On average, for every hour that a real estate agent spends with the homeowner of the property they are selling, they will spend around nine hours out of eyesight working on the seller’s behalf. The reason for this is fairly simple – if they don’t sell the property, they don’t get paid.
Most agents work on a commission basis, meaning that they will only receive payment for their services if the property is sold. While this is a risk, it is also highly motivating and pushes them to go the extra mile to ensure that the deal is closed. Unlike other professionals who bill their clients for the amount of time they spend working for them, agents run the risk of coming away empty-handed – this is simply the nature of the real estate industry.
There is often debate regarding commission and why certain agents charge more, while others charge less. A lot has to do with the agent’s experience and what they can offer the seller. If an agent can achieve the agreed upon selling price within the stipulated time frame, should they not be paid a fair commission?
So what do real estate agents do behind the scenes?
Market the property
Agents will put money into ensuring their listings receive as much exposure as possible. As part of their service to the seller, an agent will take out magazine and newspaper adverts, print flyers and brochures, have professional photos taken of the home and ensure that the home enjoys premium placement on property search portals. Not to mention using the services of a public relations officer to engage with targeted media, posting listings on social media and holding show days.
Dealing with buyers and offers
Much of an agent’s time is spent talking to their network and ensuring that the buyers are matched with the right homes. The agent needs to have an in-depth knowledge of the homes that they are currently marketing, along with what each of the buyers in their network wants.
Once a buyer and home have been suited, much of the job entails dealing with the offer from the buyer, as well as counteroffers from the seller - this is a crucial part of the property sale, as the agent can net the seller thousands during this stage of negotiations.
Much of an agent’s time is spent researching property sales prices and data to ensure that they know their area well and have a good handle on the market. To accurately price a home, an agent will need to complete a comparative market analysis (CMA). Factors taken into consideration during a CMA would include the average price per square metre in the area, recent sale prices of similar homes and comparative prices of other properties that are still on the market. This information will help establish a reasonable price bracket for the property.
Be there during inspections
A seller might not be present during a home inspection, but a good agent will be - this will give the agent valuable information regarding the home and assist with accurately setting an asking price.
Ensure a smooth ride
Unfortunately not every property sale will go smoothly, however, agents will try to shield clients from any unnecessary drama - unless there is a need to inform them. An agent will work tirelessly to ensure that the property sales process is as hassle-free as possible for all parties involved.
A property transaction can be stressful, and people get emotional. A good agent will need to be a problem-solver, keep a positive approach and come up with a constructive solution to any issue.
Networking with other agents
Many agents have a network of other agents that they use to find buyers. Agents often spend time helping each other to match the right buyer with the right home. Often agents will refer buyers to other agents if they know that agent has the house that checks every box on their wish list.
A good agent will add value to property transaction and earn their keep.