read full article here:

Posted by on Nov 22, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Realtor, Realtor Training, Realtors Talking Shop | 2 comments

MLS Rules


I attended the Sandicor seminar last week about our rules.  Here are my notes:

  1.  ‘Coming Soon’ – The advertising of listings that are ‘Coming Soon’ is acceptable as long as the seller-signed ‘Exclusion from the MLS’ is on file at Sandicor.  There isn’t an automated data checker for this issue, so they only respond to complaints, which pretty much means you can get away with advertising direct to buyers prior to MLS input, if the seller doesn’t mind.
  2.  Value-Range Pricing – Sandicor has established a limit when using the two-price range.  The lower price cannot be less than 80% of the high-end price. I hope there aren’t too many people disappointed by that rule; as we’ve discussed that the ideal gap is around 7%.
  3.  Misuse of Remarks – They have had a data-checker for years that sweep the remarks of listings, looking for violations – such as the advertising of open houses, youtubes, agent info, etc.  But there isn’t much enforcement or penalties – an offender might get a letter.
  4.  Photos – One photo of the front exterior is required within 72 hours.  That’s it.
  5.  Advertising Other Broker’s Listings – Do you receive the realtor mailings that show the current active, pending, and sold listings?  The sold listings are fine, but an agent cannot advertise another agent’s active or pending listings without permission.  $500 fine per violation.
  6.  Days on Market – The industry has always been willing to deceive the public at will, as long as it can be said that it’s in the best interest of the seller.  The constant ‘re-freshing’ of a listing every 30 days is acceptable, as long as the listing agent has several 30-day listing agreements.  Thankfully, Sandicor is going to add the same ‘CDOM’ that is popular at the CRMLS where they also publish the cumulative-days-on-market so agents and consumers don’t have to look it up.

We have rules, but there isn’t much enforcement so it’s loosey-goosey (though Daina does the best she can!).  I doubt that most agents are aware of the rules (there were 11 agents at the seminar).  I think most just copy what they see other agents do – figuring if they’re doing it, then it must be alright.


Posted by on Nov 7, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Realtor Training | 0 comments

New Sandicor Mobile App


Let’s catch them doing something right!

Sandicor has rolled out their new mobile app for realtors, and it’s a big improvement over the old one. I know it is September, 2016, but this is the first time in history that the MLS has provided us with school information (I’ve been using Zillow for years). The new app also shows nearby comps, and it makes it easy to find out an agent’s sales history too.

It even looks like Zillow – which is good:

Homesnap Pro Overview from Homesnap on Vimeo.

If you are interested, Homesnap has a mobile app for the public too.  You can take a photo of a house, and get its full history.

Speaking of Sandicor, I have been in conversation with the President of our local association of realtors since I ran the video on Friday (I sent it to her).  She is confident that informing the membership is creating positive results, and that the majority of us want a statewide MLS.

She wasn’t keen on my idea of agents joining CRMLS today. She thinks we should work through the proper channels and have Sandicor create agreement with CRMLS and/or the statewide MLS when available.  The lawsuit by SDAR is holding that up currently.

I asked about short-sale fraud, and how Sandicor allows the DOM ticker to keep running on short sales which helps to enable agents to commit fraud. She was unaware of the situation, but thought it sounded like a bad thing. I also asked her about the ‘sold before processing’ listings when every agent has signed an agreement to share their listings with the rest of us. She agreed that it was a bad thing too.

Posted by on Sep 14, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Realtor, Realtor Training | 1 comment

Realtor Video Tour


I know it is 2016, but it’s rare that we see an agent do a real video tour of a new listing.  I’d like to acknowledge this guy who did a simple 1:29-minute video here to advertise his open house today:

There are at least 30 people in line!  He also has 3,200 views on Facebook.

Videos work!

Posted by on Aug 28, 2016 in Bubbleinfo TV, Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Realtor, Realtor Training | 0 comments