Have you ever had to deal with a clueless broker? This is an email I got the other day from a client:
“Hey, I found another one. Not sure what’s up with it. Perhaps you can shed some light to all the acronyms listed in its MLS summary. Obviously it needs work. However, for the price and location, it may be worth it – your experience will definitely help with the decision. It’s located at 123 Main Street. Can we add it to our list for Saturday? Let me know what you think.”
I was curious what she was talking about, so I went into MLS to see what the verbiage looked like. This is what I saw:
BYR 2 OBTN CIC DOCS @ BYRS EXPENSE.SOLD AS IS.BYR2 VRFY ALL INCL BUT NOT LTD 2 SF,HOA ,TAX,ZONNG ND PRKNG.SBMT W ALL OFFRS CPY OF E.M. CHK ND LNDR LTR OR VERIF OF FNDS. OUTDATED. FIX OR SCRAPE. CLOSE TO CHERRY CREEK. DESIRABLE LOCATION.
So I wrote my client the following back:
“Translation: Buyer to obtain the common interest community documents at buyer’s expense. Sold as is. Buyer to verify all inclusions but not limited to square footage, home owners assn, tax, zoning, and parking. Submit with all offers: Copy of earnest money check and lender letter or verification of funds. Etc. Etc.
They don’t make it easy on the average buyer…! It looks like a bank owned property or pre-foreclosure. I’ll bet it’s probably decimated inside (dcmtd insd).”
Lazy business practices rule
I’ve often said that the barriers to entry in real estate are too low. It’s easy to get your license, harder I guess, to be professional at your job. This description says lazy to me. It also says that the real estate agent doesn’t care that the general public is viewing the “public” remarks in the MLS. My client found this property on an internet site – obviously one of many sites that just pull down basic info from MLS’s. If the Realtor isn’t capable of entering the information in a savvy enough manner to properly position her listing, then I guess that may explain why this house has been on the market for nearly a year and has seen 6 price reductions.
You get what you pay for in a listing agent…
Why Should You Care?
All over cyber space are posts and comments lambasting real estate brokers. I’m often surprised by the negativity, sometimes enlightened by the observations and bemused that some people lump all Realtors together as bad actors. It’s like calling all lawyers scum-sucking bottom feeders. Oh yeah….
The thing is, that many consumers not only want the services of a great broker, they need them. In today’s busy world, managing an entire transaction is complicated and time-consuming for two-income families with kids, school, hobbies, etc. Why buyers and sellers need a Realtor is to seek advice and guidance, to help with decision-making and to see to it that the transaction goes smoothly. In the Luxury real estate market there are added complexities that make using Zillow a non-starter.
I guess there is a place for everyone’s opinion. The people out there who don’t choose to use a broker are making their personal choice. When you need the services of a broker to market and sell your property, then you should definitely ask them what marketing experience they have. Writing copy like the example above just doesn’t cut it. If you’re a buyer out there looking at internet sites and have a question about broker lingo, just send me an email and I’ll translate.