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There is a great need to boost the image of the real estate professional. Giving the benefit of the doubt to most if not all participants here, we all do a resaonable job. Let us look at a few areas that will propel us out of a "notch above used cars salesman" to something more like a designation like a firefighter or police officer. Firefighters protect lives and property. Police officers protect lives and sometimes property. REALTORS PROTECT BOTH BUYER AND SELLER AND BOY DO WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY.
Let us take a common look at "AS IS".
AS IS is a commonly used catchall to supposedly preclude any requests by the selling side of a transaction. Yet it is often used a cover by the listing side to avoid being responsible for characteristics of a property that a listing agent may acquire. I have seen contracts that the listing side glosses over the mandatory "agent visual inspecion " that we have in California. This puts the extra burden on the buying agents to perform the "due diligence" when it comes to that stage of the escrow. We must never forget that we as listing agents have as much responsibility to the asset manger as the selling agent has to their buyer. We owe a definite fiduciary duty to our clients to protect AND guide them through the process. If we fully disclose the defects about the property and all property has at least a few, then we mitigate the chances of a post escrow law suit. Do not get me wrong...if you don't want to pay for repairs, you should not have to, but we are AGENTS...representatives... and we get paid for our service so we should take it seriously- not just managing expenses and securing the property.
Asset managers cannot know all of the paperwork that a state requires and we need to keep the updated on proceedures in our jusridiction. California has a whole battery of prescribed forms that make things clear who is doing what and what the terms are so there are no misunderstandings. We agents are both teachers and guides. We are the doctors in our field, curing the sickness and providing for the well being of realestate.
Let us take a look at proper buyer counseling. I have come to not believe all preapprovals that come in and that includes the big bank ones. Recently I had a prospect that was preapproved for a particular amount. When it came time to offer a price the mother and my client the daughter had a debate on what the daughter could actually afford to pay monthly. It was significantly less than the preapproval amount and I wondered what that big bank used as crtiteria?
I had another prospect that wanted to buy property. He confessed to me that he was out of work but not to tell his loan officer...I advised hime this was like loan fraud and he was not even aware that it was. We buyer agents need to really interview our clients to make sure they are fianacially fit for this. Don't leave in another's hands!
I have had another buyer that only wanted to spend a certain amount in an area with few suitable choices...he found out by looking at little further east that he couold buy MORE house for the same money. Again all it takes is proper qualifying and counseling.

Finally as listing agents, we have an incredible amount of resources at our fingertips: virual tours, plenty of redistributable info from CAR and NAR, websites galore for marketing etc. We need to do for the asset managers what we would do for a standard sale: Do a Kick Butt Job...we are more than paperwork pushers...we are customer service..from fielding client calls to prospect calls and as well being a conduit of information for all. We are licensed for a reason.
Now if any asset manger is reading this I hope you get an idea of what kind of agent I am...ready to roll up my sleeves and service fully you my client.
2010 is about to begin...lets us agents start out right by moving to the next level. We are licensed professionals.
We are licensed servants. Let us keep real estate simple and honest.

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Comment by Beth Ross on January 5, 2010 at 6:13pm
I totally agree that professionalism must be raised!! I am seeing many franchise agents that are selling their in house listings over all others, even when the others (I have two that are identical to the ones they were selling) are 10,000 - 20,000 less, they were foreclosures and the bank wanted them gone. The inhouse listings went first and I can tell from my ekey that the listings I had were not even shown by those agents. To me this isn't fair to the buyers and offering them choices. This leads people to believe that the agents are not doing their due diligence in finding their buyer client the best deals. Gee, could this be why Realtors get bad names? Maybe I am naive, but I thought our job was to take care of our client first BEFORE our own, or our broker's, pocketbook! I know, they were taking care of the seller! LOL
Comment by Singletary (Tary) H. Snyder on December 31, 2009 at 10:07am
Well said John!! It doesn't take that much to go the extra mile even for your own satisfaction if nothing else. Think what it means to the buyer and seller when you have done all you can to expedite the closing, etc.

Comment by Billie Dalessio on December 29, 2009 at 3:21pm
John, I agree with you. We should all strive to raise the bar, and the level of professionalism. The agents that "get it" know that it is not about the individual sale, it is about the relationship with the client whether it is a buyer, seller or asset manager & doing the best possible job. Honoring the relationship leads to many future transactions.

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