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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Angry (08/02/07)

TITLE: Straight Talk From A Realtor
By Donna Wasson


It seems most folks are under the mistaken fantasy that Realtors make easy money. All they seem to do is stick a cheap sign on your lawn and you never hear from them until it’s time for them to show up at closing to collect their HUGE commission check. After a while of hearing this, it gets maddening!

As a licensed Realtor, let me assure you that this misconception is not true for 99.9% of all the real estate agents I’ve encountered in my 4 years of working in this field. Of course, there are those shiftless wonders who shirk their responsibility to their clients, thus making the rest of us look like schmucks, but again, for the most part, this image needs to be addressed.

Allow me to tell you how this whole deal actually works. Most agents study and obtain their license with stars and dollar signs in their eyes. I was no different. I joined a nationally known firm and was basically let loose with very little instruction how to obtain leads, clients, etc. My commission split was 60/40, with my broker taking 60% just for inhaling oxygen. So, after I advertised, sent mailers and postcards and finally obtained a client, all of the costs involved in selling their property came out of my huge 40% cut .

For instance, let’s say I listed and sold a home for $100,000.00. The listing agent (me) and the buyer’s agent split the customary 6% of the sales price, or $6000.00 in this example. I got 3% and the other agent got 3%. This would mean I would make $3000.00. Now…here comes the good part.

Out of that $3000.00, my broker would automatically take $1800.00 or 60%, because she “held” my license and she could demand whatever split I was stupid enough to agree to. That would leave me with $1200.00. Out of that $1200.00, I would take ALL the costs of selling and advertising that home, including designing and printing flyers, buying the flyer boxes to hold them, open house ads in the paper, all food and drinks for the open house, gasoline and wear and tear on my car, balloons and any needed directional signs not to mention an enormous investment of my personal time.

I also had to pay out of that $1200.00, a “franchise fee” for being a lucky member of that nationally recognized multi-billion dollar, nationwide company. Multiple Listing Service fees would also be deducted. So, out of that $1200.00 I managed to earn, I usually would walk away with a net payment of perhaps $800.00 tops. Yeseree-Bob, I was raking the money in!

And to think, it only took an average of 90 days from list date to close to get paid. Wow. I can certainly see how the general public could get the wrong impression of how we greedy Realtors work.

After a couple of years working for that multi-billion dollar, nationally known company I woke up, smelled the coffee and quit. I can be a bit obtuse at times. Now I am very pleased to say I never list homes anymore. I am in an up and coming specialty and am known as an Exclusive Buyer’s Agent.

I work exclusively with folks on the buying end of the equation. They are happy and excited to have my help and expertise since it costs them absolutely nothing! I am now the agent that waltzes in, bringing the desperate seller a ready, willing and able buyer and I have the pleasure of escorting my buyers through the entire transaction from search to the closing table.

The biggest expense I now encounter is the mind numbing price of gas as I drive these folks all over a four county area looking for the “perfect” home. However, it sure beats the heck out of what I was doing before and I’ll never be on the other side of the equation again!

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This article has been read 765 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Dee Yoder 08/17/07
I had no idea how it all works, and you were clear in setting the deal straight! I can also sense your anger and frustration about being taken advantage of just because you were new to the "game". Your writing is very clear, and even though I really didn't have much interest in the subject in the beginning, you "sold" me the story and I wanted to read to the end. That's good writing!