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I'm Using My Sister's Boyfriends' Brother's Best Friend As My Agent.

Realtors tend to have a bad image.  People compare us to used car salesmen.  In all of those "lists" in magazines we tend to be the least trusted, the worst career, etc. etc.   Some of the complaints against us include that we get paid too much, we aren't professional, we don't know any more than the average homebuyer, it's too easy to get in to real estate, etc.

It is far too easy to get a real estate license in my opinion. I think our industry should be held to a higher standard and it is hard to keep that standard up when everybody and their brother are licensed whether they know what they are doing or not. That is why it is so important for you as a homebuyer or seller not to just get any old Realtor to help you with your real estate purchase or sale.

It makes me cringe when people tell me things like, "Oh, my sister's best friend just got her license. She's only doing it part time and hasn't had any sales yet. I'm going to use her to help her out."

Your job in choosing a Realtor is not "to help them out." No wonder people complain about Realtor commissions. Paying thousands of dollars to "help someone out" when they may not know how to do the best job for you is a little ridiculous.

Yes, our clients are very important and I thank each and every one of mine for choosing to use me as their agent. But, the reason you choose me should be that I am knowledgable in my field and I can get the job done for you, not because you think you are "helping me out." When you hire a professional with something as big as purchasing or selling a house your main concern should be how well they do their job and if they can do it well for you.

I'm not saying that you should never use a new agent. Many new agents have a lot of zeal, and a lot of time to work with you or on your purchase or sale. But they do need to have some knowledge, and especially a network of other agents, a mentor and/or their broker to assist them through the entire process with you if something comes up they don't know about.

I've done a couple of posts about this already answering 14 Questions to Ask Any Real Estate Agent (a 14 part series, see previous posts in my blog).

If you are looking to buy or sell real estate in the Boise, Idaho area please take a look at the questions mentioned above and call or email me to see how I can best help you. BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com

 

 

Kasey Boles

Managing Broker, Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC

BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com

REALTOR®, CRS, ePRO, SFR, GRI

 

Owner/Editor, Boles Editing & Proofreading

bolesediting.com

 

John Boles / 208.830.6185 / johnboles@boiserealtystore.com

James Gannon / 208.570.4048 / james@boiserealtystore.com

Kasey Boles 208.830.6186 / kaseyboles@boiserealtystore.com

 

Boise, Idaho Real Estate

Search Like An Agent at BoiseMeridanRealEstate.com

 

 

This is not intended as solicitation if you are in contract with another real estate agent. 

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Comment balloon 37 commentsKasey & John Boles • May 15 2011 10:58PM

Comments

It is a bad way to choose an agent.  Unfortunately many new agents miss protecting against important issues.

Posted by Brenda, Ron, Lee Cunningham & Tara Keator, Realtors, Homes for Sale - Phoenix Metro (West USA Realty) almost 9 years ago

I guess this same person should do their heart surgery also.  Cousin of brother of uncle, once removed.  Gee whiz.  CHOOSE A PROFESSIONAL!

Posted by Michael Kitsch (Coldwell Banker) almost 9 years ago

John and Kasey - The key phrase is "it is far too easy to get a license." Enough said. Alot of people treat it as a hobby. It is not. Thanks for the post.

Posted by David Karp, Woodstock, Marietta GA Real Estate (Peachtree Realty Group, LLC) almost 9 years ago

I've heard this a few times but I never take it personally.  This always comes down to a question of trust - does the buyer or seller know the agent.  If they do, they'll use you.

If I run into this and I haven't lost the prospect yet, I sit down with them to build that trust over coffee and conversation.

Posted by Bryan Robertson almost 9 years ago

Brenda & Ron - Yes, it is a bad way to choose an agent.  I don't necessarily think working with a new agent is bad, they just need to have someone who is not new helping them every step of the way.

Cheryl - I just don't understand the mentality that it's okay to not use someone who knows what they are doing.

David - I agree.  I wish we could change the licensing laws.

Bryan - I don't take it personally either, I just think that it's not a good way to choose an agent.  Maybe that agent they are working with IS good, but that should be the reason they choose him or her, not that they are "helping him out."  That's the thing...

Posted by Kasey & John Boles, Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties (Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com) almost 9 years ago

Well,

sometimes it is about relationships,

you know,  one can not go against a friend or relative~ I totally understand 'helping out' issue.

Yet, they should not use other agents for fishing the information, showings, etc. and before the final step to make disclosure 'sorry, ooops, gotta run'. I really don't understand when i hear such things 'i don't wont to bother my agent, bluh bluh'~ But you are ok to 'bother' me?!

Posted by Inna Ivchenko, Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA (Barcode Properties) over 7 years ago

So true. One thing I offer to those people who say I'm Using My Sister's Boyfriends' Brother's Best Friend As My Agent, is I offer to partner with the "friend" agent. 

Posted by MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900, Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years (Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty) over 7 years ago

Hi Kasey and John - Great blog post! Clients think they're doing their realtor a favor? That's pretty hard to swallow. I don't employ people as a favor to them. I employ people who will do the best job for me.

Posted by Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl, The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate (Samsel & Associates) over 7 years ago

Kasey, I hoped you enjoyed the Secret Santa surprise!  Loved the post!

Posted by Marshall Enterprises, Antiques, Lawn Care, and Trashouts (Marshall Enterprises ) over 7 years ago

I have a new way to explain why some agents avoid short sales...

ANY agent can LIST a Short sale, but only a very elite Short Sale Specialist can CLOSE every short sale 100% of the time.

KNOW THE DIFFERENCE!

Posted by Florida Tolbert Team Keller Williams Advantage, Keller Williams Land Division Specialist (Keller Williams Advantage III Realty in Lake Nona) over 7 years ago

Inna - I agree with you - actually, I find a lot of times the people that I am talking to who are using their sister's best friend's boyfriend, or whoever, are calling me, the listing agent, for information or me, the person the found on the internet and thinks that I know the information, instead of going straight to their agent.  And yes, they get the info and sometimes even get another agent to show the house and then the family/friend writes up the contract.  Just a bad way to go about it is all I'm saying..

Michelle - That is a good idea.  I've offered that before as well, though I don't think I've ever ended up doing it. I recently had a boyfriend/girlfriend situation in which the boyfriend wanted to use his friend but the girlfriend wanted to use me because I know a lot about distressed properties and short sales and the friend of the boyfriend didn't and she admitted that they had lost several homes because of it (and the agent knew it and had discussed it with them).  She wanted to pick my brain and use me if they found a distressed property and use the friend if they found a traditional one.  I told her that I really wanted her to pick one or the other of us because it wasn't fair for either of us to do work for them with the possibility looming that we'd get "cut out" of the deal.  I told her I'd even pay the friend a referral fee if they chose to use me.  They ended up thanking me for my honesty and going with their friend, which is fine.  And they ended up buying a traditional sale home, so I didn't have to do the work and lose out in the end anyway.

Wayne & Jean - Exactly!

Marshall Enterprises - Yes, a secret santa surprise! So fun!

Kevin - Same thing with selling a short sale.  Buyers agents are really important to the short sale equation too.  We list a ton of short sales and we really want the Buyer's agent to know how to explain the process and let the buyer know what to expect and to keep them in the game, because it is not the same thing.  We aren't huge on dual agency, but it's often so much easier for us if we have the buyer and the seller because we are able to keep both in check.

Posted by Kasey & John Boles, Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties (Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com) over 7 years ago

Kasey, I am glad you got a few extra comments on this....it was a great post.

Posted by Ron Marshall, Birdhouse Builder Extraordinaire (Marshall Enterprises) over 7 years ago

Hi, Kasey. I suggested this. You're right, we aren't highly respected amongst the general public. I will agree it is too easy to get a real estate license. Colorado has single licensing. So you go straight to being a broker associate once you pass the license exam. I don't agree with this. Having the salesperson level can let the consumer know the level of expertise they are dealing with. It wasn't all that long ago I was a new agent, and I didn't want people to know that, because I was afraid no one would want to use my services due to a lack of experience. But a new agent can do just fine if they have a great support system. I didn't so I quickly changed offices after I first got in the business. Even with those feelings still fairly fresh with me, I still think our state should look at having the different levels of licensing. There are some agents that don't work hard, and will always stay at the salesperson level. There are others that will quickly gain their experience and take the extra education and move up to broker level. NOTE: you do have to take extra classes and pass another exam to be an employing broker in my state.

Posted by Debbie Laity, Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO (Cedaredge Land Company) over 7 years ago

Thanks Ron - much appreciated!!

Debbie - I didn't know that about Colorado.  In Idaho you get a salesperson license first, but it's not too tough.  To get a broker license you have to be in the business for 2 years, meet a certain sales quota (which is actually pretty low) and take extra classes.  The classes are actually tougher than the salepserson classes, and when I was taking them (I got my broker's license as soon as I could 2 years after) I thought to myself that it is good information that really any agent should know and I was glad to take it so soon in my career.  But I agree, I think the distinction is good, so people know that a person has taken some extra time, extra classes, had some production and experience.

Posted by Kasey & John Boles, Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties (Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com) over 7 years ago

Debbie's suggestion caught my eye. This is an old post but it's as applicable today as the day you wrote it. I wish state real estate commissions would get serious about raising the barrier to entry. I'm actually shocked that a national brand hasn't emerged that is ultra focused on only having experienced professional agents representing the brand. One day maybe, one day.....

Posted by Bob Stewart, ActiveRain Ambassador (ActiveRain) over 7 years ago

Whew...That is a lot of referral business going on..  At least YOU got it..as you should..

Posted by Ginger Harper, Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County! (Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage) over 7 years ago

Kasey, I do wish there was a higher level of education required prior to licensure.  I've met a lot of good agents in my area, but there have been others that I was surprised they were in business.  How?  They didn't seem to understand anything about the business.  It might be wise to have brokers connect a mentor to a newbie.  I would have appreciated a good agent alongside me in the beginning. 

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) over 7 years ago

California is making it a little bit harder to become a broker, thank goodness. Before, you had to have a 4 year degree (College) OR 2 years sales experience in addition to the normal educational broker requirements and passing an all day test. Starting soon, you have to have a 4 year degree with a MAJOR in real estate or 2 years sales experience. But I agree, it has been way too easy for people to get a license, same with appraisers until recently. Congrats on the belated feature post!

Posted by Cynthia Larsen, Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA over 7 years ago

I too agree that it shouldn't be so easy to get a license. I was shocked when I made the move from Building to real estate how easy and cheap it was. Shocked! And I see the results around me every day. The problem is the associations want it easy, it's how they make their money. A lot of people cycle thru. Get a license, try it for a year and find out how hard it really is.

Posted by Joel Weihe, Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits (Realty World Alliance) over 7 years ago

It's not always the simplicity of obtaining a real estate license - for CEO's of Billion Dollar companies are not always college educated. It's the education of those without a real estate license, those that will hire an agent in the future that we need to clearly inform them of the difference. And it's not just "acting professional."  We offer a service. And it's pretty easy to determine who offers a more quality of service than others. But until the public becomes more educated in what to look for, heck, my yoga instructors son just got his license. 

Posted by Charlie Dresen, Steamboat Springs, CO e-Pro (Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty) over 7 years ago

Bob, thanks for coming by and for your comment.  I know that NAR and the commissions say they don't want to hinder people's ability to make a career and good living.  But when chef's and beauticians go to school year round for a year and real estate agents take a 2 week class and are licensed and ready to go I think there is a bit of a problem.

Ginger, what?  I'm sorry, I don't understand what you are commenting on.  Thanks for stopping by though!

Mike, that is definitely why an agent needs to work underneath a broker.  But so many brokers don't take new agents under their wings or give them mentors or anything and they are on their own.  It's a little scary.  Idaho doesn't use lawyers (which in some cases I think is great and in some I think it's bad), so we are it.  I know plenty of people who aren't licensed agents that know more than people that are actually licensed do.   I think it does affect our public persception and is dangerous for consumers.

Wow Cynthia, in Idhao you have to have 2 years experience as a sales agent, production levels (not too high though) and additional broker classes.  To actually have a MAJOR in real estate?  Crazy concept.  I kind of like it :-)  I never actually heard of a major in real estate in college.

Joel, it's true. A lot of people cycle through.  If it were harder, less people would try it out as a hobby, a part time thing or something they figured they'd try because they don't have another job and they heard they could make a lot of money.  I think the standards would go up and people would actually stay in the business a lot longer.  I remember in my real estate class (about 8 1/2 years ago) my teacher told us to look to our left and to our right and then said, "only one of you will still be in the business within 2 years."  It's true.  Of my graduating class of real estate of about 50 people there are only like 4 or 5 of us that I know of that are still selling real estate.  It does make money for the associations and the real estate schools though.

Charlie, I think you are right, but you also hit the major difference.  The public doesn't know.  A CEO is hired by proving his worth up the ladder in the company or by a board of directors or people who actually KNOW what needs to be done.  The general public doesn't hire the CEO.  I have know idea how to go about educating an entire public.  And really, that shouldn't be their job.  They should be able to know that if they are hiring a real estate agent that agent has proper knowledge and education to get the job done and to get it done right. 

As I mentioned in my blog post, I am not opposed to new agents at all.  Some of them are actually very good.  I was a new agent and one point, all of us were.  But, I will also say that I had never bought or sold a home before I got my license and so in some cases I was helping people who had been through the process more times than I had.  Luckily my broker, who is also my father, was by our side to help the whole time.  On my own I would have been a liability to those buyers and sellers because I really didn't know what I didn't know.

Posted by Kasey & John Boles, Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties (Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com) over 7 years ago

Hi Kasey and John,

Good post, I always wonder what kind of service they will receive when they use a part time agent. Not saying anything against a part time agent but with the market the way it is you pretty much have be on it on a full time basis.

Posted by Steve Higgins (RE/MAX Kelowna) over 7 years ago

Wow.. a feature so long after it was written.... great for sure!! and I truly believe that we would all benefit if there were higher standards.

Posted by Janis Borgueta, LIC RE Salesperson (Key Properties of the Hudson Valley ) over 7 years ago

No one, Client or Professional wants to used like a doorknob and left with sweaty palm grease...

However, most people enjoy being treated as an Equal and a Partner, working as a dedicated TEAM to achieve a GOAL which benefits BOTH.

USING your seven degrees of separation to score a "DEAL" is sketchy business.

WORKING IN TANDEM with your hyphen-connected associate for the benefit of both creates a sum greater than the two parts.  

Real Estate doesn't have to be WIN-LOSE, it can be WIN-WIN.

 

Posted by Richard Arnold, Realtor - Tempe, Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert, Phoenix (Keller Williams Realty East Valley) over 7 years ago

Kasey & John, I agree, it is way to easy to get a real estate license and support the thought that not everyone should have one.  I just spoke with a girlfriend who is looking to buy commercial property in Colorado and the agent she has is not really working out.  She asks for A and he sends her D.  Not a good scenario.  Fortunately, I'll be seeking a referral to a strong agent via my network and get her squared away.  Good post!

Posted by Christina Sanchez Hood, #SiliconValleyHOODS | Inspired Living over 7 years ago

Kasey:  When I hear that sort of talk, I often follow it up with a question like... "if you had an abscessed tooth and needed to go to a dentist, would you go to a brand new dentist who was a friend of this woman you knew... who was a part-time dentist just starting out?

That usually produces a very strange look on their faces... with them saying... "oh gosh, why would I want to do that?"

Exactly.                                         November 30, 2012

By the way... Congratulations on getting featured, and your Gold Star.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 7 years ago

Aaaaargh!! Thanks for the post, Kasey and John. Fortunately I haven't been hearing this too much lately....

Posted by Lisa Wiseman (Intero Real Estate Services, San Jose, Silicon Valley) over 7 years ago

Funny, I just met with a seller who 'wanted' to hire me, BUT, his aunt is a real estate agent and he didn't want to cause any family drama by not hiring her.  He was waiting for two weeks for her to call him back.  Hmmmm.

Posted by Tamara Inzunza, Close-In Alexandria and Arlington Living (RE/MAX Executives) over 7 years ago

Good morning Kasey. What a great post and filled with finny yet accurate insights. Have a great day. Super job.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) over 7 years ago

I recommended a REAL real estate agent to a friend this summer when he wanted to use a NEWBIE friend of his daughter's.  My recommendation knew the area, priced the property correctly and it was SOLD in 30 days....experience TRUMPS friendship

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) over 7 years ago

Before I got my license my brother used a church friend as his Realtor to help her out.  It was a nightmare.  Great post and congrats on a well deserved feature.  

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) over 7 years ago

Kasey and John, very good topic. Many sellers don't do their homework when choosing an agent.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 7 years ago

Congrats on the feature Kasey. With all the new changes to the industry it's important to find an Agent who is up to date and understands the market in which they work....new or old

Posted by Brian Kuhns, Fort Wayne Real Estate by Brian Kuhns (Coldwell Banker Roth Wehrly Graber) over 7 years ago

Each state has different requirements and if the process is managed properly attrition is done early. In CT, 60 hours of class are required, before a prospect can take the state exam. Many fall out here as they cannot devote the necessary time to attend 6 hours of class a week, and do the reading as well.

A class that starts out with 20 may have 4 that take the exam, and at the end of a year maybe 1 will stay in the business. Some of the issues may be in whom is allowed to give the class and how they are certified.

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 7 years ago

Excellent information I will forward it if that is ok? thank you!!!

Posted by Dave Sullivan, Michigan Realtor with an investor viewpoint (Real Estate One) over 7 years ago

Agree barriers to entry are far too low to be in this business... At least you're lucky your buyers told you about the ten-times-removed realtor connection up front and not after you did all the work! (of course you would have a signed agreement)

Posted by Olga Simoncelli, CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management (Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Great post. Great points. When I used to work as a mortgage broker this kind of thing drove me insane. I would have a client with a particularly difficult loan, and once I had everything submitted, they would call to say they are using a friend of a friend who just got into the biz.

And I say, "Did you explain that this loan is very difficult to fund?"

"Oh yeah, we told him and he said 'no problem'!"

No problem. Riiigghhht.

They usually call me back when they are at the closing table and I get a big smile on my face as I say, "Sorry, I cancelled your lock and I can't help you at this point."

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