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In Defense of Scorned 'Bottom Feeders'

March 17, 1991

" 'Bottom Feeders' Anger Even Anxious Sellers" by Ellen James Martin (March 3) was truly amazing. We're told that offering a low price is bad, particularly if it's accepted. We're told that offerers of low prices insult and humiliate the buyers, not to mention terrifying the real estate community, whose rice bowl depends on ever-increasing property values.

The article points out that these offers are "rarely successful" and that they "rarely wind up consummating a deal," which means that ". . . there's no commission earned for the agent."

Reading between the lines one can conclude that this tactic does occasionally work and that a successful "bottom feeder" can actually buy low and, we would presume, later on sell high. Funny, I thought all along that this is what you were supposed to do.

I think one reason that I and a lot of my friends have a negative reaction to realtors in general is that while the price of everything else can go up and down and that making money is never "a sure thing," these concepts are foreign to the California real estate industry.

Let's face it, real estate in California had a helluva ride for a long time. Now, at least for a while, it looks like the ride is over, and "bottom feeding" and buying a home to live in, rather than make money on, might replace yearly upward appreciation. Given the tone of the article, it looks like it will take a while for this new concept to sink in.

RICHARD SHILLING

Pacific Palisades

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