By Kay Wilson-Bolton
December 12, 2006
With the number of real estate licensees in the State of California exceeding 500,000, it is important to note that less than half have joined the ranks of REALTORS® where, at a minimum, consumers can count on a Code of Ethics to guide them.
Consumers demand excellence in every conceivable shopping arena, from cars to cantaloupes, and clothes to computers. They also want to deal with the tech person who can solve the problem. No one else will do.
Consumers are often less demanding in their selection of one to represent them in the sale or purchase of their major investment.
Lenders generally have real estate licenses and some will opt to playing two roles; agent and lender. Some do it well, and the opportunity is wide open for those who are trained and capable, equipped with the tools and the time it takes to do the job. Beware of those who are not.
On a recent Sunday, this REALTOR® left church a little early to meet a client at a property for the second time. They indicated that they had another property in mind and had seen it with another REALTOR®, one I know and respect. When I asked if they had selected their lender and had their loan ready, they stated they had a friend in that business.
A day later I received a call from this lender who is out of the immediate area. He stated he had written an offer on the property for these buyers. He admitted he had not seen the property, but the buyer wanted him to handle the transaction.
At the moment, he was more worried about his commission than he was representing his clients. Because he is not a member of the Multiple Listing Service, I am not obligated to share the compensation, particularly since I had done the work to date and he had not agreed to abide by the MLS rules. Since the seller had been asked to pay $13,000 in closing costs, I decided to reduce the fee to the selling agent/lender by one-half percent.
In a conversation with the second REALTOR® who was also working with these same buyers, she stated the buyers told her their lender told them to go out and find the property, and he would write the offer.
The offer arrived, written on the wrong form and incomplete. Not wanting to spoil a sale for my sellers, we decided to deal with the offer and work around the paperwork.
In a subsequent and unpleasant phone conversation with the agent’s broker, he told me it was, ”Too hard to know what his lenders were doing at all times.”
REALTORS® aren’t perfect, but if this situation had occurred within the REALTOR® ranks, there is a system for accountability and correction. Others are beyond our reach.
Consider using a REALTOR® for your next real estate transaction, and interview more than one. Let the lenders continue doing what they do best, and we’ll do the same.
Kay Wilson-Bolton is the owner of CENTURY 21 Buena Vista and brings a regional perspective to local issues. She can be reached at 805.340.5025. Her web address is http://www.readysetkay.com