Perhaps, like me, you have wondered about 72Sold, which runs commercials every night on local TV stations, giving the impression that it is a Colorado real estate brokerage, and directing you to www.72Sold.com, which gives the same impression.
In researching this company, the first thing I did was to look on REcolorado.com, the Denver MLS, to see how many listings they have sold. The answer was none, because 72Sold is not a member of the MLS and is not even licensed in Colorado to sell real estate.
So what’s the story? First I asked Marcia Waters, director of the Colorado Division of Real Estate, who confirmed that 72Sold is not licensed in Colorado, and said the division has not received any complaints about them — which makes sense, since one can only file a complaint against a licensed brokerage.
My suspicions about 72Sold were raised further as I scanned the company’s website, which contains numerous testimonials and the following graphic, which has no identification of, or links to, the “five independent studies” cited in it:
To learn more, I posed as a potential seller and requested a valuation on 72Sold’s website, which uses such terminology as “a better way to sell your home.” That sure sounds like a brokerage, doesn’t it?
Registering my name and a home address on their website resulted in a call from a woman who said she was from 72Sold but who, under questioning, said she was actually with Your Castle Realty, a non-Realtor brokerage. So as not to blow my cover, I used the excuse that I only wanted to work with a Realtor, and she offered to have an agent from Keller Williams call me.
Susan Thayer, co-owner with her husband of Keller Williams Action Realty in Castle Rock, was the agent who called me next. I revealed to her that I was actually a Realtor myself writing this real estate column. I explained that posing as a seller on 72Sold’s website was the only way I could find out what was really behind all those TV commercials.
Susan was quite open and helpful and sent me links with background information, including an Inman News article about 72Sold’s partnership with Keller Williams and its many franchises.
Like 72Sold’s website, the Inman story conflated the roles of a lead generating company and a real estate brokerage, reporting, for example, that 72Sold had grown from 10 agents to 426 agents (as of August 2022), when in fact they only have licensed agents in Arizona, where they are a licensed brokerage. Everywhere else, as I understand it, they have what should be called “referral partners” instead of agents.
What 72Sold does is invest 80% of its referral fee income (according to the Inman story) into more TV advertising in those markets where it has referral partners, and some of that expense is apparently shared by those referral partners, although I didn’t garner any specific numbers.
What 72Sold offers through its referral partners is a strategy of combining a 7-day coming soon period with a Friday-to-Sunday active period during which buyers’ agents may show the home for 15 minutes on Saturday, according to the Inman article. The idea is to create a buyer frenzy and “fear of loss.” With the slowing of the market, that strategy has softened. It sounds great to sellers, however, making the leads generated well worth 72Sold’s referral fee.
Click on the thumbnail below to watch a video from 72Sold’s home page. Judge for yourself whether they are posing as a brokerage in Colorado, where you just watched their TV ad.
PS: It is a violation of the Realtor Code of Ethics for a member to misrepresent himself or his level of success, but neither Greg Hague nor his Arizona brokerage is a member of the National Association of Realtors, and therefore neither is bound to the Code of Ethics.