The 6 Most Common Real Estate Agent Myths

The 6 Most Common Real Estate Agent Myths

Just because you’ve read something about real estate agents on the Internet, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s accurate. Below are some of the most frequent real estate agent myths to keep in mind when you’re buying or selling a home.

All Real Estate Agents Make a Lot Of Money

Many real estate agents earn a good income, but the time and effort they put in to make that money are significant. It isn’t true that every real estate agent makes hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

Many people assume that every real estate agent gets a 6% commission no matter how the deal turns out, but this is not true. Many factors dictate an agent’s commission, and what the agent makes on a closing is always negotiable.

Thus, any agent who says he or she is compelled to earn a particular commission is probably  not being entirely truthful. Let’s say that you are willing to pay a 6% commission when you sell your home, but that commission is usually split between brokers on both sides of the deal.

In that case, the broker takes part of the commission before the agents get theirs. Also, there are other expenses involved in being an agent, such as MLS fees, Realtor postcards and other marketing collateral, gas and car maintenance, marketing, and health insurance.

Real Estate Agents Can Work Anytime

You may have heard that agents can work whenever they please and take a week off on a whim. For people who work 9-to-5 in cubicles, this sounds tempting.

But successful real estate agents need to work steadily and hard to earn a good living. The truth is that real estate agents often have to work when their clients expect them to.

This can mean showing houses at night and on weekends or whenever buyers and sellers happen to be able to make the time.

Travel Costs are Paid

Being an agent means you have to drive a lot. Agents have to check on listings, meet clients, put out marketing signs, and so much more.

All the traveling around is expensive. Despite what some people believe, most agents pay for their travel expenses out of pocket.

So agents often have to be prepared to spend money on fuel, car repair, and maintenance at almost any time.

Agents Make More on Expensive Homes

Certainly, the agent’s commission is based on a percentage of the home’s value, but other factors come into play. For example, in some cases, a house worth $50,000 more than another may only pay the agent an extra $200 or $300.

You Don’t Need a Real Estate Agent

Many people use the Internet for a lot of information about real estate, so they may assume they don’t need to pay for a real estate agent in this day and age.

But real estate agents generally have more local knowledge about the community and specific neighborhoods, as well as years of experience conducting real-estate negotiations.

Yes, you can obtain excellent information online, but there’s really no substitute for experience. Real estate agents also have access to potent marketing tools that can make it much easier to sell your home.

So unless you have a lot of experience in real estate yourself, it usually pays to hire an agent.

You Can’t Change Agents

If you are a home seller and you’ve signed a contract with an agent, there may still be a way to extract yourself from the commitment. If you think the agent isn’t doing a good job or not living up to his or her word, you can ask the broker for a different agent.

When it’s time to buy or sell your home, you’ll spend time looking for the best agent to serve your needs. If you remember the misconceptions above, you’ll have the information and knowledge you need to make the best choice for your situation.