DIY buyers shun agents

From SmartMoney:

Home Buyers Go Hunting Alone

After years of trepidation, home buyers are finally beginning to wade back into the housing market. But as they do, many are making the surprising choice to hunt alone, rejecting the assistance of what’s known in real estate as a buyer’s agent.

For years, house-hunters have had the option to work with a real estate agent who shows them properties and may ultimately negotiate the price – a counterbalance to the agent who almost invariably represents the seller. But now fewer buyers are taking it. Of the buyers who purchased a property through a real estate agent, just 57% had buyer representation, according to a 2010 report by the National Association of Realtors. That’s down from 62% in 2009 and 64% in 2006, before the housing bust. Also, fewer buyers are first learning about the home they purchase from real estate agents: just 37% are reporting real estate agents as their first source of information on the home they purchased, down from 50% a decade ago, according to NAR.

Many experts think this is a bad move – worse, for example, than trying to sell a house without an agent. For one thing, in most cases, a buyer doesn’t pay an agent; the buyer’s agent splits the commission with the seller’s agent, so the services are essentially free to the buyer. Also, a buyer’s agent can usually access historical price data for home sales in the area, which means he can recommend a bidding strategy that targets comparable properties that sold for less, rather than the mid-range. John Vogel, adjunct professor of real estate at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, calls going through this process alone “a mistake.”

There are lots of reasons buyers may choose to represent themselves. The real estate listings and detailed information that was once only available to real estate agents — like median sales prices in a neighborhood, the amount of days a home has been on the market, and how many price cuts it has endured – are now online. And because most buyers’ agents don’t get paid until a home is purchased, they have a strong incentive to see you buy something quickly, Vogel says: They may not tell a client to wait for prices to fall further.

On the other hand, some house-hunters may think they are working with a buyer’s agent, when in reality, they’re actually dealing with a seller’s agent. Many buyers contact the agent listed with the property or walk into an open house thinking the agent is working in their favor, says Paul Howard, a buyer’s-only broker licensed in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Or some buyers may start working with an agent who has their interest at hand, but the house they want to buy is listed with the real estate company the agent works for; at that point, buyers should have the option to find an agent not tied to the property. Some seller’s agents may also discourage prospective buyers at the beginning of their search from seeking out a buyer’s agent. Commissions are already lower due to declining home values, and some would prefer not to split it, says Ginger Wilcox, head of training for buyers’ and sellers’ agents at “Agents are fighting for their commissions.”

Still, in many cases buyers may be at an advantage when they work with a buyer’s agent – at least compared to relying on a seller’s agent for advice or guidance. A seller’s agent is contractually obligated to help make the sale happen in the seller’s favor, often as close to the asking price as possible. Buyers’ agents can also suggest home inspectors and financing companies they’ve worked with before, says David Kent, president of the National Buyer’s Agent Association; they’re not supposed to make money off the referrals.

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142 Responses to DIY buyers shun agents

  1. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    L.A. Blames Bank for Foreclosure Blight

    The city attorney of Los Angeles filed a civil complaint Wednesday against Deutsche Bank AG, alleging it allowed hundreds of foreclosed residential properties to fall into such disrepair as to become public nuisances.

    The lawsuit in state court here also alleged that the bank was involved in illegally evicting hundreds of tenants who were renting the residences. The city attorney’s office, in a news release, said Deutsche Bank’s liability for repairs and payments to former tenants “is potentially in the hundreds of millions of dollars.”

    Deutsche Bank, in a statement, said “the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office has filed this lawsuit against the wrong party.” It said the loan servicers, not the bank, which served as trustee on the loans for the foreclosed properties, were contractually responsible for maintenance and tenant issues.

    For over a year, Deutsche Bank said in its statement, it has offered to help city-attorney officials contact the loan servicers, “but they have refused our help and would not even tell us which properties they were talking about.”

    The city attorney, in a written response, said Deutsche Bank, as owner of the properties, was responsible for them.

  2. grim says:

    From HousingWire:

    Clear Capital: Home prices double-dip into ‘uncharted territory’

    Home prices double-dipped in April, dropping 0.7% below the previous low in March 2009, according the analytics firm Clear Capital.

    Prices first reached a new low in California in March. But in April national prices fell 5% below levels measured one year ago and decreased 4.9% from the previous three months. National home prices even sank 11.5% over the previous nine-month period, a decline not seen since 2008, Clear Capital said.

    “Markets have entered uncharted territory,” Clear Capital said.

    Every major metropolitan statistical area showed a drop from the previous three months. While the spring brings hope of a traditional turnaround, this will be the first homebuying season spent without the homebuyer tax credit since 2008.

    The major hurdle is the amount of distressed property on the market. REO sales made up a 34.5% saturation rate of overall activity nationwide after declining to nearly 20% in the middle of 2010, according to Clear Capital. This same pattern surfaced in 2008, when REO saturation grew from 20% to 32% by the end of the year.

    “The latest data through April shows a continued increase in the proportion of distressed sales that are taking hold in markets nationwide,” said Alex Villacorta, director of research and analytics at Clear Capital. “With more than one-third of national home sales being REO, market prices are being weighed down as many markets have not regained enough footing to withstand the strain of the high proportion of REO sales.”

  3. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    National Home Prices Double Dip

    It’s official.

    Home prices have double dipped nationwide, now lower than their March 2009 trough, according to a new report from Clear Capital.

    It was inevitable, and it was predicted (by me for sure) that a surge in sales of foreclosed properties and a big push by banks to facilitate short sales would force home prices down dramatically.

    Sales of bank-owned (REO) properties hit 34.5 percent of the market, according to the survey, resulting in a national price drop of 4.9 percent quarterly and 5 percent year-over-year. National home prices have fallen 11.5 percent in the past nine months, a rate not seen since 2008. Add short sales, where the bank allows the borrower to sell for less than the value of the mortgage, and prices have nowhere to go but down.

  4. The stench of death is overwhelming this morning.

  5. Meredith Whitney doubles down on her muni collapse call.

  6. Essex says:

    My buyer’s agent was fine. It was ‘me’ that was flawed. Therefore I bought a home in Essex County.

  7. Neanderthal Economist says:

    My buyers agent was a friendly guy but tried to throw us under the bus a number of times when we really needed his professional advice so we lost trust in him over time. Then when we let him negotiate our rental lease, he tried to pull one of the oldest tricks in the books to gouge an extra $200 from us. That’s when I realized that the buyers agent works for himself first, then the sellers agent and then the buyer. But all he really does for the buyer is confirm what you already know and then acts as a motivational speaker to push the buyer off the cliff.

  8. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Not to mention every time you bring a buyers agent to a deal, the sellers agent rolls her eyes and does everything in her power to kill the deal behind the scenes so she doesn’t have to split the commission with the third wheel you just invited to the party. Now that the market is much slower that might have changed some but the inherent conflict of interest never disapears completely.

  9. veets (7)-

    It’s your fault you stuck with a shitty agent.

  10. 250k says:

    Westfield is on FIRE!
    (the link to the Patch story provides much more info)

    This place employed dozens of people…. not good.

  11. A.West says:

    I thought Ferrarros was massively overrated. I went there 4-5 times. Long waits, mediocre food was my experience. I guess the hordes will have to go to the Brick Oven for a few months.

  12. JJ says:

    Where are the GM bashers today?

    GM profit more than triples, sees 2011 improvement

    DETROIT (Reuters) – General Motors Co’s quarterly profit more than tripled, beating expectations, driven by a recovery in the U.S. market and strong sales in Asia.

    The U.S. automaker also said on Thursday it expects its full-year adjusted earnings before interest and taxes to show “solid improvement” from 2010 helped by better pricing and lower fixed costs in North America.

    Net income in the first quarter rose to $3.2 billion, or $1.77 a share, compared with $900 million, or 55 cents a share, in the year earlier quarter. It was GM’s fifth consecutive profitable quarter.

    Excluding such one-time items as its sales of stakes in parts maker Delphi and Ally Financial, it earned 95 cents a share. That was 4 cents better than what analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S had expected.

    Revenue rose to $36.2 billion from $31.5 billion last year. Analysts had expected $35.59 billion.

  13. grim says:

    Jobless claims UGLY

  14. Mike says:

    No. 10 250K Just in time for Mothers Day

  15. Confused In NJ says:

    World food prices rose to near a record high in April as grain costs advanced, adding pressure to inflation that is accelerating from Beijing to Brasilia and spurring central banks to raise interest rates

    Luckily in the US Americans eat DVD Players, so it will not impact Ben’s Inflation Target.

  16. USD/JPY busted under 80. I can feel the shenanigans coming today.

  17. confused (15)-

    Deflate the leveraged assets, and inflate goods and necessities. Then, talk out of whichever side of your mouth (inflation/deflation) that’s required, in order to shank whatever asset class is deemed expedient at the moment.

    This is an excellent way to run an economy.

  18. njexpat says:

    I know there’s a lot of horror stories out there about agents in NJ, even those that are representing buyers. That said, when I bought my house in VA last year there was a ton of legwork that had to be performed by my agent that was done for free. Both agents in the transaction seemed to be pretty much on the level and I was satisfied with the service I got. Maybe it’s a different world once you get out of the NY metro area. I can’t say I relied on the agent for info on what and where to buy though….you have to do the homework yourself beforehand and know a decent deal when you see one.

  19. The world’s greatest superpower is now reduced to a Third World, boiler room, pump-and-dump Ponzi.

  20. Just give me silver @ $31.

  21. Kettle1^2 says:


    I wonder if we will see a price divergence between paper and real physical once we get down around 31.

  22. whipped says:

    Ferrarro’s fire:
    Must have been Tony and Christopher’s doing

  23. vodka (21)-

    In my layman’s opinion, I don’t think we see divergence until the whole paper market collapses.

  24. JJ says:

    what legwork does RE agent do that is not made up? I sold two houses FSBO, I came to price and then told his lawyer to send paperwork to my lawyer and see you at closing. Both times I owned home with clear title and both times I sold homes non-contingent on mortgage. It is the banks, home inspectors, title companies, buyers agent, sellers agent etc. that create the legwork. The actual transaction is pretty smooth without them. The fees are very low to sell a house you own outright without a mortgage. Problem is most people are selling homes the don’t own to people without the cash to buy them and then both parties hire agents and lawyers. Imagine even a used car purchase this way. It would make any transaction complicated.

  25. d2b says:

    25- John, you don’t sound like the type that has an emotional attachment to an asset. It’s easy to sell anything if both parties are objective and the buyer has funding. I think it’s safe to say that this the exception.

  26. outofnj says:

    I spent a few days checking out houses around Miami and seeing some friends there. It was quite interesting when comparing to NJ.

    In Miami area, comparable nice houses are 50% cheaper than in NJ. Property taxes are similar, but limited to about 1.9% of market value. If your house value goes down, so does your property tax bill. (Unfortunately, it works other way too).
    There is no income tax in FL and sales tax is similar to NJ.
    Other living expenses seem to be a bit cheaper there. Nuisance laws are minimal. No license for operating motor boat, no annual vehicle checkups.
    As for schools, or education, the quality is not necessarily any worse than in NJ.

    Local job market is not great and salaries are probably lower than in NJ, but if I could telecommute, that would be financially great place to live.

    Most of the people I met, seem to be from NY or NJ.

  27. Mike says:

    First warn notice for May 2011

    Amcor Specialty Packaging Glass Tubining Americas Millville 07/02/2011 412

  28. Mike says:

    RE Agents = Whale Poo

  29. young buck says:

    Question about the eviction process in NJ. How long does it typically take from the time you file a complaint to the court date? I’ve heard it takes 3 months. Any truth to this? This seems a ridiculous length of time for a tenant to be allowed to live rent-free. FYI – it’s Union County, in case that matters.

  30. Happy Renter says:

    [30] “How long does it typically take from the time you file a complaint to the court date? I’ve heard it takes 3 months. Any truth to this? This seems a ridiculous length of time for a tenant to be allowed to live rent-free.”

    Why are you surprised? When the owner is the bank and the tenant is the post-bagholder who stops paying his mortgage (and property taxes) we have learned that the deadbeat tenant can live rent-free for years. Why should it be any different if the owner is not a bank?

  31. NJGator says:

    Montclair Mayor asks people to renounce those who post anonymously on the internet. I guess this is what he’s learning on his trips to China.

  32. grim says:

    Chi/clot, please check your email.

  33. Happy Renter says:

    [31] Renounce? Wow. Wonder how long it will be before he tells all of us to pray to Our Leader for candy …

  34. JJ says:

    How can anyone in NY/LI have an attachment to real estate. I moved 7 times in my life. What is the big deal on move 8. I find the realtors have a disadvantage in the sense legally they can’t ask the right questions. Give me a 60 second conversation with a buyer and I can find where they were born, what they do for a living, education, annual salary, character, what their parents do, where wife works, where they live, do they own or rent, how much is downpayment, are they ready to buy. Basically I want to pre-qualify them. Plus I can answer questions about neighbors, schools, ethnic and religion of block, house history. All things realtors can’t answer.

    d2b says:
    May 5, 2011 at 9:54 am

    25- John, you don’t sound like the type that has an emotional attachment to an asset. It’s easy to sell anything if both parties are objective and the buyer has funding. I think it’s safe to say that this the exception.

  35. Kettle1^2 says:

    Happy renter 33

    That is “Dear Leader” to you!

  36. Happy Renter says:

    [35] I’m sorry. Please don’t denounce me …

  37. Kettle1^2 says:

    At this rate, the drop in silver is about to fund a new m1a socom!

  38. Buyingfirsthome says:

    I have been reading this blog/comments for over a year. LOTS of great info. Much appreciated. This article today was quite interesting. Some background, married this past fall, worked with a realtor last summer, she showed us three houses one day (we didnt sign anything), we decided not to pull trigger. We haven’t communicated with her since last summer. Fast forward to present day. We went to an open house over the weekend, wife loves the house, I do as well. Realtor who showed us the few houses last summer does not do business in this town. She told us that.

    Anyway, at the open house, we met with listing agent, she gave us the MLS sheet. I noticed commissions were 2.5 to buyer, 2.5 to sellers agent. Now, I can pull the comps from various sites on the web, i am comfortable knowing my offer will be justified (whether they accept is another story). My question is, how receptive will the seller and listing agent be if I tell the listing agent I want to make an offer for $X with the condition that in lieu of a buyers agent commission, the seller instead pays my closing costs (which should be ~2.5% anyway, probably less). I am NOT looking for a sellers assist where we roll the closing costs in my mortgage payment, I am looking for them to flat out cover closing costs in leiu of using a buyers agent and them paying a buyers agent commission.

    Will the listing agent balk?? I ultimately will be writing up the offer with the listing agent, i just want to be sure, she doesnt pull any BS to torpedo the deal, in hopes of waiting for a clueless buyer to come along. Any of the resident experts want to offer there thoughts???

  39. njexpat says:

    24.JJ says:
    May 5, 2011 at 9:07 am
    what legwork does RE agent do that is not made up?

    lots of negotiations regarding property inspection issues and legal paperwork. If I had to pay for the services, I’d probably balk but since it was free……

  40. Libtard in the City says:

    BFH…Doesn’t hurt to try it.

  41. Happy Renter says:

    [38] I am no expert, but I’d be interested to hear from the agents on this board. It sounds to me like you’re inserting yourself into the deal that the listing agent has struck with the seller, and I expect the listing agent will balk.

    Is it a cash on hand problem? Why not just reduce the offer by 2.5% with a subtle (or not so subtle) hint to the seller that because you aren’t using a buyer’s agent, perhaps she can negotiate for a lower commission to her listing agent thereby taking some of the sting out of the offer. The commission that the seller pays is really her problem, not yours.

  42. nj escapee says:

    26, outofnj, real estate tax increases are limited to 2% per year if you are homesteaded. non-homesteaded are up to 10%. It is written into the state constitution. My taxes dropped from 3,700 in 2004 to 1,230 in 2011

  43. Buyingfirsthome says:

    #41, Not a cash problem at all. We have the money for down payment, and closing,, we’re renting month to month right now, all we need to give is 60 days notice. I’m not using a buyers agent. I’m looking at a ~400k house, I’d much rather save the ~2.5% (10k) and use that for some immediate cosmetic improvements (paint, floors, carpet etc). I think its a no brainier and the sellers agent and seller would be stupid not to accept right. I mean if the offer is satisfactory, would they really torpedo the deal because the listing agent wants the whole commission, even though chances are a new buyer comes with their own buyers agent and listing agent has to split anyway? Am i being naive??

  44. Comrade Nom Deplume says:


    With their related site, cosimos, closed for reno, I suspect the other pizzerias. After all, ferraros/cosimos sucked all the air out of the brigs pizza market. Now they are off line. Good for the famiglia, among others.

    Can’t be Jewish lightning–that place printed money.

  45. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (29) buck,

    3 months is quick. I did evicts in mass and dc. Those took much longer.

  46. Libtard in the City says:

    Jewish lightning always seems to strike pizza joints. Perhaps we can change the ethnicity of this non-weather related phenomenon? Unfortunately, Italian lightning sounds a little too much like a character on the Jersey Shore.

  47. d2b (25)-

    You obviously have missed the news that jj thinks he is both exceptional and Everyman.

    He bounces between both personae as the situation dictates.

  48. gator (31)-

    Hell, I went to Baristafart and made no bones about who I am. Was banished within weeks.

    Goddam communist shtetl…

  49. Another victory for Groupthink.

  50. chicagofinance says:

    Buying: To renters point, you can have your own motivations and goals, but the intent of this process is to get into a home, not massage your ego. You probably want to spend a good amount of time thinking about how to pitch this transaction so it will close. If you try to go the humiliation route, you may find the property slip from your fingers……remember, once you have invested in a lawyer and inspector, you are out of pocket money…then you are a candidate to be rooked…and the realtor will be glad to do it because he will be motivated since you were a prick to him at the outset……

    Buyingfirsthome says:
    May 5, 2011 at 11:11 am
    I have been reading this blog/comments for over a year. LOTS of great info. Much appreciated.

  51. Buyingfirsthome says:

    #50 Chifinance,

    Why am I labeled a prick for wanting something out of this deal? The seller and listing agent agreed to split the commission with a buyers agent. I don’t have one. They agreed to split the commission, so split it with me. Sounds simple to me. Seller gets to sell their house, the listing agent gets their 2.5%, wife and I get our house. Sounds like a win win for all. Is GREED the only motivating factor here for the listing agent. That was my original question, would she really nix a deal in a terrible market, just for the hope of recouping the whole commission on another buyer that may or may not come??? Can she hide this and refuse to present the offer to the owner??? Thats all I’m asking. Im not looking to dupe anyone, or humiliate anyone, just looking for a fair transaction.

  52. 250k says:

    re: Brig’s Ferraros

    I never saw their books but from the looks of it you would think the place DID print money as Nom suggested so I would doubt they didn’t know how to make a flood, but who knows. Maybe they are looking to build The Savannah Part Deux.

    Nom, have you ever had the pizza at Al’s Prime Meats in Garwood? I know it sounds nuts but they actually have the best pizza around in a 2-mile radius.

    Ferraros Pizza wasn’t bad and if you order online, 10% discount. Overall, overpriced for mediocre food that occasionally was good. Could never get into it on account of they charge by the glass for iced tea thats being poured out of a pitcher. But they certainly have tons of loyal customers who aren’t gonna know what to do with themselves.

  53. JJ says:

    I have too be everyman. I went to buy some used car parts a few weeks ago, wore old jeans and a sweatshirt and jets hat and did not shave, parked BMW around corner and went to work. Also worked over pool guy, took wifes truck and dressed the part. Also I complain about my high RE taxes with neighbors and how crushing it is. Beat up Dentist recently, every service worker trys to screw you if they think you have some coin. I am very very blue collar, Bronx, Jet fan etc. I am not rich enough to be a Giants fan with their gray poupon and fancy sho
    Hobo With a Shotgun says:
    May 5, 2011 at 11:32 am

    d2b (25)-

    You obviously have missed the news that jj thinks he is both exceptional and Everyman.

    He bounces between both personae as the situation dictates.

  54. buying (51)-

    Suppose you go to work tomorrow, and your boss proposes a 50% pay cut.

    What’s your reaction?

  55. Is it GREED when you expect to be paid an amount for work already accomplished that has been agreed upon in advance?

  56. Be glad I’m not the agent upon whose income you’re trying to impinge.

    BTW, I have more than once reworked my commission to make deals happen. However, it was my idea…not one that was dropped on me by one of the principals.

  57. My E&O insurance carrier, health insurer, MLS, PSE&G, JCP&L, Crapcast and tax collector don’t care whether or not I’m double-siding transactions. The bill comes due at the same time every month, just the same.

  58. ditto says:

    Montclair provides much more excitement than the pedestrian fare my hood. Renouncing your neighbors? This is great! Can kids renounce their parents?
    Soon they’ll be making pig iron in furnaces on the street for the great leap forward and getting on board with the 5-yr plan.

  59. Libtard in the City says:


    If the selling agent rejects your offer, go find a buying a buying agent and make another offer that is 2.5% lower than what you were offering without the buying agent’s commission thrown in. It’s obvious that you want the dollars (closing costs) and not a break on the size of the mortgage, which amounts to peanuts when my measured by the monthly nut. Of course, over time, it represents more cash out of your pocket with the interest charges tacked on. If house appears to be popular, they’ll just go with a buyer with a buying agent. If you are the only offer, then it doesn’t hurt to ask. My guess is that you won’t get the house either way unfortunately. Some uninformed buyer will bring a buying agent who will convince the buyer to bid more than the house is worth. This is who you will lose to in the end.

  60. Buyingfirsthome says:

    #54, Hobo, I’ll play this game,

    Suppose I told you, you could have 50% of something, or 100% of nothing? Which would you choose??

    Listen I’m not trying to be a jerk/prick, I am contemplating putting that in an offer letter. If the listing agent doesn’t want to renegotiate fee’s, no problem, I will walk away and look to purchase another one of the hundreds of houses on the market. No rush. We’re qualified, we have the $$$$$, and no house to sell. I simply put the question out there to gauge from the many experts on this blogs thoughts.

  61. gary says:

    It’s official. Home prices have double dipped nationwide, now lower than their March 2009 trough, according to a new report from Clear Capital.

    For those lurking from the Kannekt website: any questions?

  62. Happy Renter says:

    [60] “If the listing agent doesn’t want to renegotiate fee’s, no problem, I will walk away and look to purchase another one of the hundreds of houses on the market.”

    I’m not one of the people on this board who thinks that walking away from a deal over 10K means you’re not serious about buying a house. When it comes to getting a fair price, a 10K difference is substantial and I would walk in an instant over the selling price. Greed, or being a jerk, has nothing to do with it.

    But you’re talking about walking away if you don’t get the 10K in “cash rebate” from the listing agent; not even a further 10K reduction in offer price seems to work for you. To me, if you’re really willing to walk away for this reason, I suspect you will be walking away from many houses in the future.

  63. Buyingfirsthome says:


    You’re right I could simply offer 2.5% less, but Id much rather have the 10K upfront, then save the $40 or so dollars a month in mortgage payments. The only reason I am thinking of going this route is the house is in my opinion priced high for the neighborhood. Comps don’t support the price at all. So my line of thinking is if I had to “overpay” (overpay meaning offer more than what I “think” the house is worth” then a good compromise would be for me to get the cash rebate. I could live with that.

    If i happen to buy a house in an area where my realtor is familiar with and does do business in, I wont even bring up fee’s. This house presents a unique situation that I BELIEVE, I can use to my advantage. I simply wanted to ask the experts out there, how successful do they think I will be, and how receptive the listing agent would be. If the agent is anything like Hobo, then its just what I expected. They would rather have the house sit and linger and wait for another opportunity, which makes ZERO sense to me, but what do I know, Im not in Real Estate :shrugs shoulders:

  64. chicagofinance says:

    Buying: my fault for using provocative language…I think you missed my main point………you can have your own motivations and goals, but the intent of this process is to get into a home, not massage your ego. You probably want to spend a good amount of time thinking about how to pitch this transaction so it will close.

    Meaning create an economic equivalence for you, but find a way to make it palatable for the agent so they can sweet talk it for the seller…..

    chicagofinance says:
    May 5, 2011 at 11:37 am
    Buying: To renters point, you can have your own motivations and goals, but the intent of this process is to get into a home, not massage your ego. You probably want to spend a good amount of time thinking about how to pitch this transaction so it will close. If you try to go the humiliation route, you may find the property slip from your fingers……remember, once you have invested in a lawyer and inspector, you are out of pocket money…then you are a candidate to be rooked…and the realtor will be glad to do it because he will be motivated since you were a prick to him at the outset……

    Buyingfirsthome says:
    May 5, 2011 at 11:11 am
    I have been reading this blog/comments for over a year. LOTS of great info. Much appreciated.

  65. chicagofinance says:

    Better said…..they know you have the hammer…go ahead and hit them with the hammer……just don’t make it obvious, in fact even better if they think you are actually doing them a favor……whilst hitting them with the hammer….

  66. njSerf says:

    (63) Like anything else in life, you won’t know until you ask.

  67. chicagofinance says:

    moderated due to author’s name :)

    chicagofinance says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    May 5, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    MAY 5, 2011

    If Supermarkets Were Like Public Schools

    What if groceries were paid for by taxes, and you were assigned a store based on where you live?

    Teachers unions and their political allies argue that market forces can’t supply quality education. According to them, only our existing system—politicized and monopolistic—will do the trick. Yet Americans would find that approach ludicrous if applied to other vital goods or services.

    Suppose that groceries were supplied in the same way as K-12 education. Residents of each county would pay taxes on their properties. Nearly half of those tax revenues would then be spent by government officials to build and operate supermarkets. Each family would be assigned to a particular supermarket according to its home address. And each family would get its weekly allotment of groceries—”for free”—from its neighborhood public supermarket.

    No family would be permitted to get groceries from a public supermarket outside of its district. Fortunately, though, thanks to a Supreme Court decision, families would be free to shop at private supermarkets that charge directly for the groceries they offer. Private-supermarket families, however, would receive no reductions in their property taxes.

    Of course, the quality of public supermarkets would play a major role in families’ choices about where to live. Real-estate agents and chambers of commerce in prosperous neighborhoods would brag about the high quality of public supermarkets to which families in their cities and towns are assigned.

    Being largely protected from consumer choice, almost all public supermarkets would be worse than private ones. In poor counties the quality of public supermarkets would be downright abysmal. Poor people—entitled in principle to excellent supermarkets—would in fact suffer unusually poor supermarket quality.

    How could it be otherwise? Public supermarkets would have captive customers and revenues supplied not by customers but by the government. Of course they wouldn’t organize themselves efficiently to meet customers’ demands.

    Responding to these failures, thoughtful souls would call for “supermarket choice” fueled by vouchers or tax credits. Those calls would be vigorously opposed by public-supermarket administrators and workers.

    Opponents of supermarket choice would accuse its proponents of demonizing supermarket workers (who, after all, have no control over their customers’ poor eating habits at home). Advocates of choice would also be accused of trying to deny ordinary families the food needed for survival. Such choice, it would be alleged, would drain precious resources from public supermarkets whose poor performance testifies to their overwhelming need for more public funds.

    As for the handful of radicals who call for total separation of supermarket and state—well, they would be criticized by almost everyone as antisocial devils indifferent to the starvation that would haunt the land if the provision of groceries were governed exclusively by private market forces.

    In the face of calls for supermarket choice, supermarket-workers unions would use their significant resources for lobbying—in favor of public-supermarkets’ monopoly power and against any suggestion that market forces are appropriate for delivering something as essential as groceries. Some indignant public-supermarket defenders would even rail against the insensitivity of referring to grocery shoppers as “customers,” on the grounds that the relationship between the public servants who supply life-giving groceries and the citizens who need those groceries is not so crass as to be discussed in terms of commerce.

    Recognizing that the erosion of their monopoly would stop the gravy train that pays their members handsome salaries without requiring them to satisfy paying customers, unions would ensure that any grass-roots effort to introduce supermarket choice meets fierce political opposition.

    In reality, of course, groceries and many other staples of daily life are distributed with extraordinary effectiveness by competitive markets responding to consumer choice. The same could be true of education—the unions’ self-serving protestations notwithstanding.

    Mr. Boudreaux is professor of economics at George Mason University and a senior fellow at the Mercatus Center.

  68. Libtard in the City says:

    I agre with chi.

    I would just be honest and tell them exactly why you are making such a proposal. It is entirely likely they will say, “no deal.” Then spend an equal amount of time trying to figure out how to explain to your wife when you settle on a home that costs $20,000 more down the road and was inferior to this one, why you didn’t just give a buying agent an easy commission.

    Perhaps you could find a buying agent who would offer you 1.5% of the 2.5% commission back if you promise to have them do nothing but sign on the line? I know that I would gladly do it, but I would have a very clear contract written up that would absolve me of any responsibility.

  69. joyce says:

    i like your comments about the stench of death and bank/govt corruption much better than those defending the need and value added of real estate agents

  70. NJGator says:

    Ditto 58 – Now how do I get the Mayor to go back and focus his attention on our very pressing bike locker issue?

  71. ditto says:

    Gator – If you can tie bike lockers to diversity, and there must be some link, you’ll be ahead of the game and in with a chance.

  72. Libtard in the City says:

    There may be a provision on Fried’s bike locker requirement that each locker shall fit Schwinn’s as well as Fuji’s.

  73. A.West says:

    Chifi 67,
    I’ve been arguing the same over the past year. This is the biggest distortion in the NJ real estate market. Your house is your ticket into the state-run education/propoganda system and local gangsters/tax collectors. The education system is totally broken and irrational, but 99% of the people take it for granted as normal.

    Sas3 will read this essay and conclude of course that it’s time for government to take over supermarkets.

  74. Painhrtz - Salmon of Doubt says:

    ditto they can be equal opportunity curbside detainment units for the pre-school drug dealers. Oh wait Jerry boy said I can’t say that! When are the Montklair Stasi coming to ship me to Bloomfield?

  75. make money says:


    Pull a JJ, contact owner yourself. Tell him that because you like him, you want to buy his house, instead of 1000 other houses on the market. You just need this little favor.
    He’ll be glad to comply and force agent to rewrite the commission.
    As a matter of fact, if the listing contract is nearing expiration then you should both hold off and do a FSBO, this way both of you have 10K in your pockets.

    This will piss off some people here, but you’ll laugh on your way to the bank. Think DC and backroom deals.

  76. buying (60)-

    In the position you’re in, you wouldn’t have that leverage with me.

    However, many buyers and sellers do gain that type of leverage over agents, and it’s driven both good and bad agents out of the business.

    Believe me when I tell you, when it comes to that sort of choice for me (and other good agents like 30 year…even though I don’t want to speak for him), I’ll leave this business once and for good.

    And when the last of the honest merchants are gone? Well, all I can say is look out.

  77. renter (62)-

    Precisely. Getting a good deal and winning a zero-sum game are mutually different concepts.

  78. Thanks for publishing this.

  79. buying (63)-

    Sorry to be the person to inform you that many people who sell things are not thirsting to take it up the arse from you in order to cadge a meager existence.

  80. lib (68)-

    An excellent solution, and perfectly ethical and legal. It would be classic transaction agency, as defined by NJ law.

  81. joyce (69)-

    I don’t really give a shit. Try having every Tom, Dick and Harry fcuk with your way of making a living, then come back here and share your thoughts on it.

  82. Let’s talk about some real issues:

    (AP, 5/4/11)- GREELEY, Colo. – The Colorado construction worker who flew last year to Pakistan on a one-man mission to hunt down Osama bin Laden says he played a part in bin Laden’s death.

    Gary Faulkner said Wednesday he’d like one-quarter of the $25 million reward that was offered for hunting down bin Laden. He said he’d use it for his nonprofit foundation.

    Faulkner was found last year in the woods of northern Pakistan armed with a pistol, sword and night-vision goggles. The Greeley, Colo., man says he believes he had a hand in forcing bin Laden out of the mountains where he supposedly was hiding.

    Bin Laden was killed at a compound in northwestern Pakistan early Monday. U.S. officials say he had been living there for up to six years.

  83. sas3 says:

    West, common people do not benefit much from the “gated townships” with artifically inflated “good school” property values. I am all for multiple private schools competing [had the same opinion when I was living in N.Plainfield on the border with G.Brook, and hold the same opinion now that I crossed over the border]. However, the system is rigged badly with an end result (or even an aim) of seggregation — all the while appearing to be progressive…

    The lower middle class people will probably come out ahead if you completely privatize school systems, and there will be more integration in some good schools. Of course, then you’d probably be weeping when your artificially inflated property values go down.

    You complain about “state-run propaganda system” and gladly send your kids to the same schools. For 30k/yr per kid, you can go to a really fancy in your neighborhood — and that must be chump change for you considering how much you gloat over your check size. You are using some variant of teabag logic and it shows.

  84. sastry (83)-

    I’d contend that the system is rigged in order to render everyone stupid and compliant.

    The idea that segregation is an end goal implies that someone or some group- rightly or wrongly- is applying judgment. No one in public education even remotely does that.

  85. buyingfirsthome says:

    Hobo, I dont get it, you (listing agent) are still getting your split. Would you rather I (any buyer) go out and get a realtor which forces you to split the commission out of spite??? I don’t get it, seriously I don’t. You would rather pass on the deal in hope of pulling in a buyer that lets you double end the deal. Can I ask you a question, in your career, what percentage of your transactions the past 5 years have you been able to double dip the commission. I am curious why you are so against it.

    Seems to me the better strategy would be, take the deal and move on to the next one, especially in this market. Bird in the hand, two in the bush. Do sellers know this type of thing goes on?? Sorry for all the naive questions.

  86. RentinginNJ says:

    crude below $100

  87. Libtard in the City says:

    10-year back down to $3.18.

    What changed on Monday?

  88. A.West says:


    Our use of public school isn’t “gladly” but rather reluctantly. One tries to deprogram one’s kids, but there’s subconscious seepage.
    On sending the kid to Pingry, remember, I have to make $60k to have $30k left to spend after taxes. So that wouldn’t be chump change even if I made $500k/yr, because I’m a financially responsible sort of person who tries to save for the future and get maximum bang for the buck. And the town takes $20k/yr whether we use their school or not, such as this year. With state-run schools dominating the market, the market for private schools is made less competitive, hurting the quality of private education as well, as most private schools just offer modestly enhanced copies of the public school model.

    There are only two schools that I would “gladly” send my kid to, but unfortunately they’re both in California – LePort Schools and VanDamme Academy.

    Their goals are to graduate students with what you would call a “teabagger” mentality rather than the docile serfs state-run schools desire:
    “At LePort Schools, success is a student who graduates a confident, independent thinker and doer, with an integrated breadth of knowledge about the world around him; a young person who embraces his thinking mind as his greatest tool – a tool that will allow him to both proudly excel in the work he chooses and passionately live the life he creates.”

    VanDamme academy: “Education, in our view, is the systematic training of the minds of children. This requires the right presentation of the right material over a period of many years. A proper curriculum supplies each student with the essential content of knowledge, and teaches him to be a logical thinker. The result is a mature adult who knows what he thinks and can think on his own.”

  89. make money says:


    please understand that people sit where they stand. If teh listing agent brought you in via an open house then you represent full pay. Why should he willigly accept a 50% paycut. Whould you?

    That being said….contact the owner yourself and have a conversation with them.

  90. Kettle1^2 says:


    Are you concerned about racial or economic segregation? Economic segregation is and always will be a fact of life. And if you are concerned about racial segregation, i would love to hear your theory on how that would occur.

  91. Buyingfirsthome says:

    #89 make money,

    What I am asking is CAN HE (listing agent) REFUSE to present my offer outright, since the deal is not in HIS (listing agent’s) interest??? No one has answered that question for me. If so, do sellers know this type of thing is happening (refusing to present offers). I must say, if I was a buyer and looking to move, I’d be very upset if offers were not getting presented because my listing agent thought there were better deals to be made in his own interest.

  92. make money says:


    He will present it but will convince him that there are better offers out there and if the seller is gullible you loose.

  93. Painhrtz - Salmon of Doubt says:

    Ket all the smart indians and asians would leave us stupid round eye white folks behind. Since it is our stupid inbred children dragging theirs down.

    Love ya liberal indian friend, may your tandori tofu be spicy!

  94. Kettle1^2 says:


    But we have more guns and better beer!!!!

  95. A.West says:

    Seems like there’s a mixup here. BFH says that he hasn’t even been around a buyers’ agent for 9 months, and that person has no connection to the open house he got interested in. BFH apparently thinks he knows how to get this whole deal done relying entirely upon the seller and their agent, and I suppose will get his own lawyer, mortgage, etc.

    If you were the selling agent and some first time homebuyer came to buy your client’s house, what would you say if he said “you take your 2.5% and give me the 2.5% you would have given my agent if I had one, which I dont”?

  96. 3b says:

    #93 Not all of them play the Violin.

  97. Happy Renter says:

    [91] I’m not sure — technically, by making your offer contingent on the listing agent giving you 2.5% of the purchase price in cash, you are making an offer to BOTH the seller AND the listing agent. As such, I’m not sure your offer falls within the universe of legitimate offers-to-the-seller that the listing agent is obligated to present.

    On another note, the seller is presumably bound by a contract with the listing agent to pay him/her the full 5% commission upon sale of the house. Any forays into the world of try-to-convince-the-seller-to-screw-the-listing-agent may put you at risk of liability for tortious interference with contractual relations.

    I’m just sanitation engineer without any clue whatsoever, but you should consider these moves carefully, and consider getting legitimate legal advice.

  98. make money says:

    How low can shiny go here…must buy this dip.

  99. JJ says:

    How would this effect men? Men don’t really know how water gets in the faucet or food in the Fridge.

    chicagofinance says:
    May 5, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    moderated due to author’s name :)

    chicagofinance says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    May 5, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    MAY 5, 2011

    If Supermarkets Were Like Public Schools

  100. Buyingfirsthome says:

    A. West whats the mixup? Im not sure if your post is legit or strictly Sarcasm. Care to elaborate??

  101. JJ says:

    So who made money shorting silver and oil? Gotta fill my tank this weekend.

  102. Kettle1^2 says:


    This is the little snap of deflation brenanke needs to fire off QE3 in all its glory. My guess is we see this little snap run until QE3 fires off in mid to late june.

    But hey, I’m just a high school janitor. listening to me is a good way to lose money.

  103. young buck says:

    Just called the Union County Superior Court, Special Civil Part. The average time from complaint to court date is about two and a half weeks.

    29. young buck says:
    May 5, 2011 at 10:20 am
    Question about the eviction process in NJ. How long does it typically take from the time you file a complaint to the court date? I’ve heard it takes 3 months. Any truth to this? This seems a ridiculous length of time for a tenant to be allowed to live rent-free. FYI – it’s Union County, in case that matters.

  104. A.West says:

    Some of the comments imply that you have been working with a buyers’ agent and now you’re just trying to cut him/her out of the deal. That’s not how I read your post.

    I don’t know how real estate comissions work. I was happy to pay 6% last year to sell my house, because it seemed to help bring out lots of buyers and got my deal closed quickly.

    2.5% is a small issue as a percentage of the house. I suspect the harsh commentary comes because 1) you’re new around here and 2)seems kind of funny for someone who is buying their first house to combine such a combination of certainty (about presumably knowing how to buy a house without an agent) and ignorance (about how realtor comissions work, necessitating requests for information from anonymous internet people).

  105. Barbara says:

    53. JJ

    “every service worker tries to screw you if they think you have some coin.”

    Absolutely true. If you’re a woman, its even worse. I have to politely let them know that I know what I know. Can’t get too uppity about lest their man panties get in a bunch.

  106. JJ says:

    Inflation caused by day traders in commodities is not real inflation. The market however overall is very choppy in everything. For instance around January-March when Munis were getting crushed I bought like 200k of them with a 6%+ yield, figured I just hold till maturity. Now I am way up on them. How the heck can you make money trading munis short term, answer the market is crazy.

  107. JJ says:

    I like when they get uppidity with my wife and ask to speak to the man of the house. Last contractor I pulled my Dad’s favorite saying, you better do what I want or you don’t want to be in my house when I get home from work.

    Barbara says:
    May 5, 2011 at 4:02 pm
    53. JJ

    “every service worker tries to screw you if they think you have some coin.”

    Absolutely true. If you’re a woman, its even worse. I have to politely let them know that I know what I know. Can’t get too uppity about lest their man panties get in a bunch.

  108. JJ says:

    Funny but true story, growing up my widowed Mom was deadbroke with four young kids and the heat died and we needed a new oil burner and of course when plumber guy came he knew we could not afford one. Housed is freezing, no hot water and Mom is using stove for heat. Anyhow guy goes I can get you a good used and put it in for labor only. That was litterally my Moms whole savings. Anyhow he puts it in, he even made me help him so we would not have to pay for a helper. Anyhow Mom goes hey thank you so much but how did you get the burner. Oh, he goes I do a lot of rich people homes so I told one it is time to update burner to a more efficient one and since he does not know better he said ok, I gave him a new one and put his old one in your boiler, win win. ILOVE A WIN WIN>

    Barbara says:
    May 5, 2011 at 4:02 pm
    53. JJ

    “every service worker tries to screw you if they think you have some coin.”

    Absolutely true. If you’re a woman, its even worse. I have to politely let them know that I know what I know. Can’t get too uppity about lest their man panties get in a bunch.

  109. 3b says:

    08 I seem to remember you saying you grew up in an apartment.

  110. The Original NJ Expat says:

    I lurk here every day and rarely post but was still surprised to see my handle had been taken. Oh well, no harm, no foul. This commodities pull-back/cliff-dive couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I’m just about to embark on a PM (physical) buying spree. I had intended to average in over 12-18 months but I think I may jump in a little heavier given the “pleasant” market conditions, the liquidity look just dandy right now.;-) BTW, If anybody is thinking of escaping North instead of South, I actually smile when I pay my quarterly Boston property taxes. Sure they’ve doubled over the last 10 years but I’d say they’re one third of what comparable NJ taxes would be. And what’s the deal with the “mansion” tax (Realty Transfer Fee) in NJ. Do you really get whacked double (2%?) if you sell a million dollar + home and move out of state? My wife grew up in Glen Rock and that might explain why there don’t seem to be any million dollar houses for sale there any more. My in-laws sold their house maybe 15 years ago to get out from under their $14K tax bill, that property is now taxed at around $33K, only house in Glen Rock with an adjacent buildable lot for a yard. The new owners, same ones my in-laws sold to get whacked almost $11K for the lot that is the back yard of their corner house. I guess the town is pissed nobody’s built a house on it yet so they can jack the taxes up to $25K like the rest of the neighborhood. I tell my Boston friends about NJ RE taxes and car insurance and they get this look like I must be lying to them.

  111. Kettle1^2 says:

    original NJ Expat,

    Right outside of newton right?

  112. Lone Ranger says:


    I do miss Heartbreak Hill.

    Yeah, down by the river
    Down by the banks of the river Charles
    Aw, that’s what’s happenin’ baby
    That’s where you’ll find me
    Along with lovers, buggers and thieves
    Aw, but they’re cool people

    Well I love that dirty water
    Oh, Boston you’re my home
    Oh, you’re the number one place

  113. Kettle1^2 says:

    Grab your popcorn! If this goes anywhere at all it will get very amusing.




  114. The Original NJ Expat says:

    You are correct, Ket.

    111 “original NJ Expat,

    Right outside of newton right?”

  115. Lone Ranger says:


    Chestnut Hill?

  116. Kettle1^2 says:


    At the rate we are going you may get your $31 early next week.

  117. UpstateNY says:

    Are there any rules governing real estate agents bidding on listings from their office? I saw a house come on the market on Sunday afternoon and went to see it Monday but they had already accepted an offer from a broker in the same office.

    I imagine it’s not illegal, but it certainly doesn’t seem ethical (it doesn’t feel like it’s in the best interest of the seller to take the first offer from a related party).

    I’m probably just bitter, but I thought I’d check here with my go to real estate sources before checking any state websites. Thanks.

  118. sas3 says:

    Ket, #90… mostly class based segregation is the main problem, though it correlates with race in many cases. For race problems, time is probably a good solution — newer generations are more open minded and with time, there will be more intermixing.

    As far as class based segregation, opening up schools for out of towners, even if it is based on some merit test, will help smarter kids from poor neighborhoods get access to good schools with good resources. Something like magnet schools but at a much bigger scale.


  119. Lone Ranger says:

    Kettle [116],

    Tonto told me we would be heading back to the 31 milepost; but even Tonto is surprised at the pace. I’m pulling up the boots.

  120. buying (85)-

    In practice, I would probably suggest you get your own agent before you even got to the question of rebate or commission-cutting. You have to also keep in mind that a dual agent cannot negotiate for either party and that the seller has the right to disallow his listing agent from engaging in dual agency. After all, it’s overwhelmingly likely they hired that agent to negotiate the best possible price and terms.

    NJ statute allows for disclosed dual agency, but the law also views it as an extraordinary situation and specifically directs agents to encourage the buyer to get another agent. Should the buyer still choose to pursue dual agency, written disclosures of such and signed acknowledgments from both principals must then ensue.

    99.9% of licensed agents in NJ, when faced with a dual agency possibility, do none of the things I described in the paragraphs above. By not doing so, they are violating the law and putting any eventual commission earned in jeopardy, as the first prescribed penalty for practicing undisclosed dual agency is forfeiture of commission.

    In practice, I stopped trying to double-side deals about five years ago. It is truly a no-win game, as I have yet to see a situation in which both sides truly understand they are not receiving fiduciary care.

  121. So, in a nutshell, I’m not out there trying like crazy to double-bang deals. Much easier to sleep at night knowing I’m simply representing my client.

    I’ve been doing this a long time. If I’ve learned anything, it’s not to get greedy, not to bite off more than I can chew and not to put myself in all-in type situations with dual agency.

    I am absolutely ready to tell a buyer to get his own agent on a listing I represent. It’s just not for the reason you think. I don’t want to chase off that buyer and get another one who will be more compliant; I simply want a cleaner deal…without the possibility of my getting in hot water later.

  122. Realtors suck. Yeah.

  123. lib (87)-

    The Groupthink at the Fed and WS shifted back to “deflation/shank PMs/commodities/equities”.

  124. serenity now says:

    Everything is going to be fine, we are all gonna be millionaires soon…..

    By Decade’s End, No One Will Be Even Close To U.S. In Total Milli…
    Article from HuffPost

  125. west (88)-

    To TPTB, a thinker is a very dangerous person.

    Hence, the all-out effort to eradicate thinking in Amerika.

  126. buying (91)-

    I can refuse to write your offer and suggest you get another agent.

  127. west (95)-

    “GTF out of my face”- or some colorful variant- would be my retort.

  128. Juice X says:

    I keep hearing economists cutting their GDP projections by a point. Next thing you know the “R” word is going to be mentioned. Wait for it.

  129. sastry (118)-

    You should change your handle to Candide.

  130. JJ says:

    write an offer? I never heard of such a thing.

  131. serenity (124)-

    I bet there are lots of millionaires in Zimbabwe, too.

  132. JJ says:

    I love the smell of a recession in the morning. This bull market is getting out of hand

  133. So messy when recession just collapses into balance sheet/credit-contracted depression, though…

  134. C’mon, jj. It’s just another round of crank-and-shank. That’s the off-tackle give to the tailback in the WS playbook.

  135. willwork4beer says:

    #94 Kettle

    The only Asian beer I’ve had more than once is Lion Stout (Sri Lanka )

    Kettle1^2 says: May 5, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Pain, But we have more guns and better beer!!!!

  136. joyce says:

    perhaps a career & industry that produces more wealth will be immune… or you could just rob people legally or illegally, wall street style

  137. Kettle1^2 says:


    you’ll love this:

    How A Charlotte Stripper Got Credit Suisse To Admit To Mortgage Fraud And That “Someone Should Go To Jail For This”

  138. joyce (136)-

    The only reason I still keep opening the door to my office every day is that I have helped a small handful of investor clients create wealth over the years.

    Robbing and scamming Wall St-style is not for me. It is not sexy, it is not legit and it’s boring.

    When I can’t ply an honest trade anymore, you’ll find me in someone’s kitchen.

  139. ZH tops itself with this story (a reprint from Playboy in 1980):

    “Just about anything you buy, rather than paper, is better. You’re bound to come out ahead, in the long pull. If you don’t like gold, use silver, or diamonds or copper, but something. Any damn fool can run a printing press.” – Nelson Bunker Hunt

  140. Fabius Maximus says:

    BFH without getting into all the legal side that Clot touched upon, their listing agent will be talking to your agent or they will be representing you in dual agency. Commission is between them and the seller and really has nothing to do to you. Your offer is putting about 1% in play, but you are giving up a lot of rights. The seller is looking at probably 4% min on a dual. You have your offer with the request for closing costs, and if that gives the seller a number that if they can live with, they may accept.

    In this situation, the buyer agent can can play the “good cop” to your “bad cop” to get the deal done at the best number. It comes down to finding a good one you can work with and for me there is none better than Grim. For the last transaction I did, he represented a number to the other side that they would have got me laughed me out of the office. The deal went down (after a lot of BS) very close to the initial offer.

  141. Fabius Maximus says:


    The supermarket is an interesting analogy. While I take a big exception to “Public supermarkets would have captive customers and revenues supplied not by customers but by the government. Of course they wouldn’t organize themselves efficiently to meet customers’ demands.” That is a different discussion

    But to continue the analogy, I see it this way. The charter schools / voucher are like a new supermarket that shows up and says that, as they are taking a percentage of the schoolkids, they should get a percentage of the existing shelving and and the same percentage of the stock. While that seems fair, they specify that they have a strict but fair admission policy when it comes to stock. They will only accept stock like meat that meets their USDA prime meat threshold. They don’t sell soup bones and offal. As the public supermarket has to accept all meat, USDA choice cuts have in reality no choice. As the public school has to take all comers, they end up in a shelving and stock squeeze.

    To put the public schools in perspective, the have to serve all customers, regardless.

    USDA choice will be left in the public supermarket. The

  142. Great review! You actually overviewed some nice news here. I came across it by using Google and I’ve got to admit that I already subscribed to the site, it’s very great :)

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