Response to “Holding the Line on Your Real Estate Commission”

I read an article in The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing about holding on to high commission rates. It was the usual “tactics training” for real estate agents. It reminded me of doctors who address the symptoms but not the cause of illness. Among the reasons this author gave for home sellers wanting a lower rate, these two stood out:

“They may have had a bad experience and don’t think much of real estate agents in general.”

Those are symptoms, not causes.

Symptom = “Bad experience…”  
Cause = It’s TOO easy to enter the industry!
When nearly anyone with a high school degree can get into real estate, we’re going to have poor service.

Symptom = “…and don’t think much of real estate agents in general.”   
Causes = Again, it’s too easy to enter the industry AND this author called us “salespersons”!
We are FIDUCIARIES by LAW unlike, say, a car salesmen.  People in SALES are NOT fiduciaries!!!  Please read that again – real estate agents are fiduciaries. Why should real estate brokers command more when the public doesn’t realize this? Why should we command more when NAR (National Association of Realtors) and MLSs around the country have called us “salespersons” for decades?

What’s a fiduciary? Being a fiduciary means I’m looking out for my client’s best interest above my own. A salesperson has no such requirement.

Fiduciary relationships often concern money, but the word fiduciary does not, in and of itself, suggest financial matters. Rather, fiduciary applies to any situation in which one person justifiably places confidence and trust in someone else and seeks that person’s help or advice in some matter. The attorney-client relationship is a fiduciary one, for example, because the client trusts the attorney to act in the best interest of the client at all times. Fiduciary can also be used as a noun for the person who acts in a fiduciary capacity, and fiduciarily or fiducially can be called upon if you are in need of an adverb. The words are all faithful to their origin: Latin fidere, which means “to trust.”


Anyone who is self-employed, including other fiduciaries such as lawyers, doctors, CPAs, etc. must market themselves as well, i.e., sell their services to the public. Yet NO ONE calls them “salespeople.” NAR and MLSs failed the industry decades ago by not elevating the industry by making it harder to become a real estate agent, which protects the public good by preventing people who shouldn’t be in the industry from entering, and AS A RESULT, we could keep high commission rates. The legal and CPA professions make their exams hard to pass on purpose – to keep unworthy people out! That, in turn, allows them to keep their rates high. Both exams have a pass rate of only ~50%.

I haven’t asked the Washington Department of Licensing what their pass rate is, but I have seen a ton of real estate schools advertising that their students’ pass rates are 95% or more! The State of Texas requires real estate schools to have a first-time pass rate of at least 80%!  Most of these licensees will never sell a single property or sell on average only 4 per year; thus, gaining no experience that’s helpful to sellers.

REAL ESTATE AGENTS: Don’t like that sellers are asking you to reduce your rates? ELEVATE THE INDUSTRY – Demand your state government agency protect the public on these large financial transactions by increasing the education and experience requirements. Don’t do it by smarmy arguments that put you on the opposite side of the table from the person you’re supposed to protect. The MLSs won’t do that because they need dues-paying members.

Until that’s addressed, I’ll continue making a healthy living meeting the demand for full-time, full-service, QUALITY 1% real estate brokerage services without the need for extensive advertising.

Only 15 Days Until Spring – Get Ready to SELL

As of today, only 15 DAYS UNTIL SPRING IS OFFICIALLY HERE!!! 🌸💐🌺🌷🌹 Historically spring and summer are the best times to put your home on the market. Since we’re early, I recommend getting a leg up by cleaning and repairing your house to get it ready for sale. Who knows? Maybe you might fix it up so nicely you won’t want to sell it! 🤣 Learn how to MAXIMIZE YOUR SELLING PRICE by cleaning, repairing, and preparing here.

(206) 866-8090
1% Real Estate Broker – The New Normal™
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Creatively Hilarious Home Description

Recently came across this description for a fixer upper that is so hilariously creative! 😆 Enjoy this good read! 📚 Do you have a fixer-upper home you need to sell? I can help you do that too. In fact, I have one coming up in Kent, WA this week!

“Here it is, literally the worst house on the street! The Seller has done the hard work of cleaning up the almost half-acre property (it only took 7 dumpsters!), so now is your chance to take it from here. Have you ever watched HGTV and thought, I could do that! ? If so, pack up your tape measure and start Googling how to identify a load-bearing wall because it’s time to put your money where your mouth is! The roof leaks, the floor creaks, and there’s a terrible draft, but this 3 bed, 1.5 bath home is very open concept. And by that we mean the inside is open to the outside because several of the windows are broken. There is a large, sunny window in the kitchen… and absolutely nothing else – a wonderful feature for someone interested in a bright reading space (and ordering take out for every meal). Now I know you’ve heard of a detached garage, but have you ever heard of a detached foundation?! Because that’s what you’ll find here in the large bonus room at the right of the home. And if you’re looking for a house that screams I’ve got bizarre and ominous energy, then honey stop the car because you’ve found it right here conveniently located off of US-301 in North Zephyrhills. If you need a place to stage your next post-apocalyptic zombie movie, this is it (the covered porch has really good rest here on your way to the safe zone vibes). And whether you like to turn up the heat or keep it cool, it won’t matter here because there is no HVAC system. Oh and don’t forget about the brick chimney that perfectly epitomizes how we all feel after 2020 – about to collapse and going nowhere (literally, there is no fireplace inside the house). What else can be say about this one-of-a-kind opportunity? It’s not in a flood zone and will be conveyed with clear title! But we don’t have a survey and the Seller has never seen the property, so buyers are strongly encouraged to do their own due diligence. And if you’re not interested in crying yourself to sleep every night while you rehab this home, might we suggest tearing it down and building a brand new one in its place? The neighbors would likely thank you.”

What did you think of this write up??? 🙂

(206) 866-8090
1% Real Estate Broker – The New Normal™

Common FSBO Fair Housing Violations

This is only a movie clip, but I see these types of FSBO descriptions ALL. THE. TIME. Sometimes it feels like the general public gets all of their vast rea estate knowledge from movies, TV shows, and HGTV. 🤣 Take, for example, this movie I was watching last night. Just this little clip alone had FOUR fair housing violations in their FSBO ad. That is, if it had been a real FSBO seller. (You’re not getting your real estate advice from the tele, right? 😆) 🛑 Do you think federal, state, and local fair housing laws ONLY apply to real estate agents and firms? Not at all. They apply to the OWNER too whether you have an agent or not so watch out!

(206) 866-8090
1% Real Estate Broker – The New Normal™

Arnold Schwarzenegger was a millionaire BEFORE becoming famous

Arnold Schwarzenegger. Not a name you associate with real estate, right?? Well, guess what folks! He did NOT make his millions from being the #Terminator or #KindergartenCop. He made it in real estate BEFORE becoming famous!!!! 😳😳😳

In fact, he was ONLY 25 years old when he was already a millionaire from real estate investing. 😳 Real estate is one of the safest long-term strategies for building wealth. But a lot of people don’t realize you can make real cash today in short time if you can live simply in the early years. 💵 No, I’m not talking get rich quick in one year. But in several years, it’s possible. How? By living simply and buying a small house or duplex, then trading UP. From a duplex, move up to a 4-plex. From that, move up to a 16-unit building, for example. Remember: your initial purchase must come from your own pocket and income source, BUT it snowballs from there due to equity built from appreciation and CASHFLOW income from the monthly rents! 💰💰💰

You learned something new today! 😊

(206) 866-8090
1% Real Estate Broker – The New Normal™