The role of a modern real estate agent is very obscure and ambiguous to the everyday person. From what exposure the general public has with real estate agents, it is easy to see why this is; agents are the people who dress top notch, drive buyers around a city in the shnazzy cars, or bring cookies and flower to an open house on the weekend and then, when an offer is made, they take 6% of the sales price for their time.
Having worked in a real estate office now for a little over four years I can confidently assure you, that perception of the industry is flat out erroneous in its gross over-implication.
A real estate agent is paid to do four acts:
- Sell Property (Buyer’s Side)
- List Homes (Seller’s Side)
To be honest, the List and Sell portions, although still extremely simplified, are the perceived driving people around and bringing cookies to an open house. NAR has produced some statistics directly referring to these two activities.
Did you know?
The Average Home Search Lasts 12 Weeks. An agent devotes three months of driving a buyer around prior to them making the decision to put an offer in on a home.
For Sale by Owner Home Sell for, on average, $40,000 Less Than Homes Listed with a Real Estate Agent. There is more to it than having open houses and fresh flowers. (Source)
Now for the two less obvious tasks that you pay a real estate agent to do.
Prospecting: Currently Bozeman Montana Real Estate.net has a database of 3,500 active buyers looking to purchase real estate in the Gallatin Valley area at some point (their timelines all vary). To build up a community of such substantial size with specific needs takes a great deal of money, time, and culturing of leads. To be a modern-day real estate agent, you must know and work vehemently at nurturing trust and loyalty from leads coming from people you know as well as Mr. Mickey Mouse who found you online and is working to remain anonymous. Daily phone calls, emails, snail mail touches all slowly culminate into just one lead turning into a prospective client.
Negotiating: Once a buyer or seller go under contract, much of an agent’s job is just beginning. There are thousands of details that can cause a deal to so sideways or terminate. With each step of the transaction, an agent is there representing their client. From the initial offer to the counter offers to come, the negotiation skill of an agent are what bring about that $40K difference in ultimate price of homes. From there, the inspection, appraisal, title, lending, etc… are all determined by the effective communication and timeliness of your agent. The coordination of all that transpires within a transaction is there for the client’s protection and sanity.
At the end of the day, it will always be hard to combat the public perception of the value of a real estate agent. Once you find that agent that really does it all for you, I hope you understand the amount of time and devotion they are putting into the actualization of your dreams—whether that be financial security, buying your first home or investment.
If you have any more questions, feel free to comment or reach out to the agents at Bozeman Montana Real Estate.net by calling 406-556-7188.