Myths About Real Estate Agents - True or False?

There is no doubt that the experiences of family and friends impact our decisions greatly. We value the opinions of those we love the most... and when they have a bad experience, it's easy to draw assumptions about the culprit, whether actual or misconstrued.

Real Estate Agents aren't above this. In some circles, we have a bad rap.  But if you take the time to read this post, you'll learn quite the contrary about Real Estate Agents, our commitment to valued relationships and our field of expertise. Let's debunk the Top Real Estate Agent Myths.

1. Real Estate Agents are always late for appointments  - Not so. No matter what the profession, being late is not acceptable. We don't appreciate lawyers, inspectors, Cable Reps or clients being late, so why would we practice habitual tardiness? Unless an unexpected mishap crosses my path, I am early to appointments and take my time to be thorough with presentations, showings, questions and closings.

2. The more you pay for a house the more the Real Estate Agent makes - Perhaps. While there are money hungry individuals in every industry, Realtors abide by a strict Code of Ethics. Altering the purchase price by a few thousand dollars, impacts my puse only slightly after commission splits, office dues, association fees and E&O contribution. I could care less about what I walk away with at a closing. My goal is to attain a happy client that spreads their good experience with friends and family.

3. The less commission you pay as a Seller, the more you make in your sale - Nope! Not only does a reduced commission lend to the idea that you do not value the livelihood of another person, you'll walk away with a different number... and a headache. Discount brokerages offer their services to a very select group of people that would ideally have a very specific situation in terms of their Selling needs. Many times these brokerages do not carry as much exposure for their listings as full service brokerages and you may find that the listing process can be drawn out with some.

4. Agents must show you homes on demand - Wrong again. We're not tour guides at beck and call, and unless we're under an agreement about representation, we're not likely to drop our daily to-do's to pick you up and cart you around town without having met. Let's work something out - if you're in the market, I'd love to help! Our time is just as valuable as yours. I'm sure we can find a time that works for both of us. 

5. Real Estate Agents get kickbacks - False. This is against the law. We take tests and have mandatory education regularly, part of which highlights RESPA or the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act outlawing kickbacks since 1974. We don't get paid when you use a specific inspector, get a home warranty or close at the local Title Company. Nice try, though. 

6. Real Estate Agents and Inspectors fudge the facts - Negative. Some Real Estate Agents are comfortable with a lowly inspector doing minimal work and having minimal interaction with their Buyer. Many, like me, offer a bullet proof list of inspectors that have come to be trusted and valued with years of service for you to interview and choose from. Agents and their Brokerages can be held liable for false information. I insist on a thorough inspection and go over the terms of an inspection report and what that would mean to my new homeowners. After all, why would you NOT want to know?

7. Real Estate Agents make too much money - Quite the contrary! The average income for a Real Estate Agent sits at $39,800 in 2013. When you take into account all of the fees that are associated with the business, you'll think twice. I'm talking office fees, MLS fees, Membership dues to NAR, TAR and MetroTex (Dallas County), lockbox and sign fees, gas, supplies, insurance, etc. It's a much less "fruitful" field than some would think. 

8. Agents sell their own homes for more money than yours - Not even. We work with Sellers to understand our reasoning for informed and effective pricing - emotional ties and personal pride in a property interfere with your ability to see the market like we do. And with this, we practice what we preach. Why would we want to waste the time and effort of overpricing our home, if we're busy with your needs?

9. Real Estate Agents should tell Buyers about ethnic makeup, crime and schools in a neighborhood - Ain't so! Enter in the law, again. Protected classes (race, color, sex, etc.) are covered in the Federal Fair Housing laws and are not to be discussed. My best advice to a Buyer? Visit the property at all hours - try 8:00 AM Monday, 11:00 Saturday and all hours in between. Investigate online. You'll get to know the pulse and traffic of that neighborhood and whether it suits you or not. 

10. Agents will say anything to make a sale - Absolutely not!  Misrepresentation is a no-no. As with Myth #2, my goal is to create a happy experience and smooth transaction for you the Buyer, and all of your friends and family. Whether you like a house or not has no impact on my feelings... this is one of the most important financial decisions you will make! Let's make it a good one.  

I conduct my business in honesty, and hope that you would give the thought of a Real Estate Agent another chance - we're not half bad once you sort fact from fiction.  We've all made mistakes and all had the learning curve of experience in our careers, but the services that we offer are vital for a smooth transaction and your making wise investments for your future.

DFWAshley, Ashley Cox, Dallas Realtor (972) 978-3109

Search Listings Homes for Sale Dallas, DFW  Sell, List my Home for Sale in Dallas  Get CMA Property Value in Dallas

Ashley Cox is a Realtor® with Dallas City Center Realtors and strives to provide excellent service and assistance to Buyers and Sellers in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

Buy | Sell | Rent  - call/txt (972) 978-3109

Comment balloon 39 commentsAshley Cox • September 15 2015 12:33PM

Comments

This is such a great post.... very succinct and to the point! Thanks for sharing it with us and allowing us to share! ~Marisa

Posted by Demarco & Marisa, "The Choice is Clear!" (Remax Kings Realty) about 2 years ago

Do you think all real estate agents give the best advice for the best interest of their clients?The advice that some agents give is based on what they know. So if you have an agent that is not too swift, the advice you get won't be the best. And visa versa.

Posted by Tom about 2 years ago

Well put Ashley. I would hate to calculate out hourly rate on most deals.

 

Posted by Dana Basiliere, Making deals "Happen" (Rossi & Riina Real Estate) about 2 years ago

Ashley  All great points and the one standing out to me was the home inspection.  I have used one inspector for over 15 years and 3 times he has encouraged me to stop a deal.  One investor I had suggested the property might require $10-$15,000 cosmetic updating was informed by the inspector the property was a 'tear-down'.  My invstor thinks we 'walk on water' for saving him money!  Great blog!

Posted by John G. Johnston, An Exclusive Buyer's Agent ~ Westcliffe, CO (John G. Johnston & Associates, LLC) about 2 years ago

All good points. Thanks for a good post. 

Posted by Sarah, John Rummage, Love Being Realtors® in the Nashville TN Area! (Benchmark Realty LLC, Nashville TN 615.516.5233) about 2 years ago

Yes,Ashley great post, I hear you about showing houses on Demand as I remember when I first got my license I used to drop what I was doing to drive someone around looking at houses,then the real kicker is when they drive by a different house the next day on their own and call the Listing Agent's number and buy the house through them then act like its no big deal to you after you have been working with them for a couple weeks or so,that is the most discouraging thing that happens and it is the reason that I no longer drop everything I'm doing and I've chosen to not let that get to me anymore.

Posted by Randy Connolly, Luxury Rentals,Sales, Single Family & Multi Family (Cameron Real Estate Group) about 2 years ago

An excellent summary of a Realtor's value and our integrity. Everyone should read this.

Posted by John Martelotti, Your Staten Island, NY Real Estate Resouce! (Robert Defalco Realty) about 2 years ago

Very good post about agents' actions and behavior from another perspective. Indeed, the best solution to avoid mistakes is to be absolutely clear in communicating important information to all parties in a transaction. 

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) about 2 years ago

While I liked your post, I think you should take caution on your comment in number #3. Obviously you don't care for the assumed opinions of the public well neither do agents who work with a specific set of clients for reduced commissions. One of those agents being myself. I have developed a FSBO set of services and have offered options falling under "discount" for 15 years, and I don't cut back on my marketing for them one bit. I advertise them in the homes magazines, create visual tours, Realtor.com showcase listings, Facebook boosts, etc. Why, because there is a much bigger picture here. I list a ton of properties this way and guess what, I get literally a ton of buyer calls. The trade off is not having to spend a ton a money branding myself or advertising for buyers. They fall into your lap when you have upward of 25 homes listed at one time (have peaked with as many as 55). I earned $128,000 gross my first full year servicing FSBO sellers at discounted listings and upward from there. I'm as good an agent as the next. In fact, I was nominated for 10 best agents 2015 . . so please watch what you say when you refer to agents who don't do it your way. I didn't appreciate those comments at all.

Posted by Dianne Meyer about 2 years ago

I think the trouble lies in the fact that we humans are more apt to notice the bad while we take the good for granted. 

Nobody tells their neighbor "The agent showed up right on time," but they sure do tell everyone who'll listen if an agent is a half hour late for an appointment. It's the same with any of your points. 

Posted by Marte Cliff, your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) about 2 years ago

Wow Ashley Cox, that is really great stuff. Thanks for sharing your viewpoints. It is good info to consider.

 

Posted by Cheryl Dukes . . . . . Intown Atlanta (Solid Source Realty, Inc.) about 2 years ago

Ashley,

 

Sincere kudos to you for your high standards. It will serve you well. Unfortunately there have been and continue to be too many agents who don’t know better, are lazy or are desperate for money who will cut corners. 

Posted by David Gibson CNE, 719-304-4684 ~ Colorado Springs Relocation, Relo, Commercial, Luxury & Lifestyle, Residential (Colorado Real Estate Advisers LLC ) about 2 years ago

Great post!  Glad you took the time to write all these misconceptions. I believe most agents are working very hard ... it's that small handful that makes us look bad.

Posted by Diana Dahlberg, Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563 (1 MONTH REALTY) about 2 years ago

Thanks for the post, and down with the discount brokers.

Posted by Ernest Villafranca, 3923 Grand Ave. Oakland CA, 510-418-9443 (Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate ) about 2 years ago

Howdy Ashley--Texans are lucky to have an agent like you.

Posted by Lloyd Binen, Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411 (Certified Realty Services) about 2 years ago

interesting information..classic perception versus reality.  Thank you for posting this information

Posted by Paddy Deighan JD PhD, Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D (TimeshareLawyers.pro) about 2 years ago

Excellent post, Ashley.  Thank you for posting the misconceptions of agents - all good points!

Posted by Rebecca "Becky" Joens, SFR (White Diamond Realty, Inc.) about 2 years ago

Great post, Ashley.  I must share this one.

Posted by Chris Lima, Local or Global-Allow me to open doors for you. (Atlantic Shores Realty Expertise) about 2 years ago

You did an excellent job explaining the myth verses true facts.

Posted by Rose Mary Justice, Synergy Realty Pros (Synergy Realty Pros) about 2 years ago

Great post, Ashley! So many in the public understand little to nothing about our industry and we need to be sure to educate our clients to reality.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Area Realtor (RE/MAX Executive | Charlotte, NC) about 2 years ago

Ashley, your post is well written.    My takeaway?   You and I share a core value:

"I could care less about what I walk away with at a closing. My goal is to attain a happy client that spreads their good experience with friends and family."

Posted by M.C. Dwyer, Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist (Century 21 Showcase REALTORs) about 2 years ago

Great points, Ashley but not everything is black and white or absolute in real estate!

 

 Re # 1: It is next to impossible for real estate agents to be always on time when it comes to showing several properties.  Every market is different and in Palm Coast, FL where we work this is a real challenge!  Agents are required to make appointments online and our Navica system is set up to allow for a time range NOT a specific time.  We can choose to select intervals anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours.  This is not a problem when homes are vacant and easy to show but when homes are owner occupied it becomes tricky.  No matter how much planning and timing goes into arranging to show 5+ homes there is no way for an agent to gauge the amount of time buyers will spend in any given house.  They may fly through one in 5 minutes but may spend 15+ minutes in another.  Our goal is to show properties NOT whisk buyers through them.  Properties can be as close as a couple of miles or they could be 20+ miles away so we not only have to allow for viewing time but also estimated travel time between properties.  We do our best to call listing agents when our scheduled showing time is going to be earlier or later so they in turn can let their owner occupied sellers know there is a delay and most times this is not a problem but sometimes there are disgruntled agents and sellers who don't like to be inconvenienced.  This problem is easily solved if a listing agent explains to their sellers the logisitcs I have just mentioned from getting from A to B in a realistic timely manner and we are not even figuring traffic hold ups, waiting in line to get into gated communities that have security guards etc.  into the senario!  Listing agents need to make it clear to their sellers that agents and their buyers don't deliberately turn up late for showings.

  #3:  I agree with the comments made by Dianna and Dianne, one size does NOT fit all in real estate.  

Posted by Noeleen Duffy (Claddagh Florida Properties) about 2 years ago

I have bookmarked this for future discussion topics with agent. My favorite: 4. Agents must show you homes on demand - Wrong again. We're not tour guides at beck and call, and unless we're under an agreement about representation, we're not likely to drop our daily to-do's to pick you up and cart you around town without having met. Let's work something out - if you're in the market, I'd love to help! Our time is just as valuable as yours. I'm sure we can find a time that works for both of us. 

Posted by Ron Aguilar, Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995 (Continental Mortgage) about 2 years ago

Ashley,  Great post.  It is interesting the misconceptions that many people have about agents.

Posted by Gary Coles (International Referrals), Latin America Real Estate (Venture Realty International) about 2 years ago

great post, thanks for taking the time to tell the world how things really are.

Posted by Robby Leviton, Knowles Team (Keller Williams Realty) about 2 years ago

#5 is a sore subject.

Kickbacks in Florida are alive and doing well.  Agents take illiegal kickbacks from anyone that will pay them a dollar...particular from title companies,

Google it.  Title companies have paid out MILLIONS $$$ in fines for illegal payments.  Since RESPA is watching, they have become more secretive.  Now listing offices have "controlled business arrangements"  with affilitated companies.  Legal to set up, illegal in the steering that is still the number one priority for most large office.

There are some agents that will kill a deal if you refuse their "preferred" title company.

Eve

Posted by Mike & Eve Alexander, Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers (Buyers Broker of Florida ) about 2 years ago

Ashley ... Thanks for your article and list of myths about real estate agents.  It's interesting to me that many people seem to have the impression that real estate is an easy business, that homes sell themselves, and that selling of homes doesn't take much time.

Posted by Harrison K. Long, REALTOR , GRI, Broker associate, Attorney (HomeSmart, Evergreen Realty) about 2 years ago

I appreciate that you took the time to write your post. People do have a misconception about Realtors, unfortunately.  It is a job that one needs to love. Respect and appreciation are not high on the list of too many people who utilize our services.  However, I do have some clients who seem to really value me and we stay connected through the years!  

Posted by Christi Farrington, ~ Your representative in Fairfield County, CT (William Raveis Real Estate - Wilton, CT) about 2 years ago

To Mike and Eva Alexander . . yes, I am an exception. I'm computer savvy and do all my own marketing set up which takes me about a half a day to get a listing set up. After that, all my listings (whether that be 10, 20 or 55) are now all on autopilot. I have a transaction coordinator who assists with contracts, and I'm full time in the business. So yes, you can generate an impressive income doing discount listings without sacrificing servicing your clients. I do a top notch job and it shows in my Zillow Reviews of which I strive to have a good number of them always posted online. Zillow reviews don't lie so one only needs to read those to know that what I'm doing works well for everyone, whether discount or full service. Don't group me with others. Same can be said for full service agents, they don't all do smash up jobs just because they are wearing a hat that says full service. In fact, I can name quite a few in my area who probably shouldn't have a license. The good and the bad can be found in all groups of people no matter what the profession or extent of the fees they charge. It lies solely in the individual.

Posted by Dianne Meyer about 2 years ago

Two sentences really stand out here, although the entire post is great.  "our time is as valuable as yours' -- too many people do not understand that and think we work with ONE customer at a time, when we are juggling 6 deals in various stages. 'real estates agents make too much money'.  To these people I say 'who are you to judge my income? Like you I work very hard for my income and the harder I work, the more money I can make. Sometimes I end up working for nothing and loosing money!"

Posted by Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR, Specializing in Brookside, Waldo, Prairie Village (Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes) about 2 years ago

Excellent post. It would be nice if all real estate consumers understood the facts.  It is often hard for a seller to believe that higher net proceeds will not result when paying less commission!

Posted by Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC, ... a small office, delivering big service! (Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC) about 2 years ago

All very true.  I think this post should read side by side with the post from the last RainDrop on Changes are Coming.  We are not over paid. 

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) about 2 years ago

I just had this discussion with my friends today.  None of them have purchased nor sold a house in a long time, so they are not familiar with the industry.  They assumed I received 100% of the commission on my listing!

Posted by Marilyn O'Donoghue (Long & Foster Avalon) about 2 years ago

I thought you did a great job on each item. I'm constantly amazed at some of the expectionations folks have. I am professional and very customer centric so I find it amazing when folks still say they hate "all real estate agents". I always go "ALL"?  LOL

Posted by Tammy Adams ~ Realtor / Podcaster, A Maricopa Agent who Works, Lives & Loves Maricopa (Maricopa Real Estate Co) about 2 years ago

Certainly are lots of misconceptions about real estate agents out there. Number 4 on demand. You would be surprised how many calls I get asking for that.

Posted by Bill Reddington, Destin Florida Real Estate (Re/max Southern Realty) about 2 years ago

Great post Ashley!  I love this blog, there are so many good points in it.  The most I have ever been late for an appointment is 5 minutes.  Discounted brokerages usually give discounted services.  News flash, you are not my only client, so I can be your personal tour guide.  Kickback, no thanks, I want to keep my license!  We make to much money, ROTFLMAO!  We are sometimes lucky to make minimum wage on some deals.  Lying to someone isn't worth ruining my reputation.

Posted by Deleted Account about 2 years ago

Ashley Cox obviously, long comments says, some points are not agreeable immediately - and that's healty discussion.

I  come from Tech background and it's easy for me to market the home - relatively, I'd say.

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (eXp Realty) almost 2 years ago

There are lots of myths among the public about real estate agents... and myths among agents (new ones in particular) about how easy this business is.  

Thanks for the post, Ashley.

Posted by Carol Williams, "Customized Mentoring & Marketing Services" (U.S.: I specialize in helping agents who have been in the business 2 years or less create a thriving business.) almost 2 years ago

Ashley Cox  Excellent list of myths about real estate agents.

Posted by John Pusa, Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest) almost 2 years ago

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