Have I mentioned how much I hate what the Greenwich Association of Realtors has done to us agents?

Not only is the new search function unwieldy and frustrating – click for detail on one property, for instance, and you lose the entire search results, but by wiping out the sales histories it’s no longer possible to easily see what was paid, and when. Yes, in theory what someone paid for a property is irrelevant to its current value, up or down, but it’s critical information for negotiating and even shaping an initial offer.

The new system has clearly been designed to push buyers back into the blissful days of ignorance, when brokers were the keepers of all information, to be dispensed as they saw fit. The internet freed buyers from that monopoly and still does, but clearly, the GAR longs for those days, and has tried to stifle its own members when they act as buyers’ representatives. It won’t work, but the GAR has clearly declared war on half its members – who do they think sells the listings anyway?

UPDATE: How about limiting us to being able to send only self-expiring listings to our clients, thus forcing them to Zillow or Realtor.com? Suicidal stupidity.

14 Comments

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14 responses to “Have I mentioned how much I hate what the Greenwich Association of Realtors has done to us agents?

  1. Anonymous

    feature or bug?

  2. Anonymous

    You are completely correct Chris! The geniuses are not realizing that with Zillow, Trulia etc..it’s a lost cause.

  3. Mickster

    Don’t know about anyone else but when I want the (sales and listing)history on a listing, I just click the “history” tab!!

  4. Chief Scrotum

    The harder realtors make it for buyers, -

    1. buyers are comfortable knowing that prices are dropping because the status quo is that scared,
    2. more buyers will be more tempted to lowball as a way to protect themselves,
    3. if any aspect of the process is obscured, intentionally, any misunderstanding goes from , “we can figure it out”, to ,”lets sue and see what happens.”

    Sad, really.

  5. Publius

    I have always been amazed at how the residential real estate industry manages to get a pass on things that other industries get hammered on. Think about this for a moment, for many people buying or selling a home it is the largest transaction that they will ever execute and yet the way these transaction are handled including the transaction cost are appalling. Think about someone calling up their “customer man” and placing an order for a stock or bond (buy/sell) with no price benchmark and a 3-6% commission. Sure the buyer beware but even as incompetent as the SEC is, there are some basic protections that exist to keep you from getting ripped off. It still happens but there is more recourse than if you are buying/selling a house. The financial services companies get hammered all the time for conflicts of interest ( see RBS ruling today) but the real estate industry gets off scott free. I realize that the real estate industry is a big lobby, but so are the financial companies, why the pass on the R/E industry? I guess real estate agents and their ilk are not fat cat bankers and have your best interest in mind, NOT.

    • I’ve been threatened several times with refusals to deal by a few of my ignorant fellow agents, and back when I attended sales meetings, I’d hear the most astonishing plans cooked up by the managers of local branches – one, announced at a meeting I attended, was the decision to boycott Greenwich Time for two months until they dropped their advertising rates. I raised my hand and suggested to my manager that she and her peers consult with the GAR attorney before acting in concert on that resolution because otherwise they stood a good chance of going to jail. Boycott never happened.
      But yes, these people truly feel that they represent themselves first, sellers next and buyers, if at all, last, and if transparency harms their economic interests, then they’ll block it.
      We may all be visiting them in jail yet.

  6. AJ

    Failure to show a property to a qualified buyer and his rep. would be a breach of the realtors ethics code and could cost an agent or broker his license, couldn’t it?

    You’re a Connecticut licensed real estate agent/broker; so why do you need to pay the GAR a fee to sell in Greenwich? Just what is it that they provide agents selling in Greenwich? From what I can see, nothing.

    I’ve never heard of a website with expiring links before. Once a site puts up a url for other sites to link to, it’s there forever to be linked to unless someone intentionally changes the url (Uniform Resource Locator, or address).

  7. Anonymous

    In most towns, transparency in the real estate business has increased enormously in the last 15-20 years. The entire MLS is online (with dozens of photos for each listing), as are town hall records, with assessments, sales histories, building permits, C.O.’s issued, etc. The number of ignorant buyers who come stumbling into an agency looking for help are few and far between. Transaction costs may seem high to some, but that’s because people move every 5-7 years at best.

  8. Anonymous

    If the MLS refuses to provide this data, buyers should go to Town Hall to research the field cards for previous transactions, sale history, etc., for the properties they are seriously interested in bidding on.

  9. There is no conspiracy here. The Flex history tab provides much more information than the old system with much less work. The History tab not only provides all the old mls numbers that go with the property, by clicking on the + sign next to the mls numbers, you get a list of all the price changes for that number along with the dates of the changes.
    This system actually makes our market much more transparent.

  10. Once again Chris. If you don’t uderstand the new system, please call either Flex, The board or me before you say that we’re holding back information. The new system has more information available to you and your clients than we have ever had if you know how to use it. Have you taken the classes, watched the many videos or scheduled a one on one to learn the intricacies? I can assure you that there are may agents out there that have taken the time to learn the new system that are realizing waht a powerful tool it is.
    As I said yesterday in regards to the history date, due to years of property id’s being submitted incorrectly and a change of input protocal in 2004 there is a lot of manual input that is still being put in. It takes time to go bach with 20 years of sales history records. It is not a conspirousy.

    • For an association that persuaded up an employee to file a police complaint against me two years ago, forgive me for being suspicious. By the way, the frustration with the new system extends far beyond myself, but glad to hear yu guys are addressing the matter. Maybe yu can move on to ObamaCare when you finish here.