There’s always something to howl about

Could anything be sleazier than Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman? How about the Tennessee Association of Realtors?

The Tennessee State Legislature is trying to outlaw real estate commission rebates — guess at whose behest? Little Pink Houses has the dirt. Jonathan Dalton has the dudgeon.

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    6 Comments so far

    1. Brian Brady May 25th, 2007 1:55 pm

      All I can think of is my favorite Swan-ism. “Evil dressed up in a Brooks Bros. suit”

    2. Bruce Hahn May 25th, 2007 5:54 pm

      The TN Realtors Assn. easily takes the sleaziness cake.

      And Jonathan Dalton is also right in one very important sense about there being too many Realtors. The standards for entering the real estate services profession are so low in most areas that many newbies are woefully underprepared to provide good counsel to unsophisticated home buyers and sellers.

      The answer is to thin the herd by raising the entrance standards. Grandfather current agents, let the existing incompetents who were barely able to pass their exams on their third try go back to their food service jobs, and make sure future agents are much better prepared to serve consumers.

      The real estate agent population will then decline naturally. The remaining good agents will be able to make more money and spend more of their time providing the services they were trained for, and will have to waste less time prospecting.

      Even better, consumer organizations will support raising educational standards. Rather than dragging down the profession’s reputation through blatently obvious protectionism, you’ll be raising the quality of real estate services and its reputation in the eyes of consumers.

    3. Brian Brady May 26th, 2007 4:49 pm

      Why not do the opposite, Bruce and let the market determine legitimacy? Lower the barriers to entry and the designations will carry some weight.

    4. Edward Streightiff May 26th, 2007 11:46 pm

      What really is a Realtor?

      We have all heard the jokes. I can’t repeat any of them because I may laugh or cry? A million people with roughly the same certification stereotypes the good with the bad.

      There are a million truck drivers in the US. They all have the same CDL certification and all make about the same amount of money. The actually had to have more training to get certified then a realtor. The barrier to entry is a specific skill set.

      The 80 20 rule is the definition of Real estate. The top 20% process 80% of the transactions. The bottom 80% are the reason the profession gets a bad name. Something should be done. The average homeowner can’t tell the difference from an advanced professional and a part time rookie. They want to group the profession as a group of truck drivers.

      Why not set some standards that separate the truck drivers from the professionals. Any one who can send a check to the NAR can represent the profession.

      I think the barrio to entry should be performance based. Not for a month or a year but for a minimum of 3 years. The drop off rate for the first three years is massive. Only the strong will survive.

    5. Cathy Jager May 27th, 2007 6:51 am


      The legal profession has the same problem – although there are vast variations in compensation rates. But there are too many lawyers and way too many bad ones, and that helps to create a horrible reputation.

      It is, in my view, the associations of the incompetent of the legal community that are engaged in lobbying for the same kinds of anti-competitive legislation that realtor organizations support. I believe it sends the message that you can’t convince the consumer that your services have value when you resort to government rules requiring consumers to use those services.

      Realtors, real estate lawyers, appraisers – all the same.

    6. Arlingtgon Virginia Condos -- Jay May 28th, 2007 1:32 pm

      Standing in the way of competition is anti-American. This type of action gives the media good fodder to put stories out there making it seem like most realtors are anti-consumer and scared of competition.

      If a buyer wants spend more money by using a mostly discount broker who is not going to negotiate effectively on his behalf that is his choice. They are plenty of idiots out there who are too blind to realize this. It should be the goal of TAR to educate consumers are this reality: employing the services of a full time discount broker almost always means netting less on the transaction from a buyers’ perspective than if they use an excellent (not an average) realtor.

      Buyers should be very picky about who represents them….