Posts tagged Realtors

Charlottesville People – Do you Care What the National Association of Realtors Say?

I know I’m a broken record. I get a tremendous amount of value from the National Association of Realtors – from their publications (On Common Ground is tremendous), to the lobbying they do to the information they share … but as far as home sales data and projections, I don’t understand why there is so much gnashing of teeth and complaining about the NAR’s projections and data. The NAR is a trade organization for Realtors. I’m not bashing the NAR, but I would like to see their analysis put in the appropriate context.

Understanding the Charlottesville area real estate market is a full-time job – representing buyers and sellers, analyzing the market, etc.; making sense of the nation’s housing market – I’d go so far as to say it’s impossible to do accurately or credibly.

For a brief summary of where we are in Charlottesville:

Nest’s January 2012 Real Estate Summary

Nest’s 2012 Annual Report

And the “Market Statistics” category in RealCentralVA. Or, better yet, if you have a question about the market, start your research looking at the broader market statistics and then, ask me.

To see the responses to the title question from those on Twitter, read the rest of the story.

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One Way that Real Estate Agents are Like Lawyers

The New York Times notes this regarding law schools:

“The fundamental issue is that law schools are producing people who are not capable of being counselors,” says Jeffrey W. Carr, the general counsel of FMC Technologies, a Houston company that makes oil drilling equipment. They are lawyers in the sense that they have law degrees, but they aren’t ready to be a provider of services.

The same holds true in the real estate profession – except in Virginia, it takes a bit less than three years (try less than 100 hours of “education”) to get your real estate license. And the state-mandated real estate exam (and Broker’s exam, too) is so mind-numbingly easy and irrelevant as to be farcical.

Expertise comes with practice, time, production and learning from mistakes. More from the NYTimes:

And they have each spent three years and as much as $150,000 for a legal degree.

What they did not get, for all that time and money, was much practical training. Law schools have long emphasized the theoretical over the useful, with classes that are often overstuffed with antiquated distinctions, like the variety of property law in post-feudal England. Professors are rewarded for chin-stroking scholarship, like law review articles with titles like “A Future Foretold: Neo-Aristotelian Praise of Postmodern Legal Theory.”

So, for decades, clients have essentially underwritten the training of new lawyers, paying as much as $300 an hour for the time of associates learning on the job.

The answer is: apprenticeship. No classroom can effectively replicate practical experience. I’m still working on devising a practical apprenticeship for real estate … I’m sure it’s doable, but everything would have to change – compensation of agents, most of whom currently work on 100% commission, real estate office business models, education requirements, hiring salaried mentors? – suggestions welcomed.

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Fun with the Code of Ethics – Is it unethical to Overprice a listing?

Someone asked me this question last week, and after a bit of deliberation and thought, I think that the argument could be made that a Realtor “buying a listing” – telling a Seller what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear – could be considered a breach of the Realtor Code of Ethics .

…The services which REALTORS® provide to their clients and customers shall conform to the standards of practice and competence which are reasonably expected in the specific real estate disciplines in which they engage; specifically, residential real estate brokerage, real property management, commercial and industrial real estate brokerage, land brokerage, real estate appraisal, real estate counseling, real estate syndication, real estate auction, and international real estate.

…The challenges to a viable Code of Ethics are (at least) two-fold: 1 – The system is self-enforcing (and I could make the argument that if I were to file a violation against another agent, I could be violating my fiduciary duty to a future client) 2 – Few members of the public know that they can file a violation and don’t care enough to do so. … This is one of the many reasons that I share all market data with my buyer and seller clients – I want them to be educated, informed and competent as to the decision that they are making based on my professional advice.

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Part-Time Realtors, Disclose Thyselves!

From VARbuzz, initially quoting the Swanepoel Report –

When real estate agents take on second and third jobs and decide not to disclose that fact to their client, it raises questions concerning their level of commitment and service.

…I mean, if the pilot on my flight was a part-time freelance writer, I’d kinda want to know that he may spend some of his cockpit time on his laptop. … And Lenn hits the nail on the head in the comments – if brokers didn’t hold licenses of part-time Realtors, they’d have nowhere to go.

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This Should be Fun – Raising the Bar

The prevailing theme that I took away from the experience was “for the most part, we agree that the bar DOES need to be raised in real estate…but how, my what means, and by whom?” Finally, we at Professional One have decided to continue the conversation in this format and have created “Raise the Bar” radio , which you can find at . We plan to kick the show off with our inaugural broadcast in early February (details to follow on Twitter), and the following guests have already graciously agreed to appear on the show:

Read more: Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Share Alike Raising the Bar is another reason that we at Nest have such high standards for our agents .

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