This may not come up often. In fact, I have been in this business of representing Santa Clarita home buyers and sellers for better than 20 years now, having gotten licensed and becoming a Realtor in 1998. During that time we have a standard of having dealt with agents who are not realtors being less than a handful of times.
This time, however, is very worth writing about having gotten the trophy for “misleading” and “non-admitted confusion”.
We will call him “JIM” for the time being. Jim stated that he does a lot of commercial property representation and that he also dabbles in property management.
He wanted to write an offer on a seller’s home we have listed for sale and did so.
I will get into why that is the subject of this Santa Clarita Valley blog article in a moment. First, I want to catch you up to speed as to the difference and price of admission of being a “Realtor” versus a real estate agent.
For a person to be a real estate agent all they have to do is pass the test that is put on by the California Department of Real Estate. That is it, if they pass this very difficult and tricky test that itself has a price of admission, they are now a licensed real estate agent for the state of California. Of course, that price of admission is paying money, taking classes and passing some “preliminary” tests that are verified by actual “licensed” people in the business that “oversee” that process.
After the preliminary duties are completed, those folks then are able to have the state examination scheduled and the go and take the exam which is proctored by someone from the Department of Real Estate for the State of California.
I will tell you that the test is very tricky. All of the multiple guess answers are “correct” it’s one of those answers that is most correct. If that answer is not answered correctly, then the testee gets it wrong.
A GED or high school diploma is all that is required to take the test, plus the other items I mentioned. If you have a Bachelors degree, you can qualify to take the brokers test right out of the chute. This is worthy of an entirely different write up because I have done business with these “college graduate” upgraded brokers and some are like what we used to encounter when I was a motorcycle cop with the LAPD. BTW, I’m a college graduate but have chosen not to “upgrade” to being a broker because I’m totally stoked working with REMAX and consider it the best fit for my clients. If one day that fails to be my opinion, you can bet I’ll become a broker and open my own Paris911 and SCVnest branded real estate group.
With the LAPD sometimes sergeants were allowed to oral for a motorcycle supervisor spot, never having to had been a motor cycle officer before. You may think to yourself what does it matter? It matters when the “supervisor” is superverising without understanding the critical functional components of the job. What’s it like to be enclosed in kevlar, a air tight helmet, a 100% wool uniform, with 30 pound leather knee high leather boots, leather gloves and sitting ontop of a 700 pound motorcycle that will take off a layer of skin if you touch the engine or exhaust. Doing that during 110+ degree days in the scortching sun and sitting in skirmish lines surrounded by people, writing citations and working during the hours of darkness chasing down DUI drivers, that is something that needs to be experienced as a Motor Cycle Officer before being a Motor Officer Supervisor. We had a name for these supervisors and it’s not friendly. NRDW’s – Non Riding Di*k Weeds.
To be fair, some of those NRDW’s were awesome and did a great job! However, most fell very short of the mark of being a good supervisor that understood the most intimate inner workings of the job as it related to the daily function.
The same can be applied in certain circumstances to those who have never been actual realtors before they were brokers. The same can also be said of those who have never been Realtors and are only real estate agents who have passed the state examination.
Being a Realtor – that is a big deal.
Ethics – when a person is a Realtor they are held responsible for the Realtor Ethics. Of course, the bottom line is the golden rule – Treat others as you’d want to be treated. The Realtor Code of Ethics broadens on that concept. You may be wondering why most people wouldn’t be agreeable to treating others as they themselves would want to be treated?
It’s simple. Did you have a bully in your school when you were a kid? Someone that most kids feared and steered clear of? I’m sure you did as did I. Unless you were the bully, you will understand what I’m speaking about as it concerns additional rules that are imposed, considering everyone is not that good at reading in between the lines.
Such is the case with the code of ethics for the Realtor. They are signed and enforced. What are rules without enforcement? That is what this guy’s play was. He was in the process of going for his broker’s license but was only a licensed real estate working for a property management entity.
Although he attempted to portray himself as someone who was an expert in the real estate business, has been representing buyers and sellers for many years, he was not. He had never joined a board of Realtors. He had never been a Realtor, he just passed the state exam and was taking his brokers test early because he had a college degree.
Everything aside, I don’t care who the agent is, what group they are members of and what their degree is in, or not. I only care to be dealt with straight. Don’t try to mislead my Santa Clarita real estate business. Don’t try to mislead me. I, as does Paris, will call anyone on their B.S., just as I did when I was a full-time LAPD cop.
The problem enters stage left, as I found out these many items that almost cost this fella a deal on a home he wanted to buy. It wasn’t me, I’m patient, it was my home sellers that really felt as if this cat should have been more honest after seeing how I conduct my MacIvor and Associates real estate business, versus how he deals with being a property manager on his way to being a real estate broker.
A few items that will assist home sellers, when your agent is presenting you with incomplete information from the home buyer, you may want to ask them why they are doing so? We see this from time to time with the real estate networking groups which we are a part of. We hear that “other agents” and their teams are meeting with home sellers without all of the required documentation to go over the offers presented.
Here is the best way for a home seller in the Santa Clarita Valley. Their agent, if they get an incomplete offer and after we have explained that goes into the countering offer process or the acceptance of an offer process, they should be on the submitting agent to get everything that is needed to accompany that offer on their seller’s home.
There is no other way to explain this. The agent needs to follow up with the other agent and find out what the issue is. It could be that the home buyer(s) are not equipped to buy their seller’s home. Maybe the home buyers are not willing to give up the additional pieces of information because they have bought a bunch of homes in the past that did not require it. I’d tell that buyer, times change.
Years ago I would never have had a home buyer write a love letter to a home seller. Today that is common practice. Home sellers are wanting to know more about their home buyers in order to vet them against other offers if all items are the same between the offering parties.
Even in a corporate environment where you have entities working for the banks selling their foreclosures and real estate owned listings, you have those folks wanting to see more than FICO scores, Proof of funds and buyer contracts.
People want to know more about the people. If the buyers are veterans and have worked with the military in the past or currently, don’t you think that a home seller would want to know about that? Of course, they would. Even in today’s climate where some may shun those that have employment-based as police officers or a history of working in the United States Military, you still have a majority in most states that consider buyers of those types to be honorable.
At the end of the day, money may show stronger than the buyer’s history. But if everything is even on the playing field with financing, funds and other items, the buyer’s employment and family layout may be beneficial. Of course, it depends on who the sellers are and their backgrounds. I have seen love letters from buyers win against all things being equal.
Jim had a love letter, but it was really lacking.
Jim wrote an offer on his own behalf, but it required a counter with the addendum that has over 22 points that we needed to be addressed for our home seller to keep her safe, as well as keep Jim safe.
Yes, believe it or not, this is not a cowboy show and it’s not the wild wild west. This is serious business and we honor keeping people safe to a fault which is primary to our own secondary real estate commission.
I don’t like it when people, even arrogant, egotistical home buyers that represent themselves as experienced real estate agents when speaking to me about how my seller’s home has “issues”.
The Jim’s of the world also give you advice on how you will talk to a 96-year-old seller who lost her husband in the home while she was away. They follow that up showing you what to tell your home seller as it relates to what the home is worth.
Jim, that will go a long way and thanks for your advice. 🙂
I listened. I did not get upset. I just keep Jim on the phone while he related what he has learned in the world of college and a few months as a real estate agent, licensed in California, versus me being a Realtor and a full-time LAPD Cop – Realtor starting in 1998. Cop starting in 1990.
I’m not the quibbling type of real estate agent. I’m the forthright type in the Santa Clarita Valley cities. Jim is not that way. All puff and no stuff. This is the type of real estate agent who does not last long in the industry.
No, he may be able to get paid for home buyers and sellers to utilize his services, but he is not going to be able to get the other agents to do favors for him and his clients. Wanting to make some of the necessary sacrifices that need to happen to get to the bottom of any real estate transaction.
Well, these things take time and educating the “Jim’s” of the world can be difficult. Jim learned well. He also understood that he was attempting to approach real estate in a black and white fashion. Sellers have emotions and feelings. Buyers also have those same emotions and feelings.
While I attempt to convey to my home sellers and real estate buyers to never take real estate for granted, that falls on deaf ears from time to time. While it shouldn’t, it does.
The bottom line is all real estate is best treated as all Business. Jim did not treat it as a business because he had never been in the real estate trenches before. Jim has not worked with any real estate buyers or sellers to know what they want. He only knows that JIM wants. He has no idea what other buyers want and how to treat other agents who are on the other side of the transaction.
I remember when I was going through the instructor courses for the various firearms that I had been certified on. I had to be an expert marksman to start with. After that, I had to then perform at a high level in the LAPD firearms course which was taught by master LAPD firearms instructors like Mudgett and Stafford.
The very first day I had been taken from my field position on motors and assigned to the LAPD Davis Police Academy, I was at a loss on how to get the lightbulb to turn on in the case of one particular recruit.
However, Jim Steppan stepped up to the task and while I had about a page of ways in which to bring a zero to a hero, he had encyclopedia volumes full of information, tactics, strategies, and drills on how to make this recruit understand how to get it done.
It was amazing seeing her light bulb turn on and watch as she started hitting the ten ring during her later patterns.
This applies to those who have just passed the test and those who have been serving in a Realtor’s capacity.
There are huge differences and you should hire those who best serve your Santa Clarita real estate needs.
I’m Connor with HONOR and I’m here for you. Please ensure that you are searching well – Enjoy this fun REMAX, not wrestler Audio Presentation I completed – turning our real estate up a notch!