I’ve been pretty hard on the National Association of Realtors in this blog, mainly because of its relentlessly upbeat messages about home-buying that can mislead consumers. However, that doesn’t mean that all Realtors or real-estate agents are bad (although, out of the six homes I’ve bought and sold, I would recommend only two of my agents).
A good agent, in addition to being hard-working, conscientious and knowledgeable, tells it like it is — a rare quality in agents, in my experience. The best agent I ever worked with was the president of the local MLS and openly disparaged other agents for not properly serving their clients. He was the guy the reporters called for a great quote when the housing data came out, because he put no “spin” on what he said.
This morning I came across a blog by a Realtor in Lakewood that was so refreshingly honest, I wanted to share it with you. The blogger’s name is Dave Emerson, and he and his partner Blair Newman maintain this blog called socalrealestatenews.com. There’s so little “sell” on it that it’s hard to tell a Realtor is writing it.
Here are some nuggets from the blog:
– On California Association of Realtors economist Leslie Appleton-Young’s consistently optimistic market forecasts: “We like Leslie & have followed her reports for years, but you have to remember who pays her salary.”
– On the current housing downturn: “Greed, stupidity, and a lack of integrity got us into this mess. But we’re not talking your average, run-of-the-mill greed or stupidity. We’re talking greed and stupidity on a scale unseen since. . . the late 1920s?”
– On how we could have avoided the current catastrophe: “The agent is supposed to be a fiduciary. That means she is to put the client’s interest above her own. A little Golden Rule or fiduciary-mindedness at any step of the food chain might have kept us out of this mess.”
Dave is a solid writer; his post “How We Got Into This Mess” is one of the most cogent explanations of our current predicament I’ve read. I hope he keeps writing.