OK, here is the one you were waiting for. If I were King For a Day what changes would I make to the real estate industry in the area of real estate agents and realty companies to better protect the public?
I have read thousands of news articles and blog posts, sat through hundreds of hours of training classes and meetings and participated in many real estate transactions. Through these experiences, I have formed some very strong opinions about changes I would love to see in our industry. This blog post is the final one of a small series of articles that pick on several parts of the real estate industry.
As in the other segments I would insert more accountability into the process.
If I Were King, These are a Few Things I Would Change:
- Real Estate licensees must be full time professionals. (This one will get a lot of responses. If I am King that is how it will be.)
- The NAR Code of Ethics would be enforceable by the state regulators on even those who are not members of the NAR. The Code will only be a starting point. (I would add a few more. That will be a post of its own.)
- Errors and omissions insurance will be required for anyone with a license. Currently it is not required in our state, only by most brokers.
- Increase the educational requirements to get a license.
- Increase both the hours of continuing education and quality of the classes to renew a license.
- Not allow real estate licensees to do mortgages, home inspections, sell home owners insurance, do escrows or appraisals. (Dual services on a transaction will be illegal)
- Real estate Companies can not own or be owned by:
- - Escrow Company
- - Mortgage company or lending institution
- - Home owners insurance company
- - Home inspection company
- - Termite inspection company
- - Appraisal company
- A real estate agent can not use a spouse or any relative 1st cousin or closer for any of the above service in one of their transactions.
- Any kick backs from service providers is a jail able offense.
- Outlaw dual agency. To make this a doable thing, designated agency would also be law in every state. (In Hawaii we do not have designated agency. So every deal that two agents from the same company are involved is a dual agency)
- Require all agents to return phone calls.
- Not allow agents to post listings in the MLS without pictures.
- Posting false information in the MLS will be a jail able offense (just kidding, well maybe not. If I am King I might do that).
- Peak-a-boo view (standing on a chair in the upstairs back bedroom) does not count as a view
- Needs paint and carpet and the termites holding hands are holding the roof up is Not Excellent Condition!
- The side of a cliff is not a gentle slope.
- If you have to ask or you are not sure about it, it should be disclosed.
- If you can not use a computer, properly fill out a contract or use the fax machine your license will be taken away. (sorry if this hits home with anyone)
- If you charge a fee and do not provide proper service you loose your license. (If you are not sure if you are providing proper service your client will know when they do not get it, otherwise check with the King for a Day.)
- If you are servicing a transaction you are required to follow the timeline. Not work at your own pace.
- Designations would be a minimum expectation. GRI within the first two years would be mandatory to keep your license.
- All companies will provide agent training whether done in house or hired out.
- Create a job training program for those who should not be in this industry to teach them how to cut hair or flip burgers. (Since I will never be King, this one will never happen.)
I run into many REALTORS® and real estate agents who are non-REALTORS®, who have no idea what is legal or ethical. Just like in the lending side there is a large number of agents running around with absolutely very little training and have no idea what they are doing.
The one good thing is there is recourse for the public. If they use a REALTOR® the public can go through the local Board with a grievance. Most REALTORS® such as me carry Errors and Omissions Insurance. In Hawaii they also have state regulatory agencies and a state recovery fund to go after if they have exhausted all other legal avenues.
We are speaking about folks who are handling the biggest purchase in most people's lives. They need to be held to the highest standards. If they are not comfortable with that concept they really should find another line of work.
I am a REALTOR® and I am good at what I do and take pride in my profession. I have very little patience or respect for anyone in this line of work that does not conduct themselves in a professional manner.
Other King For a Day Posts:
- King For a Day Series - Mortgage Industry
- King For a Day Series - Handymen
- King For a Day Series - Home Inspectors
- King For a Day Series - Escrow Officers
- King For a Day Series - Real Estate Clients
Randy L. Prothero, REALTOR®
Principal Broker, ABR, AHWD, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, MRP, SFR
Island Style Realty Inc.
Team Leader - "The Prothero Group"
Randy Prothero is well established as an expert in working with military / VA clients and first time home buyers. His home seller's (listing) campaign is one of the most aggressive marketing programs in the area.
Based out of Mililani, Hawaii. Randy services the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) Performs mediations and ombudsman services for the Board of Realtors. To improve overall professionalism in his area Randy also offers classes for real estate agents.