What a GOOD agent really does and what it’s worth.
What do you think of when you think of a Realtor?
A lot of people think of the slick salesman, with tacky clothes and pasted on smile trying to sell you any house they can stuff you into. Or the ones you see on the reality house hunter shows who are ditzy and lazy. And sure. Some of them are like that. Stereotypes exist because theres always a small nugget of truth there. But in reality, the vast majority of Realtors I know, are just folks who have come to this job because they really deeply believe that owning your own home can change the course of your life. For the better. And they want to help make that possible. That simple.
A typical week for me (and most Agents I know), means wearing several hats. Counselor. Social worker. Assistant. Project Manager, Contractor. Negotiator. Friend. We're like those plate-spinners you see at the circus. Spinning each plate at the right time so none come crashing down, while smiling so they don't panic thier audience. I've heard the job compared to a flight control tower operator. Keeping those planes safe, landing and taking off simultaneously. Being a Realtor is ranked one of the most stressful jobs out there. But for a lot of Realtors it feels less like a job and more like a calling.
Think about what buying a house really means. I'm not talking about investors or companies who buy up blocks of houses. That isn't buying a home, that's buying a product. I'm talking about everyday ordinary people who are buying a home to live their lives in. It's the biggest purchase they will ever make by far. It's where they will spend the majority of their time. Where they will live their lives. Marry, divorce, have children. Laugh and cry. Create and dream. For a good Realtor, it's everything. To make sure you find the right home. Just the right home. So you can live your lives. That's important stuff, and why we do the crazy stuff we do.
A typical day for a good Realtor is packed with crazy stuff. Stuff they do to make sure they land those planes and spin those plates safely.. besides all the paperwork, phone calls, emails and all the nuts and bolts that go into buying a home, a typical day for me might include handyman work like painting, cleaning or up on a ladder installing something to pass an appraisal. It might include racing into a McDonald's at 8am to use their wireless because your offer just came through and we're in a bidding war. Or mowing the lawn for a buyer because the landscaper cancelled last minute. Finding a home for a cat that you can't take with you when you move. Or staging a home on my dime because it was needed. Ditto for paying for a repair that was done badly. Arranging contracting work and getting bids. Shopping for that perfect closing gift. Reassuring anxious clients at 10pm and 7am. Sitting with someone among boxes and listening to memories. Memories that their home held. And helping them pack for their new one.
It's a lot. It means a lot to us as Realtors, the good ones anyway. The ones who really deeply care about the people and lives they help wrap in a home.
Oh and that other stereotype? The rich Realtor just rolling in cash because they filled out a few forms? You can forget that too. The average salary for a Realtor in 2022 was $49,000 per year in the US. And from that salary, most Agents have anywhere from 35-50 percent of their commissions taken right off the top from their brokerage. Then there's all our expenses, and education, and gas and licensing and advertising and gifts and...well, you get the idea. Yeah. Not a get rich quick kind of thing. And you know those clients that I worked with for 6 months every weekend and paid assistants hundreds of dollars to help me with? They decided not to buy anything after all. And that's not unusual in this business.
So. What's my point? My point is this: It matters which Realtor you choose. It matters how much they care about you and your experience. It matters that they feel like their job is a calling and not just a paycheck. That they want the relationship with you to be forever. The good ones are out there, and they arent that hard to spot. Ask your friends who they have worked with and loved. Make sure they rave about them. That's who you want to work with. Make sure you get the attention and care and professional treatment you deserve.
And happy home hunting. The perfect one is out there. Go out and find the Realtor who will help you find it.
See you out there.