How Real Estate Companies Stopped Serving their Customers
Our lives consisted of one transfer after another for a while. We moved about every 18 to 36 months for about 15 years. We did not always buy a house. Sometimes we rented, but renting apartments and even some houses meant we had some really bad neighbors who were noisy, disruptive and even scary.
A lot of the time we bought houses and one of us worked at remodeling while the other worked at a corporate career.
In all that time we had exactly 3 (THREE!) good realtors. The rest sucked and were pretty much a##holes who did not have our best interests at heart.
We had a realtor who kept saying we could not afford a house in our target neighborhood. Eventually we did find one in that neighborhood that was within our price range. Sure it needed some work but we could and did do it. It sold within a month when we had to move again in a really lousy Midwest market.
We had another realtor who balked at our request to see recent resales for comparable homes to the one we were considering buying. We soon realized he was trying to conceal the fact that the house was overpriced when he finally…reluctantly…showed us recently closed sales in the same neighborhood. It turned out that the house we were considering was also his listing…a conflict of interest for him that did not work in our favor. We moved on to other properties and did not make an offer on the one he had wanted us to buy.
Then when we decided the corporate career was not worth the trouble we went through a succession of realtors who did not either show or sell our house. Many people would be confident that either there was something wrong with the house or it was priced too high. Who knows? We received NO realtor feedback. Mostly they did not even return our calls. The whole thing was very discouraging.
But guess what. When the last listing expired we advertised the house in the local newspaper one Sunday. It sold to the first lookers for the original asking price. It closed within a month and we moved on to our dream house in the mountains.
Then there was the property we listed that our next door neighbors sold for us. The relator took the credit and the money but our neighbors sold the property to friends without ANY involvement with the realtor except for the offer process.
We started taking our own listing photos because we could not bear the ones many of our realtors took and published.
We did have some good realtors who both sold us homes and then promptly sold them again when we had to move. They offered extraordinary service, too, both before and after the sales, helping us get acquainted with our new communities and finding us good homes that also had good resale potential. Two were women and one was a man. Their gracious behavior set a standard few others could match.
I can really understand why realtors are being disintermediated. Electronic listing services are doing a good job of getting properties in front of buyers and any lawyer can close a real estate transaction. Most realtors deserve to be bypassed. They should have quit screwing customers, taking horrid photos and failing the disclosure test long ago.