The more you know, the better decisions you can make. Understanding some of these common myths about real estate agents will help you to better understand them and in turn hire the best agent to suit your needs instead of hiring based on discounts and assumptions.
Check out these 11 assumptions about real estate agents that are quite off base.
1) With today's technology it's easy to sell a house.Quite the opposite actually. The vast online portals and opportunities for advertising mean that agents must be "on their game" now more than ever. From using professional photography to monitoring their listings' "online reputation" top agents spend a ton of time and money staying on top technology and providing the best services for their clients and exposures for their clients' homes.
2) Agents are paid the entire commission.Definitely not. For most agents, they are splitting the commission with their broker. It can be as low as 50/50. Agents are not employed by the brokerage so the agent's portion of the split is then used to pay for their business expenses, taxes and personal insurances/retirement. Oh, and to feed their families. (See #5.)
3) Agents get paid to drive clients around or show property.Not so. We only make money when a transaction is closed and funded. (See #2). We are not employed. We have no salary or hourly wage. See also How Does My Real Estate Agent Get Paid? True and False
4) If you’re not being offered as much as you want for your home, your agent just isn’t working hard enough.Usually not. An overpriced home just doesn't sell. Also, unless it is a cash sale, your home will have to appraise. The appraisal will be based off comparable sales of similar homes in your area that have recently sold. A home that doesn't appraise will not be financeable. Your agent has no control over this. Just because your neighbor is asking $50,000 more for his home still doesn't mean that is what it’s worth, or what he’ll actually get for it when it eventually sells. Location, updates, condition and more factor into the price of a home.
5) All Real Estate Agents are rich.While real estate can be a big money maker, it’s also true that 20 percent of the agents do 80 percent of the business. It may seem like an agent makes a lot of money at once on a transaction, but real estate is a very expensive business to be in. Namely, yearly and monthly dues and fees to national and state associations, local MLS, local showing service, and your broker. Plus, the agents pay for gas, signs, advertising, key boxes, websites, professional photography, health insurance, etc. Pretty much anything real estate related comes out of the agent’s pocket. Most are lucky to walk away with 1 percent of a transaction.
Not all good real estate agents have billboards and fancy cars!
6) Real Estate is an “easy” job since its just "putting a sign in the yard" or “driving around and looking at houses.”Real Estate is VERY hard. It is constant marketing, prospecting, and handling complex transactions. It can be a lot of time and effort with no guaranteed return. Agents are trying to make a living like everyone else. It can be extremely stressful. It’s very rewarding to find someone the right property, but until the transaction closes, it’s pretty high stress for the agent as well as the client.
It’s rarely part time. Agents are constantly expected to be answering calls, emails and texts often including nights, weekends and holidays on top of the 9-5 activities they perform. And it’s not easy either. Agents work with people on the biggest financial transactions of their lives. It’s emotional and complicated. Agents NEED to shut down and take a break from this to stay at their best.
Not all agents are created equal and not just anyone can be an agent. An agent has to be a special person that is knowledgeable, helpful, and very thick skinned. We deal with emotional people, rude people and time wasters every day. We have to stay up to date with mandatory continued education classes and be great negotiators.