Barry Lebow on part-timers and no respect for real estate skills


In this video rant, veteran Realtor and long-time REM columnist Barry Lebow says the disrupters in the real estate industry are not coming from outside the industry, but within. He talks about the huge increase in the number of Realtors and the surge of part-timers in the field.

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Real estate professionals who are skilled in properly pricing a home and negotiating a sale get no respect in the current market, he says, when it seems everyone is pricing homes well below market value to create multiple offers.

He asks, “What is happening in these insane times as real estate prices continue to escalate and more and more people decide to become Realtors? What will the next three to five years bring?”

Barry Lebow, FRI, Master-ASA, ABR, SRES, is one of Canada’s most recognized real estate authorities. Now in his 54th year of professional real estate, Barry has been honoured by many real estate associations for his work in the profession. He has testified in more than 500 trials across North America. He is the founder of the Accredited Senior Agent designation program. A teacher, trainer and educator, he is an active broker at Re/Max Ultimate Realty in Toronto. Visit to contact Barry.


  1. Thank you BARRY for opening these conversations. After 20 years in the business, I have for the first time began calling out my peers, wondering and questioning so many of the practices our fellow REALTORS®️ are currently engaging in. One of the most questionable has to be the ones posting/tweeting their greatness receiving 200,000, 400,000 over list price. Really? Is this not proof of great DUMBNESS, that they MISLEAD the public about the actual value of the home with such an inaccurate list price? That they actually showed NO Competence in the actual valuation of the property? Do we not owe the public HONESTY in our representations? These practices are simply confusing and pissing off the public. Guess what? Properly pricing a property actually brings the same result in this market. And the advertising of these “GREAT DEEDS”, prior to closing, WOW when did REBBA change allowing the immediate disclosures of the number of offers and $$$, exchanged. Have they these permissions to disclose in place?

  2. Barry, I couldn’t agree more! This is not a part-time job. This profession requires skills and keeping up with the industry and putting our clients 1st. Your message is spot on! Thank you for being a voice.

  3. I have always said we need to have an apprentice program for new agents and a min of 7 sales per year to keep your real estate license. The various associations won’t agree to the above cause they want their fees regardless of the agent’s status. As per Barry’s rant, he’s is right, I think yearly continued education is a must. No more Zoom, classrooms only!

  4. I concur with much of what was said by Mr. Lebow, but for the life of me I can’t understand why some of us “old timers” want to point fingers at part-time agents as the bane our existence. I’d be loathe to tell the firefighter in a town of a few thousand that they are wrong for moonlighting as an agent.

    But part-timers are not the only mscreants and we need to be honest about this! The proposition that only full service, full time agents are professionals is a preposterous assertion in that there are far too many full time, long time agents who are just as bad and who have no excuse.

    I and my clients have had the distinct displeasure to have been on the opposite side of my some of those. One of the most egregious is a big name, well known, all over the TV whose only purpose according to my client whome he directly solicitied in contravention of REBBA, was to pocket the highest commission they could garner by using tactics to the detriment that even their client complained to my clients and me about. That agent’s name since showed up in RECO’s disciplinary actions – for a practice related to discounting commission and for less severe unethical practices than those which his client (in my deal) wanted to elevate to the authorities but for the fact that they and my clients are prominent philanthropists within their communities and Ontario.

    In another, most recently being the last 4 days ending today, I and my client had the unfortunate circumstance to happen across a listing that surely showed the 10 year registered agent and her even longer registered partner either conducted zero due diligence on the property or was blatantly misrepresenting a townhouse in the city of Toronto as a semi-detached and not representing their client as required.

    My client let it slide when, at the property ,we both noticed the house described as a semi was in fact a townhouse which I later confirmed to them was so stated by MPAC. Because they were open to this type of property as an investment, would price it accordingly and being now self-informed, we made no mention of it and carried on to try to secure the purchase.

    To try to advantage my client in the only way possible, we placed a quick no warning pre-emptive offer since the listing stated only that the offer date was set. I registered it with the office simultaneously sending it off to both agents then immediately called the listing agent with whom I’d had previous contact to let them know of its existence only to be immediately scolded by this 10 year registered full service person that their listing said ” no pre-emptive offers, my client said no pre-emptive offers, it’s on the listing that we’re not taking pre-emptive offers.”

    Despite my two pleas to soften her beratment that the listing said no such thing and that it was an opening and opportunity my client had to take, her rudely response, “well you should have called me, I’ll look at it and get back to you!” was promptly followed by a click in my ear. Within 5 minutes I had the rejection email that her clients will wait for offer day. Then, recognizing that her listing said no such thing, a second softer email followed thanking me for the offer. asking that I try again – today.

    That is what it is like trying to deal with these so called full-time professionals who are no better qualified than the subject of Mr. Lebow’s video! I am so sure of this I’d bet she even has no clue that the record shows that her “no pre-emptives” was actually noted in the listing right after my offer.

    Nonetheless, my client is my focus so we opted to try again today with the same price and just one other registered. We both expected a rejection. I, simply because of her attitude. Of course she did not disappoint.

    There was no excuse for the misrepresentation and beligerence and no reason an apology for her error and rudeness to not be made to someone with a vaild buyer for her client’s property.

    More importantly, because of her brokerage i just had to check – the partner to this 10 year registrant who was included in my correspondence follows in social media a broker in her brokerage firm who happens to be a highly respected real estate lawyer, broker and like Lebow, is an expert witness. He goes to great lengths to freely educate his followers on the nuances of real estate law and how we should protect our clients.

    Sadly they have learned no advantage from him and they have no excuse!

    • I am guessing you might not realize how important your most current comment post is. We so much need more posts of this sort.

      I had such a blessed career for more than 35 years. Only a couple of times warped paperwork and nasty rude agents. My whole career people called me the no-nonsense agent. It became well known that I helped other agents who didn’t have a helpful broker. But every “I” needed to be dotted and “t” crossed. (Object: let’s get my client to have a successful happy ending; that was MY goal.)

      If people on REM don’t share situations as you’ve just described they would never know what goes on in the real world.

      Thank you for posting specifics. More REM communicators should share such. THAT would help clean up the industry.

      Carolyne L

      Sent from my iPhone

    • Hi PED;

      Unfortunately, you are one of the minority of actual professionals—part-time or full-time— who has to deal with the many real estate sales hacks. Some of the most acknowledged—via media exposure—big-time Realtors can be hacks. What got them there keeps them there. They’re often good looking, always smiling, but as slippery as a greased eel. This description fits the profile of the guy you referenced. I believe I know of whom you are talking. Maybe a RECO visitation is in order for him? Pat Foran of CTV might also be interested.

    • (Copied from your comment):
      “My client let it slide when, at the property ,we both noticed the house described as a semi was in fact a townhouse which I later confirmed to them was so stated by MPAC. Because they were open to this type of property as an investment, would price it accordingly and being now self-informed, we made no mention of it and carried on to try to secure the purchase.”


      Did you ever see what for all intents and purposes, for all the world to see looked like a small detached house with a side yard (but no back yard)? Why? Because it was attached rear to rear to another house, making it a semi… the listing agent apparently had never gone outside.

      This was discovered on agent inspection day. And of course MLS had to be changed to reflect that information as it had been listed as a detached. The listing agent was most unhappy.

      Carolyne L

      Sent from my iPhone

  5. Interesting comments, most favourable, a few not – but I expected that as it is but my viewpoint. I stand though that we need a greater entry system, more education and mandatory – that I will not back down from and we need true exams, not online and no wrong answers and who knows who is actually taking the education! I will comment further when I watch the thread play out. Sorry, I just do not have the time to reply to each but thank you! Barry

  6. Sounds like a lot of winey boomers losing business to the new generation of realtors. Listen up gramps, the days of charging clients 5-6% are over in case you haven’t figured that out. Don’t complain about too many realtors because your phones not working ringing like it used to.

    • I don’t understand this comment…

      My clients knew details of where the commission went. They knew up front where it got spent and how divided also as an incentive to the co-op. In listing presentations I showed them all the neighbourhood sales that were comps and how my listings often sold for higher prices and faster even in ordinary markets, than other MLS listings. Even when some agents attacked the listing price as being too high and said they wouldn’t even show. But agents did show (sometimes 3 offers) and I didn’t have expiries. Always negotiable commissions: choose 6, 7, or 8 pts. Here’s what you get for whichever program you choose.

      Forgive me. Clearly you don’t state which area you work in or what services you offer clients. But I believe your comment addressed to “gramps” is clearly wrong. I don’t know Mr. LeBow; to best of my knowledge have never met him. But such a rude comment is sometimes indicative of the new breed of super well-educated agent with plenty of accreditations but no worldly knowledge.

      I don’t know what commission your gramps charges nor should anyone care, but Gramma made sure her clients knew where the money went. But just my humble opinion. I never ever sold a hundred transactions per year, (typically one a week), but the client always pocketed extra dollars at the end of the day.

      This comment pretty much explains how my rates worked. Sold buyer under buyer broker contract where he topped up the diminished co-op to meet my requirements (about $2500 if memory serves me). Then chose to pay more than other reps offered him when he listed his existing house with me.

      He had wasted nearly two years working with loads of agents who couldn’t fill his needs. He didn’t want to sign buyer agency because no one else had asked him to. I refused to work with him without one. He conferred with colleagues who kept instructing him not to sign buyer contract. Eventually he called again and agreed to sign. I wasn’t backing down. And I knew I was worth every penny.

      Here is what he wrote when all was said and done:

      “We are thrilled with our purchase . . . and are certainly in your debt. We basically made a windfall of 10’S of thousands of $ in one night due to your efforts. You told me that you earn your fees and you were not kidding . . . I sensed that you were for real…”

      Carolyne L

      Sent from my iPhone

    • Hello Michael, this is copied and pasted from an old REM comment. It’s a long scroll down at the original so this was only way to recapture it. It might be a support against your current commitment. I apologize if it offends your success reference. Everyone works differently and so long as your business keeps its lights on doing business your way, congratulations. Have you ever done a cost analysis? (BTW 7 pts, but it’s not about the money.)

      Carolyne L


      Comment: Carolyne L (indeed special examples)
      Apr 5, 2021 At 12:06 pm
      It is said that we are paid what WE feel we are worth. We know the value we bring to the public, or not. And we are paid exactly “accordingly.” WE decide exactly what is our worth. If we cannot navigate and negotiate with a buyer broker contract as to how much we are worth representing that buyer, how can we possibly do so with a seller, either.

      A whole n’other real estate world…
      just an example perhaps to consider.

      I listed a house in my farm area and MLS sold it; a subdivision house and when the for sale sign went up the seller told me his neighbour had said they had been thinking of listing with me but would wait to see the sold price. And that they needed to do some upgrades first.

      One day I decided with my seller’s permission to introduce myself to the neighbour. A nice senior retired couple thinking of downsizing. They had decided to invest in having the main floor hardwood stripped and refinished before listing as their son’s listing agent several miles away had suggested. The grandchildren had literally worn off the varnished hardwood surface.

      I recommended not to resurface the hardwood. It was a big house needing a big family. 5 bedrooms. Likely that buyers might have small children? Worth testing. Owners already had arranged for a new condo out of town.

      A good oil wipe down of the real wood kitchen cabinets would be worthwhile. The housekeeping was excellent. Just a few touch ups here and there.

      A nice red brick exterior, they were thinking to replace the front door. No need! But a fresh coat of paint highlighting in a rich royal indigo blue would upgrade the curb appeal and a couple hundred dollars in end of season oversize plant pots on the threshold would pop the street appeal. Done! Immediately.

      My listing neighbour property had sold quickly at top dollar in an ordinary market. The seniors were so shocked by what I had suggested, saving them thousands of dollars and needless aggravation, they listed with me right away.

      I had a referral from adjacent city to list and help buy an agent’s own family. Didn’t want a referral but I paid one. I sold her adult children’s house (MLS sold but it was a rough sale and hard on the owners with several children and Toronto agents kept bringing very low offers.) Sellers had done their best but with two working professional parents it was tough for them to stay on top of showings tidy-ups. Sold sign finally up.

      Guess which BIG house they bought? The one owned by the seniors who had not had to refinish the hardwood floors.

      EVERYONE was delighted. I invited the young professional couples mum-agent to prepare the offer on my big-house listing but she declined. Everyone involved gave permission for dual representation and another sold sign went up.

      Surprise a few days later: a call from the seniors; their adult son being transferred out of town – listing had expired. Senior parents insisted he list with me. Son followed my listing tidy-up instructions where small busy active grandchildren lived and another (MLS) sold sign went up very quickly.

      It’s not always best to do renovations before listing. Just depends. Simultaneously a would-be seller was waiting to redo kitchen cabinets before going to market. Again I recommended to just give the cabinets – real wood (great builder: excellent lot in good location) a good wipe down and scrub needed, and I arranged for a weekly housekeeper, fresh cut flowers and my sellers were able to complete their out of town purchase promptly.

      And shocked their out of town agent when they told her what I had done to help sell their house with three offers in a quiet market. Sold a little over what I had been told by colleagues was a too-high listed price (MLS). And this was a 7-point commission listing. Money investment well-spent.

      There’s so many ways to market listings. Another sold sign that brought a listing across the street. And a CMA request from an owner actually taking the real estate courses who got licensed herself.

      What a business! Now so very very different. If Sarbanes-Oxley hadn’t brought us in Canada, buyer brokerage, we might see a totally different industry today.

      Carolyne L 🍁
      AvatarCarolyne L ($1.00 co-op offered)
      Apr 5, 2021 At 8:41 pm
      What part of this discussion am I missing? Are you confirming that you do in fact allow the listing agent to determine what you will be paid? It seems that way in your discourse. Then, diametrically opposed, you complain that this isn’t right and / or fair and that “the industry should set fees?” Perhaps I misunderstood?

      Let me repeat a true story that I referenced years ago on REM, regarding an event as described as having happened at a local brokerage upon the advent of buyer agent contracts entering our business world, seemingly overnight, with not much forethought as to its implications as regards how the co-op agent would get paid.

      This particular brokerage was ages old with a strong admin department and a strong highly regarded broker.

      Supposedly as the story goes, to give the night staff a way to keep busy between answering calls and booking showings, the offer typist would actually type into the buyer contracts that the brokerage would accept whatever fee was offered on the MLS listing as the co-op fee.

      Agents as in many instances don’t / didn’t read details; brand new in the new wunderkind buyer agency world thrust upon the industry. Habits are often hard to break. Sub-agency and the BORS ruled the day, literally.

      Grab the office forms and run. Next client / customer (transaction) needed tending to. Hurry up and get this crazy new (representation contract) form signed. Who needs to read this “stuff,” anyway???

      Well, apparently he didn’t read the readymade by his own office buyer agent contract. Had his buyer sign off on this office-declared must do and proceeded to sell the buyer an MLS listing where he also hadn’t read the fine print; especially didn’t read the co-op offered fee.

      Sold sign up, buyer and seller happy, agent filled out and submitted his trade record sheet delineating a presumed historical 6% as the board had always dictated for processing an MLS listing historically, and filled in his portion as 3 points. Happy day; big commission cheque coming in a couple of months. Adrenaline rush says best time to go sell another one. Maybe even buy a new car.

      In the day, buyer agent contracts didn’t even get filed in many offices. (LOL – just ask Jamie). Agents just kept a copy, sometimes not even knowing where they put it. True. Seriously.

      Admin department processed the trade record as the agent had signed and submitted. Broker signed it as required. A few weeks went by and admin, who had never seen that buyer agent contract, or any other, invoiced the listing brokerage according to the trade record sheet for the typical 3 points board-allocated demand for 50/50 split; general meeting still in the works (all dictates had to be legally changed). Buyer brokerage contracts were official. They were here to stay. And THAT buyer contract would determine how much the co-op would officially get paid. I have written extensively on this topic over the years and at REM.

      Accounting received the payment from the listing brokerage for their invoice after successful closing along with a copy of the MLS contract attached, allegedly. Yes.

      The pre-typed office-provided buyer contract that said in plain English that the buyer agent would be paid whatever was noted on the listing was in the buyer agent’s possession. But he apparently had never read what his buyer had signed. WHAT!?! Really??? The MLS listing said the co-op would be paid $1.00 (One dollar). No one had read THAT!

      The broker owner himself clearly didn’t understand buyer agent contracts. He allegedly tried to bargain with his compatriot brokerage, apparently to no avail because guess who else had all signed the related contracts; the buyer and the seller. Legal advice… eat it. Chalk it up to experience. And it’s worth noting that most local law offices were not up to speed on buyer agent contracts and sadly some still find it a grey area. Likewise some judges. Even so buyer agent contracts became legal more than twenty-five years ago. In some domiciles, they are mandatory.

      Thinking maybe the next (mandatory) brokerage weekly office meeting might have discussed buyer agency in more detail.

      Hoping this old mid-1990s story will light a candle for those who still don’t know how or simply don’t want to employ the use of buyer agent contracts where the buyer is required to top up whatever the buyer agent feels he is due to be paid to cover what his representation fiduciary duty is worth to the client. Maybe think of it as “value-added.”

      Here’s what one of my buyer clients wrote, in part, after he topped up my value-related buyer contract… confirming my value.

      “We are thrilled with our purchase . . . and are certainly in your debt. We basically made a windfall of 10’S of thousands of $ in one night due to your efforts. You told me that you earn your fees and you were not kidding . . .”

      They had literally wasted a year with agents who never asked them to sign a buyer contract, sending new MLS listings, and yes he was reluctant to sign because I was the only one who insisted on having a contract, but I simply stated I would not work without one, and a topped up one, at that, and that he simply could continue wasting his time and all those other agent’s time who had not been able to fill his requirements.

      Fortunately I was in a position having plenty of business to make my own choices about with whom I would choose to work, and represent.

      He made the right choice and won the gamble big time! The agents whose time he wasted let him know in no uncertain terms that he had used and abused them, WOW!

      Buyer brokerage is a world of its own. And by the way they listed with me at 6 points, 3 to the co-op. Everything worked out just fine. I knew the skills I brought to the table and I could always prove it. No pressure on me or by me. None needed. My “value” spoke for itself.

      Carolyne L 🍁

  7. Bravo: First you have to admit there is a problem before you get to fix it. We should be holding one another accountable. TRREB, OREA and CREA has dropped the ball.

  8. Hi Barry … well said. While I agree that you are right, the part-time unskilled agents will disrupt this industry, the fault of these part-time agents falls directly on RECO. RECO is the primary protector of these unskilled agents. I won’t go into a long rant but do just one thing. Look at RECO’s operating budget and you will see that RECO depends on the existence of these unskilled part-time agents in order to produce the income that RECO needs as an organization to exist. RECO’s mandate is consumer protection and yet, the existence of these unskilled part-time agents is a direct violation of RECO’s mandate to the public.

    So rant as we may, we can’t fix this problem because RECO can’t fix this problem or maybe won’t fix it because it depends on it for income. A wonderful catch 22 for RECO. So it seems, like it or not, the disruptive unskilled part-time agents are here to stay.

    • Hi Joe:

      A good comparison to RECO might be the Democrat Party in the U.S. that seemingly facilitates illegal immigration across its southern border. Many thousands of illegals have successfully been imbedded into the U.S. over the past year with the help of taxpayer money as doled out by the Democrats. The “gotaways” are uncounted. There are now millions of illegals in the U.S. as I write this. I wonder which party the vast majority of the many thousands and “gotaways” (millions) will vote for going forward? Take a guess. Can you spell C-O-R-R-U-P-T-I-O-N?

  9. I disagree whole heartily with Mr. Lebow. You can blame part timers if you wish, you can ask for government to enact change. I have been involved in a lot of businesses I was first licenced to sell Real Estate in the Province of Ontario in 1976. Why is it I hear very little complaints when a fellow Realtor or Brokerage offers incentives like handy man service or paying the home inspection or lawyers fees if they purchase or list with my brokerage. I have had the honor of being licenced under such a brokerage and my broker made millions. God for bid we offer a lower commission I’m sure we would have been black balled.
    We have a healthy business its going strong the vast majority of transaction are completed with the assistance of a real estate professional. It is a free enterprise system that we have capitalism is king and I could never live under a communist state. I would be one of those they would execute. Regardless of your business model good luck and good selling.

    • I agree. Still, there is no data provided by Mr Lebow or others that prove that the pricing trend to create multiple offers is being instigated in majority by part timers or new comers to the industry! In a free market, the pricing is driven by the sellers desires and instructions and from what I see, they are quite happy with the results. Where are the complaints from the sellers? If you look at the posted names of the listing realtors on historical and current sales over list, you will find a majority of seasoned professionals following their clients wishes.

  10. I can certainly agree with many of the points Barry makes however, I am hesitant to lump groups of individuals in one category and place blame when the problem is the system, and no one individual or demographic. Professionally, I know many PT agents that actually do an incredible job and are accountable to their work and clients. They take the time to read and take part in education and training initiatives and keep up to date with market trends. I also have come across many full time agents that practice poorly, and take many of the short-cuts that Barry mentions in this rant, some of whom are top-producers. Many agents that work in this business part time have the opportunity to bring transferrable skills to our profession. I have attended many events and educational sessions geared to real estate professionals and though there have always been some great take aways, they can lack value and are often overrun by sponsor pitches and political agendas. I agree that we should be held accountable with in person mandatory education and testing. Simply the lack of not working in another occupation does not make for a good agent, they may just have more free time. Barry’s opinion of the future of the industry is valid. All agents should pay attention and elevate the services they provide to consumers and deliver the personal attention that each client deserves.

    • Well said. But Barry’s rant reminds me of a scenario where Macdonald’s tries to stop whata burger or or AnW from opening lower priced lower quality, competitive joints near by or, at all, because they are new in the industry… Or don’t make a “quality” burger.
      People buy them! People like them… people rule. Not intrusive regulations to make the industry better for Macdonalds!
      free market competition means there will be methods and results gained for the consumers for all in the “burger” /RE market or they would not still exist or be billion dollar concerns.
      I don’t like it that buyers are being priced out of their real estate dreams and neighbourhoods , but not allowing market methods that drive higher gains for sellers or making or driving prejudice against new comers are not the ways to go.

  11. Bang on, Barry! I agree with you 100% and would add that the pre-requisite for getting a RE license should be some kind of university or formal training. The barriers to entry are way too low. We need agents to not only know how to negotiate but also how to communicate, and to understand the fundamentals of houses.

  12. Barry,. Thank you for saying what I believe to be true. I am in your age group and still Love what I do.
    I am not sure how they get away with sending documents by whatever means, as I always sit at the Kitchen table and review Listings and Offers with my Clients. I enjoy the process and feel it is important to my Clients to have me there.
    I am still getting referrals from 35 years o

    • The ONLY way to do business, Rose.
      Congratulations for speaking out loud. Needed to be said.

      Carolyne L

      Sent from my iPhone

  13. Well articulated Barry !

    Reminds me of a story my father told me growing up in Ottawa. It was 1942 and dad wanted to get his drivers license. He went to the corner store and was told by the storekeeper to take his car once around the block. After jumping the curb and not hitting anything the storekeeper said that will be $2.00 for your drivers license. After paying him, the storekeeper said if you want your real estate license that will be another $2.00 !
    Have we really changed that much? Might be time for the govenment to turn over real estate licensing & governance to a private entity ?

  14. Interesting!
    I think the market dictates the REALTOR behaviours and when the market is neutral or a buyers market a new issue will arise. Too many unprofessional freeloaders in this industry.
    35 years in this business.

  15. Barry ,

    The buyers and agents say , “ we don’t want an offer date “

    i do about 100 deals a year .

    I put so many homes in the market that say
    Attention agents /buyers we hear you . No offer date . Offers any time .

    Guess what ? No one comes .

    If i put a lower price and put offer date , everyone comes .

    So 100% it is not listing agent driven , it is seller expectation driven and buyers psychologically driven .

    i agree with you on the rest of your ‘ rant ‘

    Monica Thapar

  16. My Dear Barry,
    You are 100% right and unfortunately and sadly for our Industry and the Public , your prediction is going to be bang on. Thank you for your nuggets of wisdom.

  17. I list to the last sale within the last 6 mos. Some agents tell me I’m over priced. I pick an offer date. It still goes 2 hundred over asking.I can’t believe it ;the seller is so happy -It’s the market ! I know what price to list a home to get showings But, don’t ask me what someone will pay in this current situation. It’s a supply and demand issue at the moment.Sellers are asking us to get them the best price possible.That is our job.

  18. Barry, Excellent take on the market.
    The current practice of Low pricing and holding offers needs to stop. Why has nobody stopped the practice of low pricing. Is it not the exact definition of False. Misleading and Deceptive advertising. Now where can you go and not be able to by the product at the advertised price. Builders can not put up a sign of a house for sale with a low price and not have that house available for purchase. Can they??? Of coarse not. I can see some Lawyers having a class action law suit against the MLS for the buyers because of this practice. Any lawyers on here want to give us your take?

    Holding offers.

    Why is it against MLS rules to list a house and not have it available for showings . If the house is not ready for showing it can not be on MLS. So why is it not the same for Offers? Boards at the local level need to add to there rules the word OFFERS . eg if a house is not ready for SHOWING or OFFERS it can not be on the MLS. and ban the seller direction to hold offers. Can’t have a direction to hold off showings so why allow one for offers.
    Barry is right. The Real estate business and the market is in a crises.
    Realtors are more today then ever considered unprofessional and untrustworthy and for good reason

    • Very good points Terry, we need to stop the blind bidding with listings that are priced too low to begin with. Prior to this anyone who has been selling real estate before 2015 knew that we priced at market value (what we felt the house will potentially sell for) and look at any offer or offers that came in at anytime. In todays market of low inventory,
      what are these agents who prefer to list low and have 15-20 offers thrown at them worried about? Example: 1) list at 699,900, hold offers till a certain date, then expect to get a dozen or more offers to deal with and that many disappointed buyers, only to sell it a $850,000. or. 2) List it at the sellers expectation of true market value at $850,000 and accept the first offer that comes in at that price or slightly below.
      This can eliminate the blind bidding that everyone hates and even lets the buyers bring back conditions like home inspections and financing into the deal. This worked this way in the past, and it will work again today.

  19. Barry you are my favourite real estate person. I have been in R E between USA and Canada, 42 years full time.
    Everything you said made sense. My daughter is partnered with me and we go in person to negotiate. My strong suit.
    I too started with Century-21 Town and Country in Michigan. We had to take a 40 hour sales course before going out in the field. (Even though I worked in sales).
    I had been going to extra courses in person when we used to have them just because I knew I could learn something.
    I took courses from you as well.
    It’s no wonder the public thinks we make too much for pretty much doing nothing.
    Have you heard Humber College ads to become a realtor? Unbelievable.
    I have more stories but you know and heard them all.
    I wish you could have a video like this every month.
    Wish you well. Stay safe and healthy.
    Wishing you success! Bye Sandy Bodnar S/G

  20. Yes, a total lack of professionalism and competence. Some of the courses I take, like Certified Commercial Investment Member CCIM financial analysis are about $1100 USD with a pass rate of just over 50 %. I deal with University educated people that care about professionalism and basic skills like spelling and punctuation. When I see what has happened to residential, I have to ask ,” Who left the monkeys in charge of the zoo? ” . It is appalling, I have never seen standards so low. Dave Watkins Re/max Commercial. Re/max Hallmark First Group. 905-432-6300

    • Hi David:

      To further your point, who let the monkeys ‘out’ of the zoo?

      We’ve all heard the saying: “Monkey see; monkey do”

      The standards are so low, there’s only one way to go…into the toilet…and the spin cycle.

      Your comment re “university educated people” struck a note with me…and Jim the-editor-guy, I’m sure. I am a university educated guy—B.A. Politics: some say Bugger All—and am very cognizant of how I am perceived herein by all whom do not know me personally. Thus, when I become aware of any spelling/grammatical mistakes etc. made post clicking on “Submit”, I regularly harass Jim to correct same after pointing out the errors, asking him to insert the appropriate revisions as needed. Would I be so anal had I not completed three years at university successfully? (I had a grade ten education previous to talking my way into university full time as a mature student at age thirty-five) Probably not, because I might not be as self-critical of my own production of arguments via the English language in written form. I do my best. I rarely did so pre university training whereby I learned to write much more betterly:-)

      I’ve always advocated for successful completion of university-level education—minimum B.A.—as a pre-requisite for entry to real estate university. But that would initially mean there would be many less Realtors out in the field. But it might thence attract more university educated wannabes to the “profession” as a result.

      I realize to some this might sound like an elitist argument, but to get into the real estate appraisal field I believe one needs a university degree as a pre-requisite, or at least some post secondary school college courses related to that business.

      I know there are many Realtors who have become very successful without possessing a degree. I became successful very quickly during my first stint as a Realtor in 1980, and had only a grade ten education. I read all the “How To” books and quickly became a very influential salesman. But I can tell you I was a very different kind of Realtor when I got back into the business during 2008 with that university-earned degree in my arsenal. I was much less salesy and much more focused on my clients’ fiduciary interests. I focused on being a professional advocate, and ditched being a salesman. Sometimes a leopard can change its spots.

      Retired ten years and happy to be out of the rat race.


  22. I have utmost respect for Barry Leblow for his lifelong devotion to real estate profession. Having said that, Mr Leblow may be the best in the profession but lacks experience of the business world since he has spent his entire adult life on peddling real estate and nothing else. Condescending attitude to your fellow professionals is beneath anyone who profess to be a professional. Part timers exist in every profession. Lawyers are Accountant, Engineers are Lawyers, or vice versa to name a few. Problem is in the current Brokerage model in ON. It is a broken system designed to fail the newcomers in the trade. Real estate is peoples business, person to person, that personal part was taken out by certain franchise entering the market. What is wrong with be brokerage model is a rant itself that could take several days to write in detail. Some comments here are laying the blame on education system. There is nothing wrong in the OREA education system. If anything wrong is the students that don’t learn their material.

  23. I’d like to agree with you but where do you prove that the underpricing (s) of these properties in order to incite multiple offers, are being done by new comers?
    Where do you prove that the pricing trends are not in fact being pushed by the sellers instruction? Where do you prove that the sellers who benefit from the gains are unhappy? Persuasive writing is one thing, and effective here, but you don’t tell the whole picture .

  24. Thanks for calling them out Barry… I agree with you and many of these comments. I hold a few degrees and have worked a number of jobs over the years and one thing I have noticed about the real estate profession is that we don’t seem to require upfront the educational requirements that many other professions require in order to practice the profession. There are a number of things RECO needs to consider to ensure we are allowing true professionals to deal in real estate for the protection of the clientele and the profession as a whole. Much like many other professions, I feel that we need to mandate a degree level of education upfront to all new real estate professional entries and perhaps we need to consider also instilling an apprenticeship component to our up front educational requirements. As a teacher, I was required to teach under the tutelage and guidance of an experienced teacher to ensure that if I obtained a teaching position once I was done school, the employer could feel confident that I would have at least a basic level of understanding and experience to ensure my class ran smoothly from the onset with as few disruptions as possible. The profession needs to be held to a higher mandate off the get-go to stop part-timers that are just looking to make a quick buck with no regard for who gets hurt. I have negotiated millions of dollars in real estate sales and it seems like every time I have an issue, it is because I am dealing with an inexperienced agent that does very few deals a year and hence creates a lot of issues for me and my clients. I should have the confidence that I am working with another professional on the other end of the table that is properly educating and guiding their clients, but that is definitely not the case in this industry. Assuming I am working with a professional has created a lot of headaches for me over the years which is why I now have to give the other agents the gears when negotiating with them to ensure they are informed and have in turn educated their clients accordingly so that we can avert any last-minute misunderstandings etc. RECO please mandate a higher level of education off the get-go. I don’t take my car to the mechanic and hope he has done more than just read a book on how to change the breaks. It is not the agent’s fault for the lack of profession and knowledge in the industry, it is RECOs. FYI, the renewal courses are not the answer, upfront education and tutelage are the overarching issue.

    • I totally agree. What would happen if the public ever found out that 51% of the realtors in TREB did 1 deal or less last year ? ( Hint; Lest than 1 deal = 0 deals)
      How would you feel if you found out your account , lawyer or plumber only completed one assignment last year ?
      We are trusted to stick handle millions of dollars in a typical home sale.
      You owe it to your clients and the industry to prove that you deserve the huge commissions we get paid.

  25. Couldn’t say it better! Why, if I want to sell, wouldn’t I call an auctioneer if I want an auction! When I hear agentX had 20 offers and sold the house for $200,000 over list..I think, there’s a realtor who didn’t do his/her job! Excellent presentation Barry

  26. You make many good points Barry. Essentially it is too easy to get a Real Estate Licence and too easy to keep one. As a profession we need to decide if we are going to set higher standards or not. Unfortunately most boards only care about numbers and pay lip service to professionalism.

  27. This has been a very sore spot with me. For years I’ve written to CREA, Reco, Trreb on all their surveys on how to improve our standards and professionalism- always referring to banning part timers who have no skin in the game. I have helped one too many to fix their errors and bad advice. No more. This needs to change. And what makes it worse is greedy brokerages who just want the desk fees and pay no attention to what their 300 or 400 agents are doing !

  28. Excellent Barry! Technology is a great resource when used correctly. When I first licensed in 1994 our Phase 2 classroom instructor warned that because real estate is cheap to get in to it is also cheap to get out of, the pros will remain and way too many will just be there, going for the dollar not the professional career. Like the 80/20 rule, maybe really 90/10. If your going to have a career embrace education, technology and most of all your clients and strive to be the best along the way. We’ve all experienced people in life that lack commitment, take the low road and should certainly move on to other endeavors that fit whatever skill set they have.

  29. Hello Barry, I really appreciate you sharing these thoughts and personal experiences, well said what is going on in the market, there is no face-to-face negotiations, I am in business since 1988 and have seen a lot of high and lows. I hope will soon go back where we can sit together with the seller to negotiate. Keep on sharing.

    Best Regards

  30. We don’t need to wait until you’re eighty to find out if you’re right, Barry. !00% you’re right.

    You call your submission herein a rant. Not true. It is the truth of the matter.

    “Merit”…That is the crux of the matter. There is a huge shortage of merit within organized real estate these days. I refer to it as organized incompetence leading to mayhem.

    It’s all about the money. It’s easier for the dues gatherers to collect vast sums of money from vast numbers of meritless bozos with real estate licenses than from professionals of limited numbers who likely would agree to pay significantly more in dues dollars in order to rid this business of the incompetents. I’ve been harping on this theme for years now…to no avail. Maybe your voice will be taken note of, but I doubt it. The money’s just too easily collected from the hoards of wannabes-turned-failures-in-waiting crowd of licensed bozos, I mean, Realtors. We all know that there are many who possess drivers’ licenses who cannot drive competently under any circumstances other than ideal conditions going down a straight paved road during daylight hours with no one else on the road. O.R.E. is that road strewn about with such dues-paying licensees. To my mind O.R.E. is corrupt. I don’t expect you to publicly agree with this last statement, but deep down inside I suspect you do. I’m not saying O.R.E. is willfully corrupt, just that O.R.E. is corrupt by way of willful non-acknowledgement of reality. The money’s just too good to give up. Life’s too good for the bureaucrats to change things up to their own potential detriment. After all, they’re not the ones on the firing line vis a vis the public’s scornful opinion of their dues providers. To my mind O.R.E. bureaucrats are a form of naive pimps, pimping out so-called real estate sales whores for the public’s consumption…for dollars in their own pockets. Unfortunately the whores sully the reputations of the actual professionals within this business with that ever-present broad brush of public condemnation.

    Great rant—I mean, presentation—Barry.

    • SO WELL SAID!!!!! I agree with your whole heartedly and I have also been saying the exact same thing for years. So Brian, what can we do to make change?? Perhaps we start our own organization called THE REAL REALTORS? I am sick and tired of funding these organizations who do NOTHING TO HELP ME from my own pocket! We are all personally paying from our hard earned money into 3 levels of organizations who don’t care about who we are and what we represent. I think we can make a change!!!!!! and I would be prepared to fight this 100%

      • Hi Rosemarie:

        “What can we do to make change?” you correctly ask.

        First: There must be ‘enough’ Realtors who actually want change. “Enough” translates to a majority. Thus, a poll must be taken of all Realtors within every defined jurisdiction under the umbrella of Organized Real Estate. That would be everywhere.

        Second: Should a majority vote for change, a plan must be drawn up and accepted by a majority of those wanting change. A good start would be to hold back all dues to all three levels of governance. Money, or the lack thereof, talks. The problem would be that the pros who would vote for holdbacks would be well outnumbered by the newbie amateurs who would not want to cross their overlords, and not wanting to rock the boat, would opt to keep things as they are, because they would not be suffering from dealing with incompetents, because they wouldn’t know one from themselves. Unfortunately you are outnumbered by the bozos at this time. Thus—I hate to say it—government must be brought into the picture. Government lets out the licenses. That’s all that one actually needs to transact real estate. C.R.E.A., O.R.E.A. (Ontario), all other provincial real estate associations and, all local boards are not legal pre-requisites to allow trading in real estate; they are simply localized hangers-on masquerading as professional development masters/penalty- minute referees who do little, to nothing, to actually make sure their dues-payers live up to any kind of professional standard. If they did there would be far fewer licensees in their fold. Where would their $$$$$$ come from then? Organized Real Estate is a classic pyramid scheme, and there needs to be—and indeed there is—a huge foundation at the bottom to support the apex dwellers…your accepted bosses.

        Maybe Barry would be the one to try to get something going. He has the reputation and credibility necessary for government and/or other Realtors to take notice. An organization needs to be formed. I would do what I could to help out if asked, bearing in mind I’ve been retired for over ten years, but am still interested in this business. But I fear nothing will change, no matter who gets involved. Inertia/ambivalence is a very difficult thing to overcome, and O.R.E is chock full of it. The cards are definitely, and strategically, stacked against you. There just aren’t enough like you and, maybe Barry, who actually would like to step out of line to do something to change things. It will take sacrifice, something most will not want to give, because they are the problem. Use of the national media is likely the only way to highlight what most know to be a problem within O.R.E. It would be a start, and it wouldn’t be easy. You’re up against big money. You’re up against a corrupt system whose dictatorial operators hold the power of the purse over you. The only way to win is to starve them of their power, and that’s money…your money. Therefore, it will take a revolt against your masters, because they will never willingly give up any of their power over the peons who willingly pay and keep them in power…and the willing are the problem children.


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