David explains how Realtors actually get paid in this post, and it is not how most people think. Thanks David!
Heather Rankin, Realtor
Your Lake Powell Realtor
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that about 80% of people have no idea how Realtors get paid, or how Real Estate relationships work. My goal is to clear that up so that your Realtor doesn't have to deal with constant frustration. This blog isn't designed to complain or make you, the consumer, feel stupid, but to educate you about the process.
First - BUYERS -Realtors do not receive salaries, we get paid based on commission only. This means that if you don't buy something, we don't get paid. Let me elaborate on this. We spend a lot of time and gas to show properties. This money comes out of our pockets. Don't abuse your Realtor. Our job is to serve you, and do everything we can to help you find what you're looking for, we just ask that you respect our time and money like we do yours.
Second - Sellers - Realtors do not receive salaries, we get paid on commission only. This means that if your house doesn't sell we don't get paid. The advertising for your house, the gas, the time, the open houses (and those cute sandwiches), those pretty packets we print out are all paid for on our dime until your house sells. Advertising is expensive (call your local paper for and ask...I think I heard you jaw hit the ground). Sellers, Listen, list your house at the price we give you, we know you want more money, but the prices aren't set by the Realtor or the seller. Prices are set by the other properties that sold. We don't price your house low because we don't like you, we price it where we know it will SELL. If selling isn't your goal, then call a Realtor that likes wasting money and time (none of them).
This section is primarily dedicated to buyers. It's much harder for Sellers to have an affair with another Realtor. The house is listed. It has your name on a sign out front so there is little risk the seller will go behind your back. We've heard horror stories but it isn't the norm. Sellers also tend to choose their Realtor from past experience so they have a background information about how this person conducts business.
Buyers, you drive us up the wall. It isn't your fault, it's just that society in general doesn't understand real estate relationships. When you start working with a Realtor they start dedicating time to providing a service to you. In an ideal world a buyer should only establish this relationship with one Realtor and they should choose that person carefully. The fundamental flaw in this process is that a lot of buyers call the office from a sign or book and can, without warning, get the worst Realtor god every put on earth.
While we'd like to say that our profession is perfect, that would be complete BS. There are good and bad Realtors just like there are good and bad doctors, lawyers, and used car salespeople.
Buyers we get upset when..we work hard, show you 10 properties, then you leave us to go look at properties with another Realtor. If you end up buying with that other Realtor you wasted all of our time. We don't get the time back or the money. Again we ask that you respect us the way we respect you. If you were a plumber and I had you out 10 different times to give me estimates but never had you do any work (you never get paid) would you be happy?
Friends - Don't call us when you have another Realtor list your house to tell us that you put it on the market and since we are in the business we should sell it. TOO LATE, you should have called us to list the property so that we could represent you and work toward selling the property. If you list with someone else and we have a buyer great, but if not we will simply wish you good luck. Typically this ends in a "good luck" and a Realtor kicking himself because his friends don't understand the process.
I hope this helps the everyday person understand how things work in the real estate world. There are so many more examples, but this should provide a basic understanding of how we operate and how we get paid. Contrary to popular opinion we work very hard for our money and spend a lot of money doing our jobs. It costs money to do everything we do, and our companies do not pay for any of it.