Real Estate Agents We Can Do Without


by Roberta Murphy

Agents we can do without? At this moment, I am growling under my breath at the sleaziness of two San Diego real estate agents who would throw their clients under the bus in exchange for a few thousand dollars.

In the last couple of weeks, we have had two agents come into the Oceanside Terraces–a luxury downtown Oceanside condo development we have listed.  One agent with a major franchise came in by himself and asked numerous questions about the building.  Finally, with no squirming and a smarmy smile, he proposed that we up his sales commission to four percent if he could convince his client(s) to pay a premium price for one of our condo listings.

Partner Eve Sieminski and I were stunned by his proposition–and I couldn’t help but snarkily suggest that we might consider doing so if he fully disclosed to his client, in writing, what he was doing.

Smarmy real estate agent has not returned.

A few days ago, another agent from a small and independent real estate office brought a very interested client through the property and returned later to request, repeatedly, a $10,000 bonus if his client bought one of our listings. Eve repeatedly told him there was no bonus for anyone–and agent repeatedly said another local builder was offering a $10,000 bonus–and that if we couldn’t offer the same he would steer his client in that direction.


I am not a big fan of real estate bonuses–unless they are being offered to the buyer.  In fact, we share bonus information with our clients and use it as a negotiating tool if making an offer. As far as we are concerned, bonuses belong to our clients.  Furthermore, most properties offering bonuses are overpriced–and would be better served by simply reducing the list price.

For more upbeat reading about Oceanside:

Search Oceanside Foreclosures

Oceanside Urban Luxury: Oceanside Terraces

San Diego Baby Boomers: The Wish List

No Butts on Oceanside Beaches

Fun at Oceanside and San Diego Farmer’s Markets

Oceanside and San Diego a Bargain for Foreign Investors

Things to Do with Kids in Oceanside and San Diego

Oceanside and San Diego Real Estate Irresistible to Foreigners and Expats

Things to Do in Downtown Oceanside

8 responses to “Real Estate Agents We Can Do Without

  1. It is amazing that those agents had the courage to show up and ask for a bonus in person. Those agents usually get over-confident and end up driving those clients away.

    The notion that they are so good at sales is completely lame.

    If they could influence their clients so heavily in one direction or the other, they wouldn't need a bonus because they would be doing a ton of business.

  2. Rory,

    I''m still growling. Unfortunately, many clients WILL be unwittingly swayed by these unethical and self-serving agents. The payment of bonuses and such should be clearly disclosed to clients. Sadly, these nitwits and their clients may be missing a great negotiating tool.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Hi Roberta,

    The first thing that struck me was that the agent put his own interest before that of his client. This is really no different than if the agent was only showing his client properties that promised the highest commission rather than what is best to fulfill the clients needs. If real estate agents have an image problem, this may be an example of why.

  4. Greg,

    Amen. And abolishing this greedy mentality would go far in in improving the image of the real estate profession. In all honesty, most real estate professional I know would react as we do–with anger and abhorrence.

  5. I feel bad for the clients of both these agents, who I'm sure have no idea that their agents are using them to make extra cash only for themselves. These are the kind of agents who'll do anything to make a quick buck, either by shaking down the seller or the buyer – doesn't matter which one they're representing as long as they get paid. Oh well, what goes around comes around eventually.

  6. Erin,

    I share your sympathy for these real estate clients who are being served so poorly by their agents–and wish there were some way to prevent these abuses.

  7. Those agents surely had a high level of confidence with their selves, that kind of agents should not be trusted. In our business negotiating tool is really important.

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