New book reveals negatives of real estate sales

When I began reading “Buyers are Liars and Sellers aretoo!” by longtime real estate broker Richard Courtney, I thought that atlast home sellers, buyers and realty agents would discover the full story aboutthe home sales business. Lest you think Courtney doesn’t have the credentialsto write this book, he is the president-elect of his local association ofRealtors.

Instead, I found a unique book filled with negative commentsabout home buyers, sellers and even real estate agents. I can’t recall onepositive example in the entire book about a home buyer or seller.

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Yet the book is filled with lots of hopefully made-up examplesof greedy home sellers and buyers. Worse, Courtney has nothing good to sayabout “for sale by owner” home sellers whom he calls “For Saleby Ogre.”

Having been a real estate broker for 39 years, I can relateto many of Courtney’s examples, which I hope are hypothetical. Manyillustrations are downright humorous. However, the author emphasizes thenegative, rather than the positive, aspects of home sales for real estateagents.

Courtney has no use for a home listing agent who alsorepresents the home buyer (called a “dual agent”) in a home sale. Herealistically emphasizes there is no way such an agent can fully look out forthe best interests of both the seller and buyer in the same transaction.

The book’s worst chapter, called “Foreclosures: Fool’sGold,” is remarkably inaccurate and incomplete. Courtney implies the onlyway to buy a foreclosure property is to purchase from the lender whoforeclosed. He completely overlooks the buyer opportunities to purchase beforethe foreclosure action or at the lender’s foreclosure sale.

As a book reviewer, I was looking forward to enjoying thisbook, which, according to the book’s forward and preface written by qualifiedindividuals, is funny and factual. Perhaps they didn’t read the same book Idid.

Instead I found many inaccuracies and misleading statements,especially in the chapter about open houses where Courtney says buyersshouldn’t even ask important key questions such as, “Why are theyselling?” “What did they pay for the house?” “How long hasit been on the market?” and “How much do they owe?”

Courtney seems to have a chip on his shoulder; especially inthe chapter about the buyer’s purchase offer that he subtitles, “TheGreedledees Meet the Greedledums.” In an attempt to be funny, he puts downboth home buyers and sellers.

Fortunately, from time to time there is a bit of levity tobreak up the negative comments. For example, in the chapter about mortgages theauthor says, “Be aware that although the institutions that share theirmoney with you, the borrower, are called lenders, they can be divided into foursubgroups: benders, menders, penders, and renders.” Then Courtney explainshis views on each type of mortgage lender.

Perhaps I am a bit too harsh on what could have been apositive, upbeat book about the home sales procedure. Instead, the author’snegative comments about home sellers, buyers and even real estate agentsoverwhelm the reader.

Chapter topics include: “The Realtor: No Place forBarney Fife”; “The Listing: The Greatest Show on Earth”;”Street Appeal: The Grass is Always Greener on the Lawn of the House ThatSells”; “Non-Agent Listings: For Sale by Ogre (I Mean, Owner)”;”Open Houses: Where Woodward and Bernstein Lurk, While Ida Dunn OffersCommentary”; “The Parent Trap: Ma and Pa Meddle”; “TheInspection: The Dealslayer”; “The Closing: It Ain’t Over Till It’sOver”; and “The Deal of a Lifetime.”

For experienced real estate sales agents who understand thehome sales procedures, this is a “fun read,” although most agentswill disagree with many of the author’s statements. But prospective home buyersand sellers should question the author’s often-harsh statements. On my scale ofone to 10, this disappointing book rates only a seven.

“Buyers are Liars and Sellers are too!” by RichardCourtney (Simon and Schuster-Fireside, New York) 2006, $14.00; 159 pages;available in stock or by special order at local bookstores, public libraries,and

(For more information on Bob Bruss publications, visit his
Real Estate Center

Copyright 2006 Inman News

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