This grotesque story from bubble-central Phoenix, where builders are trying to make nice with the realtwhores they screwed last year during the peak days (when they stopped paying full commission).
Now? Builders throwing parties, paying bonus commissions, and trying to woo the sharks back into the water. Realtwhores response - a big middle finger.
Meanwhile, doesn't the NAR espouse a code of ethics? Doesn't the buyer's interest figure in this mess somewhere? Gren Credo by the way is doing some great reporting now at the Republic - must have pushed the incompetent Catherine Reagor to the side..
Builders work to mend fences with agents
Home builders are spending big bucks and dishing out heaping helpings of hospitality during what has become the summer of love in the Phoenix new-home market. The objects of their affection? The real estate agents they spurned during last year's housing boom.
The wooing has agents sipping wine and tossing down hors d'oeuvres in Buckeye, networking to live music in Chandler, munching free sandwiches in Florence and cashing fat commission checks.
It was a different world in Phoenix housing last year at the peak of the boom. With buyers camping out at subdivisions, builders didn't need agents to bring them prospects. Builders, looking to maximize their profits, cut agents' commissions or started paying flat fees, if they paid any fees at all.
That angered a lot of agents, who felt that builders were abusing the long-standing relationship between the people who sell homes and those who build them.
But the tables have turned. Demand has evaporated, and builders are trying to get cozy with agents again, throwing parties and offering big fees - commissions of 4 to 5 percent - for selling houses fast.
Yet some agents are steering clear of new subdivisions unless clients ask to see homes there. It's payback, they say, for builders who got greedy in a runaway market in which builders raised prices with impunity and slashed commissions.
August 28, 2006
Posted by blogger at 8/28/2006