WHY sellers and buyers don’t like REALTOR'S?

Why some sellers and buyers think Realtor's are out to get them and how can Realtor's change that?

  • November 12 2012 - Rio Vista
  • 1
    1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Be a Good Neighbor. Be respectful and on-topic. No spam or self-promotion! See our Good Neighbor Policy.

Answers (7)

Profile picture for sunnyview
Some agents are better than others, but like other professionals, people tend to key on the negative stories vs the positive ones. The best way to earn a good professional reputation is to be honest, understand the needs of your client and do what you can to help them achieve their goals.

Every professional will run into a client that is hard to satisfy or even downright unreasonable, but you really have no control over that. All you can do is control the way you respond to them and do what you can to remain the professional that you are. In the end, your good work will prevail and you will be respected for doing the best job you can do.
  • November 12 2012
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Dear Shai,
I have not had that experience with my clients but It does take time to build a relationship and establish trust. With anything it is fear of the unknown that causes people to react defensively. Because of this, I spend quite a bit of time explaining the process to my buyers an seller, so they know what to expect.
It helps when the client is referred by another satisfied previous client.
  • November 12 2012
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for hpvanc
Firstly and in general most people that don't work in sales don't like marketers or salespeople, and have developed a strong distrust of commission based compensation systems.  These stereotypes have developed over time, and are based on frequent and continuous observation.  Here is a recent article based on a survey of the value of various occupations/professions.

Secondly more specifically to real estate agents, especially Realtors®, is the continuous bombardment of the negative stereotype in advertising and many times in non-advertising coverage by the media, where the negative stereotype proudly presents themselves as a Realtors®.  A real estate transaction is an extremely expensive and somewhat complicated transaction that would ideally call for a high level of professional services.  All too often agent actions, especially when they have a strong bias to the marketing/sales aspect, conflicts with their ability to provide the desired professional services.  If you want to be "liked" and trusted you need to find a way to shift that balance in a meaningful way.

Additionally, in my opinion, the way buyers agency, a relatively recent concept, has developed has seriously harmed the reputation of agents.  If agents want buyers agency to work over the longterm, they have to give the buyers financial interest the same consideration as they give to the sellers financial interest.  Too often agents will push buying as a lifestyle/personal choice and selling as purely financial, that disconnect not only alienates potential buyer clients, but sellers ability to trust you as well.  It may seem counter intuitive but I believe many people will try to avoid using a listing agent due to trust issue after having used a "buyers" agent that did not lookout for their financial best interest.  Sellers may also have a difficult time reconciling their observation of agents from their experience with a "buyers" agent with their personal ethics.

In short this problem with Realtor® likeability and even more importantly trustability cannot be solved through talk.  The only thing the current talk is doing is digging the hole deeper, especially when Realtors® pay lip service to professional service concepts like fiduciary responsibility but their actions as sales/marketing people doesn't match the claim.
  • November 12 2012
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for SoCal Engr
My personal opinion, based on my personal experience, is that the quality of the RE agents is indeed specific to the individual - on both ends of the interaction. Some personalities will work well together, and some will always clash - so there is bound to always be some level of "that's not the person for me" in the business.

However, my personal experience is that the RE industry does little to rehab/remove those individuals who give their profession a bad name. Tell a RE agent about some less-than-ethical activities by another, and the stock response seems to be "please don't judge me by that example, now let me show you why you should trust me".

Kind of like having shelves of produce, the quality of which can only be determined after taking a bite. After the first sampling which leaves a horrid taste in your mouth, you begin to wonder why the crappy produce is even allowed to get to the consumer.
  • November 12 2012
  • 3Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for Blue Nile
I agree with most of the responses given...

But I'll add some more anyway, from my observation and experience:
1) I don't like cold calling "marketers" of any kind, and getting over 300 un-requested "solicitation" calls per year, and over 200 pieces of solicitation "trash" on the porch, door, mailbox, yard... is enough to get any "profession" disliked.  And worse when they call back after they were already told "no" several times.

2) They tell people now that they never had a crystal ball, and don't know anything about the future, but they were telling people almost every month that "now is the best time to buy", and "prices never go down", and "no one ever loses money on Real Estate"..., and these false sayings caused millions of bankruptcies and millions of foreclosures.  And since these were official "NAR" talking points, anyone that takes the name "Realtor®" is endorcing NAR, and essentially saying "I am a member of NAR and I approve this message".

3) Reading posts from many of the Realtors on this board, it appears obvious that many answer without reading what they are answering, nor the date asked, nor the responses already provided.  Though a small percentage should not be representative of the whole, they make it obvious that the threshold to enter the profession is minimal, and that a large percentage are less qualified to assist a buyer or a seller than a party doing a FSBO or skipping representation.

4) NAR's excessive advertisements are so annoying, that it is worse that the late night used car salesman commercials prior to the increased regulation on used car sales.

5) You would expect that with the experience agents claim to have, that they would see obvious defects, and yet many don't even want a buyer looking at those kinds of issues prior to making an offer.  Instead, they state the home inspector will address those issues.  So they just apparently want to waste the client's time and money on problematic properties when it would have only taken a few minutes to check the issues prior to making an offer.  (I personally fell out of escrow several times, due to misrepresentations by the owners and agents).

6) Realtors® still claim they "negotiate" for you, and will get you a better price when you are buying, and get you more money when you are selling, which is an obvious "lie" since they don't do any of the negotiations (other than fill out the forms and give out confidential information that they were instructed to keep confidential), and for them to constantly claim they are better at ripping off the buyers and sellers than any of the other agents in their city means they are "unethical" and I don't want to do any business with them.
  • November 12 2012
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for Blue Nile
You would think if NAR wanted Realtors® to have a better reputation, that the members would solicit the national organization to clean up their messaging.
  • November 12 2012
  • 3Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

The commission based fee structure no doubt hurts public perception of agents.  Real estate in my opinion should not be a sales profession but rather a service profession.  Many of the larger RE offices are run by brokers who are told to bring in as many agents as possible, which leads to shoddy recruiting, shoddy training and a guppy in a shark tank feeling among newbies.  Newbies learning in this environment either leave the business or learn to do whatever it takes to stay alive.

The TV shows showcasing the high end agents who appear to throw lots of fabulous parties/open houses and earn obscene amounts of money per transaction skew people's perceptions of what most agents actually do and earn.   

The really small amount of time needed to invest in getting an RE license lowers the barrier to entry to pretty much anyone who feels like doing it and practicing it.  Like most professions, schooling, especially the miniscule amount required to be an REA, has little to do with the actual reality of being a professional agent and its scary to think about how many truly ignorant agents are guiding people with what is presumably the largest sale/purchase of their lives.  There are so many variables with each transaction that even practiced agents routinely run into things they've never encountered before.

As a profession, REAs on the whole will never earn respect as long as they remain commissioned and the barriers to entry are so low.  Individually, it is up to each and every agent to prove the haters wrong and kudos to those who do that.

  • November 15 2012
  • 3Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.