I’ll describe how to be a Real Estate Agent, but first let me clear up any pronunciation confusion. Realtor® is pronounced with as many extra syllables as you can cram in, like “Real-a-tor” or “Real-ly-a-tor”, or if you live in Alabama, “Dammit Thelma, get the gun. Them sales people’s over yonder again”.
Realtor® is the official designation of people who are licensed to help others buy and sell homes they can’t afford, their never having even remembered seeing the ugly green wallpaper in the basement, otherwise they wouldn’t have offered so much money. A Realtor® belongs to the National Association of Realtors®, an organization dating back to medieval England during the reign of Caveat Emptor®. In those times when land was cheap, plentiful and offered for sale at extreme prices by landlords, there were many “for sale” signs on telephone poles around the countryside. Eventually some enterprising individual who was starting a national organization of salespersons noticed that the signs’ letters “RARE LOTS” could be rearranged, and the name “REALTORS” was born. The trademark symbol ® was added later when Shakespeare invented fonts.
Becoming a Realtor® is easy:
• Take internet real estate licensing courses on ignoring deadlines, miscalculating square footage, and the irritating and repetitive use of ®
• Take self-administered tests and receive a passing grade
• Register with your state, but neglect to report that you are a convicted drug felon
• Find a broker to supervise you and “share” your commissions with
• Perform costly yet ineffective marketing to get clients (people who let you demonstrate how not to sell their houses)
• Finally sell a house by accident to the seller’s uncle
• Pay a fine to the state for selling real estate without a convicted-felon’s license
• Use the last of your commission to pay dues and buy a keybox, signs, and a congressman who will ensure laws remain favorable to Realtors®
Disclaimer: This summary [ ] SHALL [ ] MAY [ ] BOTH (check one) be subject to arbitration should a dispute arise. If BOTH is/are (sic) checked, the next paragraph applies; otherwise it’s Tuesday.
Now that you’ve completed your first transaction, you need ethics training. Held to the highest standards of ethics and professionalism, many Realtors® nevertheless sometimes abide by a written Code of Ethics. Written in code, this is like a bible of allowed conduct when Realtors® deal with other Realtors®, the Public, their Clients and their Pets. Here’s an excerpt from the Code: “We Realtors® agree to abide by the Code of Ethics, the “Fairness and Equality” White Paper on the “Handling of Rezoning Requests by Ice Cream Street Vendors in New York City, Circa 1925”, the “Non-Discrimination Pact of Pre-war Poland”, and all of the terms of the Louisiana Purchase. We further agree to not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, the countries people come from, possession of negative whole numbers, source of whiskey bottle collections, Lady Gaga, or shoe size.”
As you might imagine, Realtors®’ adherence to this Code of Ethics prevents less than 2% of the conceivable disputes in real estate transactions. The remaining disputes are distributed among several categories: frozen pipes, the smell of dog poop in the heat vents, and women’s rude comments about other women’s shoes during open houses. Any one of these can stop a sale cold. For example, I was involved in a transaction in which I represented the Seller (the person who owned the house). I told him he should accept the offer from the Buyer (the person who didn’t have enough money to buy the house). The Seller (let’s call him Manny), (his real name), (told me), “Dave, did you see the latest “Survivor” episode where Martha loses her bikini top? Ha, that was a good one!” While I was listening, the contractual “Long Story Short Deadline” (contract section 5.3 (a), iii) expired, and the Seller lost the chance to sell to the Buyer, who quickly filed a grievance against me, claiming the pipes were frozen. That’s exactly my point.
You have now learned everything you need to become a Realyater. But, instead, you can always just use one of the kabillion real estate professionals already out of rehab to help you with buying, selling, or a drug transaction. You can find one of us anywhere. Just ask any high school student. But remember: don’t hand over your earnest money until you first get a small taste sample. And a copy of the Code of Ethics.