The Nightmare of Inman Park

Is the end near?  How much longer can Realtors continue to steal from Inman Park homeowners?  Every year we write a blog about what’s happening in Inman Park and every year nothing changes.  But maybe now, it will.

We all know about the lawsuits the DOJ has brought against NAR and the industry’s largest franchises.   The upshot of the lawsuits is as clear as the nose on your face; the consumer has won, and the real estate industry has lost.  What does that mean?

Inman Park has been the “poster child” for Realtor abuse for as long as I can remember.  At the heart of the DOJ case against the industry is the “Buyer’s Agent commission”.  Sellers being forced to pay the sales commission of the agent they are negotiating against is flat out stupid.  Yet this idiotocracy is actually the core or heart of NAR and the national franchise system. 

If you have any compassion or empathy for your fellow human beings, the next paragraphs should make you very upset!

We looked at the last ten sales in Inman Park (April – August 2023) to test how “honest” the Listing Brokers were?  And don’t forget these Listing agents are supposed to be a fiduciary to their client, the home seller.   All ten home sellers paid a 3% sales commission to the Buyer’s agent.  Why?  They didn’t have to! And all the Inman Park Listing agents knew that. 

Every agent in Atlanta, and I mean EVERY agent knows DOM (Days on Market) for Inman Park is always very low.  In the case of the last ten homes sales, a whopping 5.4 days!  Five friggin days on market means people are basically waiting in line to purchase these homes. 

The average home price of the last 10 Inman Park sales: $1.7 million dollars.  The Buyer’s agent commission at 3%: $51K.   The Buyer’s agent commission at 1% $17K.  The difference between a 1% commission and a 3% commission amounts to $34K thousand dollars of unrealized net per homeowner.  Everyone of these Listing Agents knew they could offer a 1% Buyer’s commission and not have it affect the sales process whatsoever.  Yet EVERYONE of these Listing Agents knowingly opted to giveaway a significant portion of the client’s nest egg!   Openly re-allocating their client’s equity of, on average, $34K dollars per homeowner. 

Of the last ten Inman Park sales, five of them were listed with Compass Inc.  Those agents looked their clients in the eye and recommended a 3% Buyer’s commission all while knowing they’d probably have a contract within 72 hours.  That should be criminal.  Speaking as a local person in the real estate business, it’s hard to see how anyone would be proud of such work.  It’s an embarrassment to all the hard-working agents who are trying to help their clients and be fiscally responsible. 

Make no mistake about it, we point out Inman Park only because they’re easy pickings, but the Atlanta area is loaded with desirable neighborhoods with historically low DOMs.  Over the years, a countless number of homeowners have been taken advantage of because they were told the 6% commission was “the norm”.    It was NEVER the norm!

It’s not like sales agents were ever going to complain.  When the market is good, a 3% Buyer’s commission can create crazy money for an agent.  Who pulls the plug on their own gravy train?    But, over the years the DOJ has received tens of millions of complaints from homeowners all over America regarding this enforced “mythological rule” of a 3% Buyer’s commission.  It’s BS!  And now the Courts have finally acknowledged it.

If the last 10 ex-homeowners of Inman Park all lost $34K dollars of realized net, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg, then the amount money NOT realized by home sellers throughout all of Atlanta is almost beyond comprehension.   How did the public NOT know this?  

You would have thought that home sellers unnecessarily losing hundreds of millions of dollars every year to a “rumor” would have made the news?  If the public is openly sold a lie, and many people are hurt by that lie, whose job is it to set the record straight?    

If you said it was the job of the local press to be the voice of record, you’re probably remembering some distant Journalism class.   Sadly, that’s not how things work. 

Randomly ask any number of Atlanta homeowners what the standard real estate sales commission is?  I’ll bet 90% of the answers will be wrong.  How is that even possible?  Well, …“Plants need electrolytes!”


1 thought on “The Nightmare of Inman Park”

  1. Thank you for penning this. I never knew about the Inman Park situation. This blog post gave me a different view on this recent verdict.

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