Re: ‘Rookie Realtor smacked by greed‘ (Sept. 8)

Dear Rookie:

Listen to your broker; at least he knows what he is worth. He is protecting you.

If you make it in this business you’ll appreciate the lesson the next time your Errors and Omission bill arrives. Or when your MLS raises your fees, profits from your content, and lowers its service standards. Your costs are going up. Don’t lower your professional fees.

Scott LeForce
Realty World – Northern California Inc.

Dear Rookie:

The rookie should have taken the hit of the ½ percent himself. He could have listed the property at 5½ percent with a written agreement with the seller that he would pay the ½ percent back to the seller at closing. That way everyone wins, and he could get his listing. An agent is free to give any part of his/her commission to any party involved in the transaction.

Margie Smigel
Broker Principal/Creative Director
MetroPro Realty

Dear Rookie:

I just finished your column and I’m so angry over it for you, I’m almost shaking. If I were you, I would have left my broker with the listing and went to your competitor weeks ago. What did your broker do to help you earn anything so far? It sounds like you’ve had to pay for everything, and your firm, aside from supplying a desk and basic office equipment, has done nothing but sit and wait for you to do all the work and take half of your commission. Then they have the utter greed and stupidity to allow you to lose a deal over 1/2 percent (difference between 5.5 percent and 5 percent) of which they would only get 25 percent. Your broker doesn’t deserve to stay in business.

More importantly, the thing about a first listing is not the commission, but leveraging it (the sign, a newspaper ad, phone calls around the listing) to establish yourself as a legitimate listing agent, and build a business through referrals, etc., not to mention the experience.

I don’t know where you work, but I’m in Southern California. Six percent commissions are as rare as outhouses around here, as 5 percent has become the standard. My company has a rule that you give 2.5 percent to the selling office, so if say I wanted to take a listing at 4 percent, instead of 5 percent, I only get 1.5 percent. But I pay a fixed monthly fee to my broker, so their main interest is not the commission dollars, but not making my company look like a discount brokerage.

I’m a rookie myself, having started a few months ago, and I will never complain about the deal I’m getting from my broker anymore, even though they are far from perfect for various issues I don’t want to discuss.

You sound like a well-disciplined, hard-working agent who deserves better. If I were you, I would start talking to other brokerages or agencies as soon as possible, and find one who will work for my success, not put up roadblocks to that success.

Robert Gatsoff
Shorewood Realtors

Dear Rookie:

While I don’t necessarily agree with what your broker had decided, you could always have suggested that the company keep the equivalent of its normal split.

In other words, if they were content with 5.5 percent overall, that means that they would have been content with 1.375 percent, if another firm brought the buyer…that being half of what the firm would retain.

You could have offered them the extra .125 percent from the 1.25 percent you would have earned if the fee were 5 percent, leaving you with 1.125 percent and bringing the company back to having the 1.375 percent they would have had at the 5.5 percent.

Do the math. It would have benefitted you, according to your estimation of the side benefits of having the listing and would have given your company the fee that it had determined was acceptable.

Jay Reifert
Excel-Exclusive Buyer Agency
Madison, Wis.


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