If you are a Real Estate agent, you must leave now. I insist.
I won’t say much about the current status of our house sale except that it’s been an interesting experience and is ongoing. Generally speaking, the Real Estate profession is a sleazy one. 99% of the agents are either uneducated, slimy or both. It is a profession that can be done by monkeys. I was actually going to start this post with a letter…
…but then thought better and decided not to lower myself to the level of the scum. Instead what follows is a bit of an educational post of what I’ve encountered and what I’ve tried.
Real Estate Agents play games. A lot of games. Different games. Games that are hilarious if you can spot them. It’s real fun to play Spot that Game.
The Mass Email. The (non) Targeted Video.
This one cracked me up. I was told just hours prior about this trick by one of the most honest Real Estate agents I have ever met (more on that soon). Essentially the agent initiating this game sends you an email or video from their “potential buyer.” Of course, the buyer is not real. It’s all a fake. The email goes something like this:
If you re-read that you will notice that this includes hundreds and hundreds of homes. Sounds specific and maybe targeted but it is not. They are simply looking for you to take the bait. I did not receive an email like this but instead this hilarious video. I can guarantee you this was either purchased or created by the agents secretary. I confronted the agent on this but that just ended in more lies.
When you’re selling FSBO (for sale by owner) every agent will tell you they have potential buyers and simply want to preview the place prior. Turns out almost none do. I emailed 400+ agents. 10% responded with either “Thanks for sharing. Will keep this in mind”. 1% responded with “Where did you get my email. Please remove me from your list.” 5% said they had potential buyers and want to preview the place. It turns out only 0.02% had potential buyers and actually brought them thru.
So why would they want to ‘Preview’ our place? For two simple reasons. First, to see if we were buying another home (for which they want to act as a buyers agent) and second, to try to get in the non-existant queue for when we give up on selling By Owner. It’s a massive waste of time both for the private seller as well as the agent. Again, monkey material.
A couple weeks back one agent came thru with a potential buyer. Turns out the place was too small for him. Fair enough. No argument here. The following week I get a call; “Hi Ben, I would like to come by and discuss how we can get more buyers thru your place. I also want to talk to you about Strategic Representation”. I said sure, let’s meet. Couple hours prior to the meeting I get a call “Hi Ben, I need Ashley to be there as well. I need both people on title to be present.” Why? Well because he wants us to sign something. Something called “Strategic Representation”. This BS move was an attempt to get us to sign a full service contract.
Want to know a secret? Here it is. Real Estate commissions are negotiable. There is no standard commission. They will tell you “We offer the standard 3% & 1.5% .” Fact of the matter is there is no set standard. It would be illegal if there was a standard because it’s called Price Fixing.
Want to negotiate a better commission? It all comes down to how you play your cards. If show your hand before you even get to the ‘commission conversation’, you will inevitably pay the
rip off standard commission. If, on the other hand, you waver for a while, mentioning you’re not sure if you will sell by owner or use a Flat Fee agent, you will very quickly learn that many Real Estate agents will not only cut their commission, but some are even willing to work on a per hour rate. I know, amazing!
Much more to come. I just can’t comment much on what’s going on currently. Stay tuned!