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Stupid, Inexperienced or Pickpocket?

I’m supposed to be writing about the coming changes in real estate and how agents are paid. I’m annoyed, so I can’t.

By way of explanation, I have a tattoo of Don Quixote on my left calf. The tattoo reminds me to fight for what is right and fair. To be fair, my sister noted, “Michael, you know Don Quixote was crazy.”

My editor (wife) tried to talk me out of using the word “stupid.” I think stupid is as stupid does. Let me explain.

Last month I wrote about agent inexperience and how it could cost you money. If you read my news/blog to the end you’ve seen the following:


Selling? We don’t list homes for sale so contact us for an objective, independent opinion on price and the process of selling in today’s market.

We’ll give you the inside scoop on the good and bad practices in real estate. Having helped over 1,800 homebuyers you learn a lot about the selling side.

The goal: Make educated and informed decisions.


A number of weeks ago a friend mentioned her daughter (let’s call her Mary) was going to sell her home. Mary had contacted a real estate agent and the agent provided a market analysis of Mary’s home. The agent placed the value at $189,000. I have a copy of the analysis.

“Whoa,” I responded, “That doesn’t sound right. Let me look into that.” I had “no horse in the race” as we don’t sell, so my analysis was going to be independent and objective.

(Aside: In the real estate business when an agent gives you a high, false value to get the listing, it’s called buying a listing.)

My analysis showed the home had a range of value of $255,000 – $260,000 but in today’s market the home might sell for more. I shared my analysis with Mary.

I put Mary in contact with one of the two agents we use to handle our clients’ sales (clients buying who are also selling). That agent prepared an analysis – without knowing my number – and was in the same range, $250,000 – $260,000.

The goal of two independent analyses, ours, and the other agent, is to find the highest, best price at which to market your home. If our numbers are close, that is good. If our numbers are far apart, we have to answer the question, “why?” The goal is to find the highest, best price at which to market the home.

To make a long story short, the home went on the market in mid-March. The sale closed in April for $96,000 more than the initial agent’s stated value of $189,000.

From where I sit the agent was either stupid, inexperienced or pickpocket, selling a home to a friend   to flip. The last comment is speculative but must be considered.

 Imagine leaving $96,000 on the table?

Look, there are plenty of good real estate agents working today, but please understand that Zillow is an advertising platform, HGTV is real estate entertainment and because it is so easy to obtain and retain a real-estate license, agents skill levels vary.

By example, I recently worked with an agent who advertised she was a Five-Star agent in 2022, 2023 and 2024. Consumers might be impressed. I knew the “rating” is obtained by agreeing to pay for an ad. Like the humorist Groucho Marx said, “I wouldn’t want to be part of any club that would have me as a member.”

Buying a home is about more than buying a home, it’s about the use of your money. Contact us for an objective opinion. You might save $96,000.

Thanks for reading,
Michael D. Holloway

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Homebuyer Associates
1835 N. Riverwalk Way
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Phone: 414-254-4129