Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Bloomberg Customers

Anyone have an agent horror story like this one?

Posted by: Dean Foust on April 26, 2007

It’s been more than eight years since my wife and I sold our house in Alexandria, Va., and moved to Atlanta, where we still live. And I still seethe over the agent who sold our house. It was the first time we’d ever sold a house — this was our starter sold-out.jpghome, a 2,700-square-foot center-hall colonial — and I still vividly remember the night we received our first formal offer. It was our starter home (for which we’d paid $216,000, back when you could still do that in Washington D.C.), the local market had flat-lined during the seven years we’d owned it, but we still felt confident we’d get close to the $235,000 we were asking.

Our first formal offer came from a junior NATO officer on the very day after we listed it. His agent showed up at 7 p.m. that night, settled in at our dining room table, made his spiel and then offered…$226,000 and the buyer wanted us to cover $6,000 in closings costs to boot. If we didn’t accept it, he said his client was prepared to simply walk away and bid on a house in Burke.

My wife and I were dejected at the price, but when the agent walked outside, our agent turned to us and pressed us hard—really hard—to take the offer. “I think we need to work with them,” he implored. “Don’t let them walk away. Let’s work with them.” The other agent returned, and my agent—in front of the other agent—pressed us hard to take the offer. “You’re starting your new life in Atlanta in a few weeks and you should take their offer so you can wrap things up here,” he said in front of the other agent. So much for out agent representing our interests.

We got the buyer to nudge his price up by $2,000, but we ‘d never done this before. I had that small pang that maybe this WOULD be the only offer we got and in the end, we capitulated.

And the next morning I had seller’s remorse. Another agent dropped by that afternoon after seeing the “For Sale” sign in the yard, we told her the price we’d accepted but still let her look around. After a walk through she said, “Oh honey, you just GAVE your house away. You should have gotten $250,000. Your decorating is fabulous.”

In hindsight, I felt that I’d been negotiating against three people—the buyer, his agent AND MY OWN AGENT….

I fumed, but I'd already signed the contract. I turned my anger against my own agent. I concluded that he was one of those agents that made a fat income by maximizing "turns"--squeezing his client to take a quick offer so he could flip the house in less than a week and move on to another client. (Adding to our angst is the fact that the Washington market took off like a rocket in 2000 and similar houses on our old street now go for upwards of $650,000 or $700,000. I've gotten over it but my wife hasn't.)

When our agent called us in Atlanta (where he were on our own house hunting trip) a couple days later after the home inspection and rattled off a list of a half-dozen minor repairs and improvements the buyer was demanding--which collectively, would add up to more than a thousand bucks--I said, "Pay for it all yourself. And frankly, I hope you don't, because I'd like the contract to fall through so I can fire you and hire a new agent." And I hung up on him. I contemplated taking the sign he hung out front of homes he'd just gotten a contract for, which said, "(His name) SOLD ANOTHER ONE!" and defacing it to read, "(His name) DUMPED ANOTHER ONE!"

Our agent paid for the repairs out of his own pocket to save the deal--and his commission. So I had to honor the contract. But to this day, I still can't see straight when I think of him. When our family vacationed at Sea Pines in Hilton Head a couple of years ago, I discovered that he'd bought a three-bedroom townhouse two doors from the one we were renting, and he was there with his family (the personalized plate on his car was the giveaway). My wife stopped me from going over and giving him a piece of my mind. "We're on vacation, let it go," she said.

Am I being irrational? Yeah, probably. Admittedly, over a lifetime of home ownership and investments, $10,000 or $20,000 will be a mere rounding error in our net worth. And I realize I'm going to get no sympathy from those many homebuyers who have seen their homes drop by $25,000, $50,000 or even $100,000 from what it was worth a year ago. And some homeowners now own a home that is worth less than they paid for it.

But to me, it was the principle of the matter. Our agent wasn't intent on getting me the highest price possible--as was his fiduciary obligation--he was hell-bent on flipping a house within 24 hours after he listed it so he could move on quickly to his next client.

Anyone else have any agent horror stories? I created this thread to give fellow homeowners a place to vent, so have at it. Consider this a form of group therapy, so you too can excise your own real estate demons along with me.

And to give equal time to agents--just so you think I'm allowing our readers to take cheap shots without giving you equal time--feel free to post the habits that drives you crazy about buyers or sellers. Maybe creating a dialogue here will help us all find common group. Maybe all this therapy will help me get over my experiences with that agent from eight years ago. Heck, maybe an agent will tell me to just shut up and get over it.

APRIL 30 ADDENDUM: In response to some of the posts on this thread, I will make these comments:
1) As for the comment that I should have interviewed more agents...fair point. I went with this agent because he was one of the "name" agents in my part of Fairfax County -- he probably did more closings than any other agent. But now I understand how one agent can do that many closings.
2) As for the comment that the agent got me 97% of our asking price, that's not a fair read in my opinion. During my years in Washington, I covered the tail end of the S&L crisis--namely, the cleanup conducted by the Resolution Trust Corp. Remember the RTC? I remember applauding the RTC for its successful auctions, in which it claimed that it recouped "96% of book value" of assets it was selling from the failed S&Ls. Only afterwards did oI realize that the RTC was marking down assets by, oh, 40% and then selling it for a little less than that and claiming a 96% success rate. Same with these brokers. If my house was really worth $250,000, then I got less than 90%.
3)As for the comment that the second agent who came along saying I sold my house too wasn't in her interest to tell me that. She was representing other buyers, and hence, even if my initial offer had fallen through, I wouldn't have hired her as the selling agent -- I could see the conflict of interest there. And if my first contract fell through, she effectively put her client -- had they desired to buy my house -- in a bad spot by effectively telling me to relist it for $25,000 more.

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Reader Comments

Greg Swann

April 26, 2007 04:25 PM

How did you feel about your listing agent before you signed the listing contract? Had you done any due diligence in picking your agent? Talked to any past sellers? Drove around with the guy to gauge his general moral tenor? I'm sorry you had an unhappy experience, but it would be better for your future mental health if you chalked it up to inexperience and haste. There are bad vendors in every line of business, but nothing protects a customer who won't protect himself. I expect you've had better experiences with other Realtors -- but those you're willing to take credit for. ;)

California Dave

April 26, 2007 08:09 PM

There's a funny show on tv called "Buy Me". It's filmed somewhere in Canada. Some of the markets are "hot" but most are "not". The show's pretty funny because emotions always run high. Sellers always think their house is worth more. Every episode. 100% of them... When I watch an episode, it's a common debate with my wife about who's truly delusional: agent or seller? It's usually hard to tell.

The situation you describe is like one of these episodes. You didn't know if you had a good deal or not at the time but the reality is, you did sell your house. Just because some agent strolled in after the fact and made some comment about price, that's actually worth zero. You can speculate all you want about what could have been but realistically it may have sat on the market for months.

Now, did the agent act in your best interest? Who knows. I suspect he probably did churn and burn you, but this is far from a horror story in my opinion.


April 27, 2007 02:33 PM

It is really important to know what you are likely to get and what you should ask before you ever set a price. The seller is usually assumed to be more knowledgeable than the buyer, but this is frequently not the case. If they have looked for some time, they will be in a better position to know than the seller. This doesn't mean they won't want a bargain though. You may be paying your agent but you should always be aware they are really working for themselves. Getting a deal done is what is important. One can always get more for a property, the question is how long you are willing to wait and how much it will cost you for that to occur. Most sales do occur fairly soon after listing or they are over-priced, but the same day is a little fast. I would have deferred the decision for a week or at least until after the first open house. I never make big decisions without at least sleeping on it.

Jim Kimmons

April 27, 2007 06:00 PM


Sorry you had the bad experience. You'll probably hear from more real estate people than others. Taking your account as totally accurate, any statements about you not doing your homework or your impression of your home's value was too high are just not going to cut it.

The fact is that many real estate agents and brokers market themselves in ways that do not place their expertise in negotiations and pricing in front of you. The ads with "I sold $X million last year" could just as well indicate deals like yours instead of great ability.

At the same time, volumes are written putting forth the value of having a real estate professional on your side in the negotiation and transaction. You have a right to rely on their expertise. Any client of mine with an offer on the table that fast would be advised to let them walk or pay asking price, or close to it, without concessions. It was simply too early to settle for anything less.

John Schneider

April 28, 2007 12:20 PM

It doesn't sound like a horror story to me.
Let's see, you sold your house in one day for 97% of the list price, in a market that you say had 'flatlined for seven years'.
'If', your agent worked against you (just to make a quick sale, let's say) rather than for your best interests (to get the highest price, best deal), yeah, he neglected his responsibilities to you, big time, and you can count him as one of the scoundrels. And maybe he did, maybe he didn't. Maybe homes weren't selling very well at that time, and your offer really was a good one. It doesn't sound like you did much in the way of research interviewing agents to find one that you were comfortable with and trusted, and to get a better handle on what your house was really worth, and to understand the market conditions at the time- how many comparable homes were on the market, how many days were they taking to sell, etc, etc. You didn't bother to understand what was going on at the time, and now you're pissed.
As for the agent who breezed in with the 'Oh honey..." bit. Oh come on now, seems like you're prepared to believe anything in order to condemn your agent. That's bull. "Adding to our angst is the fact that the Washington market took off like a rocket in 2000 and similar houses on our old street now go for upwards of $650,000 or $700,000". Really! that damn agent

Stephen Brown

April 30, 2007 11:52 AM

Good call on the "Buy Me" reference.

Selling brokers often come in high at first to get a seller to list with them then ask them to make concessions on the price if there isn't any movement for a while. The fact that they got an offer right away leads me to believe that you probably listed fairly low.

Having said that, the other agent was probably just trying to taint your view of his/her competition so the seller would speak badly about them if people asked who you used. It's a mean spirited think to do in my opinion - that other agent, just to keep business away from competition, makes the seller feel like they lost out on a bunch of cash. The sell should be more angry with that agent, they knew the impact that statement would have.


April 30, 2007 05:31 PM

My reaction to your story is indeed one of horror, but I suspect this is too typical to constitute a horror story.

I read somewhere recently -- maybe this space? -- of a study done on realtors' sales of their own houses. Quelle surprise, it turns out they hold out for a higher sale much more often when it's their own house and bottom line at stake.

I have the ultimate disgust for this shabby trade (not profession, trade) and it's absence of ethics. I anxiously await the results of the DOJ's antitrust suit against the realtors, which will eventually bring other actors (primarily the big banks, I suspect) into the marketplace and lower the unearned 6% fee considerably.

Fire away, defensive "REALTOR"s who invariably lurk on sites such as this.


May 4, 2007 05:16 PM

I have a horror story beyond horror stories:

Back in Jan of 2006 the police came to our neighborhood letting us know a tier 3 offender moved in. The officer told us we had no rights, could not bother him or make it known to others outside the neighborhood that he was there. We were thinking about selling before the knock on the door but this put the nail in the coffin. We interviewed 3 agents, hired the most aggressive one and she also indicated not to worry, the offender would not be an issue for her. She said she would get us out of the house in no time.

March 2006 - the house was on the market for 1 day and an offer came in. We never made it to attorney review as the buyers changed their minds. Then 3 weeks went by when I found out my agent was the wife of the offender...........UGH. So from my perspective here is a man that is bringing down my property value and I am supposed to hand over a commission check. NO WAY. We fired her for that primary reason but she also made mistakes on all of our advertising. So we were done. The agency would not let us out of the contract so now I move on to agent number 2 story.

He had a buyer; a bid was made and accepted. However, the buyer had a condo to sell. Lo and behold the condo sold and we made it to attorney review which in NJ should last about 5 business days. Two weeks later we found out that our agent was stringing us along, the condo deal fell through and he did not want to tell us because he was the "dual listing agent". I will say it again, UGH. You would think this agent would have worked his butt off before the contract expired, but no. This was my first experience with what I call a "professional listing agent" List the house, and let everyone else try to sell it. That contract expired. Now to agent number 3.

We switched agencies in July of 2006 and we even renewed the contract with them when it expired Jan of 2007. We were just tired of switching. We just last month got an offer, made it through attorney review, made it through inspection and guess what - the mortgage commitment no longer held and the buyers could not get a mortgage.

May 2007 - house is still not sold. No one can tell us why. Everyone says it’s beautiful. We had a staging agent come in and nothing more can be done to its appearance. We have now dropped our price $50,000 from the original asking price. My contract with this agent is up in July of 07 and I can not even think about moving on to agent number 4 but as it looks, we are going to have to. Does anyone know of a good agent in the southern NJ area that is a professional selling agent? I have already met 3 professional listing agents and its time I met someone that wants to work for a living!


May 8, 2007 08:38 AM

Lori -

I hate to say it, but it sounds like the house isn't selling because the market's dead and your price, given the state of the market, is too high. If you don't need to sell, and it sounds like you really don't based on the length of time you've had it listed, then pull it off the market and wait a few years. Or slash the price and sell on that basis.


May 12, 2007 06:57 PM

All I have are RE agent horror stories:

1-I purchased a condo in NoVa in 1998 at asking price at a time when condo owners where soo weary & desperate to sell that low ball offers were the norm. The agent recommended the home inspector who outside of some minor repairs, gave the unit a clean bill of health. Within the first 1-2 years of ownership the hot water heater, the washer/dryer unit, the dishwasher and heat pump all failed. They had been on their last legs and each repair man told me they should have been replaced as a condition of sale or the price of the condo reduced. The warranty was worthless and I was just jerked around. So I ended up paying for all the repairs/replacements myself.

--The first agent was a piece of work. It was bubble times (fall 2004), I had accepted a new job outside the area and was looking to make a quick sale. The agent priced it in line with comps. I said but prices are rising, shouldn't we push the envelope? He said their will be a bidding war, don't worry. Well no bidding war, I got asking. I refused to accept, the agent got miffed. I said were is the bidding war you promised that would come since I was in line with comps, while other's were going up 5-10k greater than the last sale? I fired him. New agent listed higher, bidding war resulted and I got a final bid 21k higher. It was lowered by 6k due to loan appraisal. I wanted to refuse. New agent said ask for a split of the difference. The buyers refused. My agent said you can't predict the future, and that I should take it. I took it. The future would have prices go up another 55k in the spring of 05. I still made a killing, and I take ownership of the decision but the hindsight still hurts.

3-Buying agent in new city. Lazy deadbeat that was friends of the partners at the firm I was to work at. She played me and I ended up being a "pioneer" in what was billed as a hip happening riverfront development that was really a weak, lame attempt at urban renewal that was nothing like the sales agents for the developers billed it as. I lived in a frankenstein neighborhood with freaks roaming around at all times of the night. Looked good on paper and the selling agent lied through his teeth about the next phase, the ownership of the lands necessary to start the next phase and its timing. In less than 30 days I realized it was going to be decades before it might be livable by any normal standard. After 90 days of ownership I had decided to sell. But the developer, the mortgage broker and all the agents got paid and I guess that's all that matters in modern age. Meanwhile I was the proud owner of a luxury riverfront ghetto town home cleaning off malt liquor cans from the lawn the HOA was demanding that I water despite the developer leaving the reflecting ponds barren like the desert.

4-SALE OF THE LUXURY GHETTO TOWN HOME I interviewed a total of three agents. The first two where nice cheerleaders with no plan to address the quickly falling market. The third seemed normal and had hard data. I picked her. I then busted by behind to get the place ready. She immediately became non-responsive to my requests for guidance & assistance in staging the home. The day she took photos & ignored my renewed requests for advice was the day I fired her. I hired one of the liars from the sales center that sold me the luxury riverfront ghetto town home. He immediately gave me advice an assistance to stage the home. It looked and was 100% better. Two offers came in. One was shockingly (365k, 20k less that what I had just paid) low from a savvy buyer who knew the market was turning. But he did not have the burden of a home to sell. The second offer was closer at 383k but she needed a home sale contingency. The low baller came of to 375 & then 390k but refused to budge any further. The other bidder came up to 394k & tossed the contingency. I said great, I accept lets do it!! The day I accepted the offer I learned of the wrinkle, she wanted the max allowable amount of time to close, 90 days. I told my agent, you did not tell me this. He said its her right. I was pissed but I signed. I arranged a vacation to get away from that hellhole. Days before I go away she balks, her new job no longer requires her to move into the city. I am a nice guy and split the earnest money with her. I tell the agent to get the place back up for sale ASAP & I'll see him when I get back from vacation. I get back (2 weeks!!) and I have neither my 1/2 of the deposit nor is the place back up for sale. It takes another week to get things going again as I become a task master. Its the summer of 06, the market is dropping like a cannonball to the bottom of the ocean. The open house in July is pathetic. My competition matches my price & is an end unit. I ask, "Should be cut?" He says "No, yours is nicer inside" I said "But the psychology of the market says end units are better" "No" he replies. The end unit sells for 385k. The same low baller comes back with 375k again. I am pissed. My agent says, "Wait for the fall season" I say "Yeah screw him" (not realizing I was screwing myself). We drop price to 379k. Other people take their units off the market (Tons of flip-tards, who are now flop-lords). Its now September 06, the price cut (and bonus to buying agents) brings in tons of foot traffic but no bits. I am getting pissed. I no longer live there & I'm working on a new job back in DC. The potential buyers are all crying about things I cannot change or fix. One cries about the taxes, I say tell them I'll pay the first years taxes. Still nothing. The agent says "The market has turned" I said I know that's why I was trying to sell six months ago & did not like the 90 days to closing offer!! I say what happened to the low baller. He says he took a spec home from a developer at 375k that was previously listed at 420k. I say, I guess I have to compete with them then. We cut price to 369k. Still nothing. I want another price cut. He says give me one more open house & I'll start a whisper campaign that there is the potential for another 10k. I agree. Nothing comes of it and I get pissed even more. I demand a 20k cut. He agrees. So it lists for 350k. I get an offer the very next day. Seems all to convenient to me but I hate the place and just want to move on with my life. I come up for the weekend to sign the papers. Its finally over. Selling for 35k less, paying all the commissions + a rip off transfer fee to the state, 5k in appliances and now having to absorb the costs of a move on my own. I do get one parting shot. Sunday morning, the day after I signed away 60k+ in money that I needed to buy a crackerjack box in DC an agent brings in a young couple with a toddler. I tell them its under contract. They look disappointed because everyone else is listing for soo much more. The agent says don't worry we can just go next door and negotiate. I say, "you do not want to live here, its not a place to raise a family, there are too many homeless people sleeping on the front lawn." The agent walks them out in a huff. The husband shakes my hand & says thank you. I wish them good luck. Its the only time an honest statement was ever made during the entire development's history. I wonder if I would have made it if I was not under contract??

RE agents suck. The have no idea what they are doing. They are overpaid, worthless gatekeepers to the transaction that just increase its cost. I will buy again after I've recovered from these staggering losses and after the RE markets have dropped down to reasonable prices. In the interim I'm just going to rent near where I work and live my life not worrying about "owning a home". After all this its the last thing I want to think about for a very long time.

Frank Borges LLosa

May 17, 2007 01:45 PM

Hey Dean,
Get prepared to get even more ticked off!...

First of all I'm a Realtor, but I hate most Realtors. But you know what they say, in the land of the brainless, the half brained man is king.

Anyhow, first to defend YOU, interviewing multiple agents would have done nothing. What would you say "Do you suck?" What people should do is interview/ talk to their references. See if you get a sense for how well they did. Or even more powerful, ask for their "last 2 clients" so they can't pick and chose their references. Heck I have a reference where I pocketed for the guy $102,000 on the sale and $50,000 on the purchase!

Or you can run my CRA report (trademark pending) where you run a Comparative R. Analysis on the agent's last 10 deals and see how well they did. Do they get list, do they get over list, do they list high, just to drop later?

And that agent that said "Honey you gave away your house," I'm sorry but that happens ALL the time. Ignore her. Agents get jealous that they didn't get the listing, or they don't like the listing agent (maybe lost other deals, etc). If she had a buyer, and she was any good, they would have put their money where their mouth was and made a back up offer.

Ok, now to the part that will pi** you off...

You are right, most agents don't fight for that last $10,000 since it makes them only $300 and they would rather use that time to sell another house. (blatant plug: This is how I differentiate, we DO fight for that last $5k and $20k, since it is real money, your money. We don't do it out of charity, or our good nature, we do it to make more money for us, via more future referrals from our clients)

The deal is NOT over when you have it under contract. A good agent will "dial for dollars" when the offer comes in to get more. THEN if it goes under contract, a good agent will STILL work the deal. If he can get a higher back up offer, there are about 10 days to make the back up offer win. All legal and all ethical ways.

For example, if you have a back up offer you can:
1) Reply NO to the Home Inspection items (and don't let the agent pay for it). This might trigger the buyers to walk.

2) Look for Kick-outs. Many people don't understand contracts and how the buyer has contingencies that if not removed in 3 days, can nullify your contract (I am not a lawyer, please consult with a lawyer for details)

As for “getting over it,” that is 10,000, no way! That $10,000 would have gotten you another $50,000 in leveraged buying power for your new home. That $10,000 can buy a nice vacation. That $10,000 can be donated to charity. Heck give half to your great agent! ;-)

I recently had a seller that felt BAD that we fought to get him $7,500 over list. I said "take the money, and donate it to a charity, then you won't feel bad."

Frank Borges LLosa- Va Broker/ Realtor
"Trust Me, I'm A Realtor"

Bryan Plocker

July 24, 2007 04:42 AM

Why didn't you cancel the contract during the attorney review period? You could have canceled and dealt with another buyer... period. While I understand that you may have felt morally obligated to deal with Mr. NATO, Jr., you had every legal right to get out of the deal when you discovered that you were duped by your own agent.


July 26, 2007 12:15 AM

I am a soon to be first time buyer with my wife.

I also have a degree in economics, and I am a 100% commissioned sales rep.

I naturally am skeptical of real estate agents.

As a CEO of a company, in what industry would you pay your buyer, the person that buys things for the company, on commission?

And here I am paying someone on commission who will make more money if I spend more money--for the biggest purchase in my life.

That seems ridiculous.

Howerver, we are working with an agent and she is providing value. I must say it is good to hear that a seller of a home felt pressured by their agent to take a LOWER price to close a deal. I suppose if both buyer and seller are feeling like they are getting screwed, then probably nobody really is.

However, I have been looking on the house search engines, as is my habit for about an hour a day, and I came across a property listed that stated that there would be an additional $1000 bonus to the buyers agent if the house sold for the asking price.


So, me being the 100% commissioned sales rep, if I were the buyers agent, would be coming up with great stories for why my client should buy this house AND pay the full price, that has nothing to do with my clients best interest, and everything to do with my paycheck.

please, someone explain to me how this is legal or ethical.


August 1, 2007 10:14 AM

Yeh, the system is out wack regarding the buyer/seller commissions.

These negotiations/transactions should be between Seller and Buyer leaving the legal stuff to an Attorney and a title company. The only reason realtors are in business is b/c they make it easier to show the homes. They add no value and should be taken out back and shot.


September 23, 2007 02:49 PM

I recently engaged a realtor to sell a fixer-upper I had just completed. He was asking for a 6% commission. I was loathe to pay him that and countered at 4.5% (I thought we might settle on 5%).

He was adamant and finally offered this deal. His commission would remain at 6%, we would set the price at $129,000 and if he could'nt bring in 10 interested buyers within 2 weeks at that price we would lower the price to $124,000 and he would take a 4% commission.

I agreed. I had interviewed another (discount) agent who had suggested a sales price of $120,000. I myself had mentally set the upper price at $123-$124K and considered $130K as too high.

As it turned out, the first couple that looked at the house (and they barely looked) asked me how soon would I respond to an offer. I said as soon as they presented the offer to my agent.

Their offer came in at $130,000 with 2% back towards closing costs. I accepted the offer as is, and counted myself lucky...and yet...and yet, I STILL wonder if the sales price was fairly (to me :) )fixed. Ha, Human nature!

NC Girl

October 12, 2007 03:25 PM

Buying can be frustrating & does your realtor help? To be honest I'm not sure. Recently I put an offer in on a wonderful home I was absolutely in love with! Although my offer was contingent on me selling my home. Another offer was put in & I'm guessing for less since I offered over the asking pricing to hopefully seal the deal.

I get a call from my realtor the next day saying the seller would like to sell to you but will not except unless you can close in 30 days. My first answer was no I cannot afford 2 morgages but my neighbor is willing to purchase our home but cannot do this for at least 3 weeks.

In the past I've always been blessed that I had sold a home & had the cash in hand & could close in 30 days so this was totally new to me. My realtor didn't even try to help me figure it out & told me he would just tell the buyer no. Well....had he asked me a few questions I could have made it work! I had a home equity loan that I could have used as a down to get another morgage & have pushed the deal through.

Right now I'm in as a back up offer but unless the sellers can pull out they cannot except my offer. Which I guess the only way they can do that is if the inspections come back & they refuse to do repairs. They whole thing gets me going because I feel I wasn't properly informed by my realtor on options to make the offer work....but I guess I didn't do my homework. Frustrated I am right now but all I can do is wait & see....I guess you learn from your mistakes & I won't let that happen again!


November 29, 2007 05:15 AM

I tell people I'M a better realtor than I've ever met, and I'm NOT a realtor! I've sold 2 homes, and sold both within days of placing a teeny 3 line newspaper ad.
What I did right was stage the house, clean all superflous belongings out and store them, fix stuff that needed fixing, and price it to reflect my 6% realtor savings.
If you research the legality of realtor commissions, you'll find comm's are supposedly not "fixed". But just try to find a realtor charging less than the "standard" 6%!
What a rip-off.
I have my last house listed with a flat-fee realtor - he charges around $500 to list in MLS, put up a sign, and provide me with the sales papers. The rest is up to me, and that's fine with me.
My sister got her real estate license, but let it go after a year because she happens to be an honest person, and couldn't abide the shady stuff that goes on in a typical real estate office.


December 19, 2007 10:34 AM

So what, you didn't gouge someone for more than your house was actually worth. This was a victory for people who just want to pay a reasonable price for a home.

I think its fantastic, you likely should have gotten even less for the house.


March 27, 2008 02:19 PM

As a real estate broker with a degree in economics myself, I struggle with the desire to go against the establishment while realizing that the industry owns the marketplace for selling homes. Namely, the MLS. Because I must attract other agents to adequately represent my client, I have little choice but to "blend in" with what I offer.
It makes no sense, though, that an agent should make TWICE as much for selling a $400K home than a $200K home. There is no real difference in the amount of work done, despite what most agents want to tell you.
Twenty years ago, I was angry to discover that buyers were not represented. I responded by introducing buyer agency in my market and it is commonplace today. My recent anger is over unreasonable fees. I now offer services "by the hour". hasn't caught on in a big way yet, but it took 7 years for buyer brokerage to even be recognized by the industry, so I remain hopeful. At 47, I am a reasonably young man. Time is on my side.

Steve Davis
Kansas City (a real estate and mortgage blog)


May 23, 2008 03:48 AM

You say that the agent who came in afterwards and told you the $250,000 price did not have a vested interest in telling you this... I disagree.

Even given the reasons you give for not having a vested interest, there was a vested interest. You say that you chose the agent because he has the biggest profile in your area, now any agent who operates within the same trade area has a vested interest in bringing down the name of what would appear to be a reputable agent. i.e. looking reputable due to the number of sales. The anger she caused has stayed with you a long time because you feel like you were taken for a ride... that may very well be the case but too often it is the vendor who like you said has "sellers regret" and this especially happens when you sell within one week of being on the market.

I have no doubt that the price was what the house was probably worth at that time, however I do agree that the agent wasn't working for you.


July 22, 2008 11:20 AM

I have a horror story for you - I am a first time homebuyer - young single woman. I just closed on a condo one week ago. I moved into my condo 48 hours after closing, and while actually driving to my new condo with the movers in tow, I get a phone call from my agent who says he has "bad news" - the owner of the condo directly below me called and said water was coming into his condo from above (my condo). Of course I freak out as I have not even moved in yet. We later find out that the entire a/c is "shot" and will need replacement. Keep in mind it is July and I live in New an a/c is a necessity. Of course my inspector did not pick up on this - and my a/c guy is quite astonished by that given the horrible condition and age of the a/c. Another really terrible thing is what my agent did to me (1) he did not tell me anything about a home warranty (2) he did not even suggest a final walk through of the property, even though the place had been vacant for months. Now not only am I going to have to come up with the money to replace the a/c, I am also liable for the damage to the condo below me - which began occurring before I even moved in the place. My closing attorney asked me why I did not do a final walk through, and my answer was that I trusted my agent to guide me and he did not ever advise me to do this. Had we done a final walk through, perhaps we would have picked up on the water that was flooding the unit below me. I really feel like this was the agent's duty to inform me of these things, and he failed 100%. As a 1st time homebuyer I am not familiar with all of this, which he plainly knew, yet he still was negligent with me. If I had known about a home warranty, perhaps I could have gotten some relief there as well. Of course I also have beef with my inspector for not picking up on this - and I am confronting him as well. In the end who knows how much this will cost me and drive me into debt. I contacted the agent yesterday to give him all this news and the best he could do was say he was sorry and felt "really bad". He tried to put blame on everyone but him - he said he thought about doing a final walk through, but the seller's agent was out of town and would not return his calls. He also said he "thought" he told me about a home warranty, which he most certainly did not. I am a young attorney and I know what can happen - I most certainly would have opted to purchase one. Bottom line is he made some serious money off of me for not doing his job.


October 1, 2008 08:47 PM

What happens for your marital home is also your ex-wife.....BY COURT ORDER!!!
Between a piss poor economy and a Broker who has no input to pricing my house, I am screwed with a situation I can only describe as EXTORTION. She refuses to reduce the price to fair market value and the broker does nothing.....this property is overpriced....all the while I pay the mortgage in addition to almost 1000/month to her.


October 2, 2008 09:17 AM

Consider your self lucky to sell at a loss. I signed a six month agreement to sell a commerical building. After four weeks, nothing. Not even a For Sale sign in front. Then, after my cajoling phone call, the agent has a 4'x8' sign made for the commerical sign pole out front. 167 days later it sits in my building, not on the street. I saw the agent once at a golf tournament and he said we needed to come down on price. Six month listing... One agent returned phone call, one hello at a golf course. the building is 70 miles from my home. My girlfriend moved there and said it was forever. Her and the new town. it`s been two years now since She sold out and I`m still with her but 70 miles from nowhere. The real dagger in the heart is that I`ve been getting water bills for a vacant building that they say I use 10,000 gallons a month in. I told the Water Board man, "When have you ever seen me there?!?" No luck, no compromise with them either. The one local agent to the town said that I never showed up and neither would my out of town agent. I left him a phone call that he was SOOO right but I don`t think he`ll deal with me either. Getting ready to fire the one and find antoher Wanted 200,000. Have 170 in it but at this point hand me 150,000.

suhani nanda

January 14, 2009 02:37 AM

it is too long but good

Susan Baine

January 19, 2009 06:11 PM

I have an absolute horror story as a 1st time home buyer who asked a FORMER/ realtor friend for help:
I am being sued by ---------- ------------------ Realty at this, deceptive realtors request.
Several Years I ago Met Mr. 0000, He had been privy to all of the details of the divorce I had gone through. I had been occasionally invited over to his home for various social gatherings. He offered me a job in June 0f 2005.
I had casually mentioned at a dinner party that I hoped to find a home soon. On June 25 th , Mr. 0000 sent me an e mail offering to send listings if I sent him a few parameters. He sent Hundreds of listings and did not weed out any that were what I asked for. I picked a few in area 0 and he said he would give me lock box codes to see the places.I found the home still occupied and left. I was quite confused. He also kept pushing a specific listing he had, as he said he kept having deals fall through with that property. He sent more codes but I never went at that time. I was just beginning to hear of the terrble housing market and I was extremly confused about "Short Sales" . I had felt very uncomfortable with Mr. 0000 at this point and I was not being given any advice or direction. He continued to bombard my e mail 4 times a day with hundreds of listings. I contacted Mrs. *** around July 26th and after meeting with her I chose her to be my Realtor. She took me to several nice homes and I made an offer on one, I also signed what I had believed to be an agreement to work with her. After she advised me the home was bank owned and explaind in detail what a short sale was, shortly after, I withdrew my offer. I had needed to vacate my apartment and I decided to begin to just look for another rental unit for 1 more year. Mrs *** and I had left it that she would contact me if any "normal" sales came on the market. In response to another conversation, I sent Mr. 0000 an e mail ,on August 5 th specifically telling him I was not interested in any short sales. I also told him I was working with Mrs. ***. At another of his gatherings he kept talking about the XXX property and why did I not at least look at it. I again told him I was working with Mrs. ***, and asked if it was alright for him to show me this property. On August 14 th We set up an appointment and he told me to bring what I signed with her to show him. I did that and he looked at what I signed before we left his driveway, however ,It was not till months later I realized the relevance of this. He had told me it was fine to look with him and if I ended up buying he saidMrs.*** would be due a portion of the commission. He took me to 3 places plus XXX. They were hideous and not at all what I wanted in a home or area. When he took me to XXX he neglected to tell me it was also a Bank Owned short sale. I was told if I made an offer that his brother ---------- was a contractor and He would do all the repairs. I agreed to put in an offer at his urging. He never gave me a choice and said he was sending all the paperwork via docusign. He would not bring,review or explain the paperwork. We had NEVER talked of any exclusivity, and I had never heard of Docusign. I am in my 50's and not computer savy. I spent hours trying to set it up and understand and I was very confused, 2months later I found out that he had intentially pre-dated an exclusive Buyer-Broker on JUNE 14th, 2008 for 1 year. And I signed it without realizing. I had been in a traditional 25 year marriage , where I raised my child and my spouse handled all of the businees aspects of our marriage.I have had much confusion. If these documents were presented in front of me with an explanation, I not only never would have signed them I would not ever have even made the offer on that property. I did not have a year to find a home as I had known and been planning a major surgery for the spring and summer.I never would have knowingly commited to a year with anyone and It was my understanding with Mr. 0000 that this was just for that home. He did not mention an exclusive agreement ever, and he never showed me any other homes. I wanted to see the home again, and on August 18th , he emailed me lockbox codes and refused to go back to the property with me. At this point I was not real happy with his lack of professionalism. I have the e mails and the eact times I entered this property, I have reported that violation to ----------. On August 25 th I sent him another e mail, very confused, and I then found out this was a short sale and was bank owned. I had many questions he would not answer. I contacted the HOA number and after speaking with a board member I found out that less than 50% of the condos were rentals and that the permission for installation of air conditioning was not guarenteed approval as Mr. 0000 led me to belive. I was very upset to learn this was a rental community for the most part. I also was not told that a huge diseased tree on the property would be my responsibilty to pay for . On August 25 th there were more papers he sent to sign and I do not even know to this day what they were, I was never givin copies and They were not sent in a docusign envelope. I was sent an excel sheet by his finace guy and I had no idea what it meant. I have no experience with that program ever. I am not a confrontational person and while I was very dissatified and unhappy at this point I foolishly still went along. He counterd without telling me till after and then kept insisting I had to get an inspector and begin loan proceedings before any accepted offers. I received confusing e mails full of double talk. At another of his gatherings he still kept telling me it was a done deal. I was also told by another guest that the intersection a few blocks from the condo is a known high crime gang and drug area by the authorities. Mr. 0000 became very annoyed at this information being revealed. He was complaining that he had 3 other offers fall through on this property and that as a relocation he was not making any money on it.By September 5 th after being pushed to start a process for which I had no accepted offer , I was completely fed up with continued double talk and deception, I decided after a few days I was not happy with any of this and I phoned him and withdrew my offer. He was quite annoyed with this and asked why, as I did not want an argument I told him" It was the wrong house" for me. I asked again if he had any homes to show that were what I was looking for and NOT short sales. He had already stopped sending the usless listings and he said there was nothing else he could show me as everthing was a short sale. I was informed the next day by a friend of mine, who is prepared to either testify in court or give a sworn statement that Mr. 0000 called him the next day, to ask him" why I Withdrew my offer". This was a direct breech for Mr. 0000 to discuss this matter with a third party.However,It verifies the fact that he knew I withdrew, making his allegation fradulent; I also found out 2 months later that he kept the offer active and has accused me of not withdrawing).
In the interim I placed a deposit on a rental apartment. Two Days later Mrs. ***called to say she had found a normal sale in my present neigborhood. I offerred and purcased the home closing in less than a month. As a consumer, whose best interests were clearly violated by Mr.0000, leaving me with absolutely no faith in
him at all; I am apalled at the deception and unscrupulous acts that -------- ------- -------obviously supports. I am unemployed, have no income and can no longer afford to pay the attorny I have, given present state of our economy.


February 25, 2009 04:59 PM

Hey it's your fault. Everything that happens-whether you don't get good behavior from a kid or lousy realtors. It's really your fault. I accept it. I don't like it but I accept it. Do a better job next time.

Point That Finger at YourSelf

April 14, 2009 01:20 AM

Susan Baine,

Need I say anymore?


November 6, 2009 11:15 PM

I had a bad real estate experience a couple of weeks ago. I got an email from my realtor on a Thursday giving me a heads up on a foreclosed property for X price. I drove (about a 3 hour drive) up to the property on Friday, liked it and signed a sales contract for the full asking price that same day.

On Monday I got a voice mail from the realtor saying that the owner of the property, Lake Huron Credit Union, decided that the asking price was too low and now the price is X + 50%. I couldn't beleive it, I've never heard of anything like this happening before. I complained to the realtor - she said this is the first time she seen this but there isn't much she could do because the manager at the credit union was holding firm on the new price.

I checked with real estate attorneys and apparently this practice is legal. All I could do was file complaints to the state attorney general and the Better Business Bureau and the OFIR (they watch over the credit unions in our state) but I don't think it will change anything. Anyone else ever hear of a huge price increase on a property AFTER a full price bid was put in?


January 30, 2010 02:51 PM

Susan, (1)Don't blame your self there are a lot of crooks in the real estate and mortgage industry.I found that out the hard way however what you can do is that you can file a complaint against him in the city where you signed the documents with the local police department or Sherrif's office.

Or you can set up a meeting with the county prosecutor office and meet with one of there investigator or detectives & request a full investigation of your matter and make sure that you have all of your documents with you to help with the investigation .

based on my personal experience with dealing with crooks in the real estate when i also purchase my first house i come to find out later that my signatures was forged on a large number of mortgage documents and these people also committed a large number of other crimes in which they will be charged and also lose their real estate licenses.

so here are some pointers (1)file a criminal complaint (2)don't hire a lawyer as of yet they will waste your monies after the complaint he will be indited & charged (3)when he is charged get a copy and send it to the department of real estate comission in your in your state certified and keep a copy for your records.

They will then investigate and they will pull his real estate license according to the commission's policy after he has been charged and prosecuted then you can hire a real estate attorney to file a law suit against him and make sure that your lawyer is not connected to the crooked agent or his friends .

These people think they can cheat people and get away with it there are laws that will dome their career meaning the bad agents.

They they make it harder for the good agents to get a fair shake the bad agents are like modern day vampires out to suck you & your property dry for the love of money .

Make sure that you file the criminal complaint first then go to the commission with the report of the complaint,then after that sue him you would be in a better position to win your case.

Just remember all part of a license from a professional is that they cannot be charged with a crime of any type it would like the death of his career in real estate totally I've found that out.

"like it is said if you don't stand up for what you believe in you will fall for anything so don't give up .

Good Luck...


February 20, 2010 04:22 PM

Ted: I wish that your comment about a conviction being a proverbial "kiss of death" to a "Real Estate Professional" were true; it certainly is not in New Jersey. Consider my experience.

My wife and I were represented as buyers by a Prudential, Fox & Roach realtor, Mark Arbeit. My seller was represented by another Pru-Fox realtor, Lou Solomon. My seller was a licensed NJ Mortgage Solicitor. To make a long story short, I discovered a leaking underground oil tank in a small, concealed shed, back-to-back with a much larger shed. A seller's disclosure statement, which NJ realtors secure to protect themselves from claims of misrepresentation, was advertised as having been completed by my seller. When I asked for a copy of it after my discovery, I was told, oh, it really never was completed. I then asked for a list of prospective buyers who had been through the place. Realtors maintain these lists to protect their commissions, and I was certain some who had been through my place had discovered the tank. Well, I guess that request hit a little too close to home because, at that point, both Pru-Fox realtors essentially told me, "Shut up and beat it, sucker. You own it now."

Not too long thereafter, I learned that my seller, the Mortgage Solicitor, was convicted as a result of a "Catch a Predator"-type sting run by some sheriff in Florida. I took this information to NJ's Department of Banking & Insurance, which licenses Mortgage Solicitors, but it could not have cared less! I went with this info to B & I back in March of 2008. As of today, this dumpy, high-fivin' swindler is still out there working unsuspecting members of the public. My tale gets better, though!

Remember Mark Arbeit, the realtor who represented me? Well, a simple Google search turned up some articles on him in The Washington Post archives for June 20, 25 and 26, 1987. Seems that before he reinvented himself as "Realtor to the Stars," he was an assistant elementary school principal down in Virgina, but was bounced from the post because he had been convicted of offering a 14-year old boy money to pose nude for him and also had made strange calls to some of his young male students in the middle of the night. I took this info to NJ's Real Estate Commission, which is a part of Banking & Insurance. The Commission's response? It knew all about Mr. Arbeit's "troubles" in Virginia but couldn't understand why I thought they had any bearing on the issue whether he possessed the requisite "good character." He's still out there as of today, working saps like me and raking it in.

So, here I am, with a name that's still a punch line among all the lying, botoxed realtors in town (Hold your fire, everyone, about how gullible I was. I know. I get flamed every time I tell this tale.). I am resolved, though, to get out the word now on Arbeit, and later, on my seller. Pru-Fox realtors think that I and my efforts are pathetic. Maybe. But try Googling "Mark Arbeit" & "oil tank" for a few yuks.


March 4, 2010 04:09 PM

Buying a house. The realestate guy seems pretty nice, remembers our details when I call him out of the blue. We found a house, but he says it may take 6 weeks to clear... It's a forclosure, but is there any reason it should take that long? Is there some way he could double dealing me or what?? I just want the house, I don't need anything or anyone else to dislike... Any advice from the experienced? Let me know either here or my email. Thank you!

Thank you for your interest. This blog is no longer active.



BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.

BW Mall - Sponsored Links

Buy a link now!