Posted by: Timothy Ellis (The Tim)

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

63 responses to “Poll: Have you ever had a real estate agent tell you (personally, not in an ad) that it is a “great time to buy”?”

  1. nwbackpacker

    Lol, I’ve heard that statement easily over 10 times. I’m constantly on a low grade housing search so I tend to meet agents excited for a new client.

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  2. toad37

    Multiple times!

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  3. don owen

    they are salespeople,so thats what they will always say!

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  4. Peter Witting

    Yes. The most recent instance was in the month prior to expiration of the tax rebate. It was a nice new listing near the Stilly (Silly) River, not far from the “Greystone Manor” monstrosity. Not only was it a great time to buy, but I had do offer right away in order to capture the $8,000 tax credit.

    Seriously, pushing me over $8,000 when the listing could drop that much in just the next month? J.L. Scott Realtor. I’ll withhold the name.

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  5. jeff

    Every market needs a different justification that it is a great time to buy.

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  6. jesus christ

    like a used car salesman

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  7. EEK!

    A few of them said as much, both at the peak and after the crash. At the peak, I was told that prices will never go down so I shouldn’t wait (it seemed like EVERYONE was saying this, not just agents). After the crash I was told it was the best time in history to buy a home.

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  8. David S

    By don owen @ 3:

    they are salespeople,so thats what they will always say!

    Truth. If you wave your hand in front of a rattlesnake expect it to strike at you. Likewise when interacting with sales people. Expect them to sell to you.

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  9. EEK!

    RE: Peter Witting @ 4 – I had the same issue. I resisted the temptation and it turned out that waiting was the right thing to do.

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  10. David S

    By don owen @ 3:

    they are salespeople,so thats what they will always say!

    Truth. If you wave your hand in front of a rattlesnake expect it to strike at you. Likewise when interacting with sales people. Expect them to sell to you.

    Honestly, the best ones will provide service beyond compare.

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  11. WillyNilly

    Almost every single open house I went to during during 2008-2009. By 2010 it seemed many agents were biting their tongues, but still muttering the mantra under their breath, trying to convince themselves and keep hope alive. Monty Python – it’s just a flesh wound!

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  12. Hugh Dominic

    Windermere agent in 2007. As I was considering an offer in Queen Anne. She assured me that the neighborhood would easily support the price. Close enough.

    Didn’t.

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  13. jake

    The correct question is whether one has ever NOT said that.

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  14. Teacher _Greg

    In my house search I went to about 200 open houses (I realize that is higher than usual). All but 3 told me it was a great time to buy. (This was from 2006 – 2010).

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  15. toad37

    RE: Teacher _Greg @ 12 – Wow… Did you ever end up buying anything?

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  16. FenceSitter

    RE: Teacher _Greg @ 12
    I am right there with you. I think we have been to over 300 open houses in the last couple of years. It seems to me in the last few months I haven’t heard the “it is a great time to buy” mantra as often. I think perhaps it started once the Fed stated that interest rates would stay low through 2013. Not sure if it one had anything to do with the other, though.

    My favorite story is when we were discussing inventory with an agent at an open house this spring. He said it was a great time to buy because of the high inventory and low rates. I said something along the lines of “yes, inventory is high, but it is all stale. Anything new and priced well goes pending in a matter of days.” He asked me if I was just being picky.

    That house is still on the market, btw, even with over $50,000 in price drops.

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  17. ARDELL

    I think there needs to be a distinction between “a” real estate agent and “your” real estate agent. If the person you are speaking with represents the seller of the home or anyone that is not you…there would in fact be a difference. I think that goes without saying.

    The job of the Listing Agent/Agent for the Seller is to sell that home for the seller. The objective of an Open House agent, if they are not the Listing Agent, is to sell you anything, most of all to sell you the idea of buying period.

    YOUR agent…the one you hire to represent you as a buyer, is quite different, or should be. Not fair to judge agents out of context. The agent you hire to represent you in a real estate purchase is no longer “a salesman”…once you hire them…and only if and when you do hire them to that purpose.

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  18. Ben

    I have had many agents at open houses and new developments and the like tell me that.

    I have also had Ira tell me it was a crappy time to buy ;)

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  19. Scotsman

    RE: ARDELL @ 18

    “there would in fact be a difference. I think that goes without saying.”

    Um- no. All agents work for the seller and themselves. Even the ones north of I-90.

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  20. Jonness

    I have attended about a dozen open houses over the last 4 years. At every single one of them, the hosting RE agent has told me it’s a great time to buy. When I told them, it wasn’t a great time to buy and explained why, most of them changed their tune and started talking about the grim reality of the market.

    Edit: Now that I think about it, that’s not true. At one open house, the hosting agent asked me when I was going to submit an offer on the house. I replied that I was afraid to offer because of all the money I could potentially lose. She replied, “You and everybody else.” At which point, we began to discuss the truth of the market.

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  21. Jonness

    By Teacher _Greg @ 15:

    In my house search I went to about 200 open houses (I realize that is higher than usual). All but 3 told me it was a great time to buy. (This was from 2006 – 2010).

    Now that’s what I call doing your research. You rock!

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  22. Jonness

    By FenceSitter @ 17:

    That house is still on the market, btw, even with over $50,000 in price drops.

    You picky and terrible person. How dare you not throw $50K in the trash can so the RE agent could get his well deserved $12,000.00 paycheck.

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  23. Kary L. Krismer

    By Scotsman @ 20:

    RE: ARDELL @ 18

    “there would in fact be a difference. I think that goes without saying.”

    Um- no. All agents work for the seller and themselves. Even the ones north of I-90.

    That was actually true maybe 15-20 years ago. An agent could show a buyer 50 houses, never meet the seller, and they were still deemed to typically be the agent of the seller. Anything the buyer told them would have to be passed on to the seller.

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  24. Ira Sacharoff

    As an agent, I’ve never told anyone that it was a great time to buy, unless I was referring to the bottles of Shiraz on sale at Grocery Outlet. Prior to becoming an agent, I’d heard agents say that, and since becoming one I’ve heard other agents say that. I’m not sure what agents participating on Seattle Bubble now were saying a few years ago, but I can guess:
    Kary: I can’t tell you whether now is a great time to buy because that would be akin to making predictions, and I don’t do that.
    Ray: it’s a great time to buy…pretzels at Claim Jumper. They’re GEMS. But you likely won’t digest them, cause they’re all coming back.
    Ardell: it’s a great time to buy homes located on the west side of the street ,inorth of I-90. if the doors are red and the feng shiu is right, and it’s after my last bottom call.
    David: It’s a great time to buy if you’re paying all cash and only after Bush and Cheney and the banker thugs are all jailed. It’s real. It’s an estate.

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  25. Pegasus

    By Teacher _Greg @ 15:

    In my house search I went to about 200 open houses (I realize that is higher than usual). All but 3 told me it was a great time to buy. (This was from 2006 – 2010).

    I think you either need to get a life or learn how to make a commitment to buy a home or to not buy. That should get you out of the home voyeur addiction.

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  26. Peter Witting

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 25 – Then Kary and Ardell get into a lover’s quarrel….

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  27. ARDELL

    RE: Scotsman @ 20

    I’m sure you know that is not true, generally speaking. What I hear you saying is that there is no agent that you, personally, can hire to represent you and no one else. I think that may be true for you. :)

    There is a difference between advice from someone you hire to represent you…and “advice” from a stranger standing on a soapbox shouting “truths” into the air. That would not be “agent advice”. That would be someone talking to themselves.

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  28. Ray Pepper

    RE: Ben @ 19

    “I have also had Ira tell me it was a crappy time to buy ;) ”

    It only matters WHAT you buy and WHAT you pay for something. When asking ANYONE what you should do with YOUR money begins its seperation from your wallet/purse to someone else who will surely profit from your decision.

    Our local Banks advertise EVERDAY when I walk in on how its a GREAT TIME TO BUY. Again, the Real Estate Agents are the pons and asking ANYONE if it is a GREAT TIME TO DO ANYTHING that involves YOUR MONEY puts YOUR money at risk..

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  29. David Losh

    It’s always a great time to buy Real Estate.

    That’s just a fact of life. You don’t have to pay cash, it’s OK to use the banks money, you just have to figure the cost of that money. Real Estate is an investment. It’s called building a Real Estate

    Once again Ardell made solid points in comment #18. You would need to have the advice of your agent, and that should be an agent with knowledge, and experience. There are a lot of people who entered the Real Estate business who are just sales people.

    Yes the NAR is to blame for the membership drive, yes there are still a lot of people not to be trusted, but so far no one has presented a better system than the one we have in place.

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  30. Ken M

    We have bee trying to buy a house the last 6+ months. Lots of people still have high expectations. We just did an offer and got the sellers counter. The house is 10 years older than comparables and the kitchen has some original 25 year old appliances. It needs updating in the kitchen. The rest of the house is in good shape but their counter was at the price that the newer houses just sold for.

    This was the response our agent gave us after he told us their counter offer.

    “The agent says that’s it, the sellers know they have an impeccable home and believe they can wait for a better offer to come along. This is for you to decide and I do have to point out we have looked at allot of homes across many price ranges and I don’t think anyone of them have fulfilled your needs and wants and beyond as much as this one. If I wasn’t saddled in an upside down house I’d by it. We have to respond before 9:00 PM tonight. It sounds to me from what the other agent shared is their starting to feel pressured and taken advantage of.”

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  31. David Losh

    RE: Ray Pepper @ 29

    What?

    I get the point, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense. Should I figure out which TV to buy, or go to Video Only? Should I figure out all of my favorite recipes, or go to Claim Jumper?

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  32. Ray Pepper

    RE: David Losh @ 32

    Maybe this will help:

    Don’t ask people how YOU should spend YOUR money when they have a vested interest in you making one decision or another. Live your life following this simple rule David and you will prosper.

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  33. lecadidupe

    I dunno, if anything, the agents I’ve worked with over the years have, if anything, told me _not_ to buy when I fooled-around-and-fell-in-love with a place that might not have been a good value. Why, I remember (starts drifting off) back in ’91 when I was looking for my first place. Young, reckless, starry-eyed, I wanted to buy this cute tudor in Beacon Hill, but the agent I was working with said, no, you don’t want this house; really, this house isn’t right for you. At first I protested: yes it is! But then I realized she was signalling to me that the house was – how do you say it? – too South of I-90.

    And the most recent agent I’ve been working with (I don’t want to get too shamelessly plug-orific, so I’ll just say his first name is three letters long and begins and ends with vowels) is the ultimate killjoy – he shoots down places right and left and adamantly refuses to make any predictions, no matter how annoyingly I prod him. That kind of assistance is, to a buyer and all-around moron like me, pretty invaluable because houses, unlike, say, Spanish condo REITs (had a financial planner try to push one on me about five years ago) and gold-mining-company stocks, sometimes have a certain _allure_ that can act as a cognitive kill switch.

    -lecadi
    -I looked at a couple of places with Redfin agents a while back, but they struck me as a bit, I dunno, perfunctory. They stood there silently and then tut-tutted me if the neighborhood turned out to be problematic, saying that I should look at the map carefully. Sure love the Redfin site, though, even if the agents’ comments are sometimes Captain Obvious-y: “House needs updating.”

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  34. David Losh

    RE: Ray Pepper @ 33

    The decision to purchase property happens a long time before some one starts looking. The problem I see continually is that people get bad advice.

    I shop at Video Only because they have a great selection, great prices, and the sales people are knowledgable. I go there to buy TVs, and have for thirty years. I have bought my computers at Office Max. Out of the places I shop they have had a knowledgable person there for the past twenty years.

    My decision to spend my money is made before I go.

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  35. Scotsman

    RE: lecadidupe @ 34 -

    “the ultimate killjoy”

    Our Ira? I’m crushed. In my fantasies he’s Mr. “Party All The Time.”

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  36. bob

    I found that buyers did not want my advice if it ran counter to conventional (sic) wisdom. In 2007 I was told more than once that I was too pessimistic by some of my clients (including my daughter) and lost business because of it. Luckily she didn’t buy and now has the money and freedom to travel. My son waited and bought for the right reasons (started a family). Now I have clients telling me it IS a good time to buy again

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  37. MichaelB

    Now is only a great time to buy if you can afford it.

    Fortunately, we now know that affordability is more affordable than ever! ( I read it in The Seattle Times – a new partner of Seattle Bubble).

    If you still can’t afford it, even with record affordability, buy now or you will regret it forever, as you will never be able to afford it in the future!

    Also, keep in mind that by extending your loan to 40 or 50 years you can actually significantly increase affordability.

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  38. Azucar

    I’ve had more realtors tell me it’s a great time to eat at Claim Jumpers than I have had them tell me it’s a great time to buy… but then most of my interaction with realtors is here at the bubble.

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  39. softwarengineer

    Hey, Give the Realtors Some Slack Too

    Sure, they were buffoons, if they were telling us the real estate bubble was just an illusion…but just about any salesman of any product exagerates in the show room to make a sale. If they buyers are dense enough to believe anything a salesperson tells ‘em, they need to be cheated to learn a life lesson.

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  40. Vicki

    In answer to the reverse question – have you ever had a real estate agent tell you that it isn’t a great time to buy? Yes. Charlotte Killien of Windermere talked us out of buying in 2008 and I can’t thank her enough. When we do decide we want to buy, we will call her.

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  41. Peter Witting

    Mary Gibson of the Windermere office of Windermere gave me good advice twice, First in 1993 when I was shopping in the area. After nine months of pre-internet searching, I found the “perfect house” at one of her showings, but it was more than I could comfortably afford at the time. I asked her to walk me through another one, which she quickly determined was the “wrong house” for me. The next day, she showed me the “right house for me” – same price, but completely the right house for me.

    I approached her again in 2007, and she told me not to think about buying or selling right now, that i should just stay where I am at.

    postscript – the first house that I couldn’t afford in 1993? I still love it, still think it’s perfect for me, but now that I can afford it, I don’t really want to. I enjoy looking at it nearly every day while I walk the dogs.

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  42. David Losh

    RE: Peter Witting @ 42RE: bob @ 37RE: Vicki @ 41

    Mary’s the best.

    There are a lot of good agents who are completely honest about the Real Estate market place. It’s what they do, and it makes no difference to them about if you buy, or sell. They are always busy, and following a business plan.

    I think more people spend a lot of time fussing about what the internet tells them than actually paying attention to Real Estate. Most peopel think about Real Estate during a purchase or sale process; the rest of the time they are busy with jobs, kids, social events, or current events.

    The Real Estate market never stops. Those people who are out there slogging every day in that market know things. It’s well worth the time to search those people out. They aren’t on line. Most of the best will tell you they don’t have time for a computer. There’s too much to do, and see in a day.

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  43. Teacher_Greg

    I did end up buying…in the end I compromised my location for the type of house and lot I was looking for (again another real estate faux pas). I mostly went to so many open houses so I didn’t have to bother my agent every time I wanted to see something. The overwhelming majority of the houses I looked at were way over priced (big surprise). I did put in offers on 3 over that time that fell through (on 1 I was outbid in 2007 for which I am still grateful, the other two I was too far apart from the sellers price to want to continue). My agent said I was her longest client ever, but she still enjoyed working with/for me. (Since she still talks to me I am assuming she wasn’t lying). The place I ended up buying was a short sale in West Seattle — great house, good neighborhood (but missing some of the things I was hoping for).

    Ardell makes a good point about the buying agent being more honest about the market conditions, but there was still a lot of denial there from 2006 – 2009.

    In general I think doing the opposite of what everyone else is doing is the way to go. If agents are now saying they are worried about the market it probably actual is a good time to buy.

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  44. Ira Sacharoff

    By Scotsman @ 36:

    RE: lecadidupe @ 34 -

    “the ultimate killjoy”

    Our Ira? I’m crushed. In my fantasies he’s Mr. “Party All The Time.”

    Now that’s a ringing endorsement. That’s sure going to persuade a lot of potential clients, ” He’s the ultimate killjoy.” It’s like saying you’ve retained the Grim Reaper as your real estate agent.

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  45. Updog

    Sometimes it is a great time to buy–tone of the question is that it never is and agents are all out to screw us………

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  46. Ira Sacharoff

    RE: Updog @ 46
    But it’s like ” The Boy Who Cried Wolf”.
    When agents are telling you it’s a great time to buy when it’s actually the worst time to buy, they don’t retain a lot of credibility when the market turns around and it does become a good time to buy. At that point they’re not seen as helpful guides but rather as slimy hyena used car salesman types who would sell their grandmother for a commission.

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  47. softwarengineer

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 47

    Your Hyena Description Sounds Like the Too Big to Fall

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  48. Updog

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 47

    Then the question should be rephrased, “does your agent tell you it’s ALWAYS a good time to buy?”

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  49. SSMayer

    RE: David S @ 9 – Priceless response!

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  50. Judy B

    Yes and after a year of looking for a view property and watching properties sell below what we would have paid, jumped. We immediately lost money but are thrilled with our view.

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  51. Peter Witting

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 47 – Ira, you killjoy, you.

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  52. Ken

    What surprises me more is when people say they’re staying put because it’s a “bad time to sell.” Compared to when? Nobody’s getting 2007 prices back, if that’s what they’re holding out hope for. Is it worse to sell now than next summer? Or maybe the one after that? What’s going to drive prices up until then? Every time I hear someone say “bad time to sell” my heart breaks for them just a little bit.

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  53. lecadidupe

    By Peter Witting @ 52:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 47 – Ira, you killjoy, you.

    That means when he actually _likes_ a house, it’s time to drop your bottle of Shiraz and prick up your ears because you’ll know his opinion is nothing if not well-informed: as I’ve noted before, he has an almost molecular-level knowledge of Seattle neighborhoods and their history and architecture.

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  54. Jonness

    By ARDELL @ 28:

    RE: Scotsman @ 20

    I’m sure you know that is not true, generally speaking. What I hear you saying is that there is no agent that you, personally, can hire to represent you and no one else. I think that may be true for you. :)

    There is a difference between advice from someone you hire to represent you…and “advice” from a stranger standing on a soapbox shouting “truths” into the air. That would not be “agent advice”. That would be someone talking to themselves.

    It’s very difficult to get someone to represent your best interest in purchasing an asset that is rapidly declining in price when the representative doesn’t get paid unless they make a sale. Not that it doesn’t happen; just that it’s more of the exception than the rule. Personally, I would much rather pay an hourly fee. The commission model of RE is designed to allow heavy abuse of its clients, and it is being abused far too often.

    Commissioned sales in the RE industry do not really represent the buyer or seller’s best interests. They represent the best interest of RE agents, which explains why 99.9% of RE agencies use this model. Buyers and sellers’ interests are not nearly as important as corporate profits.

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  55. David Losh

    RE: Jonness @ 55

    Hardly. The business model benefits the brokerage, rather than the agent.

    The hourly thing has been tried, and failed repeatedly for the same reason the commission isn’t enough to cover an agents time.

    Literally I have averaged what agents make, and it’s not enough, and especially not lately. Agents get screwed every day , by clients, brokers, the fees they pay, and the time lost on fruitless marketing.

    You do have agents that make a good living, and you will find they make wise investments to carry them through the tough times.

    What people see is a life style they wish they had when they see the Mercedes, and BMW. All of that cost money, and it’s all a dress to impress life style.

    People buy into it. People buy into Brokerages, and the Brokerage image as well. It all costs money, it’s all over head, it’s all cash out lay.

    Being a Real Estate agent is brutal thankless work. It takes thousands of hours in the field to be good at it. Ask any one of these johnie come latelies who are scrambling now to cover over head. Oh, yeah, that’s right, they will tell you it’s going amazing. or unbelievable, because you would never believe it.

    There are good agents out there. You never see them, you never talk to them. You need to be introduced, and come with a willingness to learn. You need to listen, and use the experience they have. You need to search them out because they are way too busy to waste time spinning their wheels with know it alls.

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  56. lecadidupe

    The “hourly thing” is nothing if not notoriously beloved by lawyers. But as the rate declines, practitioners of the hourly thing seem to grow less enamored of it (go figure). Hence, I surmise, the rather perfunctory demeanor of the Redfin agents I’ve met.

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  57. Hugh Dominic

    By Ira Sacharoff @ 25:

    As an agent, I’ve never told anyone that it was a great time to buy, unless I was referring to the bottles of Shiraz on sale at Grocery Outlet. Prior to becoming an agent, I’d heard agents say that, and since becoming one I’ve heard other agents say that. I’m not sure what agents participating on Seattle Bubble now were saying a few years ago, but I can guess:
    Kary: I can’t tell you whether now is a great time to buy because that would be akin to making predictions, and I don’t do that.
    Ray: it’s a great time to buy…pretzels at Claim Jumper. They’re GEMS. But you likely won’t digest them, cause they’re all coming back.
    Ardell: it’s a great time to buy homes located on the west side of the street ,inorth of I-90. if the doors are red and the feng shiu is right, and it’s after my last bottom call.
    David: It’s a great time to buy if you’re paying all cash and only after Bush and Cheney and the banker thugs are all jailed. It’s real. It’s an estate.

    This post needs to be archived. Ira just won the Internet.

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  58. Jonness

    By David Losh @ 56:

    The hourly thing has been tried, and failed repeatedly for the same reason the commission isn’t enough to cover an agents time.

    Of course it’s failed. Who in their right mind would pay that much to buy a house if it wasn’t “free?” That’s part of the scam. How else could brokerages possibly charge 3% of the sales price for unlocking a couple of doors and filling out a few standardized forms?

    Now let’s dissect your blanket statement that the commission model is not in the RE agent’s best interest. I’ll take the last house I sold as an example. The agent came by, asked me what I thought it was worth, I told him I had all the comps worked out and wanted to price it a bit below market and gave him a price. He agreed on the price, and we filled out all the paper work. I gave him some excellent photos I had taken of the house, which was turn-key, unoccupied, spotless, and staged.

    The only downside was, it was the dead of winter. I figured it would be worth paying this guy 6% since I lived 300 miles away and could not watch the house. One month later, he calls me and tells me he showed the house and the buyer found a leak in the roof above one of the bedrooms. The seller was willing to give me 75% of my asking price, and the agent recommended I take it because there was danger of developing a toxic mold problem. I reminded the agent that I had just put a new roof on the home and there wasn’t a snowball’s chance in a hot place that the roof was leaking. He claimed he had not seen the leak with his own eyes and was taking the buyer’s word for it. Right!

    Now let’s say I’m your average sucker and gave this SOB 6% for selling my house, of which he got 2.5% for having put in about 4-hours work. And you claim that commission-based sales are not setup in a RE agent’s favor?

    The truth is, they mostly reward the brokerage, but they also greatly reward dishonest and crooked RE agents. It’s the honest agents who get screwed over by this ridiculous sales model. Buyers would not look at 50 houses and then never call again if they actually had to pay for the agents time up front.

    But the truth is, if we took away the commissions, sales would drop to 10% of normal because it would no longer seem “free” to buyers. That’s why the commissions are there. The NAR turned it into a used car lot in order to pump sales.

    BTW, the house sold one month later for a full price cash offer, and the dishonest (Century 21) agent got his full commission. The good news is, I’ve learned from my mistakes and will not repeat them in the future.

    I agree, there are some excellent agents out there and many who do not get paid nearly enough for the services they provide. I blame that on the commission-based sales model.

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  59. Kary L. Krismer

    By Jonness @ 55:

    Commissioned sales in the RE industry do not really represent the buyer or seller’s best interests. They represent the best interest of RE agents, which explains why 99.9% of RE agencies use this model. Buyers and sellers’ interests are not nearly as important as corporate profits.

    You can easily argue that the system is one which benefits the sellers, and that’s why it’s so popular. Sellers are the ones that decide how to sell their homes. If FSBO or auctions were better ways to get a higher net price, more sellers would do it.

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  60. Kary L. Krismer

    By Hugh Dominic @ 58:

    By Ira Sacharoff @ 25:
    As an agent, I’ve never told anyone that it was a great time to buy, unless I was referring to the bottles of Shiraz on sale at Grocery Outlet. Prior to becoming an agent, I’d heard agents say that, and since becoming one I’ve heard other agents say that. I’m not sure what agents participating on Seattle Bubble now were saying a few years ago, but I can guess:
    Kary: I can’t tell you whether now is a great time to buy because that would be akin to making predictions, and I don’t do that.
    Ray: it’s a great time to buy…pretzels at Claim Jumper. They’re GEMS. But you likely won’t digest them, cause they’re all coming back.
    Ardell: it’s a great time to buy homes located on the west side of the street ,inorth of I-90. if the doors are red and the feng shiu is right, and it’s after my last bottom call.
    David: It’s a great time to buy if you’re paying all cash and only after Bush and Cheney and the banker thugs are all jailed. It’s real. It’s an estate.

    This post needs to be archived. Ira just won the Internet.

    I missed this when Ira posted. He shortened what I would say.

    I would say that I can’t tell you whether it’s a great time to buy because it is impossible to predict where the real estate market will head, and anyone who claims to be able to do otherwise is a huckster. I would add that nothing in a real estate agent’s training gives them any basis to predict future prices, and that even entities that spend many employee hours (many more than 40 hours per week) attempting to accomplish the feat fail miserably. Just as a current example, how much time do you think real estate agents spend researching the fiscal policies of countries in Europe? Default(s) in Europe would likely affect local prices, so without researching that, how could a real estate agent possibly predict future prices? I even support NAR making it an ethical violation for agents to claim to predict the future, although I won’t be holding my breath waiting for that to happen. Maybe Washington’s DOL would be more likely to do that????

    In reality though, what I usually say about future prices when asked is much shorter: “Nobody knows.”

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  61. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Jonness @ 59 – I’ve mentioned this before, but often banks will take someone’s word for what is wrong with a house. I only mention that because of your new roof example. I saw an REO once and one of the reasons they didn’t allow it to get a Homepath loan (as opposed to a Homepath Rehab loan) was that the house needed a new roof. It had a new roof, but there was still evidence in the ceiling of some minor past leaking, so someone told the bank it needed a new roof.

    Anyway, those situations can be good for buyers if they find them early.

    BTW, your comment on selling a house after only four hours of work shows you don’t know what agents do.

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  62. David Losh

    RE: Jonness @ 59

    You are to blame. You just told a typical know it all story that is you telling me what you did wrong, because you know sooooooo much about a business.

    You hired the agent, and probably the only agent who would talk to you.

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