The Problem: Real Estate Is Broken. Don't let the REALTORS steal your equity!

A Coercion-based Business
Source of Graph Data Below
Real estate agents are not economists with special insights about any market. They are not professional carpenters or landscapers. They are not CPAs. They are not plumbers. They are not JD degree-holding attorneys. They are not concrete laborers, or electricians, or licensed home inspectors.
Realtors are lobbyists whose business is based on coercion and what essentially amounts to contract fraud. Realtors accomplish their thievery with very underhanded tactics: collusion with other agents and brokerages, kickbacks to title companies they hold significant interest in, and with aggressive, expensive lobbying. For example, one of the things they lobby for is laws that require buyers of a mortgage (all customers of Realtors) to pay for the bank's "insurance" on value stolen by REALTOR and BROKER commissions. This scam is known as The PMI Scam, and it is something you can only avoid by removing Realtors from the equation entirely. Clearly there is nothing even remotely ethical about the Realtor's supposed "code of ethics".
How does this hapen? Realtors get away with stealing your equity because you let them. They assume that you are stupid, feed anxiety, and will do anything and everything to coerce and trap you into signing one of their contracts -- their forms, on their terms, tricking you into giving them a percentage of your equity.
People just don't know that 99 percent of the time, it is better, safer, and orders of magnitude less costly to hire an attorney that works on documents for a flat fee than it is to engage anybody associated with the Realtor cartel. This is a fact that Realtors try desperately to hide, as illustrated here.
NAR lobbying hundreds of millions of dollarsGraph data current through February 2016
Source of Graph Data Above
More Renters Than Ever

A Perfect Correlation to Lobbying

Unfortunately, the negative effects of the Realtor cartel are bleeding out and affecting people who don't own. In addition to hyping up "the market" to make bigger commissions, many real estate agencies participate in the immensely profitable business of leasing rental properties for profit, as a means to steal wealth from low-income families. The rental side of real estate is crippled and broken, too: they've devised a system where they collectively force people into signing long-term contracts that force them to give up their future earnings.
NAR lobbying
An illustration of the facts is that we are currently at the lowest percent of ownership in almost 50 years across the entire USA. Renting has become so profitable that many real estate companies handle property management only: crippling renters' ability to save while enslaving them to ever-increasing rents. People who spend the largest portion of their earinings on rent have a nearly impossible situation when attempting to save enough to buy.

Problems Specific To Portland

Oregon's supposedly "professional" brokerages and agent Realtors have crafted a complex system to defraud those who are too afraid to sell FSBO. They feed fears and exaggerate the dangers of direct buyer-seller sales. Their business model gives them ALL REWARD with NO RISK.
Oregonians being targeted to be Defrauded
So how do Oregon Realtors extort good people out of their earned equity and life savings? The US Department of Justice has the facts.
Let's do a quick calculation on a hypothetical example of a Realtor-priced home in Portland Metro (Source: Zillow / 09-2016). To find out just how long it takes a family to earn $16,416 of equity in their home, calculate the cost of the interest PLUS the principal. Six percent of an "average" sale may not seem like much in exchange for what they are telling you your property may be worth; however when you look closer at the numbers, the truth emerges. The you're actually paying over $53,837, and it you took 40 months to earn that $16.4K of Equity. Likewise, it will take the new owner 3 and a half years before they earn even a penny of their own equity. Realtors have full knowledge of this loopholed system, and they insist that this is just how it has to be. Indeed, this loophole is what caused the subprime mortgage crisis, which cost taxpayers billions of dollars.
Unfortunately, there are no laws out there to protect Oregonians from the predatory, unethical behavior of them. On the contrary, there's currently what can only be described as an insane provision in Oregon Realtor Code that actually prevents them from returning the money to the parties exchanging value. Even when, say, the seller needed an accelerated sale and to have their property sold in one day! Try to calculate the cost of the Realtors per-hour, and it is nearly impossible to justify the "value" of their involvement. Indeed, the only way to ensure this insane law doesn't defraud you is to banish all the Realtors from your sale at all points. There are plenty of places you can sell FSBO free.

Solution

The long-term solution to get rid of the stranglehold Reators have on the system must be radical. It will involve more than banishing them from our transactions. It will require building more "for sale" units than "for rent" units. It will require a crackdown on privately-owned HOAs ... most cities already have infrastructures and laws, laws and regulations that taxpayers have actually voted on.
Empowering a diverse mix of people with unemcumbered ownership WILL ensure the ecological health of homes and neighborhoods, and build economic prosperity for everyone who lives in and around Portland Metro. Remember: you do NOT need a Realtor to sell or buy. Read on to...
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