Entry by Lester Langdon

Chris Vigil: Choose a real estate agent like you would a doctor

Chris Vigil: Choose a real estate agent like you would a doctor
http://www.whittierdailynews.com/ci_18138999
Posted: 05/25/2011 08:29:35 PM PDT

Summer is coming and with it brings a lot of activity in the real estate business. Most families put off buying or selling until the school year is over so they don't interrupt their children's lives moving into or out of a home.

While most people put a lot of thought into choosing their doctor, lawyer, CPA, etc., most don't think twice when it comes to choosing a Realtor. While the real estate profession is easy to get into, it is far more difficult to stay in. Realtors have taken a beating over the last few years as culprits in the downturn of the housing market.

It goes without saying, most of the reasons people don't have good things to say about Realtors is due in part to the expectations they have of them.

The barriers to entry into this profession are minimal, so a lot of people flock to the business in hopes of making a ton of easy money.

Doctors, lawyers and CPAs make a lot of money too, but you don't see many folks taking a few classes and a weekend crash course to enter those professions. You don't because you can't.

There 1.1 million licensed Realtors in the United States and approximately 151,000 of them are here in California. That's roughly 10 percent. It's no wonder the average full-time Realtor sells just six homes per year. There is a joke in the real estate industry: "When you get pulled over in California, the police don't ask to see your driver's license, they ask to see your real estate license, because

everyone has one of those."

I was dropping my son off at school the other day and was approached by a substitute teacher expressing interest in the real estate business after seeing some of my open house signs over the weekend. She said that she is not interested in becoming a "full-on" Realtor, but rather, a part-time agent. And she figured she's only do a deal a month, she said. "Wow" was my response. If you can do a deal a month working part-time in this business, you can do better than the vast majority of agents who are full-time Realtors.

Why is it that Realtors don't rate very high on the list of respectable professions? Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime.

Transactions today usually exceed $300,000. If you had a $300,000 income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a CPA? If you had a $300,000 legal question would you deal with it without the help of an attorney, much less a part-time CPA or a part-time attorney?

The answer is probably an emphatic NO. Having a real estate license does not make one an effective agent. Successful agents treat the business as a business. Expenses, insurance, marketing and labor overhead are just a few of the issues an agent has to deal with in addition to selling a house.

While technology has brought a wealth of real estate information - including property listings - closer to the consumer, it has never been a more important time to consult with a true real estate professional.

Real estate is an infrequent transaction, so when it comes time to choose an agent to help you with this move, please interview several before making such an important decision.

Chris Vigil is broker owner of Chris Vigil Real Estate in Whittier


Read more: Chris Vigil: Choose a real estate agent like you would a doctor - Whittier Daily News http://www.whittierdailynews.com/ci_18138999#ixzz1NWDPTMO6

This page contains a single entry by Lester Langdon published on May 26, 2011 11:11 PM.

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Your comments please - A real estate pay playbook: why commissions work is the next entry in this blog.

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