By Dave Robison
Sometimes selling is complicated. Sometimes, a home can sit for weeks, months, even years before there’s so much as a bite. But with the right knowledge and dialogue, selling a home can be as easy as telling a buyer’s agent one simple thing. In 2011, I wrote a post about the power of one sentence to attract a client. Now, I’m going to let you in on another secret. Here’s how to sell a difficult home with just one line.
A few years ago, a seller in my local area called me and said, “Dave, I’ve had my home listed with my best friend for over a year. This is hard for me to do, but I need you to sell this house. Can you do it? Tell me the truth!”
To answer the question, I sold that home in one week to the first buyer who looked at it. Do you think it was luck? Not a chance.
Here’s how the conversation went with the agent who showed the home:
Agent: Dave, my buyer just saw your listing and it’s the first one he looked at. We have a lot of other homes scheduled to view and I wanted to ask, if you get anyone else interested in this property will you give me a call?
(Translation: We are going to shop around with your competition, are you cool with that?)
So to this I say, heck no I’m not cool with that! Why are agents telling buyers’ agents that they will call if they get offers? The Code of Ethics Article 1-15 specifically states: “REALTORS®, in response to inquiries from buyers or cooperating brokers shall, with the sellers’ approval, disclose the existence of offers on the property.” How many agents do you know who are technically breaking this rule by disclosing the existence of offers without sellers’ permission? Did the agent call the seller and ask for permission to disclose that they don’t have offers on the table? There’s a good chance they didn’t.
So what did I say to the agent? Continue reading »
By Dave Robison
What is the difference between a REALTOR® and a regular old Joe with a real estate license? Can anyone you’ve asked from the public answer that question correctly? Better yet, can all of the REALTORS® in your office answer that question? I feel like it was indoctrinated in me through continuing eduction classes. So, from what I’ve been taught, a REALTOR® is this: A REALTOR® is held to a higher standard because they’re a member of NAR and must follow the Code of Ethics.
Our MLS recently had WAVgroup.com do a survey on behalf of our members. Marilyn Wilson from the WAV Group spoke at a recent meeting about the research they discovered regarding our industry. First, she said that 99.9 percent of the public doesn’t know the difference between a REALTOR® and a regular old Joe real estate licensed agent.
What does that say about our strategy for educating people about what makes REALTORS different? It says that it doesn’t work. Our Code of Ethics is what we think makes us stand apart from other real estate agents. But if the public doesn’t know… then it’s not working.
So why is it not working? She exhorted that the level of service from one REALTOR® can be drastically different from another REALTOR®. This is actually the reason why I never considered joining a big brokerage… I didn’t want to be in a group where my level of service was drastically higher than the guy/gal with the same brokerage name on his or her name-tag. There’s no minimum level of service at the big brokerages, and the service level varies between agents.
As long as there isn’t a minimum standard of service, no one is going to know what sets us as REALTORS® apart from licensees. The public doesn’t even recognize us as a club. We will continue to remain commodities.
Do we want to be recognized differently? Is it a benefit to be viewed differently? With all of the REThinking this year, it seems to me there could be a good opportunity for REALTORS® to figure out what they want to happen on this topic. I’ll admit, I’m not really sure what REThink is thinking about. Most the people I talk to are confused about it as well. But as an association, if the very reason why we are different isn’t working, maybe we need to adjust our vision on what we are trying to achieve that makes us different?
How would you adjust it?
Dave Robison, known as “Utah Dave,” is a broker/owner of Robison & Company Real Estate.
By Subhi J. Gharbieh
With everything that is currently going on in many parts of the Middle East, specifically Egypt, it really made me think about how blessed we are to live in this country. Being a first generation Palestinian-American, it hurts me to see what the Egyptian people are going through. But I am proud that they are standing up for what they believe in, a true and fair democracy.
Sometimes, we take for granted the rights and freedoms we have as Americans. Many people around the world only dream to have the freedom, justice, and liberties that we have. We live in a country that allows us to vote for our leader, as well as many other rights. Freedom of religion, the right to a fair and just trial, the right to bear arms, and the freedom to own property, to name a few.
While you may think: “Most, if not all, countries around the world allow their citizens to own property.” Yes, this may be true. But there are not too many countries that have a government in place that is actively involved in assisting its citizens with home ownership. With the existence of our government-sponsored entities such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, tax incentives and deductions — The American Dream of owning a home can very well become a reality for those who desire it.
Another thing that I am greatly thankful for is level of organization and accountability that we have in this country. A perfect example is the NAR Code of Ethics that we are upheld to as REALTORS®. Article 10 in the NAR Code of Ethics says:
“REALTORS® shall not be parties to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, or sexual orientation.”
This statement just shows how diverse our country is, and that everyone has the right to own a home without being discriminated upon. We all came to this country on different boats, and different times. Let’s not criticize our differences, but rather learn to appreciate them. It is our diversity that makes this country so great.
By Toby Boyce
According to Dictionary.com, one definition is that ethics are “the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.”
As members of the National Association of REALTORS®, practitioners agree to abide by the Code of Ethics as established by the organization, and are bound by state and federal statutes that keep the business from descending into chaos.
But who is minding the gates when it comes to enforcing ethics? Local boards are often overworked and understaffed and the smaller boards are “offices of one” that are struggling just to keep the place running. NAR has too many practitioners (1.2 million members) to even consider this type of monitoring throughout the program. Ultimately, REALTORS® have to self-regulate our own industry. The practitioners are the ones in the fire every day.
However, are we doing anything with this? Continue reading »
By Toby Boyce
“Should NAR include a pro bono provision in REALTOR® code of ethics?”
The question was posed to me recently on Twitter by Sellsius publisher Joseph Ferrarra. It is something Ferrara has been kicking around for a while with “Pro Bono Real Estate Broker?” appearing June 2006 and several other articles including “Should NAR include a pro-bono provision in REALTOR® code of ethics?” on Feb. 24.
I am a huge Ferrarra fan and am honored to have had the opportunity to meet him on a couple of occasions. But, on this occasion I just don’t get it.
There are two key pieces of this discussion that bother me. (1) If you can’t afford to pay a commission on the house, can you afford to maintain the new house? (2) Adding this to the code of ethics doesn’t do anything but give it lip-service.
Don’t get me wrong, pro bono work is extremely noble and can be very rewarding. I strongly believe in giving back to our community – either through volunteering or providing pro bono work for some in the market. However, it all comes back to dollars and cents to me. Real estate is not law. People do not require our services, while everyone may need an attorney at some point in their life. If a buyer is purchasing a starter home, but “can’t” pay my 3 percent commission — so I rebate it back to them. They are essentially getting into the home with 0.5 percent down. Isn’t that the kind of stuff that got the housing market in trouble to begin with? Continue reading »