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Thread: Realtors

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Realtors

    Just to piss off El Guapo, let's talk about LYING REALTORS


    Our office intentionlly will not give out zoning info over the phone. Too many prior "but the planner said..." stories. If the person can't make it in persally, we now only respond by fax or email. That way we have a record of the discussion. We STILL get Realtors INSISTING that I told them wrong zoning info on the phone. Never gonna happen. Never.

  2. #2
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Right now...

    ...I have a realtor as my rental manger, who is also on my Planning Commission. Talk about a nightmare.

    Oregon law says only two persons on a PC can be in the "business of selling real estate"... I think it should be zero.
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  3. #3
          Downtown's avatar
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    My gripe with realtors:

    Any as of yet undeveloped woods that are located in the town, a realtor will inevitably tell homebuyers that it is "Forever Wild", when it isn't. The only way a tract of land will not be developed in this town is if it is located in a conservation zone (we have the classification, just NOTHING ANYWHERE in the town is zoned this) or it is deeded to the Nature Conservancy. Sorry, but I could just shoot realtors in this town sometimes.

  4. #4
    Realtors: My peeves

    In Toledo, we have some really, really bad realtors as well as real-estate companies. One company actually contributed to a school levy campaign a few years ago to support the yuppie school district that is taxing to death the elderly and farmers. Talk about neo-nazism.


    As far a realtors go, like lawyers, they attract more than their fair share of goofballs. Others are so snotty that they won't touch a house under $200,000. And vanity runs deep within the real estate world. One 40-year old woman in my hometown actually still used her high-school graduation picture on her business card and even had it printed in the engagement announcements. She had it changed only recently because she didn't look anything at all like that picture having put on about 20 years and double the number of pounds.

    There's this other clown who has his picture on every bus bench in town, as well as billboards. Everywhere you go, you see "Sold" signs with his name on it. But he never shows up at open houses, even the ones for which he is the listing realtor. He sends his piss-boys instead. One time he actually did host one of his open houses, all he did was sit like a bump on a log watching golf. He forgot the info sheets and refused to answer any of our questions. Yet somehow he sells dozens of houses a years. I mean what a Class 1 A-hole.

    A bad realtor is almost as bad as a bad lawyer.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    OOOOOH so mad!

    Kellie - You got me going on another one!

    "My relators said the land behind the house was going to be a park"

    I reply, "Yes, an INDUSTRIAL park"

  6. #6
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    MOST REALTORS SUCK

    Once, a long time ago when I was the local sanitarian, I had a Realtor ask me why I couldn’t be a "Team Player." It upset her because I refused to confirm her lies to clients and fake water tests results. She would line out the results of my water/wastewater reports for home loans and fill in her own observations and give that to the buyer.

    The closing was my favorite part. They would ask for a water test the morning of the closing. They forgot to order it and they just had to have it for the closing! Apparently it was my fault I couldn’t drop everything I was doing and make a 24 hour incubation water test available by that afternoon. They are sweet to your face and vicious to your back. With out a doubt the lowest form of life.

    I got to the point where we would no longer communicate with the realtors. If they needed the evaluation for the loan the buyer had to meet us on site without a realtor and we would explain the ramifications of our observations to the buyer directly. It really pissed the realtors off not to be able to filter our observations through the “everything is OK” machine they have implanted in the area that was formerly the moral center of their brain. “Why no, that is not a leaking cesspool of shit in the back yard Mr. & Mrs. Perspective Buyer, No that is a bio-rich lawn water feature. And we are going to let you have it for nothing extra. The local county sanitarian will back me up on this I’m sure.”

    She was also a county commissioner's wife and that entitled her to have the obedience of the entire county staff. The first time that county commissioner told me to play ball with the real estate community I told him my next call was to the state attorney general and that I was making a record of the conversation. But, it was time to seek employment elsewhere. We even had a case of a mortgage company and realtor forging documents.

    Another delightful experience is being in a town that is going through an unexpected economic contraction. One area I worked had a glut of realtors when the oil patch was booming. Then hard times hit, people left town, and property values declined precipitously. But the number of realtors remained the same. Once the smell of blood was in the water it was amazing how many of them would screw their own mothers to make a $30,000 house sale. Too many realtors trying to live off of little or no sales means ethics are out the door.
    el Guapo is a former 20 year +/- urban planner (just like you) who thought becoming an attorney was a good life choice.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Even better....

    When I first came to this job, I discovered that a prominent local realtor was married to the *former* Planning Dept. secretary. So of course the "I know how you should be doing your job differently..." machine kicks in. Honey, I don't play that game, and for the record, you weren't that important around here.

  8. #8
          Downtown's avatar
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    And another thing!!!!

    "No, that's a cul-de-sac, not a stub out street!"

    So people buy a house on the corner of a paper street and then have absolute conniptions when it's time to develop the neighboring property and Mr. Joe Furious Homeowner is faced with the realization that not only is there going to be a house behind his where the nice woods were before, but he now is on a corner lot, or through street. Jesus.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Wow! Some real winners out there.

    I can't add much criticism here. I've worked with one realtor who I think was experiencing the first stages of dementia, but he would always buy me lunch when he came through town. I've known others who try to sell every parcel on a main road as commercial, but give up when the Plan Board denies the rezone. Some of them think of themselves as developers even though they do not really understand the first thing about development.

    In general, though, the ones I've dealt with are not bad people. The two big ones in this city usually work very well with the city. I can't say I have heard of a single instance where somebody complained about being given bad information prior to a sale. Still, I have signs posted along the undeveloped edges of the city business park - no mistaking what it will be when it is developed.

  10. #10
    After my day today, Automobile Dealers are number one on my Peeve list. Within a matter of 45 minutes I had problems with 4 of the City's 6 auto dealers....all of them with vehicle storage and display issues.

  11. #11
          Downtown's avatar
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    Jfortin, I'm with you on the auto dealers. If it weren't such a pain in the ass to take them to court, I could perhaps give up my weekly sweep of the two auto rows in this town and hang up my brass knuckles. What is so freakin' hard about NOT displaying cars on the greenspace?

  12. #12
    Cyburbian
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    I agree about realtors who act like they are developers. I dealt with one who acted as the site manager during site development, convincing the owner/developer that he could do more than sell the lots. The site turned into one of the muddiest messes I had seen as an E&S inspector, and cost the owner $$$$$ in fines and lost income. After that, the realtor was also an expert on E&S controls and I would get calls from builders asking if what he recommended was good practice.

    Another time, I was in a township development office and a realtor stormed in and demanded to know why the township wasn't giving building permits to a developer so she could sell houses there. The funny part was that this lady looked like she applied her makeup while she was hanging out of the window of her moving car; I don't know how any sensible person could do business with her!

    Kelly, you're right about the ones who sell land adjacent to "land that will never be developed". A friend just bought that lot, in spite of my comments. That preservation idea died 10 or 12 years ago.

  13. #13

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    dealers

    We hear the "But my realtor told me it would be open space" argument all the time. Overall, though, except for a couple of battles about their signs, the realtors aren't that big of a deal here.

    Car dealers-another story. Large semis unloading cars on residential streets. Glaring, unbelievable lighting during the California energy "crisis" (aka Texas profit opportunity), employees parking up a residential street, even though the dealer had been required to provide on-site parking for his car jockeys.

    And, of course, the attitude. Smile at you and do nothing, "Because I do pay a lot of sales taxes! Who cares about a couple of tract home dwellers nearby?"

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Habanero's avatar
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    Realtors, Auto Dealerships, and Vets! Oh My!

    My problem with realtors is that I have not met one yet that does not put making a buck over correct information. We've got people coming in all the time saying, "well my realtor told me...". It's like, who is going to benefit from this sale? Who do you think is going to tell you the truth, me, the humble civil servant that makes hardly any money, or the greedy realtor that wants their face plastered on every bus stop bench in town?
    Auto dealerships: "well, last year I called and someone told me I could put a used car dealership there.. wah wah wah..." "But I neeeeeed that space, even if it is in the VAM and a hazard to other motorists, I have to display my car theeeeerrrreeeee!"
    Vets: look, I don't tell you how to stick your fingers up dogs butts, you don't tell me how to do my job. There is a method, and although you and your canine friends think you can hike your legs up on our zoning ordinances, we really did mean NO OUTDOOR KENNELS, and by the way, dogs bark, so next time you want to break a code why don't you make sure to do it a little more quietly.
    When Jesus said "love your enemies", he probably didn't mean kill them.

  15. #15
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Add another story...

    A woman came into the office this morning, complaining that she had a July property tax bill. Confused, my secretary said that we don't handle the tax bills.

    Shen then started waiving a copy of a cancelled check that she used to pay her impact fees when she moved into the house. Finally we got the stoty out of her...the builder had told her that if she paid the impact fee, she wouldn't have to worry about her property taxes until the December bill.

    Still though...Used car dealers and realtors are tops on my list of professions with the highest percentage of deceitful scu...er...people.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  16. #16
    Cyburbian RandomPlanner's avatar
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    Bump

    Because I've got some time this afternoon and because this looked like a fun topic started by our friend Chet from long, long ago, I thought I'd bring this one back around.

    Realtors -- problems at work, problems at home. When looking to buy a few years ago, we had specific requirements: a one family detached home with (2 car plus) garage and at least 3 bedrooms. Not that difficult, right? Wrong! You'd be shocked at how many condos and apartments were sent my way.

    In this municipality, they seem to be everywhere. My favorite are the ones who call themselves realtors but are in all realty, just a slum lord who doesn't have to pay a commission to someone else.


    Now car salespeople -- don't even get me started!! I actually had one tell me once that the car I was considering had rear defrost. He then proceeded to explain to me what that was. Uh, seriously?? I know more about cars than 90% of the car sales people out there. Grrrr!
    How do I know you are who you think you are?

  17. #17
    Cyburbian The Terminator's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RandomPlanner View post
    Because I've got some time this afternoon and because this looked like a fun topic started by our friend Chet from long, long ago, I thought I'd bring this one back around.

    Realtors -- problems at work, problems at home. When looking to buy a few years ago, we had specific requirements: a one family detached home with (2 car plus) garage and at least 3 bedrooms. Not that difficult, right? Wrong! You'd be shocked at how many condos and apartments were sent my way.

    In this municipality, they seem to be everywhere. My favorite are the ones who call themselves realtors but are in all realty, just a slum lord who doesn't have to pay a commission to someone else.


    Now car salespeople -- don't even get me started!! I actually had one tell me once that the car I was considering had rear defrost. He then proceeded to explain to me what that was. Uh, seriously?? I know more about cars than 90% of the car sales people out there. Grrrr!
    Yeah thats mansplaining at its finest (i.e. worst), you still have that '65 Chevy truck right!?

    Most Realtors are SCUM. The ones I've met who weren't were always misinformed. I still dont dislike them as much as I do Architects though.

    Brokers are there for people who are lazy or not smart enough to navigate the property buying process themselves. I have to work with many of them and its agitating trying to explain affordable housing restrictive covenants to them, they are always looking to break them, to sell for higher than a specific development's guidelines allow, to skimp us out of commissions and consulting fees etc.

    Ive met some honest brokers though, but they are few and far between. Architect's are almost always jerks, but even than I do know some aight ones but again few and far between.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Full disclosure: I'm a licensed, but non-practicing realtor (I keep my license in abeyance with a broker I know).

    In my experience there is a lot of variance in terms of quality of realtors primarily because the barrier to entry is so low in most states. Can you sit through 8 or 12 hours worth of classes? Can you pony up the $50 fee to take a very easy test? Have I got a profession for you!

    In areas with a lot of new residential building, a lot of turnover among the population, or far-flung exurban or rural communities with fewer realtors (because there is little housing turnover) the combination of minimal competition and buyers without knowledge of the area leads to crappy realtors often with questionable practices. In larger markets with higher-priced housing stock, the dirtbags get weeded out more quickly (though they still exist). I know some successful realtors and inevitably they are the ones who specialize in particular neighborhoods or who can demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of a particular market.

    One of the common complaints I hear echos RPs, "We told them we only wanted houses with X, Y, and Z but they kept showing us A, B, and C!" Too many realtors are so determined to make that commission that they refuse to listen to what the buyers tell them and think they know better what the buyer really wants.

    On the commercial side of things there are even fewer barriers to entry. AFAIK, most states do not require any sort of testing or licensing for commercial/industrial realtors or brokers. I work a lot with commercial brokers for site location type purposes and my general opinion of them is pretty low. The ones I interact with from the big name firms might be good at putting together a pro forma cash flow analysis but they generally seem to have absolutely no idea how to find even the most basic information about a particular market or a site. I often get the sense that many of the regional offices of the large firms are basically run like Ponzi schemes. The smaller regional firms are generally a little bit better to work with since they seem to specialize in particular communities or projects and don't try to be something they aren't.
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  19. #19
    Cyburbian TOFB's avatar
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    I saw on fb today a former colleague, friend and wonderful person; a talented economic development/downtown planner who I would hire in a second; has left the stay at home mom world and has become a realtor. My heart sunk.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by TOFB View post
    I saw on fb today a former colleague, friend and wonderful person; a talented economic development/downtown planner who I would hire in a second; has left the stay at home mom world and has become a realtor. My heart sunk.
    I'd look at this as a positive. A planner became a realtor. There's hope for the profession.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Eh, realtors - the cream tends to rise to the top, in my experience. As with any profession, there are those that aren't very good, but there are quite a few realtors who are good at what they do (especially with respect to their clients). I moved fairly recently (closed on the new house last August, moved in just after Labor Day); for my buyers' agent, I went with a small indy agency owned by friends of my boss. He's known that couple for years (their respective sons go to school together), and I've worked with him long enough to trust his judgement. He didn't steer me wrong - they were great to work with...but it also helped that we basically knew which specific house we wanted to buy before we engaged them (research skillz, yo). That couple also lives in the neighborhood we bought the new house in; we've actually hired their daughter for pet sitting duties (um, networking?). As for selling the old house, we went with an office of a national chain agency run locally by a crusty veteran realtor (who would get a good laugh out of me describing her as crusty). I was skeptical on the front end of some of her tactics, but ultimately they did right by us.

    Now, with that said, I realize that results vary by user, especially when you are dealing with realtors with one's planner hat on. And, my first job out of grad school was commercial real estate research...don't get me started on those folks.
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  22. #22
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    Realtor on the phone: Can you tell me the zoning of the property I'm looking at on the computer?
    Me: Would that be the County's GIS? What's the address?
    R: Yea that's the computer map. 712 Main is the address.
    M: Okay. Do you see on the right side of the map where it has boxes you can check like 'aerial'?
    R: Yes, I checked the aerial and I'm looking at the house. What's the zoning?
    M: Check the box about 4 down from 'aerial' that says 'zoning' and what does it say when you check it?
    R: R-20
    M: That's the zoning for the property.
    R: Thanks...click
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  23. #23
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    R: Can you tell me about this commercial zoned property.
    Me: It's not commercially zoned, it's zoned R-43 or 1 acre lots.
    R: My broker told me it's commercial.
    Me: The map here says it's R-43 and I've research the history. It's always been R-43.
    R: I took a class on zoning. When my broker says it's commercial he's right.
    Me: I have a degree in zoning and what the city says is the final answer. You might want to ask your broker to send you back to that class.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian MD Planner's avatar
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    I don't fault realtors for calling about zoning. Almost every zoning map I've ever seen, particularly online has a disclaimer on it. I'd call too, I'm putting my name on a legal contract as well and I want names of people who have given me information. And I am a licensed realtor and I've called other planners before.

    A good realtor can still be an invaluable resource. Find out who has been doing it for at least a few years and does the most transactions. That's who you want to use. There are so many ways a good realtor can help you through the process. And in most places, buyers don't pay commission, sellers do. So why not have someone advocating for you? It's like anything else, there are good and bad. But in real estate the old 20/80 percentage rule applies for sure.

    I find a lot of planners are bureaucratic assholes. So I always cringe when I see threads like this one. We as a profession are not exempt from crummy members as well. It's good to keep that in mind.
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  25. #25
    Cyburbian AG74683's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by MD Planner View post
    I don't fault realtors for calling about zoning. Almost every zoning map I've ever seen, particularly online has a disclaimer on it. I'd call too, I'm putting my name on a legal contract as well and I want names of people who have given me information. And I am a licensed realtor and I've called other planners before.
    I do. A phone call isn't worth crap. An email is worth so much more. IMO there's little need for phone calls now. I want a written record, not a simple "yeah I called so and so about 6 months ago and he said it was fine". I have no issue with a realtor emailing, I completely understand their desire to have someone else confirm the zoning, but I do take issue with these nonsense phone calls. I can respond to an email anywhere, at any time.

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