What do real estate agents do?

It depends.

It is pretty easy to get a real estate license in most states.  A class and passing a test or two mostly.  Some require fingerprinting and police back ground checks but over all it is not like earning a degree.

Because of that there are literally thousands of licenses out there.  More than half are hobbiest.  They close a transaction here or there, or fancy themselves a flipper/rehabber.

The bests of the best, the top 5-10% work full-time at their craft.  They are experts in negotiation, pricing and problem solving.  They are masters at time management and project management.  They keep everything moving & everyone connected that is needed in the home purchase or sale process.

They make sure you do not miss deadlines that could result in financial consequences and assist in helping the client see the bigger picture in the process.  The negotiation of the terms of a real estate contract has much more finesse then most people realize.  A small error in a comma, period, or word or phrase can cost a buyer/seller thousands of dollars.

Sure many people buy or sell successfully For Sale By owner (FSBO) but at what cost? A significant problem you find with the home only after closing?  A significant repair you have to make before closing because you didn’t read the small print?

A REALTOR is worth every dime if not more.

So how much does it cost to hire a REALTOR®?

It depends.

Typically the seller compensates both the buyers agent and the listing agent which means HELLO BUYERS, YOU PAY NOTHING FOR YOUR AGENT, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??????  Sure some agencies have a low flat administrative fee they charge every client but in the scheme of things that is a pretty low cost.

So how much does the seller pay in these commissions?

It depends.

Remember professional REALTORS have many up front expenses, professional photographers, staging consultant, marketing materials and the basic marketing.  All of this costs money and most REALTORS® do all of that up front for FREE waiting to be paid at closing.  One of the only professions that get paid after the work is done.  Your listing agent might negotiate commission with you but beware, one often gets what they pay for.  An agent who can communicate their value effectively and resist the temptation to reduce their commission when confronted by a prospective seller  is MUCH more valuable than the one who rolls over at the first sign a difficulty.  A STRONG agent goes a long way when representing you in your next buy or sell.

So what should I look for in an agent?

It depends.

Experience is priceless – just make sure the experience hasn’t lead the agent to burn out.

Strategic Negotiator – A skilled negotiator already knows some of the best moves and is being strategic from the very beginning to get you in the best position.

Solutions Driven – There are a lot of obstacles that can get in the way of the buying sand selling of real estate.  In the end a buyer wants to buy and a seller wants to sell so having a REALTOR® involved who is focused on problem solving is key to making it to the closing table.

Energetic and Enthusiastic – Your agent should LOVE their job, making connections and helping people achieve their home ownership dreams should light them on fire every morning.  You want someone working for you who is as excited about your home purchase as you are.