Forget Big Broker vs. Small Broker, Let’s Talk Bad Broker vs. Good Broker

So here’s the fatal flaw inherent in the oft-debated idea of eliminating agent-level real estate licensing in favor of broker-level licensing … without that extra level of oversight, God only knows what hell the average real estate consumer would be in for.

Not that such an extra level of oversight always exists … broker stupidity, it seems, isn’t constrained by exterior factors such as the size of the brokerage. It’s as easy to find a broker of a large company with little idea what’s going on as with a smaller company though I sometimes worry more with the smaller ones, if only because the larges ones often hire (and presumably) interview a designated brokers while the smaller ones often toss out a shingle and hope for the best.

There are glaring examples of excellence in the small broker ranks, people I with whom I would hang my license in a heartbeat if I wasn’t thrilled at RE/MAX Desert Showcase – Jay Thompson at Thompson’s Realty for one, Kris Berg at San Diego Castles (which also would mean I’d have to move to California), Mariana and Derek Wagner up in Colorado Springs and a score of others who deserve mention.

And there are glaring examples of sheer idiocy as well. Except, where an agent at a larger brokerage theoretically can ask for help (I say theoretically as some brokers are far more helpful than others), some brokers at the small brokerages have no one up the chain with whom they can check to find out they don’t really know what they think they know.

Not that it matters to the average real estate consumer, even if it should. As I mentioned yesterday, what your agent or broker doesn’t know doesn’t necessarily matter until you needed them to have that knowledge to keep from getting bitten in the ass. And it does happen – Tobey seems to have a healthy supply of agent and broker buttock muscle wedged in his teeth these days.

All of this, again, is a problem without a clear answer.

Elimination of real estate licensing is assinine as it takes away the hammer of license revocation, even if it takes quite a bit to get to that point; broker-level licensing is equally problematic because it does absolutely nothing to guarantee that the public will be protected from the folks they hire to work, at least in theory, in the clients’ best interest and not their own. Raising the bar, the latest flavor of the month in the online real estate world, does nothing except throw roadblocks up for the next agents while doing nothing about the morons already among us.

Sadly, caveat emptor is going to be the eternal byword of this business.

[tags]Phoenix real estate[/tags]

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at

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