July 16, 2013 1:25 pm
Does the real estate company that an agent works with make a difference?
The answer is yes, and no. A well established, local full service company tends to attract agents that are more serious about their careers than the smaller, lesser known ones. Usually, the agent has to pay more to affiliate themselves with the larger, better known company, while the smaller companies tend to attract those agents that are trying to work on a shoestring budget and/or those that have been turned down by the more ethical, professional companies. How many of you know that a real estate agent has to pay the company they work with instead of the company paying them? Did you know that real estate agents are not employees of the company, but rather independent contractors?
When an agent gives a listing presentation, many will put more emphasis on the company they associate with than their own personal performance, qualifications, experience, education and track record. (maybe the company has a better reputation and better credentials and qualifications than the agent does) They may claim that their company is “the best” at one thing or another, the “biggest” this or that, and will throw around statistics and impressive charts and graphs that are supposed to convince you of their or their company’s superiority.
So, how do you separate the “hype” from the facts? How do you determine what qualities will benefit you and actually help to sell your home? Most consumers don’t know how the real estate industry works and have misconceptions about the role of the brokerage agents affiliate with. The following will help to “lift the curtain” on what really happens when you commit to a real estate brokerage agreement and will examine some of the most commonly used claims and promises made during a typical listing presentation.
Here is one of the claims often made:
“My Company is the Best, The Largest, has the Best the Advertising, etc, etc”
Beware of the agent that tries to convince you that their company affiliation is going to somehow provide you with some type of advantage in the sale of your home, or one that puts more emphasis on their company’s reputation, performance and statistics than on their own individual experience, performance and production!
The fact is, real estate agents are not employees of the companies they love to brag about. Real estate agents are independent contractors that choose a company to affiliate with. The agents pay their brokerage company a fee or percentage of their commission to use the company name and facilities, and in turn the company provides various levels of administrative support to the agent (not to the Seller). For instance, the company may enter the agent-provided listing information into the MLS systems, hold and process the earnest money for a transaction, provide a conference room for a meeting, and collect and process the commission check after the closing. The brokerages do not directly advertise or market an agent’s listing, don’t provide property brochures or any other listing-specific materials.
Agents pay for their own yard signs, lockboxes, business cards, websites, board dues, marketing materials and all other tools of their trade. Make no mistake; when you list your home, your success solely depends on the individual, independent contractor (agent), not the company they use. The company they associate with makes little or no difference in the success or failure of selling your home! When you see ads for real estate brokerages, understand that they are targeted to attract agents, not buyers or sellers.
I am proud to be affiliated with the fastest growing and largest independent real estate company in Georgia as an Associate Broker! Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage now has over 400 agents and five locations, from midtown Atlanta to Woodstock. However, I tell my clients that it will be me, not Atlanta Communities that serves them.
Next time I will reveal another misconception about how real estate companies and agents interact.