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When I first started this blog many years ago, I thought I needed to hurry up before every Boston real estate broker was blogging. I thought to myself soon every agent will be doing it!
Instead, that isn’t the case, yes there is more Boston real estate blogger, and yes some are really good. But what I’ve observed is that most Boston real estate brokers or their agents either have nothing to say, or transparency isn’t their friend. You rarely see much more than their recent successes – advertising of the properties they just listed or sold, with a focus on how great the agent is. (Okay, sure I sometimes do that as well.)
Why doesn’t Boston real estate broker transparency catch on?
Exposing how Boston condo sales are put together is like the proverbial sausage factory. Boston real estate brokers don’t want you to know how the sausage is made.
Once an agent has a signed listing, how they procure a buyer is what makes the difference between a legitimate open-market sale, and an insider job. Even those agents who initially plan a legitimate open-market sale can get duped into an off-market quickie. How does that happen?
Boston real estate brokers operate in a desperate environment, and the most-desperate agents are creating the market. Even the agents who AREN’T desperate, have to operate as if they ARE desperate, just to keep up. Unethical or illegal actions are commonplace, and with no enforcement whatsoever of the rules or laws, they continue unabated.
- Coming Soon that never come. Instead, the listing agent finds a buyer from just placing a ‘Coming Soon’ sign in the front yard, and once procured, they input the listing directly into the pending section of the MLS.
- Sold Before Processing. We now see a few of these happen every day in the downtown Boston real estate market. The listing agent takes advantage of the MLS loophole that states every listing to be inputted within 48 hours. It may take longer than that – but who will know or care when there is no enforcement of the rule.
- The listing agent prevents showings the first few days on the market.
- The listing agent provides lousy MLS input – bad photos, etc.
- Instead of lowering the price publicly on a listing that has languished for months, the listing agent lowballs his seller with a buyer he has procured.
- The listing agent gives the appearance of an open-market sale but then plugs in his own buyer at the last minute.
Boston Real Estate and the Bottom Line
The worst part about this situation is that we accept it.