In an effort to convince the nation that yeah, real estate agents do add value to a home transaction, the California Association of Realtors will commence a new radio and internet advertising campaign costing approximately $2.3 million dollars entitled:
"California Realtors (R), We Get It."
The internet ads take you to a website called: www.yourpieceofcalifornia.com where it is explained ever so clearly the top reasons to use a REALTOR (R):
- REALTORS® subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics—a set of obligations that often go above those mandated by law. Known as the REALTOR® Code of Ethics (bwahahahahahaaha), these principles embody a strong commitment to fairness, integrity, and moral conduct in business relations. Under the Code of Ethics, REALTORS® put the needs and well-being of their clients above anything else. (But not above that holy 6% commission check!!! Bahahahaha! Oh man, you C.A.R. guys are killing us! Good one!)
- As members of C.A.R., California REALTORS® have access to confidential legal counsel, innovative marketing tools, and an extensive repository of market data. (Market data which you will not share with the consumers because its so C.A.R. IP-ish, right?) With these resources, REALTORS® are equipped to help you make important decisions throughout the home-buying or –selling process, such as how much home you can afford or what information you must disclose to the other party. (Wait a minute. REALTORS (R) have been convincing thousands of homebuyers to sign up to non-standard mortgages in order to buy more home than they could really afford. Are you sure what you are claiming here is true?)
- Among the top skills REALTORS®’ bring to the table is the ability to negotiate a favorable price. REALTORS® are knowledgeable about the small repairs and improvements you can make to enhance the “salability” of your home. According to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, the median price of a home sold using an agent is 16 percent higher than a home sold without the guidance of an agent. (Hmmm, so why utilize a REALTOR (R) real estate agent if I am buying a home? You forgot to address the other side of the transaction that affects your duplicitous profession. As a buyer I don't want to pay 16% more for a house plus 6% commission. That's 22% of b.s. money down the drain. You know what would be impressive? Convince me that by working with a realtor one can negotate price decreases of at least 17% every time to cancel out the efforts of the seller's realtor! Sorry, but this item 3 is crap in terms of explaining REALTOR value to the buyer.)
- Your REALTOR® acts as your advocate during each step of the transaction. Whether evaluating buyer proposals or preparing counteroffers, your REALTOR® saves you time by serving as a liaison between you and the other parties of the transaction, prepares and reviews necessary paperwork, and guides you through the process to make sure everything is handled appropriately. (Such as encouraging you to not make insulting, low-ball offers for overvalued homes, and hand carrying you as a prospective buyer to "recommended" mortgage brokers and appraisers that will knock down the pins and help close the sale - all in an effort to secure that holy 6% commissions)
- REALTORS® are well-versed in up-to-date market data, such as inventory levels, time on market, and ratios of list-to-sold prices. Backed by education and experience in the real estate industry, your REALTOR® and can help you leverage this market information to aid in your decision-making process. (Here's a news flash for REALTORS(R): All of this information is now available on the internet at Zillow, RealtyTrac, Foreclosure.com, etc., - and anyone with a brain and a pulse can decipher the amount of leverage available to them on a given. But even if one chose to hire a realtor anyway, how do any of the above items consistute a value-add worthy of 6% commission based on the home sale value? The rancid truth is, none of them do.)
Nice move, C.A.R. Tip of the hat to you.
I mean, it is wise to go on the offensive at this stage, since Americans who are, or will be, losing their homes are about to start calling out so-called professional mortgage brokers and real estate agents by name in the press. Yes, those who cajoled them into signing the dotted line of subprime and Alt-A mortgages back in 2003, 2004 and 2005 will likely start to receive that free word-of-mouth advertising on national TV! Sheer bliss for any a real estate professional!
But how will those that are undergoing home foreclosure, bankruptcy and homelessness view these new ads?
The answer? Well, it doesn't matter to real estate agents. You see, they have their money. They've been paid already - and can move on to the next sucker.
The idea that agents must act ethically in all transactions, or lose their professional reputation and potential future customer base, is a myth. If the Housing Bubble of 2006/2007 has taught us anything is that there is almost always a greater fool, until it's too late. So the "we're always ethical" line is just bullsh*t.
Real estate agents are sales people who do not care whether a home sells at price x or price y, as long as either price x or y is a high price, because their sales commission is a factor off of the final sales price.
But it is good for the C.A.R. to respond with something to counter the growing national disgust for real estate industry professionals as the U.S. housing market, the participative businesses within it, and it's customers proceed to financially unravel during the course of 2007 and 2008.
As far as the ads go, though - Great Stuff!
We're all waiting with bated breath I can tell you!