Recently, I read a blog post from a Realtor whose premise was that there are very good reasons why a buyer or seller should choose to work with a Part Time Realtor!Â As a full time Realtor, my first reaction was that the reasons she gave were garbage!!!Â But then I calmed down and began to think about the reasons this agent put forward as to why there are some good reasons to use a Part Time Realtor when trying to find a Realtor to help you with your largest asset â€“ the purchase or sale of your home.
First, let me tell you what this agentâ€™s reasons were for saying clients should consider using part time Realtors:
1. They have gone through the same licensing requirements that full time Realtors have gone through!
2. They are able to provide the same service as full time Realtors do, whether it is at 10 am or 4 pm!
3. Real estate sales are the bread and butter of full time Realtors (implying that full time Realtors will be more likely to exert undue influence over the choices their clients will make)!
4. A part time Realtor is just as motivated to provide an excellent level of service as a full time Realtor is, with the goal of the part time Realtor to eventually make this their full time job!
5. A part time Realtor has paid their dues, just as a full time Realtor has done!Â This means that they have just as much invested in their second career/job and are working longer hours than the full time Realtors are working!
So here are my top 5 comments to this Realtorâ€™s post!Â Before I give my list, however, let me say that this agent was correct with many of the things that they had written â€“ all Realtors go through the same licensing requirements and the same continuing ed requirements, whether they are full or part time Realtors!Â And it is true that all Realtors, whether full or part time, have to pay the same dues!Â But I think that that is where it ends!Â So here is my take on part time Realtors and whether or not it is a good idea to use one or to use a full time Realtor.
1. First of all, being a Realtor in todayâ€™s changing real estate market is a full time job!Â As a full time Realtor who works with many buyers over the year (many of which may be first time homebuyers).Â There are constant changes to the various loan programs, the mortgage requirements, appraisal issues, home inspection items, and so on and so on!Â One can certainly learn about these requirements and changes by doing research on the internet, but many times it is only when you have a situation that needs to be resolved that you become familiar not only with the changes, but the implications of those changes!Â What happens if a part time agent is working a Monday through Friday job and a crisis arises during working hours - how much time will that agent be able to spend to resolve the problem?Â Will they be able to make phone calls to the other agent, to the appraiser, to the lender, to their broker?Â Yes, it is my bread and butter, but that obviously makes me more motivated to get the buyer or seller to the closing table â€“ remember, I donâ€™t get paid until the transaction closes!
2. Second, does it do me any good to â€œinfluenceâ€ my buyer or seller to do something that they really donâ€™t want to do, or to buy a house that they really donâ€™t want to buy?Â I donâ€™t know about other Realtors, but I have found that over the years, most buyers are not going to be easily influenced to buy a house they really donâ€™t want!Â But even if we assume that I, as a Realtor, have that much power of persuasion, does it really do me any good to â€œinfluenceâ€ someone to buy a house they really donâ€™t want - because that means I will most likely not get too many referrals down the line â€“ and that is what I would want â€“ referrals from other happy past clients!
3. Third, a full time Realtor is in this business for the long term!Â This means that you will have a Realtor who will be there for you for the entire process â€“ from contract to closing and even after closing!
4. Fourth, a full time Realtor will most likely have a track record you can check on!Â It is possible that a part time Realtor may have only done a few transactions a year â€“ maybe helping friends or family!Â So if you are trying to find a Realtor to help you with your purchase or sale, donâ€™t you want to go with someone who has a proven track record of closings and sales?Â You certainly donâ€™t want to go to a surgeon who is only part time and may not have kept up with all the new technologies, trends and techniques of their profession, so why would you use a part time person to help you with one of your largest financial assets â€“ the purchase or sale of your home!
5. Finally, if all that is needed to be a good Realtor is to take the 16 hour continuing ed classes every 2 years and pay your $65 license renewal every 2 years, as well as around $1500 in dues for MLS and your local board, then you can see how easy it is to get into the real estate business!Â Does doing these things mean that everyone who does this is a good Realtor?Â I will bet you that every homebuyer and homeseller out there has horror stories to share about Realtors, both full time and part time, who did not do the best job possible for them!Â
So that is my opinion on using part time Realtors vs. full time Realtors.Â Of course, if you are a buyer, the commission is paid by the listing broker, so why would you not want to use the Realtor who will be there to give you the best service you can get!Â If you are a seller looking to sell your home in a challenging real estate market, and if you are going to pay a commission, donâ€™t you want to make sure you are getting the best service for your money that you can?Â Remember, you will get what you pay for and in this market, the challenges are great, and I donâ€™t know that I would want a part time agent devoting less than 100% to helping me with my real estate transaction.
I would be very curious to hear everyoneâ€™s opinion â€“ whether you agree with me or not!Â
Iâ€™m Barbara A. Reagan
Whether Buying, Selling or Downsizing â€“ Service Above & Beyond!
Barbara A. Reagan â€“ ABR, GRI, ePro, CRS, SFR
Long & Foster Realtors
Serving â€“ the City of Richmond, Henrico County, Hanover County & Chesterfield County!