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Ethical values in real estate business

Everyone talks about hammering sellers to get the best price – about getting every dime you can out of a transaction. Last week a friend of mine was bragging about how he got this old lady to sell her house to him at 50% of it’s value! He’s going to make a big chunk of money on it too. Here’s my question, HOW DOES HE SLEEP AT NIGHT??? Maybe I’m just “too nice” and maybe I’ll always be just a working stiff, but I don’t want to do business that way. It seems like to be an investor, you have to be a real shark these days. Does anyone do business in way they wouldn’t be ashamed tell their Mom or their kids about?

Re: Ethical values in real estate business

I've got one question: How does he think he's gonna sell it? Right now, with everone passing over normal homes for forclosures, there isn't a market for full price homes. I feel really bad for homeowners who get a job transfer, as they are taking a net loss even if they get more pay for moving. Since "flippers" typically take average homes, rip out the '70s era vinyl flooring and kitchen tile & resell immediately, there isn't much incentive to be a flipper in today's market. The real money is in buy, hold, update, sell.
As for your friend, did he buy a short sale? If so, its the bank, not the lady, who got burned.

Re: Ethical values in real estate business


I appreciate your post as I have often wondered the same thing. The media talks a lot about greed and how it has effected our country, to some extent I agree, but we have a system that encourages everyone to try to "get ahead". Sometimes you get so involved in getting a great deal that you forget your humanity. Maybe this guy was taken advantage of earlier in his life, or somebody screwed him on his last deal, so now he thinks he is justified in getting even and/or being greedy. I've never understood the guy that does something like this, then brags to everyone who will listen.

I would never trust him and certianly don't do a deal with him. Do you think he wouldn't crow to everyone else about how he got over on you? Might be time to reevaluate the friendship.


Re: Ethical values in real estate business

Ethics are the way that we act when no one is looking. There is nothing more important to a successful Realtor than maintaining a good name. I've seen many high-flying real estate professionals take a dive after pulling shady deals. Right now there are multiple San Diego real estate agents handling bank foreclosures and short-sales who I know are taking advantage of banks and fellow Realtors. They may be flying high in the down market, but when the market turns around people are going to remember, and no one is going to deal with them any more. Even a city like San Diego is a small town when it comes to business ethics. Word does get around. Thanks for your post!

Re: Ethical values in real estate business


It also depends on personal mentality. Few of us want success and money at any cost and we can say them as selfish.

The Real Buyers Agent

Re: Ethical values in real estate business

when it comes to house flips the guys doing it have none from what ive seen

True enough .... many flipped homes I've seen people have bought makes me sad for those poor folks.


the general contractors who are good treat the house as if its their own and make sure everything exceeds codes

That's the problem I've had with all my places ..... just can't leave this or just covering up that .

Re: Ethical values in real estate business

To be a house flipper, you have to have a certain mentality. I could never do it because I'd want to fix up the place the way I'd want it to be. I'd get all tied up in silly things like quality and codes whereas the flippers have to be more conscious of dollars and cents.

You would have to walk very close to the ethics line and it's not worth it to me. People get to know the good realtors and sellers from the bad, and many of my realtor friends would caution their clients to stay away from the bad ones. San Diego is known as a very small, big city and word travels very fast.

Re: Ethical values in real estate business

Consider that the beliefs that "no one out there has any ethics" and "it's a dog eat dog world" encourage otherwise moral people to act immorally.

News flash: most people actually want to do the right thing most of the time.

Jerks make headlines and become characters in frequently-repeated stories precisely because their behavior is abnormal and grips our attention. But don't believe that the outrageous stuff you see in the headlines or hear about in everyday conversation is normal human behavior. Normal human behavior isn't interesting enough to be talked about often.

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