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The Internet has Eliminated So Many Useless Middlemen...Why Not Real Estate Agents?

Original post made by Jan H. on Oct 17, 2012

Many businesses and markets have become more efficient and less expensive due to the Internet's elimination of inefficient, costly middlemen. Why has this not happened to the real estate industry, too? Even the advent of Zillow and Redfin have not changed things much.

The real estate brokers must have a really powerful lobby!

Comments (14)

Posted by neighbor, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2012 at 1:51 pm

haha, a good one.
Before the real estate industry rushes to fight back, I will add a thoughtful comment: I am truly sorry I no longer can cite the exat reference, so you will have to trust me:
there was a newspaper clip I had for many years that stated according to official universiy research (from a reputable university, a I recall), real estate agents have the absolute lowest ethics of any profession. This was pretty funny and fitting. Apolgies to those honest agents out there, yes I know there are some among the multitudes of persons working in the residential real estate business. Let's also agree there are often too many persons working in this trade who shouldn't be...


Posted by Jan H., a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 17, 2012 at 2:14 pm

It is hard to find an ethical real estate agent. Sometimes I thought I had hired one, only to find out I was wrong as they always reveal their true selves in the end.

I still hope to someday soon find an honest one, because we need a bigger house!


Posted by George, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 17, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Jan once again attacks an entire industry, based on a so-called series of incidents that she was involved in. How many real estate agents have you hired over the years, Jan????
In general, everything seems to happen to Jan--and according to her it is always bad--which gives her an opportunity to denigrate another group of people.


Posted by palo alto mom, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 17, 2012 at 2:29 pm

As someone who recently sold a property without an agent and who has sold many houses over the years, real estate agents are still very valuable. While you can potentially market a home on your own, the preparation, negotiations, inspections, contingency, loan process, title companies, etc. are a lot to deal with on your own.


Posted by Jan H., a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 17, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Actually, George, I have had six agents in 28 years, and four of them were less than honest. Two were very good, but that is a minority. One time I walked in on an agent stealing from me, and she was not even my agent--she thought I was not home!

Almost anytime a conversation turns to real estate, people share horror stories about agents.

They are Inefficient because after a short initial,period, they do not do much work, the house sells itself. Consider a 6% commission on a one million dollar house, and consider that an agent sells at least a dozen houses a year ( one famously claims she sells over 60 per year). What does that add up to? Is that not an awful lot of money ?


Posted by george, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 17, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Another tale of woe from Jan. Well this story had not attracted horror stories-.so much for that claim. Too bad you choose to tar honest people with your brush of intolerance.


Posted by Outside Observer, a resident of another community
on Oct 17, 2012 at 6:07 pm

>>"according to official universiy research (from a reputable university, a I recall), real estate agents have the absolute lowest ethics of any profession."

Beg to differ. There is one profession lower. Real Estate Lawyers.




Posted by movement, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Oct 17, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Anecdotal Jan strikes again! Facts be damned, damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!

Here's the groups that rank below real estate agents. Took all of ten seconds to find a recent poll.

Web Link

But hey, let's just make (stuff) up instead of using facts!


Posted by Jan H., a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 17, 2012 at 7:46 pm

I never said real estate agents were at the bottom, but it is no surprise to anyone that
Car salespeople are.

Very amusing poll, Thanx.



Posted by george, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 17, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Read your comments above, Jan. You may not have put them at the bottom, but you sure vilify all of them. Nice try changing the subject.


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 18, 2012 at 1:01 pm

We have worked with the same agent for many years - she has been the most helpful not during the set up and sales process, but also with advice in between sales. Trustworthy, reliable, honest and flexible.

We have also done private sales where our realtor was kind enough to connect us with a competent real estate attorney to get the job done right.

Given the myriad of complaints that the original poster is known for, sometimes people should take a look in the mirror and perhaps find that they may be the problem, not the service provider.


Posted by Jan H., a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 18, 2012 at 2:13 pm

If you ha e a good agent, kindly pass along the name, or at least the name of the brokerage. We will be looking for an agent after the holidays.


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 18, 2012 at 2:17 pm

People better start waking up to the fact that the thing that puts more people out of work than anything else is automation.

I think we would all be better rid of real estate agents at least as defined by whatever they do now, as well as health insurance and lots of other professions as well. As these things rationalize themselves over decades the status quo takes the time to protects itself, but what about all the people who are affected?

As the so-called free market starts to bring more efficiency to every economic sector of the economy we better start thinking about what all these people are going to do that's useful.


Posted by ducatigirl, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 25, 2012 at 12:44 pm

ducatigirl is a registered user.

What with Redfin, Zillow, and Trulia, maybe a big change in selling and buying real estate is about to take place. Maybe the process will become more efficient and less expensive without all those 6% commissions to pay!


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