There are misconceptions about every profession, but some of the fallacies about real estate agents are actually harmful to the buyer-agent relationship. Buyers need to understand that their agents work hard on their behalf. And unlike some people believe, most real estate agents are not rich; nor is their job particularly easy. It’s finally time to bust one myth at a time.
They Make Lots of Money
Many agents give the impression that they’re rich and successful because it helps them sell homes. That’s why you may see a lot of real estate agents driving fancy SUVs. In reality, their financial life could be just as complicated as yours. The SUV possibly comes with a hefty car payment, and they have to pay their other bills, too.
It’s true that commissions can seem pretty high, but your agent has to split the money with their broker. But it can actually take several months to earn that one commission, and the money may only cover 2 weeks’ worth of living expenses for them. Plus, the job fluctuates with the seasons. Real estate agents have to be smart with their money, because they may go for many months without earning any.
Their Job Is Easy
Driving around and showing houses looks like fun. And it’s something anyone can do. Therefore, most people assume that being a real estate agent is an easy job. But when you think about the fact that they’re always looking for clients, never know when they’re going to get paid, and have to show homes at all hours of the day, it can be pretty stressful.
In addition, agents have to spend hours in the office doing paperwork, answering the phone, and searching the listings for new properties. When you add the time they spend on scheduling appointments all throughout the day to meet their client’s needs or to drive quite a distance to show a property, they can easily spend 12 hours a day or more working.
They Have Flexible Schedules
Real estate agents are in high demand on evenings and weekends. Though agents have to meet with clients when it suits them, agents’ schedules are pretty flexible. The problem with flexible schedules is that it can be difficult to get anything done besides work. It also makes it difficult to keep a good work-life balance.
As a buyer, it’s important to understand that your real estate agent’s schedule isn’t empty. You’re not the only client they have, and they have a personal life, too.
They Don’t Have Any Training
It’s true that becoming a real estate agent in Toronto, Ontario, only requires entry-level skills. That being said, agents still have to become licensed, which actually involves many hours of studying and learning. Depending on local laws, your real estate agent may also be required to get continuing education credits as well.
Of course experience is even more valuable than training. Over many years of buying and selling homes, your real estate agent knows a lot of things about the local real estate market. He or she can even advise you when you need to seek expert opinions, including that of a licensed home inspector, termite inspector, lawyer, or other qualified professional.