I'm sure at some point in our lives, we've all heard something less than positive about the work we do as real estate agents...
"Why do they deserve a commission when it's my house and my money?"
"They don't do anything I couldn't do myself."
"Real estate agents are just part of a conspiracy to make homes unaffordable!" (yes, that last one makes me laugh too).
So how do we justify the cost of our services and what value do we bring to our clients? Do we really just stick a sign in the yard and wait for someone to call? If only it were that easy! I'm not sure if it has to do with past experience with an agent, or not having worked with one before- but for agents who have run into this question or haven't quite yet, I've included some talking points below so you can reply with confidence and show pride in your industry.
Real Estate Transactions are Complicated
First one is simple, and easy to remember- If your client would hire someone with more experience and knowledge than themselves to fix their air conditioner, why wouldn't they hire someone with more experience to handle something as important as the purchase or sale of their home? Time is money. The amount of time it would take a client to learn the process and about the necessary paperwork would take weeks. Our services provide the confidence that the sale or purchase is being handled correctly and in the client's best interest while allowing minimal disruption into their lives.
Real Data About Comparable Sales
Reason #2- Real estate agents have access to comparable sales in each neighborhood. Clients may know that the house down the street was listed for $315,000 so they want to list theirs for the same price... but did they know that specific house had more upgrades than their's, fell through twice before closing due to appraisal, and finally sold at $290,000? This is the type of information that we, as agents, are privileged to that allow us to assist our clients in determining an appropriate sales price in order to have the house sold in a desirable time frame without it having to sit empty and on the market for too long.
Exclusive Real Estate Marketing Tools
Additionally...Realtors® and real estate agents have access to a plethora of tools to assist our buyers and sellers. From your regions Multiple Listing Service, to current market statistics, to an internal brokerage marketing database that allows you to directly market your seller's home to a specified demographic in the area that may be more inclined to be interested...such as families with 3 kids who might want a huge back yard or a single bachelor looking for a modern home with less square footage. Ask your potential client's how they plan to market their home. Great agents know the importance of networking, so we often let other agents know about our listings in case they happen to have a buyer looking for a home in the same area or with the same square footage. With such tools at our finger tips, there's little doubt that we as agents, have a larger audience available to us than the "For Sale By Owner" sign they've placed in their yard.
According to NAR research, the typical "For Sale by Owner" home sold for $185,000 in 2015 compared to agent-assisted home sales which averaged $240,000. Professionally explain the benefits of your services to potential clients.
We, as real estate agents, create opportunity for smooth and effective transactions, be confident and proud in the services you provide.