10 Things Real Estate Agents Wish They Could Tell You
Life as a real-estate agent probably isn't as glamorous as you'd think.
Business Insider asked real-estate agents around the country about what it's really like working in the industry, the best and worst parts of their jobs, and what they wish they could tell their clients. While some agents chose to remain anonymous, all were independently verified by Business Insider. From how much money they really make to "your home isn't selling because you have no taste," here are 10 things real-estate agents wish they could tell their clients.
Being a real-estate agent isn't as glamorous or lucrative as you might think, according to those in the industry. Brian Suico, a realtor in Vancouver who sells homes priced at about $700,000 on average, said he wished he could tell clients "how much we pay in real-estate fees and marketing." "Everyone thinks we are rich," Suico said. "Some of us are, but like every business, we spend money to make money, and we take risks, and some of us are very talented at our jobs." An agent based in Washington added that most agents earn only "a small fraction of the gross commission paid, and we have to pay all of our expenses and taxes from that." "It's far less lucrative (per transaction) than you think," the agent said.
Many agents said they wished clients knew how much work they do behind the scenes. "We don't just open doors, and we wear many hats," said Spencer Cutler, a Corcoran real-estate broker in New York City. "Yes, part of our job is to show expensive properties in Manhattan, but we're also a transaction coordinator, marketer, therapist, salesperson, telemarketer, CFO, CEO, accountant, analyst, negotiator, teacher, etc." Claire Groome, an agent at Warburg Realty who sells homes that cost between $1 million and $20 million in New York City, said that brokers do a lot of work that goes unnoticed and that she wished clients knew "how hard (yet rewarding) our jobs are." "It's an expertise," Groome said. Scot Dalbery from REAL New York, who deals with rental properties in New York City, expressed similar sentiments. "Especially in the era we live in now where people think everything can be done instantly and for free through a website or app, clients don't realize the amount of hours spent researching listings, calling agents, making appointments, verifying information, all while answering every text or email from the clients themselves," he told Business Insider. He added: "I would never want to tell a client that they are unappreciative, but at times it definitely feels that way."
Mary Hall Mayer, an agent at Warburg Realty in New York City, said she wished she could sometimes tell her clients one harsh truth: "You have no taste, which is why your property can't achieve that price."
"Don't listen to relatives, friends, Zillow, or Redfin," a real-estate agent based in Washington state who sells homes that cost an average of $400,000 told Business Insider. Butch Haze, who specializes in homes in the $3 million to $10 million range in the San Francisco Bay Area, added that there's a big difference between top real-estate agents and part-time agents. "If you want to use your sister-in-law or a friend because they have a license, don't do it," Haze told Business Insider. "You would be better off paying for their friendship, pay them $10,000 because you love them, rather than risk the money you would be leaving on the table by using someone without the knowledge and experience of the very best. There is a reason most top agents are top agents...