Arrogance can be costly

When my children were elementary school age, I inculcated them with identifying signs of puberty as a preemtive strike on the rite of passage known as being a teenager.  I made sure they understood that:

  1. If they were male, their voice would undergo changes
  2. If they were a girl, they would begin bleeding regularly
  3. Both male and female would grow hair in private places
  4. They would see primary sex characteristics develop (OK, I used simpler words than that)
  5. They would have times when they felt “all out of whack”
  6. And most importantly, they would come to realize their parents were absolute morons.

Then I would tell them, each and every time we litanized this list, that they would know they were done with puberty when they scratched their head and realized their parents were right about a lot of stuff.  Congratulations, you have now begun your adult journey!

An article this morning in one of the real estate mailings weighed the challenges and benefits of FSBO’s, or “For Sale by Owner.”  I think it did a reasonable job of being objective; this is a RE site after all.  I will post the salient points in a later post.  Today I want to address one of the comments.


Submitted by John Rowles on June 1, 2009 – 4:52am.

If FSBO is 20% of the market now, what will it be when the original latch-key kids, Gens X and Y, become not just the majority of buyers but the majority of sellers as well over the next 10 years?

A lot of us grew up in households with two working parents or one parent, and we are used to doing things for ourselves and finding information and buying things on the Internet is second nature to us.

And if you really want to piss us off, tell us how we need you and how unqualified we are to do your job.

Using an agent is going to be considered a convenience, even a luxury in a seller’s market and foolhardy in a buyer’s market. If nothing else can bring radical change to the entrenched real estate model, demographics eventually will.


The landscape of business, particularly the tech industry, is dominated by Gen-X and Gen-Y’ers for whom the possibility of ending up looking like the “PC” in the Apple ads is the lowest form of hell possible.  This generation believes they are new, they are hip and anyone else is dull, stupid and boring.  They are teenagers who never made the adult transition around 20 or 21; an entire generation who never grew up.  Hiring managers tell us the work ethic of current employees is abyssmal; it is one of the main reasons for importing workers from outside the US.  Countries where attention to performance is still a major influence, are better workers than the pampered and self indulged W-2’s of today.  Bill Gates may not have been referring to technical prowess when he said that the US universities are not producing computer scientists worthy of hire.

Dilbert takes aim in a strip where he is interviewing a prospective employee.  The young lad says in the first panel, “You should hire me because my skills are new and fresh and visionary.”  In the second panel he tells Dilbert, “You are old, weak and your ideas are stale and ineffective.”  Last panel, as he claps his hand over his mouth, “People skills ….. I always forget that one.”

As an investor, who got a lot of education before launching, I can tell you I hit pitfalls anyway.  I shudder to think what I could have done without the training.  As an agent who was required to fulfill education and testing requirements by the state before I could work with the public and whose work is overseen by a more experienced broker, again, I would commend the notion that there is more to a transaction than simply shaking hands with a buyer and counting the cash on the way home.  Most of it cannot be found on the Internet if you don’t know the questions to ask.  That’s the equivalent of “Everyone NOT here, please raise your hand.”

Before you buy or sell a home, consider there may be things outside your realm of experience.  Seek out the advice of wizened adults, whether they be parents who have navigated several purchases, friends who are investors or even sit down for a coffee with an agent.  Just a tip – don’t piss us off by telling us how much more you know than we do.  We’re much more likely to help if you don’t.


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