The real estate industry is a mystery for many people who aren’t directly involved with it. But if you’re planning to buy or sell your home, you need to should know these five things about real estate agents. Being more knowledgeable about the job of real estate agents will help you to seek out the best one, understand how they make money, and realize the value they offer to homeowners.

1. They Live on Commissions

Real estate agents only make money when they sell property. They don’t get a salary, a stipend, a per diem or an hourly wage. They only make a commission if they are successful in selling a house. That means that every minute they spend working with you to sell your house is unpaid, until it sells. 

2. They Have a Boss

Most real estate agents work for a real estate company. The office takes a cut of every commission that their agent brings in. So when your home sells and you pay your agent their commission, they have to give a percentage of it to their company.

3. They Have Laws to Abide By

All Realtors, including Hudson Valley real estate agents, are bound by the Code of Ethics and New York State law. If a real estate agent is found to have broken any of those laws, they could have their license revoked, and the agency they work for could be penalized financially.

4. They Have Ethics

Real estate agents are legally bound by the Code of Ethics. They are not allowed to disclose certain things about their client to the other agents regarding a property. They are not allowed to misrepresent properties in a material way. They are not allowed to hide information about a property that may affect its value. So don’t ask your real estate agent to bury the fact that your house has mold issues. They can’t.

5. They Don’t Make as Much as You Think

After all the time real estate agents spend talking on the phone with you, and holding your hand in order to get a sale finalized, and after they split their commission with the agency they work for, average real estate agents don’t make that much per hour, even top Hudson Valley real estate agents. It’s the agents on TV who work with multimillion-dollar properties and who own their own businesses that make the really big bucks.

Hopefully, these five insights will give you a better understanding of the business of being a real estate agent, which will ultimately help you in the process of buying or selling of your home.

Lisa Halter
Principal Broker/Owner
Halter Associates Realty

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