Hey Lady! You're Rich Because You Sell Houses....Right?

Reblogger Lisa Hill
Real Estate Agent with Florida Property Experts

I guess I'm on a re-blog kick today. I just found this incredible post by Sally Cheeseman. Her statements are so accurate, in accordance to what so many people mistakenly believe to be true. Read her post below.

I love her comparison of REALTORS and real estate agents being like small business owners rather than CEO's of large companies! We can't afford what people think we can!


Lisa Hill-Daytona Beach area Native and Realtor-copyrighted logo



Original content by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman RS-#62825

Many people will tend to look at the success of others by their status, title, label or how financially stable they are.  The career choice of an individual just starting out in the work force most likely is an employee who works for a monthly salary or paid by the hour.

During the course of our lives we settle in to a ‘job' (career) that we enjoy...or at the very least one that we make a good living so as to support ourselves and families.  We may change paths frequently or we remain on the ladder of success or just a routine to pay the bills.

I'm getting to the story....bear with me.

 The CEO of a company most likely makes a lot of money (right?)  He/She has worked their way up the ladder and became so successful that they are head of the company and have many others working underneath them; therefore, they most likely have a BIG income.

On the other hand, there are the Independent Contractors who are Small Business Owners. Bob's Pizza's owner is Bob. Bob is well respected in the community for his deep dish pizza with homemade sausage on it. His status is OWNER so he of course he makes a bunch of money. Right?

I changed career paths a few times during the course of my life. I was Administrative Assistant for a Family Law Attorney for many years and did the same for a non-profit program for structured living. I've waitressed in fine dining and volunteered for youth centers.

And then I chose the path of Real Estate.

I remember often the five second conversation I had with a  client's 10 year old boy a few years ago. He asked, "You're rich because you sell houses, right?"  I politely said, "No, I'm not rich but I do get my bills paid."  What else do I say to a young boy who ‘heard'  that all real estate agents are rich?

Well, here's a bit of info for all:

  • The market is slow, prices are up and down and there aren't as many closed sales as previous years.  (I really wish I were "rich" like in those days lol)
  • I live in Hawaii where cost of living is a bit higher  than many other states.  (But I go to Costco just like anyone else to ‘get a deal')
  • Homes for sale or rent are higher than many states. Therefore, my morgage is higher than most too; so I'm not exempt from payments either.
  • I have to pay federal, state and Hawaii General Excise Tax every quarter on all money I make.  (So contrary to popular believe I am not exempt to taxes)
  • I do not get that whole % commission you believe I get..... because both the buyer/seller brokerage get their cut  (on top of franchise fees, Errors and Omissions  Insurance and so on and so forth...not to mention if it's a short sale and the bank hacks the commission ....or else)
  • ALL expenses come out of MY pocket and I do not get a salary or hourly rate to cover ANY of these expenses.  (I've had a couple clients flat out tell me that I can stop and buy them lunch because I can deduct it)
  • I can't really ‘afford' to hand out money, time and incur a lot of expenses (lunch, gas, gifts) to be your tour guide because you're bored that day. (or so you can get all the info you can to list your house FSBO...Good luck!)  

So, in the end what am I left with?

Taking care of my client's needs and respected for a job well done.

I'll remember to tell that 10 year old boy the next time we meet.....

That yes..... I am rich.




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Randy Ostrander
Lake and Lodge Realty LLC - Big Rapids, MI
Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI

Most people have no clue about the amount of expenses, taxes and donations we make that offsets any huge income made.

Jul 23, 2010 12:29 AM #1
Bill Travis
Captain Bill Realty, LLC - Gilbert, AZ

Good article to reblog.

Jul 23, 2010 12:30 AM #2
Joshua Zargari
MJ Decorators Workshop LI staging and home decorating - Lynbrook, NY
MJ Decorators Workshop

Great post!

Jul 23, 2010 12:30 AM #3
Yvette Chisholm
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Rockville, MD
Associate Broker - Rockville, MD 301-758-9500

Still great on the re-blog....I think people think our brokers provide our cars and FREE gas and we like driving around and looking at houses during evenings and weekends instead of being with our families.

Jul 23, 2010 12:32 AM #4
The Scott Loper Team Bux-Mont Premier Properties
Keller Williams Real Estate - Montgomeryville - Lansdale, PA

Hi Lisa,

Missed this one too originally.  People mischaracterize a Realtor's income, occupation, and ethics all the time.


Jul 23, 2010 12:36 AM #5
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

The truth is frightening and really shatters the stereotypical real estate career image others have!

Jul 23, 2010 02:21 AM #6
Ellie McIntire
Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate - Ellicott City, MD
Luxury service in Howard County & Catonsville

I remember the "I am a Million Dollar agent" on a fellow agents business card and thinking how they must be on the poverty line if that is all they have sold! Isn't perception wonderful.

Jul 23, 2010 07:05 AM #7
Petra Norris
Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc. - Lakeland, FL
Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale

Lisa - thanks for the reblog otherwise I completely would have missed it. 

Jul 23, 2010 07:57 AM #8
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Lisa Hill

Daytona Beach Real Estate
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