realtors Treated as Lackeys and Maids Grovel for 6%

A little Friday schadenfreude for you. Apparently, realtors have to work for their 6% these days.

Irvine Home Address … 37 PLYMOUTH Irvine, CA 92620

Resale Home Price …… $649,000

There's a new game

We like to play you see

A game with added reality

You treat me like a dog

Get me down on my knees

Depeche Mode — Master and Servant

Schadenfreude: joy in the misfortune of others. We all know we shouldn't do it, but sometimes we just can't help ourselves. As I noted in The Reservoir of Schadenfreude:

Schadenfreude is not a spiritually uplifting response. Most religious traditions would counsel us against it. In Buddhist teaching, people are taught to cultivate feelings of compassion for the misfortune of others — feeling empathy and sadness for the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune when they impact another. The near enemy of compassion is pity: it masquerades as compassion, but it has an element of separateness which detracts from the sense of Oneness with all things. Joy is good: Sympathetic joy, the joy in the happiness of another, is another pillar of a spiritual existence. However, joy in the misfortune of another — schadenfreude — is not a skillful behavior leading to happiness. Even knowing that, many of us feel this joy anyway. Why is that?

Because it feels good! Why do we eat garbage that we know isn't good for us? Because it tastes good! Schadenfreude is one of life's guilty pleasures, and today, we get to enjoy a healthy does at the expense of realtors.

Client to Broker: Clean My Windows!


Published: August 23, 2010

Even in the strongest economies, New Yorkers of sound mind find that talking with a real estate broker can result in rolled eyes, raised voices and a New York version of “taking it outside” by threatening litigation. But now, as the sales market whimpers along in the languid last days of summer, some brokers say they have never been met by so many demands from their clients, or so much hostility.

Victoria Shtainer, a Prudential Douglas Elliman broker, said one current client had asked her to arrive two hours before open houses to clean for her. Another client, a group of corporate executives from Texas, insisted on being driven around the city at various times for five weeks.

“The behavior goes from good to bad very quickly,” said Chris A. Randolph, a Barak Realty agent who has worked with two recent clients who gave him the brunt of their anger. One client would only grunt and acted so morose in front of brokers that they called Mr. Randolph to ask what they had done to offend his client.

“I feel like the waitress where I get blamed for everything that happens,” he said.

Pressure comes from all sides. Renters want the perks their friends negotiated. Buyers, hearing about drops in prices, think they should pay far less than the asking price. Sellers are angry because they are not getting the prices they once expected, and are wondering why, when the Internet has made it easier to market their own apartments, they should have to pay a 6 percent commission, or whether brokers ought to be doing more to earn it — for instance, cleaning.

The pressure from both sides of the transaction is what makes brokerage challenging. If it were easy, we wouldn't need realtors at all…. I won't pursue that thread much further.

And brokers who remember when their advice was eagerly welcomed are having to adjust their egos as clients take all of these feelings out on them.

Since realtors are trained to tell both buyers and sellers whatever they want to hear, it isn't surprising that realtors became accustomed to having their poor advice eagerly welcomed. It isn't until the general public realizes that realtors are self-serving and their advice is bullshit that people no longer find it valuable.

“They treat us like we’re starving and we need to do them all kinds of favors to possibly make some money,” said Michele Conte, a Corcoran Group broker who was recently asked by one former client to help her sell her apartment without a commission. She agreed to help, in hopes that the former client might eventually hire her.

Of course, these complaints are unlikely to bring tears to the eyes of the numerous New Yorkers who have dealt with unsavory brokers. The New York Department of State is receiving, on average, about 80 complaints a month about brokers. That is down from 100 a month last year and 110 in 2006, but it is not clear whether brokers are behaving better or whether the slower market means fewer opportunities for them to butt heads with clients.

A decline in complaints is undoubtedly the result of fewer transactions. Has anyone noticed an increase in the quality of realtors lately?

One broker who complained to this reporter about a demanding client provided e-mails that showed her own comments were actually more hostile. “It is not your way or no way,” one of the messages said.

How stupid is that? Turning over incriminating emails without realizing it isn't very bright.

Still, brokers want it known that they are members of the human race who need to eat and will bleed if pricked.

I suppose this is where we stop to feel compassion… not.

Sarah Parsons, a Halstead agent, said that in the 11 years she had worked as a broker, she had never encountered so many unrealistic clients as in the past year.

One buyer demanded that she limit his co-op board interview to 30 minutes. Another demanded that she negotiate 30 percent off the price of a distressed apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, then grew angry at her when he had trouble getting financing. She says more sellers are micromanaging her as well.

“The buyers got more demanding, and the sellers got more frightened,” Ms. Parsons said.

Elyse Goldstein, an Upper East Side psychologist, said she had heard from brokers that clients were taking out their frustrations on them.

“When people are anxious, it stirs up their primitive defense mechanisms,” Dr. Goldstein said. She added that New Yorkers were faced with “disillusionment about what they can buy,” which she said “freaks them out.”

Ms. Shtainer, a broker who is also a lawyer, said she had been enlisted by executives of a Texas company that wanted to buy two furnished apartments for as much as $5 million — a deal that could have brought her up to $100,000, after she divided the commission with the selling brokers and with her firm.

So she acceded to demands that she considered to be excessive: that she pick them up at the airport when they came to visit, that she drive them around, that she photograph every detail of apartments they visited and that she speak with them in conference calls late into the night.

She said the executives had alienated sellers by moving slowly during negotiations and demanding that a furnished apartment include the seller’s personal effects like a coffee maker, a fax machine and pillows.

Then, after all that, they fired her.

And for the client who wanted her to arrive two hours before the open house to scrub the windows and tables? Ms. Shtainer came only one hour early, but she scrubbed.

“I have three kids to feed,” she said.

Why am I annoyed with realtors?

I am involved with real estate transactions, so why do I find realtors so distasteful? For the record, I am not a realtor. I have MLS access as an independent broker. I chose not to become part of their organization because it is too rotten to reform from within.

Bank in January I wrote Urgency Versus Reality: realtors Win, Buyers Lose, the Ideal Home Brokers manifesto. In short, I am bothered by realtors because they have a disregard for the truth. It isn't that they are liars — although some of them knowing dispel inaccurate information — it is that they just don't care. When a realtor tells a buyer that prices are going up, they may be right, but right or wrong they really don't care, they only want to tell the buyer what the buyer wants to hear to facilitate a sale. I think this behavior is deplorable, and I am openly hostile toward those who engage in it.

So every once in a while, when I see a juicy article like the one above, I will take my shots at realtors. Perhaps after three years of greatly reduced incomes, I should feel more compassion for their plight. I need to hear the NAr come out an apologize to everyone they pushed into buying homes they could not afford with emotional ploys and ridiculous financial claims. I need to see them stop their endless bullshitting and attempts to create a false sense of urgency in buyers. I need to know they are truly sorry that their actions lead people into the foreclosure meat grinder. Then I may feel their pain. Until then, I will feel the schadenfreude I shouldn't allow myself, and I will make no apologies for it.

She was there for the money

The property records do not reflect that this property was purchased by the current owner in 2004. The sales price and initial mortgage information is not provided. There was a sale in 1998, but that owner sold to the current owner on 8/26/2004. In any case, the woman who bought this property was an equity stripping spender.

  • On 3/4/2005 she borrowed $35,000 from a private party — and probably had a great private party with the money.
  • On 7/21/2005, the money she borrowed long gone, she refinanced the first mortgage for $535,000.
  • On 5/8/2006 she refinanced again with a $676,000 first mortgage.
  • On 11/7/2006 she found a subprime lender to give her another $16,305.
  • She defaulted in late 2009.

Foreclosure Record

Recording Date: 08/11/2010

Document Type: Notice of Sale

Foreclosure Record

Recording Date: 04/14/2010

The property is scheduled for auction on September 9, 2010.

I would consider this one

If there were a realistic chance of this short-sale property selling, I would consider buying it. At 4.51% interest rates, the payment is lower than rent — unless someone can show me a link to a 2,500 SF 4/2 with a pool that rents for less than $2,600. If anyone can find a better rental, please post the link, I am looking.

This property as priced with our current interest rates is clearly below rental parity. Properties selling for less than rental parity are the kind of deals we can expect to see more of over the next few years, particularly as prices roll over in the fall and winter of 2010-2011.

Irvine Home Address … 37 PLYMOUTH Irvine, CA 92620

Resale Home Price … $649,000

Home Purchase Price … $295,500

Home Purchase Date …. 6/9/1998

Net Gain (Loss) ………. $314,560

Percent Change ………. 106.5%

Annual Appreciation … 6.2%

Cost of Ownership


$649,000 ………. Asking Price

$129,800 ………. 20% Down Conventional

4.51% …………… Mortgage Interest Rate

$519,200 ………. 30-Year Mortgage

$126,987 ………. Income Requirement

$2,634 ………. Monthly Mortgage Payment

$562 ………. Property Tax

$0 ………. Special Taxes and Levies (Mello Roos)

$54 ………. Homeowners Insurance

$0 ………. Homeowners Association Fees


$3,250 ………. Monthly Cash Outlays

-$440 ………. Tax Savings (% of Interest and Property Tax)

-$682 ………. Equity Hidden in Payment

$217 ………. Lost Income to Down Payment (net of taxes)

$81 ………. Maintenance and Replacement Reserves


$2,426 ………. Monthly Cost of Ownership

Cash Acquisition Demands


$6,490 ………. Furnishing and Move In @1%

$6,490 ………. Closing Costs @1%

$5,192 ………… Interest Points @1% of Loan

$129,800 ………. Down Payment


$147,972 ………. Total Cash Costs

$37,100 ………… Emergency Cash Reserves


$185,072 ………. Total Savings Needed

Property Details for 37 PLYMOUTH Irvine, CA 92620


Beds: 4

Baths: 2 full 1 part baths

Home size: 2,498 sq ft

($260 / sq ft)

Lot Size: 5,300 sq ft

Year Built: 1978

Days on Market: 11

Listing Updated: 40406

MLS Number: S629181

Property Type: Single Family, Residential

Community: Northwood

Tract: Pl


According to the listing agent, this listing may be a pre-foreclosure or short sale.

Fantastic Opportunity to Live in Northwood! Large 4 Bedroom 3 Bathroom Pool Home with Additional Large Bonus Room Which Could Also Be Used As a 5th Bedroom. Huge Downstairs Master Bedroom with Walk-in Closet and Wet Bar. Elegant Formal Dining Room Plus Bright Breakfast Nook in Kitchen. Home Also Features Marble-Like Italian Ceramic Tile Floors, Vaulted Ceilings, Recessed Lighting, and a Gorgeous Marble Tiled Fireplace with Custom Wood Mantle. Pool, Spa, 3 Car Garage, Concrete Tile Roof, AND… **NO HOA DUES & NO MELLO ROOS!** This One Will Not Last Long. HURRY!!

Title Case, asterisks, ALL CAPS, multiple exclamation points, typical realtorspeak. Need I say more about the false sense of urgency?

I hope you have enjoyed this week, and thank you for reading the Irvine Housing Blog: astutely observing the Irvine home market and combating California Kool-Aid since 2006.

Have a great weekend,

Irvine Renter

48 thoughts on “realtors Treated as Lackeys and Maids Grovel for 6%

  1. winstongator

    There are good realtors and bad ones. Unfortunately on the buyer side, the bad ones probably took business from the good ones. A good realtor – this might be out of your price range. A bad realtor – just get an option-arm or 2/28 teaser, prices will go up to make it all OK. Who would most buyers go with, the one telling the truth or the one telling them what they want to hear? It’s an evolution of them learning that if they don’t tell buyers or sellers what they want, the buyer/seller will go somewhere else – especially in markets where you saw massive increases in the number of realtors. The real criticism should to the NaR, and their economist wing, and your point that they should be regulated like financial advisors as to what they can and cannot tell clients is a good one.

    You need to do a post about the evolution of IrvineRenter. How your attitude has shifted through time as the market fell, paper landlords folded, etc. The total cost-to-own is reasonable on this, especially for Irvine. Good luck!

    1. DarthFerret

      Who would most buyers go with, the one telling the truth or the one telling them what they want to hear?

      It doesn’t matter who the buyers go with. The unethical/dishonest [r]ealtors are the ones that make the sale! Their buyers can always offer more, because the [r]ealtor is duping them into thinking that they can/should. Buyers with the ethical/honest [r]ealtor get outbid, and they keep renting or eventually get frustrated and sign on with an unethical/dishonest [r]ealtor. When toxic financing is on tap, the dominance of the bad [r]ealtors over the good ones rises exponentially, because their gullible clients can bid even higher and higher.

      You never hear about the ethical/honest [r]ealtors, because they inconspicuously grind along at the bottom of their industry or change careers. They are abused by their brokers, unappreciated by their potential clients, and unrewarded for their morals. When an industry is COMPLETELY DEVOID of any standards, ethics, or discipline, this is the reality we face.


  2. Alicia

    US real estate salespeople freak me out big time. I (based on my experience in my home country) would expect to pay 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 percent max for “sole agency” ie I agree to list a property via one agent only, or 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 for listing with multiple agents (the increased percentage is to make the carrot bigger since they have competition if my property is on several agents books). 3% is absolute tops and I have never paid that in fact I’d eat my fingers to stop me signing up to any such thing. And of course I expect to interview several agents and instruct them whether I want all, several or one of them to market a property. For finding a property I do not expect to pay ANYTHING (they are supposed to get paid by the seller at typical rates I just gave). I don’t see why I should pay to keep some airhead bimbo (male or female) in hair and nails and brand new SUVs. I hope I never have to buy or sell a house in the US before sense & competition comes to the whole business. Until then my husband will have to deal with the lunacy. I admit I was brought up to think of real estate people as somewhere akin to politicians and journalists in the truthfulness and ethics stakes (“deceptively spacious”). Like the one above – what’s with the “Gorgeous” fireplace with “Custom Wood Mantle” for 600k – around here it’s typical for 150k. “Marble-Like .. Floors” oh be still beating heart, swoon, “Marble-Like” !!!!!.

    Mmm. Do I feel better after ranting? No not really…

  3. Soylent Green Is People

    While I enjoy a good realtor bash now and then, swabbing the deck is going a bit far. A seller should have more dignity in their ownership of a property than to wait for the maid…… to take care of this for them. Certainly anyone who pokes a sign in the ground and inputs crappy descriptions with shiatty pictures into the MLS does not deserve 3 to 6 percent commission, but on the other hand slave labor isn’t called for either.

    A post on what would make a good Realtor may be in order. I know first on my list is ABSOLUTELY NO FINANCIAL ADVICE SHOULD BE GIVEN whatsoever, unless you also hold a CPA degree, or an MBA in tax policy. Second would be open communication. One realtor I work with has a blocked (aka Private) number. I never answer that call directly, but counter with Voice Mail. realtors who don’t post accurate email addresses, correct phone numbers in their response messages, and other contact issues should start actively seeking other employment. There are plenty of other “must have’s” in a good Realtor, so let the discussion continue either in a post, or in replies.

    My .02c

    Soylent Green Is People.

  4. jb

    Schadenfreude: joy in the misfortune of others

    From Jaws –

    Hooper: Ha ha, they’re all going to die.

    I’ve bought four properties and sold three (kept a rental) over the past 17 years. I’ve also rented out two properties for 14 years. I’ve only dealt with ONE realtor with integrity. And the realtor that I used for 10 years to lease my property turned out to be a snake a few months ago. Bu-buy.

  5. Swiller

    From the picture, it appears the weight of the second floor is making the garage doors “squint”, or maybe that massive structure above it, actually pushed 1/2 of the lower floor into the swampy Irvine earth.

  6. Planet Reality

    “I would consider buying it. At 4.51% interest rates, the payment is lower than rent”

    Well, well, prices were actually more reasonable in Irvine in Spring 2009 when everybody thought the economic world was ending.

    1. wheresthebeef

      PR you keep eluding to a stock market crash, that is the only thing that will bring Irvine RE down. Are you saying potential buyers have all their money tied up in the Wall St. casino? I hope not, that would be beyond stupid. Anybody who has thoughts of buying in the next year or so should have minimal stock market exposure…or maybe I’m behind the times when it comes to investing.

      1. Planet Reality

        What I’m saying is that a stock market crash impacts housing prices for a multitude of reasons:
        – jobs / unemployment
        – asset prices for savings, retirement, down payment
        – consumer and general economic confidence

        If you have the guts it’s the best time to buy any asset.

        Without another crash market forces should lead to a relatively stable Irvine nominally given rental parity.

      2. Chris

        “Are you saying potential buyers have all their money tied up in the Wall St. casino?”

        Whereisthebeef, you’re truly underestimating TPTB. Most of the average folks are investing based on their ages as suggested by TPTB.

        Now, at what age group do you think comprised mostly the potential buyers? I doubt Baby Boomers come to mind.

    2. IrvineRenter

      “Well, well, prices were actually more reasonable in Irvine in Spring 2009 when everybody thought the economic world was ending.”

      The difference between us is that you believe it is a good investment. I think it is a terrible investment, but it is a reasonable housing alternative if it is cheaper than renting. I also believe that prices will still go down, but as an owner-occupant, if I am in at a price less than rental parity, I have other benefits. Plus, I was watching the market carefully in March of 2009, and I was not seeing any properties trading at or below rental parity.

      1. DarthFerret

        Plus, I was watching the market carefully in March of 2009, and I was not seeing any properties trading at or below rental parity.

        Agreed. I was well-positioned to buy in March 2009, and there was nothing at or below rental parity in Irvine. I was looking very closely, but prices were simply too high.


        1. IrvineRenter

          We can deny that because we were all looking at individual properties, and that is not what we saw. The median has increased since early 2009 mostly because a change in mix. Also, the reason we are seeing rental parity now is because interest rates are at historic lows and eclipsed the lows we saw in early 2009. So we prices on individual properties that are the same or lower, and we have lower interest rates. Together that creates better affordability. I also believe affordability will improve more as prices fall further.

        2. Anonymous

          Low end OC properties (ex Santa Ana condo) bottomed earlier. High end properties (ex irvine) fell later. Even higher end ( ex huge waterfront mansions) will bottom later still. It’s a ripple effect., like when Wile E Coyote goes off the cliff – feet drop first, then the middle, then the head.

        3. Chris

          Prices were also lower before Irvine defeated the El Toro airport conversion proposition. So what’s your point?

          1. Chris

            Oh, let me add that prices were WAY f***ing lower before Irvine defeated the El Toro airport conversion proposition. Should that proposition passed, Irvine wouldn’t be as expensive as today no matter how good the schools are.

            Macroecon won’t have as much effect as local changes that will affect home prices.

          2. Swiller

            If I had *any* idea that Irvine and Agran would screw the pooch so bad on the mother f*ing great park, I would have voted to build the damn airport myself. Hosed again by the selfish and the rich. Weeeeeeee!!!

            I hope that park bleeds the foolish citizens of Irvine DRY. Enjoy your $128 million dollar balloon ride. The residents of Irvine deserve everything they have got coming to them.

  7. Marc

    I still don’t see why I would pay someone a 6% return on his investment if the stockmarket returned probably close to 0% per year over that period (with much higher risk). The math just doesn’t add up. The annual returns sellers are asking for are a clear sign that real estate in Irvine is still way too pricey. I will buy once we see properties priced for a 3% annual return over the last 10-20 years. Also, the monthly cash outlay is $3.2k. From a rental parity perspective that is definitely over market (I would estimate that this rents for $2.8k). I think a fair price for this home is ~$450k, that still leaves them with a $120k return over 12 years. I wish my investments had performed like that…

    1. Planet Reality

      You are allowed to use whatever metric you want. However given the average returns on real estate in southern California from 1960 to present day are greater than 3% it’s unlikely you will ever buy a house in Irvine using that metric. Comparing versus rent may be a tad smarter.

      Inflation was definitely not 3% a year over the past decade, but that’s only a footnote.

      1. DarthFerret

        PR: “ it’s unlikely you will ever buy a house in Irvine using that metric

        [insert appropriate level of hysteria]

        [r]ealtors of the world unite!!!

        How long do you really expect us to fall for that trick?


        1. breakingBad

          PR’s induction fallacy is better illustrated by the turkey story in Nassim Taleb’s Black Swan … for housing turkeys an eventful Thanksgiving day may be just around the corner.

    2. IR_Fan

      you keep posting this…

      Someone would pay 6% return because affordability is better, neighborhood/area is more developed ( or better for some) and real incomes increase over time.

      Whether it should be 6% or 8% or 3%, you keep posting like nothing has changed over 12 years except inflation when it clearly has.

      As for your investments, why do you single out a single class (publicly trade equities, probably US only) and assume all other returns should be correlated to that. Bonds have had less “risk” but return more than stocks as well over your time frame…then by your measure, no one should buy bonds either since you are paying the holders of those bonds too much for their return.

      While it might be true, apparently trillions of dollars in bonds get transacted daily with new buyers taking out sellers. They should all just sit around and say they shouldn’t get such a good return and wait.

      1. Marc

        Ok, let’s take bonds and a 4% return, still far from the 6% this guys is looking for. Also, real incomes hardly rose over the past 10 years. The improvements to the quality of life in Irvine that you mention are factored in through inflation and taxes, so they are accounted for by the 3%. Again, it’s going back to the fallacy that real estate should perform better than other asset classes with similar risk.

        1. IR_Fan

          Bond’s yield 4% but that doesn’t mean that your return on bonds for the last 10 years is 4%. Depending on the duration of the bonds, you will have returned considerable more since prices went up and yields went down. You buy at 8% yield and you sell at 4% yield you made a heck of a lot more than the coupons you have received over that time.

          Bonds and any fixed income type of instrument(which R/E is more like in terms of investment vehicles than equities), when yields go down, prices go up.

          The improvements in quality of life are accounted for by inflation???? That by definition is not inflation.

          I didn’t make any fallacy that real estate should perform better than other asset classes with similar risk.

          The only fallacy was that you stated that publicly traded equities traded with no gain for more risk so there is no reason for R/E to have traded higher.

          All I said was there are other factors than “inflation” which you always point to, as to why prices might have risen. Trying to justify why real estate should not return anything because stocks haven’t returned anything in any given “short” period of time is the fallacy.

        2. IR_Fan

          “Also, real incomes hardly rose over the last 10 years.”

          According to BEA, personal real incomes rose from 963M in 1998 to 1.564B in 2009 in real terms. Seems like a bit more than “hardly rose” to me.

          1. SanJoseRenter

            Of great interest would be the personal income for 2010. No doubt we’ll be nostalgic for 1998. 🙂

  8. awgee

    I think it is important to not confuse the issues: compensation and truth.

    I have never complained about how much money agents make. It is none of my business until I hire one and then it is my responsibility to negotiate in my best interest. It is nobody else’s business how much I am paying or how much the agent is making.

    Sales people are obligated to tell the truth. Sales people are obligated to tell the truth. No matter how much they make or don’t make. It is no less deplorable for an agent to lie, and they do lie, if they have not had many sales and it is no more deplorable if they lie when they are successful. Their success or lack of it is irrelevant to whether or not they should tell the truth.

    99% of all agents should not be giving their opinion of the direction of the real estate market. They are not qualified to make such judgements. And if a client takes his agents opinion about the market as anything other than polite conversation, the client is ignorant and is responsible for any decisions made on those opinions. Agents are irresponsible for giving their opinion on the re market because people think of agents as real estate experts. Many agents are experts at re transactions and representing their client’s interests and they are great agents, but that gives them absolutely no qualification to read a market.

  9. DarthFerret

    IR: “For the record, I am not a realtor. I have MLS access as an independent broker.


    This is exactly what I am trying to do, although I haven’t been as diligent about it as perhaps I should have. Can you elaborate on how to do this? I would greatly appreciate as much step-by-step detail as you are able to provide. When I’m ready to enter the market locally, I’d like to be able to access the MLS directly and open my own doors for listed properties.

    I passed the CA RE salesperson exam back in 2006 when I was toying with the idea of becoming a securities broker, but I haven’t done anything with it since then.

    Thanks in advance for any advice/help you can provide.


    1. DarthFerret

      P.S. Specifically, how did you work the 2-year’s experience required for moving from agent to broker?


      1. IrvineRenter

        When you go to the OCAr office to sign up for MLS access, one of the check boxes is to sign up as an independent broker without joining OCAr or the NAr. That one is pretty simple. My guess is that they were sued by independent brokers and had to offer that form of access.

        In California, you can take the broker’s exam without having to be a salesperson for 2 years. There are qualification requirements you must meet, but anyone with a 4-year degree can go take the test with a few additional classes, which can be taken online. Even if you are only a salesman, there are plenty of brokers that will allow you to hang your license even if you are not that active.

        Once you are an independent broker, you don’t need to place your license under anyone to conduct business and take commissions; although, if you are going to be the responsible broker in a transaction, you better have errors and omissions insurance.

        1. DarthFerret

          When you go to the OCAr office to sign up for MLS access, one of the check boxes is to sign up as an independent broker without joining OCAr or the NAr. That one is pretty simple. My guess is that they were sued by independent brokers and had to offer that form of access.

          Good to know!

          Even if you are only a salesman, there are plenty of brokers that will allow you to hang your license even if you are not that active.

          Could you refer me to a specific one? Will they charge anything for doing this? I planned on hitting up a broker friend of mine, but he didn’t sound very excited when I brought it up awhile back. He was able to hang his license with his RE broker father years ago, and he only uses his license to buy and sell his own investment rental properties now. I’m not sure if there are liability issues that he’s worried about.

          Thanks again.


          1. IrvineRenter

            It isn’t the kind of arrangement brokers want posted on sites like this. Suffice it to say that if you went and talked with the brokers in some of the large brokerage houses, they would be delighted to have you under them because anything you do gives them a piece of the action. Most don’t care how hard you work as long as they get a piece of any commissions you generate. There are a great many agents who generate $0 commissions, and the brokers don’t mind having them as salespersons. It costs them nothing.

            There are liability issues which is why many brokers don’t want to hassle with it. I don’t want to have any salespeople under me for that reason. If I were carrying errors and omissions, I might feel differently, but I don’t, so it would be liability with no upside.

  10. JB

    I am an agent in Irvine but I couldn’t agree with you more. I learned this when I was a lender, they are greedy and only interested in getting the check.

  11. es

    ““I feel like the waitress where I get blamed for everything that happens,” he said.”

    You should have thought about this back in 2006 when you assured someone that yes, that property value was going to double by 2009 so go ahead and get that 3/1 ARM don’t worry you’ll just sell it before it explodes in your face. They’re not making any more land!

  12. Eat that!

    The problem with realtor based transactions from the buying end; is that the longer you look at houses the less return on investment they get. They are motivated to get you to buy as soon as possible. This was really a problem when inventory was very low as it was easy to say: “Well, if you don’t put in an offer above asking now, you won’t have a chance to get this home.”

    Hopefully, with increasing inventory, this dynamic will change. But that’s probably asking too much. OC and SoCal seem to be in perpetual state of delusion in regards to real estate.

  13. lowrydr310

    Are [r]ealtors still doing the fake-counter-offer trick?

    A friend of mine was buying a house and offered $20K less than the asking price. The sellers agent came back a few hours later and said, “Another buyer offered more, if you like this house and want to buy it you’ll have to raise offer.” His agent told him to raise it, he responded and said no thanks, they can have it for that price. A day later, they accepted his original offer.

    1. tazman

      Wow, I haven’t heard of the fake counter-offer in awhile, at least since 2009… didn’t know they were still doing it…

    2. Anonymous

      Maybe there was another higher offer but it was unappealing (ex. Long close date, shaky financing, precondition of selling an existing house, etc). Offers are about more than just price.

  14. HydroCabron

    A paragraph at caught my eye the other day:

    A fun trick to rent a good house cheap: go to an open house, take the real estate agent aside, and ask if the owner is interested in renting the place out. Often, desperate sellers will be happy to get a little rental cash coming in and give you a great deal. Sometimes they will rent to you for free ($0) as long as you keep the place up and pay the utilities.

    I refuse to believe the latter statement, except concerning places, say, a few miles outside of Socorro, NM. But the former sounds intriguing: I currently rent the worst dwelling in an upscale neighborhood, but could afford to rent some of the nicer homes in the surrounding areas. As owners continue to bail, I’ll be poking my head into the more desirable places to have a word with the realtor on just this topic. Much as I hate renting from accidental landlords, the upside here is pretty good.

    I can imagine eventually buying in this neighborhood. With a view to that, I’m meeting as many of my neighbors as I can. When I have enough cash, I will simply approach the owners of properties I would like to purchase, and let them know that I’m interested in doing a deal, realtor-free, if they ever decide to sell.

    I doubt this strategy has more than a 50% chance of leading anywhere, but it might be worth the effort.

  15. HydroCabron


    Only on my third pass did I catch the American Gothic pose of the sandwich shop counter help.

    I must be getting old.

  16. approach

    From wiki-leak

    O: I need more HELOC $ from China, you know this is the reason u gets re-nominated, Mr. Hellicopter
    Hell: Ya, but let economic sinks, panic grows, I’ll get u more $$$
    O: But hurry, what’s if my rating lower than un-employment rates.
    Hell: Will do it next April, so the monetary effect peaks at 2012 election.
    O: u smart, okay but a lot of HELOC.

    O/Hell: Ha, ha, ha..

    Hell: &&%#, I use 69,456,897 votes to cover my #$(@&*#(

  17. Widjet

    Speaking of bad realators …

    you have to check-out this new listing today from CDM. It can be appreciated on so many levels. To name a few, (1) WTF asking price – do they really think the property has appreciated nearly 100% over the last 5 years (no improvements were made)?, (2) use of all caps, (3) uses the word “drunken” … who in their right mind would think someone with the cash needed to buy a nearly $10 million property is going to be enticed to buy this because he used the word drunken? and (4) finally, the reference to the property market going up is laughable.

    1. wheresthebeef

      That’s pretty funny. Easy drunken walk to bars. For anybody who can afford 10M for a house, I would think you could have a limo take you to the bar…or anywhere you desire. That realtor is an idiot.

  18. Bitter Renter

    IR wrote:
    > It isn’t that they are liars — although some of them knowing dispel inaccurate information

    Presumably you meant “knowingly disburse” rather than “knowing dispel”.

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