If there’s one thing the Fire Department loves, it’s amateur bucket-brigaders putting out strange fires on their own and hanging around begging for props.
Posts Tagged ‘fire’
I know the BossLady stories haven’t been all that funny or interesting lately, and this one is no exception. It’s a combination of me drawing this out as long as I can, and laying some groundwork for the inevitable end. These little vignettes give an idea of what the atmosphere was like in those final days: Realtor intraoffice drama, plans to move into an office and out of that disgusting house, preparing to break away from the brokerage, general upheaval, bridge-burning (hence the photo), and much secrecy. This was all before the real estate bubble burst, by the way, so business was actually pretty good all around.
I talked to BossMan yesterday and basically sacked up and asked him what was going on. He came home at the end of the day and made some sort of allusion to the “stuff” that was happening, and I just decided to take the bull by the horns and say, “You guys thinking about leaving again?” He sort of laughed and asked if it was that obvious, and I said, “Well. . .” and he started telling me.
So what’s really going on is that, in BossMan’s words, everybody hates them right now. Meaning, all the other agents in the whole MLS. I wanted to, but did not, say, “So what else is new?” I mean, it has always been obvious to me, especially when we were all in the office together, that the other agents hate BossMan and BossLady. And from what I’ve learned in the past year, this is pretty much normal Realtor behavior. It’s extremely competitive, and I do mean extremely.
He went on to explain that the reason everybody hates them, at least for right now, is the fact that they don’t split commissions evenly when someone else sells their property. See, here’s how it works:
- Some random Joe Schmoe who owns a plot of land will get in touch with BossMan and BossLady to find out what his plot of land is worth.
- BossMan and BossLady look at the real estate market and tell Joe Schmoe, “Well, you could probably get $60,000 for your plot of land if you put it on the market today.”
- Joe Schmoe says, “Okay,” and signs a listing agreement with BossMan and BossLady that states:
- BossMan and BossLady will market Joe’s property and try to find a buyer.
- Joe will pay BossMan and BossLady a commission of 10% of the selling price, if in fact the property gets sold.
- BossMan and BossLady put the plot of land on the market, and note that they will split off 3% of their commission (that is, 3% of the selling price) to anyone else who can sell the property.
- Some other agent sees that plot of land and says, “Hey, I’ve got somebody who will buy that plot of land.”
- The other agent writes up a sales contract, with the knowledge that they are going to get 3% of the selling price. The plot of land gets sold.
- On the day of closing, that is, when the deal is made final, the closing statement is sent to all involved parties. The closing statement reveals that the total commission was 10%, and that BossMan and BossLady are getting 7% of the selling price, whereas the other agent is only getting 3%.
This is where the trouble comes in, because it’s “traditional,” apparently, to split commissions evenly rather than take a bigger chunk for yourself. If you’re a listing agent, like BossMan and BossLady, and you’re getting 10% from Joe Schmoe, you’re “supposed” to give 5% to any other agent who sells your property, making it all even-Steven.
There isn’t any law about this, although it might be in the Realtor’s Ethics Code (they do have one, apparently; I frequently see bulletin board postings for ethics classes that they encourage you to take).
I can kinda see why people are upset, if that’s the normal way things have always been done, but I also think that since BossMan and BossLady do most of the work (well, BossMan does, anyway) and spend lots and lots of money on marketing materials, it’s certainly more fair for them to take the lion’s share of the commission. But what do I know.
Anyway, people are up in arms about this, and most recently, BossMan and BossLady’s mortal enemy, Ellen, has been circulating a petition about sharing commissions. She doesn’t mention BossMan by name, but it’s obvious that that’s what it’s about. BossMan is supposed to meet with Rick this morning. Rick, the broker, the Boss of the office, is pretty much the kind of soft-spoken guy who avoids confrontation as much as possible, and I expect he’s hoping BossMan and Ellen will fight to the death until one of them quits, making it unnecessary for him to step in.
Anyway, so that’s what’s going on, and BossMan and BossLady are indeed, as I suspected, preparing themselves for leaving Century 21, although it’s not likely to be soon. We have more than forty listings and we could NOT take them with us. I say “us” because I assume they will still keep me on board.
When you walk into a hotel room with pizza and they shut the door behind you and one of them’s perched on the bed where they want you to put the food and the other one’s sloooooowly counting out the money, you start to wonder if their evening got started with, “Honey, I’ve got a great idea to spice things up.”