My clients and I looked at a house today that was “broker accompanied”, meaning we got to hear a sales pitch directly from the owners’ representative. I’m not sure we profited from the experience. A leaning chimney, we were told, was deliberately built that way because “chimneys have to slant or the smoke won’t go up them”. A furnace that looked at least fifteen years old was “installed in 2005”. The hydro-air system * was “the very newest technology in heating.”

And so on. I blame ignorance, rather than deliberate duplicity for these misrepresentations and utter nonsense, but I also find it ironic that I’m up on charges of bringing disrespect to the realty profession when, every day, the practitioners of that profession do far more damage simply by opening their mouths.


*”Hydro air heating systems are becoming increasingly popular in the New England area. The concept of hydro air is not new, and has existed for most of this century.”


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15 responses to “Realtors

  1. Walt

    Dude –
    “I also find it ironic that I’m up on charges of bringing disrespect to the realty profession”?
    I find it ironic you are not up on charges for lack of writing skills.
    And explain to me how driving someone around and showing them stuff they want to buy (hopefully, for you) is a profession?
    And if they find you guilty, what do they do? Not let you and Futter play Monopoly for a month?
    Your Pal,

    • christopherfountain

      Walt, they have described what I’m doing as “the world’s oldest profession” since time immemorial – so there.
      And yes, the penalty I face could be a serious as a severe letter of reprimand and the denial of custard for desert for at least a week. I’m amazed I had the courage to come back to face the music.

  2. Anonymous

    Stupidity and/or lying: endemic to nearly any sales-oriented endeavor on planet; some things never change

  3. '64Corvair

    I think we all know where the smoke DID go!

    If I were a seller today, I’d install “broker cams” and put a misrepresentation clause in the agents contract. Bet they’d know about hydro-air then!!

  4. anon1

    Is a severe letter of reprimand from GAR worse than one from the UN?

  5. '64Corvair

    off subject: did you read that Lionshare Farm, on Taconic where it meets East Middle Patent is now a mini zoo – with cheetahs, even. I thought cheetahs only worked at hedge funds. The article I read said there’s some concern by neighbors on how the animals are contained…valid point. Gorgeous piece of property however. Just gorgeous.

  6. Glug Glug in Greenwich

    I have often toyed with the idea of suggesting to sellers to put a Nanny-Cam in the house to see what realtors were saying to their clients…I’ll bet it would be eye-opening…

  7. Old School Grump

    Someone ‘splain to me … what is the purported purpose of a “broker accompanied” showing? And what is most likely the real purpose?

  8. I would like to know

    Chris: Could you check your records and tell us how many of the homes sold in 2009 have sold above their 2005 assessed value? Could you also tells us what percentage above their assessed value they have sold at. Thanks

    • christopherfountain

      I believe were selling at an average of 1.3 X assessed value this year, compared to 2.3 in 2005.

  9. I would like to know

    One last question how many of those have you sold?

  10. Anonymous

    I’ve been absent from your blog for about six weeks, so I’m sorry to read that you’re still dealing with the GAR charges. I’d have thought those would have been quashed at the initial hearing.

    Apparently the new warning should be “Hell hath no fury like a realtor™ scorned”.

    You have my condolences.

  11. Pete

    I believe, on the assessment ratios, that the 2.3 you show for 2005 was just prior to the re-assessment as of 10/1/05. We usually get fairly high ratios just prior to re-assessment. I don’t have the numbers, but 2006, based on the same assessment numbers currently in use, might be a better comparison year.

    • christopherfountain

      Thanks Pete – I’ll check. But off the top of my head, the listings I saw selling seemed to be using the same assessment numbers.

  12. anonymous

    When a broker says things like that, it makes buyers look at them and say, wow they are so desperate, the market must be worse that we thought.