Ever notice that some folks have a skewed view of what a real estate agents does? Considering how agents are depicted on some reality TV shows, that’s understandable. Agents with big incomes and lavish lifestyles undoubtedly bring in higher television ratings than your run-of-the-mill agents.
And while those shows are entertaining, they can create a lot of misconceptions about real estate agents. We’re ready to clear those up right now! Having an agent ON YOUR SIDE for a real estate transaction is the key to having an easier time buying and selling a home. There are actually Designated Agency Agreements that agents enter into with buyers and sellers to help protect both parties. Here is a breakdown of some real estate myths and what a designated agent really is.
Misconception #1: Selling Your Home is Inexpensive.
As a Seller’s Agent you need to look at a few of the daily challenges that occur: marketing the property efficiently, managing a client database, showings, showing feedback, Open Houses, signs, brochures and the supervising of negotiations are just to name a few. Now add in the stress of a commission-based income, and you can understand why few agents say their jobs are “easy.”
“People have this image that being an agent is easy, that all you have to do is show or list homes,” says Murney Associates agent Michelle Ward in an in house interview. “This is an undervalued job for all the work that goes into it and real estate is a really fickle industry.”
Misconception #2: Realtors Make A LOT of Money.
Real estate agents drive around in flashy cars, live in mansions, and are up to their eyeballs in million-dollar deals, right?
Wealthy agents are definitely out there, but 7-figure incomes are not the norm among agents. The average gross income for members of the National Association of Realtors who worked 40-59 hours a week was $54,000 in 2013. That’s a solid income, but not enough to support a warehouse full of Ferraris or a palatial vacation home like you see on TV. There are many things such as: board dues, advertising, flyers, signage, luncheons, cards, lockboxes and fuel costs that come with being a REALTOR.
Misconception #3: My schedule is super-flexible.
Most real estate agents aren’t held to the “Monday-Friday, “8-5” routine. Agents have some flexibility to work at the times and locations that they see fit. That doesn’t mean agents can abandon the office for days on end or vacation at a moment’s notice either. Clients have schedules and busy lives as well, and many expect agents to cater to their time frames. Buyers may want an immediate showing of a new listing or drive by a house with a sign in the yard and want to see it at the earliest availability. Sellers expect listing agents to constantly monitor leads and get feedback on showings. This is where having a signed Designated Buyer’s/Seller’s Agency Agreement comes into play. This insures that the Buyer’s Agent works directly for the Buyer and the Seller’s Agent works directly for the Seller. There is such thing as a “Dual Agency” which is a form of agency that may result when an agent licensee or someone affiliated with the agent licensee represents another party to the SAME transaction. Being properly represented is the number 1 step to keeping a transaction stable. At the end of the day, agents can choose how flexible and responsive they want to be. But as success follows hard work, so too must agents follow their client’s needs.
Misconception #4: I don’t need any training to do this job.
We’ll counteract that myth with a simple statement: Agents are a well-educated crowd.
Every licensed agent must meet their state’s training guidelines before starting a practice. Plus,more than 48 percent of NAR members have some type of college degree, and 38 percent hold specialized training certifications. In addition, a third of NAR members have at least one professional designation, such as GRI (Graduate Realtor Institute) or ABR (Accredited Buyer Representative). It’s true that most universities don’t offer a bachelor’s degree in real estate. Don’t let that tidbit obscure the fact that agents undergo rigid licensure training and continuing education to succeed.
The reality is…
Just like any other profession, real estate has its highs and lows. It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme, or an easy career for someone without the proper training and licensing.
But if you love personal interaction, marketing, and being self-employed, working as a real estate agent can be incredibly rewarding. Connecting buyers with their dream homes or helping sellers move on with their lives is a wonderful calling.