The Old Real Estate Bait and Switch

FRIDAY, JANUARY 8, 2010

Something that really bugs me about my profession is how so many Realtors over price listings just to get business. I call it the old bait and switch.

Now, I know that this will upset many Realtors well, those that are guilty of over pricing their listings that is. To those Realtors I say, too bad! You are hurting and discrediting our profession every time you take another over priced listing and giving the rest of us, honest, hardworking, knowledgeable, ethical Realtors a bad name.

So, why would a Realtor take or even want to take an over priced listing? Simple, to get business. They figure any listing is better than no listing and that the home owner won’t want to go through the entire process of finding and hiring another Realtor, so they will just reduce the price in time and eventually the home will sell.

Now, I am not only going to only pass blame solely on the Realtor because the home owner bares responsibility as well because they do not have to hire the Realtor with the highest value for their home. Naturally, every home owner believes that their home is worth more than everyone else’s but it is the responsibility of the “professional” to advise and be truthful with the home owner and to walk away if the home owner has unrealistic expectations for their home. Home owners look to Realtors for guidance, professional advice and for facts. When a Realtor over prices a listing to simply get business, what they are telling the public is that Realtors are useless, that we are a dime a dozen and we simply do not know what we are doing. Isn’t that what most of the general public already thinks about Realtors anyway?

I feel that as a “professional” it is my job to be the “expert” and to make sure that my opinion and my knowledge be credible. I take my career very seriously.

Many will argue that it’s just too easy to obtain a real estate license and that is why there are so many “bad” Realtors and that very well may be, but for now the requirements are the requirements we are not all bad. I myself worked very hard to obtain my license and then my Broker’s license.

I feel one of the problems facing the real estate industry is that people get into the business for all the wrong reasons whether it be to earn extra money, to flip properties, or to buy investment properties and those are not the reasons to become a Realtor. Being a Realtor is not easy and is not for everyone. I know that I became a Realtor so that I could help people with what might be probably the biggest financial decision of their life and to educate, and guide them. I’ve never purchased an investment property, never competed with my clients, never threw them under the bus for my own financial gain and never will. That’s not to say that one day I won’t purchase an investment property but when I finally do, it will be to secure my financial future and won’t have been the reason or the motivation for obtaining my real estate license.

If Realtors want the general public to view us as “experts” and actually put a “value” on what we do, you have to stop being desperate for business. You have to be strong and believe in yourself, your expertise, your license, have respect for our profession, our Code of Ethics and stop misleading home owners by over pricing their homes. Have the competence to walk away when a home owner is unrealistic and show the home owner that there is a need for a Realtor. Home owners know that if you won’t do what they want, there will be another one who will and that needs to stop.

Stop the bait and switch.

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