(Article by Michaela Rowland)
When I first started my course to get my Realtor license, I had no idea just how little I knew about Realtors and what they do. Once I began to learn the ropes, I learned that most people really have no idea how real estate actually works. Here are some common misconceptions people have about realtors today and the truth that actually goes on.
Misconception: “I can do it on my own.”
Many people today think they don’t need a real estate agent to buy or sell their next home because information about the house, definitions of loans, and closing information is all online. While all of this is online, a real estate agent is a huge benefit to you. An agent knows the market, knows how each detail of the process works from the contract, to inspections, to closing, and an agent has many contacts that can help in the transaction such as bankers or attorneys. With all of an agent’s knowledge and experience in the field, your agent can give you the guidance you need to make the buying or selling of your home a complete success. They allow for you to sit back and relax while your realtor makes sure everything flows smoothly. Agents are a complete necessity for a successful transaction in real estate.
Misconception: Agents make too much!
A common misconception about realtors is that they make “millions.” Agents are not paid by salary, but they are strictly paid off of commission. This means, if they don’t make a sale, they don’t get paid. What does that mean for sellers? The agent wants to sell the property just as bad as the seller does because if they don’t, the agent doesn’t make money either. Realtors are considered independent contractors, so they operate like their own small business and cover all of their expenses. While the take home check an agent receives may look big, you have to subtract their expenses for things such as MLS fees, insurance, car maintenance, gas, and closing gifts. Also, the real estate company the realtor works for gets a portion of the check from the sale. In the end, realtors can make decent pay, but it is all according to their volume of sales. Support your realtors, they are just trying to make a living just like everyone else.
Misconception: You have to call the agent on the sign.
Many buyers think they have to ride around calling the numbers on the signs or that they are supposed to call the number on the website where the house is listed. This is completely untrue! All agents have access to the MLS (multiple listing service) where these agents post information about the house, and the agent on the sign allows other agents to show the property to their clients. How does this work out for buyers? You can have your own buyer’s agent to personally help you look for the home. This agent gets to build a relationship with you and tailor their search to exactly what you are looking for, and most of the time us agents gain a strong friendship with our buyers in the end. How do buyer’s agents get paid? The seller pays the listing agent (the one on the sign) a commission for selling the house, but if a buyer’s agent actually sells the house, then the listing agent will split the commission with the buyer’s agent. Yes! That means buyers don’t have to pay their agent anything to work with them! Also, the listing agent (the one on the sign) works for the seller, so that agent has a duty to do what is best for the seller, but with a buyer’s agent, the realtor can do what is best for the buyer. It’s pretty much like having someone in your corner that knows how to get you through the process. Choose your own agent and do it the right way!
Misconception: Realtors are dishonest and out for what is best for them!
I guess I can’t completely mark this as a misconception since I don’t know every realtor on the planet, but for the most part, this so isn’t true! Most agents truly do want to help their clients in the best way possible. As an agent, it makes me feel good to help a new home buyer find the perfect home or a seller get top dollar for their property, and most of the time, if I know we can find a better home or get a better sales price then I make sure the client knows that. In the end, we all want to be a part of a happy day, and we know that if those clients ever participate in real estate again, they will come to us. Also, realtors have certain ethical standards that we have to follow through real estate law and the National Board or Realtors, so even for those not so morally correct agents, they still have a standard to follow to keep their license.
After working in real estate for several years now, I know just how much the “average Joe” doesn’t know about my job and how it works. So many people think that I make a huge salary even if I don’t sell anything, or I have set hours and then I am off (so not true when you pretty much run your own business), or that I am dishonest just because I am a saleswoman. The best way to know if you want to a realtor (I highly suggest you do) or which realtor to use is to talk to them. Get to know your realtors and learn who they truly are as a person. Ask the questions that you aren’t sure of. In the end, you will be truly glad to have used a realtor in your real estate transactions, and of course, we would always be glad to help you here at Premier Properties of Dublin.