The desire to bust up the realtor cartel has a long and lengthy history, and each year it seems to take on a new twist.

Now it is the realtors themselves who talking about the Big Dismantle:


We saw the distressed inventory dry up as banks turned off the foreclosure machinery.  It has left buyers scurrying for deals, and eventually they were scrambling to just buy anything.

San Diego County Attached and Detached Sales, Jan 1 – Oct 31


It had a similar effect on realtors, especially those who were short-sale or REO ‘specialists’.  When their inventory dried up this year, they were left with big teams and half the business – or less.

These agents have a choice.

Try to compete with the rest of us legitimately, or develop a new gimmick.

Most of these REO/Short-sale specialists enjoyed having full control of the transaction. With short-sales especially, they were able to steer the deal to their flipper buddies who brought them back for re-listing.

Just earning one honest commission isn’t good enough after you’ve become accustomed to making 2-3 commissions in a package deal.

Benefits include more than money – these agents also want to control who buys your house.  Hence, you can look forward to more gimmicks built around pocket listings and off-MLS sales as agents try to convince you that their new trick is going to change the real estate world.

Don’t fall for it.

What Sellers Want, Need, and Deserve:

1.  Open Market Exposure – In the hotter markets, some buyers have been paying prices that are completely unhinged from the comps.  Any agent that discourages you from listing on the MLS in order to quietly steer the deal to their buyer is doing you a disservice.

2.  Shock and Awe – Redfin and others want potential sellers to identify themselves so they can shop your property around their stable of buyers.  The sellers will bask in the attention, but would only sell at full retail price. But WITHOUT OPEN MARKET EXPOSURE these potential buyers will feel no pressure to step up that high.

Worse yet is the over-saturation.  When you do finally list your property on the open market, the urgency has already been diminished because you’ve been passed around already.  The highest urgency is reserved for those who surprise the market with a hot new listing – and that urgency is what drives the crazy-high sales prices.

3.  Listing Agent With Good Reputation – These gimmicks are intended to build databases, with hopes of a lucky sale here and there.  The primary goal is to get you into the database so they can constantly ping you about how cool they are, and how many millions of homes they sell.  When you are finally ready to list, they hope you give them the listing. But think of how other agents feel about these tactics – the agents who represent the potential buyers of your house.

It has always been a dog-eat-dog business, and it will get worse before it gets better. It’s likely to splinter into “expert teams whose unique marketing skills” are promising to provide that dreamy lucky sale – at your price – by pulling a buyer out of their pocket, rather than from the open market.

Until the industry has a leader who insists on reputable, ethical dealings with the public, this business will be full of hucksters.

Sellers beware – get good help!

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