Some people don't have a very high opinion of real estate agents. If you ask them what they think about real estate agents, they might say that agents are money-grabbing, money-hungry thieves who are no better than a snake in the grass. I say those people are giving agents too much credit. Agents aren't nearly as slick as the public may perceive.
Most agents are doing their best to eke out an honest living and take care of their clients so they'll get future referrals. End of story. There's really not much more to it.
I was explaining to my sister who is visiting Sacramento from Minneapolis how new agents get paid. How they might end up with 50% of 50% less miscellaneous fees and then overhead, which times 12 is less annually than a clerk earns at The Home Depot. How much easier it is to earn more money when an agent has earned a higher split at the brokerage, but in this down economy, some top producers have slipped in the ranks. I'm happy to say that my production has not suffered in the least; in fact, it's grown, but I'm not the norm. I'm a Sacramento short sale agent. We're some of the few agents who have found a niche and a way to survive the down market in Sacramento.
In any case, my sister was astonished. She has no idea how the real estate business works from the inside. I imagine most people don't know. Like the buyer who is closing on a short sale in Elk Grove next week. That buyer's agent would have earned a much higher commission percentage if that buyer closed this week. That's a Wachovia short sale for ya. But the agent did not want the buyer to spend the money to order an appraisal until after the home inspection. And the home inspection could not be completed in enough time. So the agent willingly gave up part of her commission to protect her buyer. Does the buyer know that? I doubt it.
Or the buyer's agent who represents the buyers for a short sale in Rocklin. The second lender on that short sale demanded a few thousand more and refused to let the seller pay it. Sometimes short sale banks make unreasonable demands and shoot arrows into the transaction, just to shake it up a little, just to keep us all dancing on our toes. That agent stepped up to the plate and offered to participate by contributing part of his commission to make the transaction feasible for his clients. He didn't have to. He could have sold them a home nearly identical a few blocks down at the same price and earned more.
It's often astonishing news for clients to learn that their agent cares about them. It shouldn't be.
Photo: Big Stock Photo