Metrolist called to say that I was probably going to be named “Sacramento Realtor of the Year,” like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot. I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks, anyway. Now I feel like I have to explain this satire because there will undoubtedly be some sorry excuse for a human reading my blog who will say, what? Metrolist didn’t do that. And then the loser will report me to Metrolist Compliance, and I’ll have to send another call to voice mail.
I’m reminded of this because Metrolist did not leave a voice mail yesterday. My physical self was planted in a chair at the Sacramento Board of Realtors for almost 4 hours listening to our Lyon Legal Update. Twice a year I attend Legal Updates, filled with incredible information about new laws, new forms, popular lawsuits and how best to keep myself and my clients out of the slammer. As I sat there paying rapt attention to the speakers on stage, I happened to glance down at the cell in my lap, flipped past Alphabear, and my Caller ID identified an incoming call from Metrolist.
Call me silly, but somehow I did not think it was to tell me I was probably going to be named Sacramento Realtor of the Year. Despite my long-running love affair with Metrolist, nothing good ever comes from a phone call that originates at Metrolist. It’s not the fault of Metrolist, though, so let me be clear about that. The calls I get from Metrolist are generated via jealous agents. The agents are always wrong. When I say “always,” I mean always. I can’t think of a time when they were not.
What these poor agents so often do when their buyer’s offer is rejected or they feel misplaced confusion, well, they call Metrolist to report a problem with my listing. No such problem exists, of course, but then Metrolist is forced to investigate and request documents to substantiate the fact that there is no problem. Why? Because at Metrolist you are guilty until proven innocent. They do not email and apologize for interrupting your day with nonsense. They automatically accuse you of wrongdoing. It’s the Metrolist way.
None of this would ever happen if there wasn’t such animosity among some Sacramento agents toward the successful agents. There are times of course that I submit my own compliance reports but those are not due to irrational anger nor green eyes. My hope is to improve our profession. I don’t even know the agents I report. I feel like if I keep my mouth shut about an infraction, I’m part of the problem. But nobody really appreciates that effort, either. Spittooey.
Doesn’t matter what I do. I cannot accept the nomination for Sacramento Realtor of the Year. I have much better things to do. Like clean out litter boxes.
There is a new Real Safe Realtor safety app coming to Metrolist that relies on trusting other Sacramento agents to help a fellow agent in distress. It’s based on a cooperative spirit and the fact that agents should rely on each other to help out. I’m not so sure how well that will go over in Sacramento. My experience has been limited in that regard. I recall when I first started at Lyon Real Estate and I thought I had lost my display key. Patti Martinez, who used to work in our downtown office back then, came to my rescue. She had something else to do the day but she drove over to the house where I thought I had left my key and unlocked the door for me. That was a nice thing to do. A selfless act. I was grateful. Enough so that I’m still talking about it. I would do the same thing for another agent.
But not every agent is like that. Like last Wednesday was a comedy of errors. I had put a home in Sacramento on broker preview for only Lyon real estate agents to tour. Lyon policy is to put homes on tour as a favor for Lyon agents before the homes are officially for sale. It’s convenient for Lyon agents. They get a sneak peek at homes with lockboxes and those without. The nice thing about the Supra lockbox is it does not rely on trusting other Sacramento agents because Supra sends me lockbox reports when it is opened. I know who opened the lockbox, the time the lockbox was accessed and how to contact the agent.
On that day, 3 agents from a Lyon Real Estate office accessed the lockbox. I won’t say which office these agents were from but let’s just say it wasn’t the downtown office on J Street where I work or the Land Park office on 21st. The first agent sent me an email to say how much she liked the new listing, so I know she got in to see it. The key is a little tricky to use. I put a note in the lockbox and in MLS about how to open the door. It’s one of those doors that needs to have the key pulled out slightly to turn it. But real estate agents are used to working with quirky keys. It’s part of our profession.
Around 4:00 that afternoon, the seller called. She had stopped by the property to discover an agent had left the key dangling in the lock. Further, the agent also had locked the bottom of the box box, a basket that holds the key, back into the lockbox. This meant the seller could not pull it out and put the key into the lockbox. Who would leave a key in the door? What kind of real estate agent would do that? Hmmm. I studied the Supra showings records. Only 3 Lyon agents. Well, it wasn’t the first agent. I called the last agent. She insisted the door was open when she got there, and she could not make the key work, so she put the key back into the lockbox.
How could she do that if she was the last agent and the key was in the lock? I called the agent in the middle. This agent said she could not get into the property at all. She could not make the key work. She was very frustrated and wasn’t really listening to my own dilemma, which was who left the key in the lock? She insisted the key did not work, even when I explained several times it does work. You would think an agent who had trouble with a key would call the listing agent, right? I mentioned that not a single Lyon agent from that office bothered to call me. Finally she spit out have a nice evening and hung up.
So you can see why I’m not too gung ho on trusting other Sacramento agents to bail me out if I’m worried for my safety at a house with that new Metrolist Safety App. I wonder if encouraging member agents to download this free app reduces the insurance premium for Metrolist? It costs $15 a month otherwise. I can’t figure out why our MLS would offer this as a free service because I’ve never known Metrolist to do anything that doesn’t benefit Metrolist in some way.
But at least I know enough to remove a key from the lock and not leave a home unsecured. The culprit who stuck the key in the lock and walked away should be ashamed; but down deep we all figure they are not.
The last time I wrote a post about new Sacramento listings I’m working on, I received an email from our MetroList. Well, that isn’t really true. I received the email about 3 months later, not right after I wrote it. I’m not sure if they didn’t notice the date on the blog or which jealous agent flung it in their attention, but gosh darn it, they wanted to make sure I wasn’t doing anything hokey. Like that would ever be an issue with this Sacramento Realtor. I dot my I’s and I cross my T’s. Those who work with me know I am the Paperwork Queen of Sacramento real estate. Comes from my 1970’s escrow officer background. I glanced at my backlog and there were 15 hits on that old blog, all within the course of a few hours. I shake my head.
MetroList also wanted to mention that its staff had thoroughly examined my website and discovered it was literally crawling with listings. Why, I had a whole bunch of listings on my website that were, OMG, not my listings. What the? At first I didn’t know what they were talking about; the clerk was so extremely adamant I had purposely done something wrong. You can’t do that, she insisted. No? What did I do? She transferred me to a supervisor who also confirmed I can’t do what I’m doing.
Well, it is a product MetroList sold to me, and I pay MetroList every month for it.
You’re OK, she said, and abruptly hung up. See, this is why agents complain about MetroList. Accuse first, ask questions later.
I spent a good part of yesterday working on new Sacramento listings. This is what taking a 4th of July vacation in Hawaii does. Gives me an opportunity to set appointments after the heat wave eased some. Line up my new listings. Because I’ve sold everything now except for one listing, which is a little bit of a challenge due to certain circumstances. Yet, I imagine that will sell shortly as well. Can’t recall the last time a listing did not sell. When it does, then, I’ll have zero listings active. Bring it on.
It’s time to contribute to the new Sacramento listing inventory. We are in dire straights of needing more homes for sale (I’ve never liked that band). Lyon Real Estate called the demand from buyers insatiable, and that’s an excellent word to describe buyer activity. I’ve got new Sacramento listings coming up in Elk Grove, Natomas, Rosemont, West Sacramento and Rancho Cordova. If you’d like to get on the bandwagon with a top producer in Sacramento and get your home on the market, the time is now to call me, Elizabeth Weintraub, at 916.233.6759. Selling homes keeps me busy and off the streets, you know, where I might be tempted to succumb to delinquent behavior.
Psst: Successful people are always under the spotlight and scrutinized. It’s just the way things are.
Working for one of the top Sacramento listing brokers in the area as a top producer, I see it all due to the volume I deal with. Many agents in Sacramento real estate seems to have their own peculiar way of doing things, and especially those who are unsupervised or think this is still the Wild, Wild West and operate like outlaws. And there are quite a few of those kinds of agents, both inside and outside of the city. Usually smaller mom-and-pop operations, but I’ve also seen agents at larger brokerages try to do crazy stuff.
There was the rouge property manager / agent who refused to close out MLS correctly under my name because he noticed there were two agency disclosures returned with the RPA. That’s because we follow real estate law, and when an agent shows a property, that agent gets an agency disclosure signed. Agency disclosures have no bearing on the California Residential Purchase Agreement. Since I am the agent of record, he is required to report the sale the way the cooperating brokerage stipulates, and this turd flat-out refused. MetroList doesn’t care the agent ignored MLS rule 10.1. This is why some agents believe they can do whatever they want. Lax enforcement.
Then there are the guys (and women) who have a real estate license but rarely use the license. They think holding a California real estate license entitles them to a commission anywhere in the state, and it doesn’t. Further, there are also the agents from the Bay Area who think Sacramento listing brokers are required to pay them a commission, which is incorrect if they don’t belong to our Board. Compensation is authorized only to other Board members.
Fortunately, I know many great agents in the Bay Area, and I am a Bay Area-friendly Realtor. Not every listing agent in Sacramento is, though. Nor do they necessarily promote their listings to Bay Area agents like I do.
Now obviously, we want our sellers to win. We generally work out some kind of agreement with outside agents because we don’t want our sellers to lose a potential offer. However, if the out-of-area agent does not have a lockbox key, that presents other issues. How will they access the home for a home inspection? How will they conduct the final walkthrough? Do they even stand a chance in a sea of multiple offers among local agents with proven track records?
Then, just when you think you’ve seen it all, along comes a bombshell. An agent who thinks all Sacramento listing brokers will pay him a commission to buy his own residence because he possesses a California real estate license. The only little snafu is he never placed his real estate license with a broker, so he cannot sell real estate and receive a commission, even if he bought a home in his own city. Sacramento listing brokers pay commissions only to other real estate brokers. Yet, we will still try to find a way to help him.
Most California Realtors ask a buyer to sign the Disclosure Regarding Real Estate Agency Relationship when the buyer signs a purchase offer, but my philosophy lies more in accordance with the intent of the disclosure and we get it signed before showing property. On page two of the disclosure, in compliance with California Civil Code 2079.13 (k) and (i), in the fine print that nobody reads, it states: The selling agent shall provide the disclosure form to the seller as soon as practicable prior to presenting the seller with an offer to purchase . . .
If we are showing homes to a buyer, that’s a good time to get it signed, before we walk out the door. It establishes disclosure, although it does not confirm agency relationships. Agency relationships are confirmed in the purchase offer itself. Yet, we have a property manager with a real estate license in Sacramento who disagrees and has refused to enter sales in MLS under the selling agent’s name. This agent prefers instead to enter all the names of all the agents who have ever signed a Disclosure Regarding Real Estate Agency Relationship with this buyer.
MetroList has not yet enforced its own rules on one of my recent sales that say a listing broker needs to enter correct information from the selling broker. MLS Rules 10.1: Final sales shall be defined as recorded transfer of property. Final sales with the correct cooperating broker information and the correct sales information shall be entered into the MLS by the listing broker within three (3) business days of the final closing date.
The purpose of a Disclosure Regarding Real Estate Agency Relationship is to inform sellers and buyers that agents work in various capacities. An agent can represent the seller, the buyer, or both parties, under dual agency. It’s a disclosure, not an agreement. On the Realtor’s side, presenting the agency to buyers determines whether a) they trust, and b) they read. Further, it states: Throughout your real property transaction you may receive more than one disclosure form, depending upon the number of agents assisting in the transaction. The law requires each agent with whom you have more than a casual relationship to present you with this disclosure form.
Real estate law is such that ten agents could show a buyer property, yet only one agent is the selling agent noted on page 10 of the California Residential Purchase Agreement. Still, for no particular reason that I can see, we have a rogue Realtor who has refused to record the sole selling agent into MLS. That’s his story and he’s sticking to it. He says more than one agent signed an agency disclosure so he’s reporting all of those agents as the selling agents to MLS, regardless of the selling broker’s instructions. This strikes me as an odd situation that MetroList clerks appear reluctant to fix.
While I’m on a roll, I have a beef with the way the Agency Disclosure appears in ZIPForms. I have asked the California Association of Realtors (CAR) to consider changing the first field in its listing package in ZIPForms, but no representative from CAR has responded. I can’t be the only California Realtor to have noticed that when the template for the RLA loads into ZIPForms, the first document, the Disclosure Regarding Real Estate Agency Relationship, has such a teeny tiny field that it’s emphatically too small to read the seller’s name. It’s not my 20 / 20 vision.
Just goes to show that the end user might not have been considered when the fields were designed. They ought to test these things in the field with real people who use it, real Realtors. The fields change from blue to green with black lettering, which is also not easy on the eyes. Even if they just switched the order of the documents and made the Seller Representation of More Than One Buyer or Seller the first to load, it would help; that name field font is much larger.
One typo in the seller’s name on the Disclosure Regarding Real Estate Agency Relationship carries throughout the listing paperwork. It’s a PITA, but that’s the life of a Sacramento Realtor. Don’t get me started on agents who argue about how many agency disclosures a seller is required to sign . . .