Realtor ratings had been introduced to make buying and selling a house a lot more convenient and easy. All of us have to buy or sell a house at some point of time in our lives. A few of us may do it several times. But none of us can be so experienced as to call ourselves experts like the top rated real estate agents who specialize in this field.
Therefore, if you do not have the expertise, why not hire it? But it isn’t that easy. The system had a built in conflict of interest. Especially while representing a buyer, the realtor had an option to either maximize his own benefit or that of the client. Both were not possible together. Over the course of time some realtors chose to maximize their own benefits and some decided to do it for their clients.
A way to find a proxy answer:
Realtor ratings are meant to be a surrogate way of separating the wheat from the chaff. The good intermediaries from the bad. But it has been found that most of the top performing agents might belong to the bad category. It is natural, that folks who are ambitious and have the drive to succeed, will pursue their own interest.
The rating system too has the same flaw:
A lot of times these realtor ratings are rigged rendering them totally meaningless. In most cases the flaw is in the procedure. The ratings are given by a few customers who serve as a sample to represent the views of the overall population. In most cases these samples have been carefully selected to represent the views that a realtor might want to project.
There is no question about the realtor getting the requisite aid from the rating agency. In most cases it is the realtors who pay a fee to get themselves rated while the customers get the ratings free.
This shows how hard it is to learn from mistakes. Instead of devising a method to get rid of the problems, what has been devised is another problem. The realtor ratings will be used by the customer but paid for by the realtor. Is it possible that the rating will ever be free of bias and objective?
Another haphazard solution
Another haphazard solution proposed is that anyone must be able to autonomously rate the agents online. This is once again open to be rigged. Since there are genuine large number of people who may want to rate a realtor, there will also be people who will be paid to write reviews and increase realtor ratings!
The solution should be to get rid of the inherent biases in the system. It is the conflict of interest which makes capable agents work against your interests. A flat fee realtor would have no reason not to pursue your interests. It therefore makes no sense to perpetuate the conflict of interest by using another flawed system called realtor ratings.