The meek, uninformed consumer

I was on a conference call the other day that made me think all this talk (some of it emanating from this blog) about the empowered, Zillow-using consumer just may be bunk. Or, at a minimum, that there are still plenty of uninformed, manipulable buyers and sellers out there who fall for the most graceless of old-school tactics.

The speaker on this call stated that his agents walk into a listing presentation with "7%, 8%, 9%" written in the “commission” field of the listing agreement. At the appropriate time the agent says to the seller, “My commission is negotiable, please initial the rate you agree to”.

He boasted that this works in almost all cases.

Surely, you wonder, his agents must be the best in town, offering unmatched experience and value? Not so. One agent, just six months into her new career, has sold several listings at over 7%. I understand the
logic of offering the buyer’s agent a fat split, but if someone pulled that on me – and mind you, I have happily paid 6% for my own agent – I’d throw them out of my living room.

The world of scripts, hard-sells and black boxes still exists. Caveat emptor!