There’s always something to howl about

Sell Your Home? Get You a Loan? Do Your Taxes?

I have no idea if published Letters to the Editor are covered by copyright protection – if they are I will need to stop doing this. If someone were to suggest that there was a pattern to the types of letters Inman News chooses to publish (say, for example, that I’ve made assertions like that in the past) a person wouldn’t have to wait very long to find examples of that pattern. This one is from today:Mars Attacks

Higher commissions are ‘anti-consumer’

Dear Editor:

Are semantics clouding the real issue? When you have thousands of real estate agents competing for a limited amount of business this is construed as competitive, just as Realogy and RE/MAX suggest. However, this does not equate to competitive real estate models, which should — but do not — benefit consumers.

In this agent’s opinion, the issue is not whether there is competition between agents to obtain business — it is the competition as it relates to commissions that have these companies on edge. This should be considered “anti-consumer,” not necessarily an anti-competitive issue, which is simply a case of semantics.

These companies readily admit and demonstrate that they will do and say almost anything to thwart competition with regard to commission dollars.

How many times do they have to say that they are worried about the pressures of lower commissions? It is well documented and stated by these companies that they spend inordinate amounts of money to attract business, thereby placing them in a position where they cannot compete with other models that use pricing (commissions) to compete with the “anti-consumer” real estate models that hire thousands of agents and spend millions of dollars to obtain market dominance.

Ironically, these “anti-consumer” companies are honest about the reasons they continue to frustrate a decline in commission rates. They cannot “compete” within these confines. This is about commissions, not competition to attract business.

What the public should consider is whether they want to do business with companies that knowingly take advantage of their mere size as opposed to finding ways to lower the costs and becoming more efficient when it comes to actually selling homes. Besides higher commission prices, these companies are also inclined to add “junk” fees such as storage fees (for the file), transactions fees (which is why the agent is being paid in the first place), and other assorted fees and costs.

It is my opinion that this compromises the integrity of these companies.

It is also partially the responsibility of the media, which continues to use the word discount when relating to lower-commission models. This is the wrong message, as discount applies only to commissions. If there are no set commissions, why are lower commissions described and considered discount? As a lower-fee broker, I take exception to this because I offer the same, if not better, service than those charging higher commissions. Nothing is discounted; it is merely what I elect to charge.

The DOJ should be spending money to attack the dishonesty of these high-commissioned firms and inform the consumers that lower fees do work and probably work better than higher fees for many reasons.

Even NAR has said in the past that real estate commissions will not decrease as long as consumers continue to pay higher commissions.

Jeff Fox

Yes, the dishonesty must be stopped. How dare big companies charge more (and openly admit it too). Jeff Fox does it for less. Go to Go there now and see that site. It took me a while to even find his Realtor site. I believe it is this one: If this is not correct, I apologize. If I am correct (at the very bottom of the page it has the realty tech copyright and he charges 1.25% commission) so I think this is the same person.

He is a lower fee broker and wants the DOJ to spend money attacking high commission firms and wants them to inform consumers that lower commissions work and probably work better than higher fees for many reasons. Good news, Jeff. Just check this out. The DOJ got your thoughts in advance (via telepathy?) and put that site up just for you. The attacks have already started.


5 Comments so far

  1. Brian Brady October 30th, 2007 7:19 am

    So…Jeff sells stuff to the real estate agents (technology), competes with them, and wants the gov’t to try to eliminate them.

    Jeff ain’t stupid. He’s covering all his angles

  2. dilbert October 30th, 2007 7:48 am

    Well, gee . . . .
    He LOOKS trustworthy 🙂

  3. Jim Gatos October 30th, 2007 6:35 pm

    What an ass! He wants the DOJ to promote his business model for free! Nowhere in the letter did HE state HE is a lower fee agent.

    Most of these lower fee agents don’t have the guts to stand up for themselves and show the consumer they are worth the higher fees. Know why? They’re NOT!

    Have a good day, my friend.


  4. Jim Gatos October 31st, 2007 4:06 am

    “As a lower-fee broker, I take exception to this because I offer the same, if not better, service than those charging higher commissions. Nothing is discounted; it is merely what I elect to charge.”

    sorry, my mistake.. However,he’s still an ass.. LOL

    Thanks for the correction.. Oh, BTW, in Central Ma, a lower fee agent usually is out of business within a year or two… I Choose NOT to be a “fly by night”…

  5. Dave Shafer November 9th, 2007 8:36 am

    Just curious how much these “discount” brokers are responsible for people who “invested” in real estate at inflated prices?
    The seminars and books that were telling people anyone can make “millions” in real estate were also pushing FSBO and discount brokers as a way to save $$$. So all these neophytes went out and purchased property at inflated prices, never looking at ROI, local rental info, etc. that a professional RE agent would have helped them with.
    Then when they tried to flip they got stuck with a property that was overmortgaged, hard to rent, and seriously cash negative.
    So instead of making millions they get foreclosed on.

    Same type of thing happened in the mortgage industry. Unlicensed and untrained folks encouraged option arms, short term variable rate loans and high LTV, DI loans.
    The result is foreclosure for some. Extreme pain for others.