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Barbara A. Reagan's Blog

By Barbara A. Reagan | Agent in 23233

Part Time Agents vs. Full Time Realtors - Which Should You Use?

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!  As a full time Realtor, my first reaction was that the reasons she gave were garbage!!!  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 – the purchase or sale of your home.

First, let me tell you what this agent’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!  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 Realtor’s post!  Before I give my list, however, let me say that this agent was correct with many of the things that they had written – all Realtors go through the same licensing requirements and the same continuing ed requirements, whether they are full or part time Realtors!  And it is true that all Realtors, whether full or part time, have to pay the same dues!  But I think that that is where it ends!  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 today’s changing real estate market is a full time job!  As a full time Realtor who works with many buyers over the year (many of which may be first time homebuyers).  There are constant changes to the various loan programs, the mortgage requirements, appraisal issues, home inspection items, and so on and so on!  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!  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?  Will they be able to make phone calls to the other agent, to the appraiser, to the lender, to their broker?  Yes, it is my bread and butter, but that obviously makes me more motivated to get the buyer or seller to the closing table – remember, I don’t get paid until the transaction closes!


2. Second, does it do me any good to “influence” my buyer or seller to do something that they really don’t want to do, or to buy a house that they really don’t want to buy?  I don’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 don’t want!  But even if we assume that I, as a Realtor, have that much power of persuasion, does it really do me any good to “influence” someone to buy a house they really don’t want - because that means I will most likely not get too many referrals down the line – and that is what I would want – referrals from other happy past clients!



3. Third, a full time Realtor is in this business for the long term!  This means that you will have a Realtor who will be there for you for the entire process – 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!  It is possible that a part time Realtor may have only done a few transactions a year – maybe helping friends or family!  So if you are trying to find a Realtor to help you with your purchase or sale, don’t you want to go with someone who has a proven track record of closings and sales?  You certainly don’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 – 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!  Does doing these things mean that everyone who does this is a good Realtor?  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! 


So that is my opinion on using part time Realtors vs. full time Realtors.  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!  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, don’t you want to make sure you are getting the best service for your money that you can?  Remember, you will get what you pay for and in this market, the challenges are great, and I don’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 everyone’s opinion – whether you agree with me or not! 


I’m Barbara A. Reagan

Whether Buying, Selling or Downsizing – Service Above & Beyond!

Barbara A. Reagan – ABR, GRI, ePro, CRS, SFR

Long & Foster Realtors

Serving – the City of Richmond, Henrico County, Hanover County & Chesterfield County!

Call or Text me at 804-869-1191!


By Samantha Sedlak,  Thu Jun 17 2010, 09:58
I think it depends on what the agent does. I have a part-time job and I do real estate full time. I can do this because my part-time job is generally at night and I work real estate during the day and evenings that I have off. I also have been doing real estate for almost 8 years. The only reason I have a part-time job is because the market turned and I went through a divorce. So I think it just depends on who you feel most comfortable with using as your agent.

I hope to just be doing real estate again by the end of the year, hopefully by the end of the summer!

Samantha Sedlak
Liz Moore & Associates
(757) 810-6153
By x,  Thu Jun 24 2010, 16:50
You can't do anything part time and do it well. Good job Barbara. Are you on active rain? This would be a good blog post.
By Susan Haughton,  Sun Jun 27 2010, 11:06
I could not agree with this post more; it reminds me of brand new agents who think people should do business with them because they are EXCITED!! and therefore more ENTHUSIASTIC!!! and have more time to devote to their first client. While there are, of course, outstanding new agents who have a variety of backgrounds, education, brokerage relationships and training that make them very good agents, the fact someone is NEW and EXCITED just doesn't cut it. Many times agents - new or part-time - lack enough experience to even KNOW what it is they do not know and while much of the time, their knowledge and experience is sufficient, there are so many possible pitfalls in this market that cannot be overcome by good intentions.

I cannot imagine being a career agent without being full-time; then it just becomes an income stream, i.e., a job.
By Barbara A. Reagan,  Mon Jun 28 2010, 09:34
Thanks for the comments! As tough as it is to remain a full time Realtor and continue to take the classes and update myself on the things that I need to know in order to do a good job for my clients, I cannot imagine being able to do it as a part time agent. I agree that NEW and EXCITED won't cut it, especially in this type of real estate market where every closing is a real challenge to get to the closing table and to hold together transactions when you have not only the doom and gloom news on the media, but also the fear of the unknown and are buyers and sellers getting the best they can today! A Realtor who loves their career and who wants the best for their clients will take the time to do what they need to do to keep up with the changing market! And a part time and/or new agent won't have the time and money and experience to get many of these transactions to the closing table!
By Clint Lohr,  Thu Apr 28 2011, 22:25
I worked part-time years ago and never will again. I would never be able to take the classes I have taken over the past year, and meet with buyers at the times I have if I were doing it part-time. I would simply exhaust myself and burn out. If I were selling my property, I would NOT use a part-time agent, because I did it part-time, and know what a nightmare it can be. As real estate journalist Robert Bruss used to say : "If you can't do real estate full-time, please don't do it."

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