Traditional real estate has gone unchanged for decades and so have some perceptions about real estate agents. With new alternative real estate options in the marketplace, here are 5 of the biggest myths about traditional real estate agents.
1) High commissions equal amazing service
It’s true that almost all real estate agents work for commission. Because of this, agents will tell you that they are highly motivated to work hard for you and help you buy or sell a home quickly.
The consideration cycle for a home buyer can be upwards of a year. For an agent that works on commission, that’s a long time to wait for a check. Feeling pressured by an agent to make a decision faster than you are comfortable with or about a home you aren’t totally satisfied with, isn’t a good feeling.
Finding an agent that is a salaried employee, not a contractor, can help ease that pressure. REX agents work on salary and are judged solely on the positive reviews and feedback they receive from clients.
2) Dual agency implies a conflict of interest
Dual agency representation has become the Boogey Man for traditional agents trying to pitch their services. Now, it is true that you should try and avoid the same agent representing both buyer and seller, but it is not uncommon to have a buyer’s agent and a seller’s agent who work for the same agency represent both parties. Just because two agents work for the same company does not mean there will be a conflict of interest. Your agent has an ethical and legal obligation to represent your best interest, regardless of where the other agent works.
3) Buyers must sign an upfront exclusive broker agreement
Why? This is one of those head-scratchers that doesn’t make much sense. While there needs to be expectations set at the start of a relationship between a buyer and an agent, there doesn’t need to be an exclusive agreement. For buyers who are just starting out in the process, locking in with an agent is simply unnecessary and adds pressure to what should be a comfortable, fluid relationship.
4) Agents must be on the MLS to sell your home
The MLS is a service designed for and utilized by traditional agents, not by buyers and sellers. Agents who use the MLS are locked into charging their sellers commission for both sides of the transaction. While the MLS was viable prior to the arrival of the internet, it has since become antiquated. Most buyers start their home search online by themselves. REX uses AI, big data, and machine learning to find those buyers directly while still promoting your home on a number of digital channels — including Zillow, Trulia, Google, Facebook, Instagram, and more.
5) Real estate agents get kickbacks from lenders
This is against the law. Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), real estate agents cannot accept money or favor from a vendor. The agent is well within their right to refer a buyer or seller to a particular vendor, but the client is under no obligation to use that vendor, and the agent themselves do not benefit either way.