We covered in my four-part series that there is a vicious undercurrent of fraud and deceit being imposed upon buyers and sellers alike, and that drastic action is needed to stop it. But such action is unlikely to happen – at least until the district attorney has a few perp walks to get everybody’s attention.
It means that Brad Inman’s conference needs to come up with a real humdinger of a solution. In the meantime, maybe we can improve on what we have?
I mentioned that traditional agents are reluctant to say anything in public about how they do their business. But now that the disrupters are spending millions on advertising, it’s time we step up to the microphone.
The disrupters’ underlying theme is that traditional agents charge 6%, and they will do the same for less. Here they focus only on saving money on the commission, and never talk about what they actually do to sell your home:
Agents who only talks about their rate, rather than the quality of services they provide, must not have much to offer. Their website has some data though – this is their main page:
We don’t have to look very far to see how trustworthy they are. They say Bethany has ’10 YEARS EXP’, but when you go on the DRE website, this is what you’ll see – she has been licensed since 2016 (you can always get a hint from the license numbers, which are issued sequentially):
I’m sure she is a nice person and means well, but to use her as your front person when she barely has two years experience as a licensee probably means that the other agents have less. Pardon me if I’m skeptical of how ‘intimate’ she, or any of their agents, know their LA/OC territory.
Companies who blatantly lie about the people on their main page will say anything to convince you they are legit. Ask yourself what you are willing to endure – you only have one shot.
Apparently they charge you the $3,200 fee whether they sell your house or not, and they take your credit card number up front.
Rex is another one – they claim to sell your house for 2% by themselves without cooperating with other agents. Here is reality:
You may like their sexy website, but who are the people handling your sale? I have spoken to both current and ex-Redfin agents, and it sounds like a sweat shop – much like our local IPayOne, which failed twice, or Roxtons. They are good people, but the employees are being asked to handle a high volume of business with minimal support.
Sellers should wonder if that will equate to a top-dollar sale.
An ex-Redfin senior agent told me that he quit when upper management insisted that he get ‘five more deals out of every agent’ this year.
Here are other opinions:
Here is what one ex-Redfin senior agent from Florida said last year:
I worked for Redfin for two and a half years. First as a transaction / hybrid coordinator then as a senior agent in the field. The concept is amazing but the reality will drown you. As a licensed broker who has over a decade of experience my base salary was $20,000 after “bonuses” paid (only after a glowing review from the client) my W-2 showed $42,000 income. Keep in mind I closed over $7 million dollars in real estate transactions last year. If you can’t close minimum of 3 transactions in a given month you are promptly let go for poor performance. With no cushion or savings because again top pay was 42k in the year. Your expected to have your schedule open for tours 7 days a week. Ready to meet a new customer not vetted not approved within a 3 hour window. Vacation is offered but is never approved. And in my market we were required to span over 300 Mile radius covering 4 counties. You are paid for each tour but it’s $35 and again you’re expected to drive 3 counties away at no notice just to be stood up. You will need to have knowledge of that area as well. Because your clients will review per tour and they will not appreciate an agent who is not knowledgeable. Please please please if you are considering joining this company be ready to give away all of your commission and time and learn from my experience. I’ve never written a review before but I’m passionate about getting this out there. Don’t believe their hype. Thank you for reading and considering.
How do they handle the critical points of engagement?
Want to see a house? A trainee gets paid $35 to $50 to open the door.
Sellers hoping for top dollar? Trainees do the open houses.
The good agents there make around $3,000 per sale between salary and bonuses, while dealing with outside agents who make substantially more. If you were a great agent, wouldn’t you work somewhere else to make more money selling fewer houses?
Sellers have one chance to hire a great agent to sell their house for top dollar. Every agent can sell your house, and heck, you don’t even need an agent – just stick a sign in the front yard and you’ll get calls.
But houses don’t sell for the same price – there is a 5% to 10% range, depending on who is handling the sale. You’ll hear that the market is hot, and that houses sell themselves – but for how much? Will your agent do everything it takes, AND have the expert salesmanship to get you top dollar?
If not, you are going to feel like a chump for falling for their BS advertising.
Finally someone says it like it is..
I’m thinking that once the tide changes into a buyers market, instead of the current sellers market, then that will separate the wheat from the chaff.
This is what I love about JtR the best. He really tells the truth. Out in the field with his video camera when no one else did (or were willing to), and more importantly fights for his clients (both buyers and sellers).
I can only imagine when negotiations for a house come up. The other agent sees it’s “Jim the Realtor”, smacks his head and says, “Ah, just my luck! He’s NOT gonna blink first!”…
“This is what I love about JtR the best. He really tells the truth. Out in the field with his video camera when no one else did (or were willing to), and more importantly fights for his clients (both buyers and sellers).”
Agreed! I still maintain he’s the Jake Gittes of Real Estate!
Jim: I want the truth!!
Realtor: I’m the buyer’s agent…
Realtor: I’m the seller’s agent…
Realtor: I’m the buyer’s agent!
Realtor: I’m the seller’s agent!
Realtor: I’m the buyer’s AND THE SELLER’S AGENT!!!!
Realtor: Now to you understand… Mr. Klinge?
REALTOR HOPELESSLY COLLAPSES IN JIM’S ARMS
Jim have you seen http://www.rezlist.com ? They are another new one operating down in your neck of the woods….
I saw a Rezlist sign go up in my ‘hood near Mission Bay. Lasted about a week and then disappeared. The listing never hit the mls. Not sure what happened.
The minute the market turns, they will all be toast.
They don’t like it that they have to work for cheap, and they will resent the extra work once this business gets tough again.