Amazingly, less than 25% of people hiring a Realtor interview more than one agent.
Wondering why the agents you’re talking to seem a little anxious to make a sale? In this shifting market, hiring the right agent has never meant a greater opportunity…or hiring the wrong one, a greater risk. It is most important, whether you’re buying or selling to interview agents and ask them the tough questions. Here are some cold hard facts. Through March 30, 2007 from January 1, 2007, 5908 transaction sides were completed in Charleston which is down over 23% from the same period in 2006. And there are more agents after a smaller pie.
There are almost 6000 licensed real estate agents in Charleston.
2193 have had a sale so far this year.
Of those, 995 have had only 1.
470 have had two.
246 have had three.
150 – 4
84 – 5
62 – 6
47 – 7
34 – 8
13 – 9
71 – have sold 10 or more homes, many of which are new construction agents with companies like Centex, Beazer, KB, DR Horton, Saucey Burbank, David Weekly, John Weiland, Lennar, Harbor, Brentwood, etc.
Most real estate sales trainers and managers will tell you that for an agent to be able to maintain a business requires a minimum of one transaction side every month. They also say that the number of transactions is important to stay sharp with all the different traps and pitfalls there are out there, and especially to be a good negotiator. 1465 of the 2193 have had less than one deal/month. That does not take account for the agents that still haven’t had a closing yet.
That means 728 out of almost 6000 agents are doing enough business to stay in business!
So, what’s the point. From the public standpoint, the problem is that there are relatively few agents that are doing enough business to make a living and to stay sharp. So, when DR Horton and others are offering 6% commissions for new sales, double the norm, steering takes on a whole new meaning.
So take the time and ask the tough questions. It’s no different than hiring an employee that you hope is going to be working with you for years, and you only get one chance to get it right. I know many capable agents that are highly committed to delivering superior customer service, and they work for many different companies here in Charleston. Prudential, Keller Williams, Weichert, Agent Owned, Century 21, Remax, etc. You can ask them all the questions you want, and they’re quite happy to share how they can apply their abilities toward your best interests and give you specific examples of how they’ve helped their clients not only get the job done in transferring homes, but maximize the financial opportunities for thier clients. Some have been in the business many years, others just one or two.
But I know a lot more that simply don’t know what they’re doing, and in spite of their best intentions, are simply not capable of negotiating effectively, or navigating you through a tough situation. And they too, work for a lot of different companies. Some of them are newer agents, and some have been in the business many years.
This is true in whatever geographic market you are in. I mention Charleston in particular, because a lot of agents jumped in the game to take advantage of the “irrational exuberance” of 2005 and 2006. Things are returning back to normal now. Properties are taking longer to sell, potential buyers can’t buy until they find buyers for their homes, and those ready to buy are looking to make the best of things. Seems obvious enough. There are problems, and there are opportunities. What is real estate going to do for you this time around? It depends on who you have on your team? Pick your team well.