For those outside the real estate industry, the role of the agent and their responsibilities are often misunderstood. There are several popular myths about real estate agents involving everything from their compensation to their obligations to buyers and sellers. Here are several of the most common agent misconceptions debunked.
1. Real estate agents are always obligated to show you a property
Most successful real estate agents got into the business because they love matching people with a home that’s great for them, but that doesn’t mean they work for free. In the absence of a contract, real estate agents are not obligated to show you a specific property. So before contacting an agent, put some serious thought into your budget and talk to your lender to get pre-approved. Showing up prepared will let your agent know you’re serious about the buying a home.
2. Agents always want you to pay more for a house so they get the biggest possible commission
Here’s a secret that many outside the profession don’t know: relatively small fluctuations in price have little effect on the agent’s commission. Good agents want their clients to be happy first and foremost, and that involves them feeling like they’ve secured a deal that includes a fair value for the property.
3. You can save money by bypassing a buyer’s agent and going directly to the listing agent
There are really two major flaws in this belief. First, the Seller has already agreed to pay a commission, typically 6%-8%, to the Listing Agent. If a Buyer’s Agent is involved, the Listing Agent will split the commission with them. If a Buyer’s Agent is not involved, the entire commission will usually still go to the Listing Agent. Second, the Listing Agent is working exclusively for the Seller and will work hard to get the highest price possible for their client. A seasoned Buyer’s Agent will advocate on behalf of the buyer and are typically successful in negotiating a lower sales price.
4. The more agents you work with, the more homes you’ll be able to see
All licensed real estate agents are working within the same MLS system to search for properties, so you’re not going to find some other agent who has access to a secret treasure trove of amazing houses for you to see. As new properties enter the market, every agent can view them simultaneously. Also, most agents will not give 100% of their effort to a customer who will not commit to working with them exclusively.
5. You can’t trust agents because they receive kickbacks
Thanks to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974, the penalties for agents accepting kickbacks are severe, including:
- Loss of real estate license
- Civil liabilities to those affected
- A fine and/or imprisonment for up to one year
Agents who care about their future are never going to jeopardize their career for the possibility of a short-term gain.
6. All agents care about is making the sale happen
Most real estate agents rely on the local community for their livelihood. If they sacrifice their relationship with a client to make an inadvisable sale, they may end up with a quick commission, but word-of-mouth will begin to spread and potential clients will take notice. Effective real estate agents always represent their clients’ wishes with integrity and fairness in mind.
If you’re looking for a professional, caring and reliable real estate agent to assist in buying or selling a home in the Greenville area, contact the experts at the Parker Group today. We are industry leaders with extensive knowledge of the area in and around Greenville.