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A Rebuttal to Susan Stellin

Agents, Shaun's Soapbox, Buyers // Jan 29, 2011

Susan Stellin wrote an article in Sunday’s New York Times that is sure to rustle some feathers. The article discusses the commission model and negotiability of this (or not) in the current environment.

My feathers aren’t rustled, but I am certainly bewildered at the lack of collective insight about how this business and the expectation of clients has evolved, both by the Stellin, and by some of the people that she quotes.

My favorite: “At a certain price point, 6 percent just feels vulgar.”

Huh ?????

I am never nauseous when I pay top dollar at the Apple Store for an iPad or an iPod Touch. Apple’s seamless service and their product innovation is worth every penny – to me!

Sure, I might be able to get a similar product for cheaper, but that’s not the product or experience I’m interested in.

I am never upset when I pay FedEx to ship a package to me when I want it. Their reliability, their tracking mechanisms and their ease of use is worth every penny – to me!

Sure, I can use another carrier to ship it more inexpensively, but will I get the package, in one piece, on time, every time?

My money manager at the hedge fund charges me a higher fee than the online mass-market trader online. His knowledge, insight and the strategy I get, along with personal service, is worth every penny (and seen in my ROI).

It is DIFFICULT to find high-level service.

This takes time, effort, attention to detail, expertise and money in order to create it.

Companies who offer high level service are rare, but are usually worth every penny.

It is EASY to get things for cheap these days.

Anyone can deliver that! (And it seems that everyone is trying to).

Discount companies with mass-market appeal have their place.

But it isn’t always wise to be penny wise and pound-foolish.

When it comes to buying or selling a home, I would imagine that it is smarter to work with innovative experts who are knowledgeable and who deliver high touch service and results.

After all, a home is probably the largest purchase or sale you are going to deal with for a while.

Wouldn’t it be wise to use the best – not the cheapest?

I certainly think so!