There are millions of real estate agents, yet somehow they manage to be perceived as “all the same” by many people outside of the industry.
An outsider would only need to spend a few days in the biz in order to realize that’s not true at all, but it takes lot of time and effort to go to real estate school, pass the test, get your license, and spend some time in the field just to find that out.
So, let’s take a look at 8 common misconceptions people have about agents, and why agents are not all the same:
To begin with, even if the only thing agents did was act as a means of getting into peoples’ homes so you could look around, that’s a pretty big responsibility. Homeowners trust agents (many of them they’ll never meet or know) to bring complete strangers into their homes and show them around. That’s a lot of responsibility and trust to uphold.
So, sure, they’re all the same in that they need to be honest and have a squeaky clean record in order to obtain and maintain a license to do that. And even if you want to minimize that, think about some random stranger just being like, “Sure, head on over to my house with a couple of strangers, and let yourself in… I’ll make sure I’m not home so you can have some privacy.”
If only helping a buyer find the perfect house to buy was as easy as they make it look on HGTV! Real estate house hunting shows are entertaining, but they’re a far cry from real life. The truth is, even the buyers you see on TV saw a lot more than three houses before heading off to a local cafe to make a life-changing decision over their favorite beverage. They just edit it so it fits neatly into a half hour show.
It can take months and seeing dozens of houses before a buyer finds a house to buy, and some take that long and never even end up buying one! While it may look like an easy gig, every buyer an agent works with has to be given the time, patience, and guidance it takes to hone in on the perfect place to call home. No buyer or their path to the perfect house is the same, and each agent brings their own personal touch to the process for each of their clients.
If agents just stuck a sign in the lawn and sat back waiting for it to sell, they probably wouldn’t sell many houses. Sure, some houses are sold as a direct result of seeing a for sale sign in the yard, but more often than not a house is sold because of a wide array of marketing an agent does.
Almost every agent will put a sign on your lawn, but each agent also has their own secret sauce of sorts when it comes to spreading the word about their listings, and might even customize their marketing from one property to another. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to getting their listings maximum exposure.
Being able to browse real estate listings was a game changer! You used to need an agent to send you information on any listings that might fit your criteria, but now you can pretty much see everything that’s on the market the minute it hits the market. The key words there are “pretty much,” because not all listings are marketed online, or on the specific site you might browse for listings. Some houses are only listed on the local MLS, and the owner or agent opts out of sharing them on the listing websites.
But beyond that, it’s not just about having access to the listings, it’s also about being able to make sense of the options, and not overlooking one that you may like. Each agent has their own way of helping their buyers digest all of the options they see online, and understanding the market so that they make a truly informed decision.
Are there agents who are pushy and aggressive in the business? Of course! But somehow people presume all agents are like that, when the vast majority of them are actually the complete opposite.
If and when (and that’s a very occasional when!) an agent makes a “quick” sale, of course they appreciate the rare occurrence. But even a quick sale can take many months of time and work before an agent is able to get a listing sold, or find the buyer the perfect house to buy.
In fact, many agents will encourage their clients to take more time to make a decision, in order for them to get the best results on the sale of their home, or to find the best fit for their needs when buying.
All real estate commissions are negotiable, and 6% is by no means the rate every agent charges, despite what many outside the industry think. The average real estate commission hasn’t even hit 6% since 1992, according to this data from Statista. As that data shows, commissions vary from year to year, but they also vary from area to area, and agent to agent.
You should never work with an agent who has "commission breath" and is trying to push you into a sale that isn't right for you. Finding the right home takes time, patience, and the ability to listen.
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