Jon Douglas didn’t even attempt to address the real issue in At Issue (April 2), which is the fact that brokers still make a flat 6% sales commission on the exorbitant prices of Westside homes.
Instead, he simplistically stated the obvious, i.e., “most of us are . . . too busy to take on such tasks . . . providers of professional services can act in our best interests in situations where we may not be knowledgeable enough to represent ourselves.” Can’t argue with that, Jon.
However, as Crystal Russell pointed out, there’s been no increase in the broker’s services that even approaches the skyrocketing increase in home prices. To the contrary, they can work less, and make much, much more--simply because their commission hasn’t changed. Moreover, demand is so great in this idyllic area that instead of having to beat the bushes for buyers, they have to fend them off.
Relax, Mr. Douglas, we don’t want to “eliminate the professional middle man.” We really are too busy trying to make a living. All we’re saying is, it’s time to end the gravy train. If you and your industry aren’t responsible enough to police yourselves and implement a sliding commission scale that descends as house prices ascend, I urge readers or regulators to end the real estate rip-off. If not, brokers will continue to sock it to homeowners.