I got this email today regarding an underhanded maneuver by the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association (aka Ambulance Chasers):
Before you read about it in the paper, we wanted you to be aware of a new ballot initiative filed that would limit commissions for real estate brokers. It’s a sliding scale but still no good. Here’s the breakdown: 6% = up to $250k; 3% = $250-500k; 1% = above $500k.
This initiative is brought by the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association. They filed #109 and seven other initiatives as a response to another initiative dealing with capping attorneys fees.
You wanted to be there. See Gretchen blow her top.
Here are my thoughts on this unfortunate ill-advised action. Go sell your house yourself! Pay upfront for the marketing, the photography, the brochures, the website(s), sit the house open weekend after weekend. Call yourself and explain why the market is flat and you haven’t had a showing in weeks. Network with all of the Realtors you know because most likely the buyer will be the result of a co-op from a broker. Work for a bank and watch them already cut your fee (I’ll bet they don’t for your representation of their foreclosure actions).
Trial Lawyers fight every year when legislators and the general public try to put caps on awards or damages. They certainly don’t want their fee cut. Do you know what the routine percentage a lawyer earns if a case goes to trial? 40% of the award or damages. 50% if there’s an appeal, and 33% if the case is settled. Joe Blow gets run over by a truck and his life is ruined. He’s awarded $1 million to live the rest of his life. His lawyer walks with $400,000.
Is this a reaction to the mortgage crisis? Are the lawyers in the pockets of the banks who for the most part got us into this mess? Lawyers are representing banks everyday in foreclosure actions, and getting paid hourly. I get paid peanuts for the hours of work I put in. We’re spending money on our credit cards to market properties that may take months to sell, and then we pay a co-op to the buyer’s agent and a split to our company. Lawyers representing banks have a vested interest in this crisis stretching out for as long as possible. Realtors are actually trying to alleviate the problem by getting properties sold.
I don’t make money off of other people’s misfortune. I actually lost money last year when I helped a friend/client out of a mortgage mess brought on by a divorce and job loss. It was such a stressful time for my client that not only did I advocate for him with the bank to take a short sale, I marketed his house and paid for his inspection items out of my own pocket to get him out of the home. I am not a vulture. I am paid a fair wage and deserve to make a living just like an ambulance chaser does.
Something seems wrong with this picture. The CTLA, the alleged advocate for the underdog, is attacking Realtors in favor of banks and mortgage companies?
If this initiative passes, I’m sure the lawyers will be waiting in line to represent us to overturn it as unconsitutional. I’ll ask, “will you take 1/6th of your fee?”