Lifestyles over 50 Finance & Money
Many people confuse the terms “realtor,” “real estate agent,” and “broker.” They might use them interchangeably as if they were the same thing. Their work may overlap, but there are distinct differences in their qualifications and professional standing.
Simply put, a realtor is a member of the National Association of Realtors, the largest trade group in the country. Realtors are tested, licensed experts in their fields and are held to the highest ethical standards. Brokers are usually managers who own agencies and have agents working for them. Agents are basically salespersons who bring buyer and seller together and earn a commission on the sale.
“Reality” TV shows and other media have given people the idea that realtors show a couple houses to the perfect couple, sign some papers, and make millions in commissions. This is very far from the truth. The average realtor may show a buyer a dozen houses over a 3-month period, then wait another month for the closing before being paid. If the deal falls through or the buyer moves on, the agent earns exactly — Zero! And this is after the agent has paid their own expenses (gas, meals, etc.). In other words, it is a commission-only-based profession that depends entirely on the sale.
Many people only see the final commission check and believe it just goes in the realtor’s pocket. This is not the case. If the buyer and seller have individual agents, they usually split the commission. They also pay their own taxes and benefits, and may have to pay a percentage to the broker for whom they work.
Wouldn’t it be better to sell the house yourself and save the commission money? Agents provide many services that make it easier to sell. They are trained experts who have contacts and techniques that the average person does not. They understand pricing and can help you get top dollar for your home; after all, it benefits them as well. They have social media and other advertising platforms to spread the word, and can alleviate the stress of buying or selling a home, by handling paperwork, putting out fires, and negotiating good deals. Again, the time and expense of the process come out of their own time and pocket. Realtors are very hardworking individuals with care and concern for their clients.
Studies have shown that realtors can sell a house for about $46,000 more than the owner can on his or her own. It’s worth it to have a trained, dedicated, ethical expert to shepherd the entire process. Elissa Clausnitzer is proud to be working with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Fox & Roach, REALTORS®, a well-known and reputable business. Elissa Clausnitzer, SRS, SRES, SMRS, is a local, experienced expert who is ready to serve you and make your next home a reality.