What agents wish consumers knew
Sep 18, 2014

by Wes Hoover
1. We are not overpaid. Anyone who thinks this just doesn’t understand how our business works. Most real estate agents in most parts of the world work on a contingent fee basis. That means we work for free, we list houses for free, we show houses for free, we answer your questions for free. All of this is in the expectation that upon providing results we get paid.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that we are a bargain! Agents, typically, charge between five and seven per cent. Compare this to other contingent fee-based businesses that charge as much as 50 per cent.
2. We aren’t all the same. If you’ve been in the business for more than an hour, you’ve probably heard this line, “Oh, you agents are all the same.” Wrong. We all work differently. Let’s face it, just like any business, some agents are really not good at what they do and some are really good at it. This is because we all have different programs. Any good agent should have something he does that no one else can offer.
3. Asking for your information isn’t a violation of your privacy. If you’re an agent, you have probably had a call from a buyer who wants to look at a house but refuses to give you their name, phone number or e-mail address, thinking somehow that if they did give this information you would violate their privacy. The fact is that we need this information. Take a moment to think about it. We are going to a home, in most cases, alone to meet with a stranger and if someone won’t give simple contact information, this is a red flag. Furthermore, we are professionals and we won’t sell your information or call you five times a week trying to sell you something or get you to take a survey.
4. We can sell you any house listed on the MLS® system. Many people don’t realize this, calling every listing agent of every property they want to look at. It is best to pick one agent and stick with them. In fact, buying through the listing agent can limit the amount of advice they can offer.
5. No matter how many times for-sale-by-owner companies claim they can, they can’t do what agents do. They say they can get as much, if not more exposure, but this simply isn’t true. Agents have relationships with buyers. They know how to keep a deal from falling apart for silly reasons. They know how to do the paperwork you will need. The list goes on and on.
6. You cannot accurately price your home based on the home for sale down the street. We see this all the time. A lot of people don’t realize we have access to more information than the public, which we use to price houses. The fact is your home shouldn’t be priced based on what’s for sale — it should be priced according to what has sold.
Often, houses are overpriced. So, for example, your neighbour has his $300,000 house for sale for $369,900. So you say, I’m going to price mine at $359,900 and it will definitely sell. Is your house going to sell? Most likely it won’t.
7.  We work hard. Sure, selling real estate may look easy, anyone can do it. But anyone can run a 40-kilometre marathon if they are able-bodied and try hard enough. If you get my point, you’ll understand selling real estate is not easy. We work many hours, sometimes only to miss out on the commission in the end for whatever reason.
If you know these things and take them into consideration when dealing with your agent, they will love you for it. In a business where a lot of people will waste your time with no consideration for you having a life, it is such a refresher to have clients who know these things. So if you’re a consumer, try to keep these things in mind for your next buying/selling experience.
(Wes Hoover is a sales rep with Moncton Area Homes Team, HomeLife Premier Property Group. Reprinted with permission of REM Online.)