Five things real estate agents seldom mention to potential clients:
- Maybe I'm exclusively a buyer's agent, but I'll still make money when the agent I recommend to list your house sells it. I will be paid a referral fee from the commission you pay the listing broker, and you will receive nothing of value for that portion of the commission.
- When I brag that I may get your house sold before it even hits the MLS, I'm really saying that I hope to convince you to accept an offer from a buyer I supply, or one supplied by my brokerage. There may be many folks in the broad market willing to pay more, but that's OK with me. I won't have to share the commission you're paying me with another broker.
- If you are of average intelligence and have bought and/or sold a house or two, you have a fair chance of being able to pass the real estate agent licensing test without a minute of formal study. It doesn't take much more than a little street knowledge and a little luck to pass the real estate licensing exam.
- The name of my company may indicate little about my qualifications, experience, or commitment to serving you. I may have a day job that takes precedence over your buying or selling objectives.
- The "FOR SALE" sign I stick in your front yard will probably not have "FOR SALE" printed on it. While most potential buyers will figure out the fact that your home is for sale, it does give a hint as to why the sign is really in your yard. I am advertising myself and my company with your permission.
As a consumer, you owe it to yourself to investigate the experience and reputation of the person you are considering enlisting to represent you in a real estate transaction. Most on-line rating sites are of little value due to their narrow sample of real estate professionals. Nobody can actively supply data to all of the hundreds of sites that claim to rate real estate professionals. The state commission that governs real estate licensing and enforcement will be able to verify that someone is licensed, for how long, and whether there has been any compliance irregularity. Minnesota real estate agents and brokers are regulated by the Department of Commerce.
Compatibility is also an important part of the selection process. Once you're satisfied that an agent or broker has adequate qualifications, decide whether they are a good fit for you. Upon self-evaluation, I would say I'm opinionated and often brutally honest with my clients. Some folks prefer more hand-holding and pleasantry. That makes me not a good fit with many consumers and an excellent fit with others. Everyone's an individual with individual characteristics. Choose wisely.