The cult of professional specialists

User Forum Topic
Submitted by drboom on September 5, 2010 - 12:46pm

Picking up from another thread. Background: I claimed to have done well when I purchased my house without getting professional guidance on what and where to buy and how much much to pay.

A couple of our esteemed piggie RE professionals were incredulous and insisted I couldn't possibly know what I was talking about. It ended up thusly:

Quote:
... as much as you claim to know the comps there is no way you can compare it properly without access to all the comps not just the ones you have seen as well as comps lying just outside the area you bought. there are also remarks explaining concessions made as well as financing differences to consider.

I got this line of thought from almost everyone I dealt with in the RE world: "We are professionals, and we have special insight. Laymen are helpless and ignorant without us."

The quote above illustrates this point perfectly: a pedantic explanation of the obvious couched in a way to make me think there's some magic in a simple market analysis. Can you imagine someone trying that with used cars? They'd be laughed out of the forum.

To address the specific points raised:

1) I claim to know all the comps because I have the sales history going back to the 1970s for every single house in the development. I've also followed every listing in the area through to closing for two years.
2) Comps outside the area are pointless since I have a time series of near-identical comps in the area ... and I don't want to live outside the area. Yes, I understand the value of seeing how my subdivision is doing vs. the market at large and have done so.
3) Almost every single sale in my area over the relevant time period has been a short sale or REO. Bidding was fierce until the gubmint money ran out. Very few concessions, if any, are being made on those sales. Side deals like mine aren't captured by the MLS anyway, so I wouldn't rely too heavily on that.
4) Financing differences matter a lot in the new house market and with e.g. condo conversions. In-house/"preferred lender" financing can result in some misleading "sale" prices for sure. But there aren't any condo conversions around here and the newest houses were built in the 1960s. Resale financing isn't as creative and has little or nothing to do with the reported closing price.

Twenty or thirty years ago my dear fellow Pigg would have had a point: data access was limited to ordained members of the priesthood. But times have changed. The mortgage guys don't like the situation very much either--efficient price discovery tends to lower profits.

All that aside, the really annoying and dangerous thing is the "professional's" readiness to dismiss outside opinions as uninformed or worse. Just one example: I got static for years when I was predicting the housing crash to anyone who would listen. The "professionals", as a rule, didn't even try to argue with me; they just said that, in their professional opinion, I was wrong. I found no exceptions to the prevailing RE groupthink. Now all I get is excuses from the same people. These are otherwise fairly bright folks, but all they do is talk to other "insiders" so they fail to get the big picture.

Do not fall for the fallacy that esoteric technical knowledge--like which form to fill out and when--makes a "professional" smarter than everyone else. Given the industry's track record, I'd advise the pros to take a more humble approach.

If any pro wants to argue with me, please tell me one thing first: what proportion of your past buyers from 2003-2007 are now underwater or worse? If you knew a crash was coming, why didn't you serve their best interests? If you didn't know or denied it was coming, how do you explain yourself to the clients who trusted your professional judgment?

Submitted by njtosd on September 5, 2010 - 2:03pm.

drboom-
I completely agree with you. I have to say that the attitude taken by one of the realtors in that other thread was very high handed - for example, his/her (apparently) unilateral decision to refuse to deal with unrepresented buyers. I didn't see any suggestion that he checked with his clients before turning potential buyers away. . .
Further, I'm not sure if you've read the original Freakonomics book (authors are an award winning econ prof from Univ. of Chicago and a reporter for the NYT), but it includes a fascinating large scale statistical study of prices received by sellers that sold through agents versus those who went the FSBO route. Almost no difference in ultimate sale price (but the sellers obviously made the 2-3% or so that would otherwise have gone to the agent). Interestingly, the article also pointed out that agents selling their own homes left those homes on the market longer without changing the price (as compared to sellers represented by agents), waited longer to accept an offer and ultimately sold for approx. 3% more than the statistics suggested that similar houses were selling for. Because they got the full 3%, the authors suggested, it was worth the extra effort. Had they only been receiving a commission on that 3%, the extra effort wouldn't have been economically justified.
Finally, we sold our home in North County San Diego three years ago (2007). We insisted on setting the price $125,000 higher than the agent (very well known in the area) recommended. We received three offers within two weeks and ultimately sold for $10,000 less than asking price ($115,000 more than the agent had recommended). Yes, maybe it was a fluke, but I think people should have more respect for their own instincts. And, as I mentioned in that other thread, a good real estate attorney should be able to give you even more value than an agent.

Submitted by bearishgurl on September 5, 2010 - 5:17pm.

njtosd wrote:
. . . Further, I'm not sure if you've read the original Freakonomics book (authors are an award winning econ prof from Univ. of Chicago and a reporter for the NYT), but it includes a fascinating large scale statistical study of prices received by sellers that sold through agents versus those who went the FSBO route. Almost no difference in ultimate sale price (but the sellers obviously made the 2-3% or so that would otherwise have gone to the agent).
(emphasis added)

Fascinating, njosd, I'll look up the book.

I stand by my assertion that buying a FSBO does NOT save the buyer any money. Therefore, I would surmise that eliminating commission would shave little to nothing off the the purchase price for the buyer.

Submitted by sdrealtor on September 5, 2010 - 5:30pm.

DR. B
LOL, I was not incredulous and said you may have done very well. I just dont have the data to know that to be true and dont think you do either. We dont have special insight we just subscribe to databases you dont have access to. Thats all it is. Pay a few grand a year and you can see them also.

nj
I did not refuse to deal with any buyers and would deal with anyone who wants to buy any of my lisitngs. I encouraged them to find someone to represent them and I would gladly deal with any of them. There were not turned away from buying the property, just turned away from the opportunity to waste my time trying to bend me over a barrel and take me from behind. There is nothing wrong with asking them to find an agent to show them the property. If they have a sincere interest in the property they should have no problem doing that.

The proceeds delivered to a seller are unchanged whether the buyer is represented by an agent who gets paid a commission or by a principal who gets that commission for themselves. On the other hand a buyer represented by a good agent is more likely to have gone through some vetting process which is beneficial to my client.

Submitted by drboom on September 5, 2010 - 5:31pm.

bearishgurl wrote:
I stand by my assertion that buying a FSBO does NOT save the buyer any money. Therefore, I would surmise that eliminating commission would shave little to nothing off the the purchase price for the buyer.

Let's see ...

On one side we have an internationally known economist who wrote a book that sold 4 million copies and got vetted by the world's smartest people.

On the other side, we have a local real estate agent's assertion in an online forum.

I think we'll need some data to back up that assertion.

Also, do you care to answer the questions I asked in the last part of my post above? I think you owe me that much after all the questions I answered. :-)

Submitted by drboom on September 5, 2010 - 5:56pm.

sdrealtor wrote:
DR. B
LOL, I was not incredulous and said you may have done very well.

Really? Where? A URL would help, but I don't think you'll find one.

Quote:
I just dont have the data to know that to be true and dont think you do either.

I already addressed your data. Find something specifically wrong with my points above and we might have something to talk about.

Quote:
We dont have special insight we just subscribe to databases you dont have access to. Thats all it is. Pay a few grand a year and you can see them also.

OK, I'm confused. Now your years of professional experience don't give you any special insight? Not even I would go that far. I can produce quotes from the other thread if you don't know what I'm confused about.

Also, you didn't answer the questions I asked at the end of my post.

Submitted by sdrealtor on September 5, 2010 - 5:58pm.

DR B
To answer your question very few are underwater. They bought for the right reason and bought homes they will stay in long term.

I sold 24 hopmes between 2003 and 2007. Three have already sold for gains. Two sold for losses (short sales) but came out with little or no monetray losses and FICO scores intact. The 1st of those shorts would have stayed forever in the home they bought but had an incredible job opportunity so they moved. I got a short sale done for them which dropped their FICO's from 800 to 780 (I saw the report 6 months after) and a full release from liability. The 2nd bought against my advice and was pushed into it by his young bride he has since divorced. I tried my best to talk him out of it.

Nearly all of the other 19 are all in homes they love and will stay in at least 5 to 10 years longer and many much longer. The most underwater bought in 2005 and I called and begged to them to sell in 2007. They were underwater and would have lost about $10K. They made over $200K a year and I told them to rent for 2 years and then buy back in. They would not listen and now wish they did. On the plus side they came to me committed to buying something in my area in 2005. A previous agent almost sold them a 1300 sf home for $50K more than the 2100 sf home I got them. While they are a bit trapped because they did not listen to my advice to sell and rent a couple years, they do have a enough space to live.

There is not a single client I cant look in the face and tell I did right by them.

Submitted by bearishgurl on September 5, 2010 - 6:06pm.

drboom wrote:
I think we'll need some data to back up that assertion.

Also, do you care to answer the questions I asked in the last part of my post above? I think you owe me that much after all the questions I answered. :-)

drboom, you really HAVEN'T clarified all my questions because you were UNCLEAR as to WHO performed your RE services for you PRIOR to when you entered into your (failed) short-sale and the legal relationship (if any) you had to those agents. You staunchly maintained you represented yourself throughout your posts on the "How to Buy w/out a Realtor" thread. You HAD to have viewed more properties and possibly made other offers that were rejected. How did you get into those properties and who made any previous offers for you? My point was that, like it or not, you were represented or "working" with an agent. You were not "self-represented." In my lengthy experience, I have never seen such an arrangement (except with a FSBO property and often the buyer had a lawyer on retainer). You came off on that thread as having caused LESS COMMISSION TO BE PAID on your deal and this is just NOT the case. No money was saved by your sellers. You just managed to find an agent that was willing to rebate you without even a formal agreement. If you had tried to collect your commission (in small claims ct) from that agent (because he didn't pay you in the end), you would have had to PROVE you had an oral agreement with him for a cut of his commission. Your spouse wouldn't be able to help you because she would be a party also. I believe you would have been stuck and unable to prevail.

As far as the data you are seeking on FSBO's, I don't have that data, do you? I only "surmised" that it would be true because the "internationally known" economist who did the extensive survey stated that sellers typically recovered their 3% (buyers side) commission when they sold FSBO and didn't have to to sell for a lower price than that of a listed property (in competition). Therefore, my point stands that a buyer CANNOT get any better deal if they are able to squeeze any portion of the commission out of it.

As to your question about my participation as a licensee in the recent "RE bubble," I took my license down in approx. the third quarter of 2002 and have not rehung it since. My principal business has NEVER been RE sales. I have "hung" my license about five times for a few years each in the span of nearly three decades but never engaged in the business of RE sales as my principal source of income.

Submitted by sdrealtor on September 5, 2010 - 6:10pm.

DR B
I have special insights to many things RE related but you are twisting things as we were talking about comps. What I have that you dont is access to databases that I pay for. If you were to spend a few thousand a year you could have the same information.

I also just went back and I confused you with Steveno who I said may very well have done well on his transactions. However, I never said you didnt do well or did poorly. I said we dont know and I stand by that. I offered you the chance to have me take an unbiased look at it and you politely refused which I'm OK with. We still dont know and thats fine by me.

Also please dont confuse me with BG who is an entirely different viewpoint. She is not an active REa gent and is in the legal profession so she is overly sensitive to the intracies of the contract law. While I cant argue with her interpreations of the legalities the reality of what actually happens in the open market tendss to be quite different.

Submitted by njtosd on September 5, 2010 - 6:24pm.

sdrealtor -

I will remember in the future to instruct any real estate agent that I contract with to bring all potential buyers to my attention (and as you know the fiduciary duty of an agent includes a duty of obedience). I would like to be sure that all potential buyers are treated in a welcoming manner. Furthermore, I would appreciate it if you did not include your real estate fantasies in your posts. I'm sure there are lots of other places to let those feelings out. As an alternative, you could choose among hundreds of other less distasteful ways to express your feelings here.

bearishgurl -

Although I'm not in favor of anecdotes, here goes: We are currently selling our home on the east coast and received an offer after our listing agreement had expired and before we relisted (we had gotten kind of discouraged and had decided to put off relisting until the kids were back in school). We were much more willing to come down in price (and did come down more than we had originally planned to) since we didn't have an agent's fee to pay. The final steps of the negotiation here take place in the "attorney review" process, so our attorney is taking care of some of the jobs that would be done by an agent/broker in CA. So in this case, the buyer is getting a better deal than he would have otherwise because there is no listing agent involved.

Submitted by njtosd on September 5, 2010 - 6:45pm.

bearishgurl-

Don't know what the reason for the quotes around the words "internationally known" in your earlier post. His name is Steven Levitt, and is described in wikipedia as follows: Winner of the 2004 John Bates Clark Medal, he is currently the William B. Ogden Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, director of the Becker Center on Chicago Price Theory at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and co-editor of the Journal of Political Economy published by the University of Chicago Press. He co-authored the best-selling book Freakonomics (2005) and its sequel Superfreakonomics (2009). Levitt was chosen as one of Time magazine's "100 People Who Shape Our World" in 2006.[1]

What's even more surprising is that he is in his early forties. He's received a lot of attention for his work, even at U of C, where there is a (humorous) sign in the cafeteria indicating a special line for Nobel prize winners.

Submitted by bearishgurl on September 5, 2010 - 7:31pm.

njtosd wrote:
bearishgurl-

Don't know what the reason for the quotes around the words "internationally known" in your earlier post.

Dr. Levitt's "CV" is interesting, njtosd. My words, "internationally known" are taken from drboom's post on this thread. My earlier comment was directed to him.

Submitted by drboom on September 5, 2010 - 7:38pm.

sdrealtor wrote:
DR B
To answer your question very few are underwater. They bought for the right reason and bought homes they will stay in long term.

I appreciate the answers. So: 3 did well, 2 went bad, and 19 are ... what, exactly?

If your buyers beat the market on all of those, congratulations. Really, you paid your way and then some.

But a quick look at the price vs. time graphs tells me something doesn't sound right. Median price has gone down by at least 20% from the middle of the period we're talking about, and 20 or so houses should broadly follow the market as a group. I gather you don't play in the shallow end of the pool, so that's a conservative $100k to $150k unrealized loss per house. They would have to be up 10% from, to pick an average, 2005 levels just to break even after costs. I'm skeptical, even with the past year's price rises.

To put it another way, they could have saved $100k to $150k by sitting tight for a little longer. Your sales mix could skew this one way or the other, and it's entirely possible you picked a full stable of winners.

Consolidating posts:

Quote:
I have special insights to many things RE related but you are twisting things as we were talking about comps. What I have that you dont is access to databases that I pay for. If you were to spend a few thousand a year you could have the same information.

I explained why the MLS doesn't supply anything I need to mark my scorecard. I invited you to point out where I got it wrong (with numbered points for your refutation convenience), but you haven't.

Quote:
Also please dont confuse me with BG who is an entirely different viewpoint. She is not an active REa gent and is in the legal profession so she is overly sensitive to the intracies of the contract law.

To put it mildly. She claimed to be active in both capacities in an earlier post, but now she has clarified her position. There are some other differences. You, for instance, actually read the English language without parsing it to a fare-thee-well and spamming word salad in response. I will refrain from lumping you together in the future. :-)

Submitted by bearishgurl on September 5, 2010 - 7:59pm.

njtosd wrote:
bearishgurl -

Although I'm not in favor of anecdotes, here goes: We are currently selling our home on the east coast and received an offer after our listing agreement had expired and before we relisted (we had gotten kind of discouraged and had decided to put off relisting until the kids were back in school). We were much more willing to come down in price (and did come down more than we had originally planned to) since we didn't have an agent's fee to pay. The final steps of the negotiation here take place in the "attorney review" process, so our attorney is taking care of some of the jobs that would be done by an agent/broker in CA. So in this case, the buyer is getting a better deal than he would have otherwise because there is no listing agent involved.

njtosd, I don't know what your current time frame is, but in CA, you would have *typically* (unless your listing agent agreed to modify the "stock" language - very rare) had to wait 181 days after your listing agreement had expired to avoid paying your former listing agent a commission on your current sale, if your current buyers EVER contacted your listing agent at all or were shown the property by a co-broke agent during the time of the active listing. From your standpoint, until you get your final attorney bill at COE, you will not know whether you made out better to have your attorney handle your transaction as a FSBO, than if you would have had a RE agent handle it. My point with drboom was that BUYERS DO NOT receive a better price THAN THEY WOULD HAVE under a typical listing agreement with a co-broke invitation. Whether your buyers DO receive a better price or not is purely subjective and/or based upon the comparable "sold comps" that occurred recently with RE broker intervention and facilitation.

Submitted by drboom on September 5, 2010 - 7:51pm.

bearishgurl wrote:
njtosd wrote:
bearishgurl-

Don't know what the reason for the quotes around the words "internationally known" in your earlier post.

Dr. Levitt's "CV" is interesting, njtosd. My words, "internationally known" are taken from drboom's post on this thread. My earlier comment was directed to him.

This is what nj was driving at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scare_quotes

Submitted by bearishgurl on September 5, 2010 - 8:00pm.

drboom, in re: bearishgurl wrote:

To put it mildly. She claimed to be active in both capacities in an earlier post, but now she has clarified her position.

drboom, can you point to me an earlier post where I said I was currently an "active" agent?

Submitted by bearishgurl on September 5, 2010 - 7:54pm.

drboom wrote:
This is what nj was driving at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scare_quotes

Excuse me, but how do you know what "nj was driving at?"

Submitted by sdrealtor on September 5, 2010 - 8:02pm.

NJ
There are no fantasies and I would be happy to sit down with in person on a computer and prove it. You know nothing of the intracies of what i am involved with and my actions are part of my fiduciary duties. My ficuciary responsibility does not include picking up in the middle of my daughters dance recital or my son's soccer game to go show a property to someone who is calling half the agents in town and wasting all our time. I can smell the BS a mile a way and there is nothing wrong with politely letting them know they are more than welcome to see the property and that they will be at no disadvantage using any other agent they want.

Most of the dealings I have had in the last few years are short sales and my duty to my client is not to bring them every buyer, it is to get the property sold and to get them released from liability under the most favorable terms. Bringing every Tom, Dick and Harry very often would damage them.

Here are 2 concrete examples.

1.) Tom Schmo brings a very high offer on the property, in fact too high in my estimation but seller wants to accept it and even counters higher as much as I try to convince her otherwise. Buyer agrees to higher price and we submit it to the lender against my recommendation. Seller has a refinanced 2nd for $250K with full lender recourse. The 2nd lender approves the sale and buyer changes mind. Seller will never see another offer like that and lender will no longer accept fair market value which is actually at least $70K below the offer I told her was too high. Property will get foreclosed upon and instead of getting released from future laibility seller faces a $250K judgement and is heading into BK. This is an actual case I am dealing with right now.

2.) Buyer calls me and wants to submit offer on property direct through me. I know nothing about this buyer and of course they want me to give them back a portion of the buyers side commission. I explain to my client that a buyer like this is calling every agent on the block and is a kin to a John seeking out hookers. We know nothing about it and the way they approach things tells me they will never hang in. Seller says thanks but disagrees and chooses to go with them over another buyer who is represented by a very good agent I know who tells me about the buyer they have been working with for months but their offer is $10K less. After 4 months sale is approved and of course the John has found another hooker to screw around with. The sale is approved but that buyer is no where to be found. We then go back to the buyer I recommneded who is still thrilled to get the property but will still only pay $10K less. After 4 more months of wrangling we finally get it done but the seller now has far more credit damage than if they got it done with that buyer the first time. This is another actual case I have dealt with.

There are dozens more.....

Submitted by njtosd on September 5, 2010 - 8:08pm.

bearishgurl -

drboom correctly inferred what I meant - people usually use quotes in the way that you did to suggest that they don't necessarily agree with a description. Instead of putting the quotes in, you could also achieve the effect by putting the words "so-called" in front of the words 'international expert.' In any event - he is a bona fide international expert, quotes or not. You might be interested to see this NYT article about him entitled: The Probability that a Real-Estate Agent is Cheating You (and other Riddles of Modern Life)

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.ht...

Submitted by bearishgurl on September 5, 2010 - 8:12pm.

H@ll, I'm not even an "active agent" and can attest to experiencing these situations that sdr is describing here in his "concrete examples.". . . LOL

Submitted by sdrealtor on September 5, 2010 - 8:16pm.

DR B.
19 are very happy in their homes are in perfectly fine shape. My clients tend to be more well off and have high incomes. They are going to buy and I helped them outperform the market big time.

Ironically, the couple that sold short came to me about to buy in Fletcher Hills which I talked them out of. They would be down over $200K if they had. Instead the house they sold was down about $90K because they sold at the worst possible time. Its already recovered more than half of that. They had financed 100%, made minimum payments (well under rent costs because of a very high tax bracket)and saved the difference. They had the money to pay the short fall but because they never refinanced they had non-recourse loans. We got a short sale done at no cost to them and got them a full written release. Three onths ago they got a call from a collection agency the loan had been sold to who was chasing them for the money. I had an attorney send the collection agency a copy of the release as well as a claim for $5,000 in damages because they were violating fair debt collection practices. They sent an apology letter to my clients and went away. That one didnt really go bad.

Once again I cant point out where you got it wrong because I dont know if you did. Without the details it's impossible for me to know.

Submitted by njtosd on September 5, 2010 - 8:23pm.

sdrealtor -

I think you missed my point; the fantasy that I was referring to related to your graphic description of being draped over a barrel, etc. In any event, after reading that passage again, I think I will politely decline your offer to sit down with me.
Your fiduciary duty requires you to obey the lawful requirements of your client relating to the sale of his/her property. Your other choice is to provide your client with an unconditional withdrawal from the listing agreement. Since your screen name is sdrealtor, I assume that you are a member of the NAR. Their website provides a pretty clear description of your Code of Ethics. I have to assume that you have informed your clients of the conditions under which you will or will not show properties, and that they have agreed to your conditions. If you hadn't, you would be risking your license.

Submitted by drboom on September 5, 2010 - 8:25pm.

njtosd wrote:
The final steps of the negotiation here take place in the "attorney review" process, so our attorney is taking care of some of the jobs that would be done by an agent/broker in CA.

This prompted me to take a look at how things work in Joisey. Interesting.

They make attorneys part of the process, and real estate agents who draw up contracts or other legal documents are guilty of practicing law without a license.

Do I have that part right? If so, how well does it work?

Submitted by njtosd on September 5, 2010 - 8:42pm.

drboom

Overall I prefer the CA system. Here in NJ, each real estate agency has their own contract, which is the starting point of the negotiations. The contract provides that it can be cancelled by either party for any reason during the period of attorney review. The real estate attorneys that I have had experience with here aren't great - the first letter we received on the current transaction referred to a "common basement," which was puzzling since it's a single family home. It also referred to a heating oil storage tank - and we don't have one. Plus, lots of typos. So it's just some letter that they always pull up and no one reads (hence the typos). The attorneys are recommended by the agents, so I think the ones that bring up deal breakers (such as a cap on the rate of mortgage interest a buyer is willing to accept as part of the mortgage contingency) don't get a lot of business. On the other hand, most things are pretty corrupt here in the "Soprano State" (that is actually the name of a great book by a couple of AP writers about the corruption that pervades this place) so I have a hard time knowing what to expect. I'll be happy to get out of here . . .

Submitted by sdrealtor on September 5, 2010 - 8:55pm.

nj
Just having fun with the analogies and sorry that you dont enjoy them. My fidiciary repsonsibility is to represent them in the sale of the property as their representative and to negotiate on their behalf for the sale. My duty is to them not to buyers. I make sure the property is available and do everything i can to get any interested buyer in to see the property. There is nothing that requires it to be me who shows it to them. I have never discriminated against any buyer. In fact, if I were to represent a buyer in the sale I beleive I would not be extremely dificult to fulfill my fiduciary responsibility to the seller. Additionally, if I represent a buyer that creates a conflict of interest and potential discrimination towards other buyers who have their own agents.

I take great pride in a few things. First I try my absolute best to always put my client interests ahead of my own. I beleive I can hold my head high in saying I have held myself up to this standard. SEcond, I take great pride in tha fact that not only have I never been in arbitration but I have never been in mediation either. As a matter a fact, I have never gotten a single call from a client asking me why did you you let me buy this property.

BTW, I just checked my record and I made a mistake. I was wrong when I said that i had 3 bubble era buyers sell fro a gain. There were actually 5.

Lastly, Hey Joisey what exit? I lived off Exits 4 (hometown), 9 (college) and 10 (after college) for the 1st 30 years of my life. I can concurr on everything you said about corruption back east. Its much better here and I think you will ove it as much as I do.

Submitted by drboom on September 5, 2010 - 8:57pm.

bearishgurl wrote:
drboom wrote:
This is what nj was driving at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scare_quotes

Excuse me, but how do you know what "nj was driving at?"

It's magic.

Little voices in my left ankle told me.

My secret decoder ring figured it out for me.

I am actually njtosd, but the reverse is not true no matter what anyone says!

Elvis delivered a telegram a few minutes ago, and it had a full psychological workup of njtosd printed in invisible ink. I got out my black light lava lamp and read it; from there the rest was easy to figure out.

Submitted by drboom on September 5, 2010 - 9:20pm.

njtosd wrote:
drboom

Overall I prefer the CA system. (snip) I'll be happy to get out of here . . .

Interesting stuff, thanks for posting.

Our corruption is more laid-back than what you're used to, but you'll feel right at home in no time.

Submitted by drboom on September 5, 2010 - 10:33pm.

bearishgurl wrote:
drboom, in re: bearishgurl wrote:

To put it mildly. She claimed to be active in both capacities in an earlier post, but now she has clarified her position.

drboom, can you point to me an earlier post where I said I was currently an "active" agent?

Sure:

http://piggington.com/how_to_buy_wout_a_realtor#comment-164490

bearishgurl wrote:
As a licensee going on three decades with nearly that amount of concurrent legal experience as well (much of it in the field of land use) ...

If you goofed, you goofed. But the meaning is clear. If you want to start playing word games with me and quibbling over definitions, go ahead and waste your time.

Submitted by bearishgurl on September 5, 2010 - 11:21pm.

drboom,

Just because I'm currently not an "active agent" doesn't mean I've fallen off the face of the planet or have been suddenly afflicted with senility.

Up until about nine months ago, I received the "Westlaw Real Estate Practitioner" service in my home, due to a subscription a law firm-client of mine had. When it became too expensive ($569 mo) for them, they cut it down to the bare essentials and no longer have a valid online password. This gave me access to public records far beyond what REALIST offers (avail. to MLS subscribers), but NOT some of the statistical models and lists of currently active, contingent, pending and bomk properties that REALIST subscribers are privvy to. I COULD avail myself of REALIST if I wished to pay the fee. I still get relevant case law and subscribe to several online RE publications and am still an active licensee.

Aside from that, I've worked on many different RE cases over the years involving RE Agency, contracts, land use issues, CQUA issues, fraud, embezzlement, breach of fiduciary duty, quiet title, construction defect (HOA), RESPA violations, administrative law and appeals, etc.

I HAVE participated in short-sales (before anyone ever heard of them)

http://piggington.com/buying_a_house_at_...

and DO HAVE many years RE sales experience BUT THIS WAS ALL BEFORE ANY OF THE PROPRIETARY AGENT INFORMATION WAS RELEASED TO THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA.

Several fundamental things about CA real estate HAVE NOT CHANGED over the years. The LAW has evolved somewhat but the basic principles of RE, including agency; non-judicial foreclosure; title insurance; the subdivision map act; property management; covenants, conditions and restrictions; forms of ownership; escrows; easements; landlord-tenant issues, general plan and taxation, etc. have NOT CHANGED.

sdrealtor wrote:
Also please dont confuse me with BG who is an entirely different viewpoint. She is not an active REa gent and is in the legal profession so she is overly sensitive to the intracies of the contract law. While I cant argue with her interpreations of the legalities the reality of what actually happens in the open market tendss to be quite different.

drboom, I understand what sdr is saying here but I view events as a court would, after a party to a transaction has already alleged they were damaged in a real estate transaction or land-use issue and sued (or were sued). I HAVE been on the “street” or in the “open market” but the way I view transactions may be more defensive or with an eye out to problematic issues than the way sdr views them. Neither positive or negative . . . just different. In other words, it would be *difficult* to successfully blow smoke up my a$$ at this late date but you could always try. That's why we have a "free country." ;=)

Submitted by bearishgurl on September 5, 2010 - 11:18pm.

drboom wrote:
bearishgurl wrote:
As a licensee going on three decades with nearly that amount of concurrent legal experience as well (much of it in the field of land use) ...

If you goofed, you goofed. But the meaning is clear. If you want to start playing word games with me and quibbling over definitions, go ahead and waste your time.

It's not a "waste of time," drboom. A "licensee" is simply that, a licensee. A RE licensee possessing a CA Salesperson or Broker License in CA IN NO WAY MEANS THEIR LICENSE IS ACTIVE. Many, many CA lawyers and CPA's are LICENSED CA RE BROKERS because they were able to sit for the "CA RE Broker's License Exam" without the necessary 4 years CONCURRENT experience as a RE Salesperson. MANY CA attorneys are licensees (RE Brokers) themselves with NO RE SALESPERSON EXPERIENCE WHATSOEVER! MANY RE licensees work in various RE or other capacities such as: property manager, escrow officer, loan officer, title officer, bankruptcy trustee, traveling notary, court clerk, paralegal (such as myself), etc. "Licensees," active or inactive, hail from ALL WALKS OF LIFE. WE ARE ALL FREE TO HANG OUR LICENSES (or set up "shop" if we are a broker) TOMORROW.

If YOU are enamored of this profession, drboom, YOU ARE FREE to GO THRU THE PROCEDURES to obtain your OWN license!

Submitted by pjwal on September 5, 2010 - 11:31pm.

Middlemen.

Yes, they can and will always provide value in a free market economy. The very fact we have investing services for common stock avows to this. You can complain that a common man cannot walk into the trading floor on Wall Street to make a transaction but the efficiency of the free market would be completely bogged down if it was not represented by trading services.

The best we can hope for is a competitive system where individuals like sdr provide an honest service, in which we will pay more if we had focused all our learning for a long time (assuming we were smart enough to pull it off). But as any consumer, we often pay a little bit more because it is not our "unique ability" to know this market otherwise we would make it our career. We wander over to Costco and Home Depot rather than buying from the Samsung/PepsiCO/Fisher directly. If you feel bad about it, you can always pick up some of their bonds on the market and hold them till maturity to make up some of that markup (as you can with home builder as well btw).

Don't take your anger out on these middlemen. Find one that is honest to deal with and be happy for that.

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