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Jonathan Dalton
ePro, SFR


The Dual Agency Mythology

This morning brought the NAR-required quadrennial review of the Code of Ethics, a multi-page, multi-article creation that, at the end of the day, says we’re supposed to do right by our clients and play nicely with others. This particular COE class was intertwined with a course on agency – the concept of real estate licensees and their relationship with the public at large, customers to a degree, and clients in general. And, inevitably, there was a shudder in the room when the concept of limited dual representation – wrongly labelled as dual agency – was raised. In Arizona, all real […]

Why Your Real Estate Agent Fails at His Job 9 Times Out of 10

This is what happens when you find yourself parsing sentences at well past 11 p.m. in the evening … Continuing the line of thought from Tuesday’s post, here is the basic premise on which the argument against dual agency – the act of one real estate agent representing both buyer and seller in the same sale – is built: “My job as the listing agent is to get the highest dollar amount possible for the home. My job as the buyers agent is to get the house for the lowest possible cost. Since these conflict, I can’t do both successfully.” […]

A (Limited) Defense of Dual Agency

Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in … Here is a little known fact about the great big world of real estate blogs – there only are 14 topics to discuss, 15 if you live in an area with that odd atmospheric phenomenon known as humidity. As such, real estate agents tend to gravitate toward the same topics on regular cycles because there only are 14 (or 15) topics total. These flareups are about as predictable as the Santa Ana-blown wildfires of Southern California if not quite as easy to schedule as Halley’s Comet. (Brief […]

As Is Really Means As Was

There are moments in the process of helping buyers purchase Phoenix bank owned homes that I pity those trying to do this themselves. It’s difficult enough to do when you know the nuances of the contract and spend your time trying to explain them; I can’t even imagine what it’s like when you don’t know what you need to know because the other side either doesn’t know or doesn’t care. Today’s example deals with what happens when a home being purchased “as is” isn’t in the same condition at the time of closing (or at the final walkthrough) that it […]

If You’re Working With an Agent, the Agent Needs to Show You Homes

I pulled this comment out of a post on Redfin’s blog yesterday. The post was about an idea a friend of Glenn’s had for a web-based lockbox anyone could access with sufficient documentation … everything just short of DNA testing. The comment wasn’t. “What really needs to be done is to force a seller’s agent to actually act as an agent solely interested in selling the property. It should be an ethical construct that a seller agent actually show (or delegate the showing) the property instead of the “you should use a buyer agent” rant or, in the Redfin areas, […]

Divorce May Be The Answer

In his vivisection of Redfin’s so-called Bill of Rights yesterday, Greg stated that many of the issues Redfin raised could be solved through the divorcing of the real estate commission from the transaction – in short, sellers pay their listing agent and buyers pay their buyers’ agent. Under the current system, sellers pay both agents in a transaction. The listing agent negotiates the overall commission for the transaction and then offers a portion of the commission through the MLS’s cooperative agreement to other broker members. This is an off-shoot of the days of subagency, when all agents involved worked for […]

Fixing the Real Estate Model … Can it Be Done?

One of these days, I need to spend some time in an office meeting explaining how to comment on a blog. Even anonymously. Maybe then it wouldn’t seem like I’m in the midst of a one-man duel over the issue of commissions paid when an unrepresented buyer is involved. Here’s the basic issue at hand, the issue which underlies everything else we are discussing … the system is fakakta. I’ve tried finding a way to walk the fence over the past several months but as arguments take place, the justifications don’t make as much sense. There ought to be a […]

Unrepresented Buyer Follow-up

One quick follow-up item to yesterday’s question about whether a listing agent should claim the full commission if a fully capable unrepresented buyer wants to purchase one of his listings. 1) As was pointed out during my meeting yesterday, and rightly so, there is a myth in existence that buyers can find a better deal by calling the listing agent because the commission will be reduced. There is no such guarantee. At the end of the day, the commission rate is set between seller and listing agent. In a slower market, the seller and the listing agent may be willing […]

Who’s Representing You on Your Purchase?

You see a home you like and call the listing agent for a showing. The agent asks if you’re currently working with another agent – if you are, they really are the ones who should show you the home. “No, no,” you say. “We read online we can get a better deal by calling the listing agent direct,” you don’t say. You meet the agent at the house, ask a couple of questions and decide to write an offer to purchase. Question: who is representing you? Answer: No one. And maybe this works for you, if you’ve been through the […]

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