After reading this thread that apparently started back in November of '07, this is obviously a hot topic. As an agent who works full time, is a single mother and pays for everything herself including a mortgage, daycare costs of $8k a year it never ceases to amaze me that the overall consensus of real estate agents is that we are lazy and greedy. I make decent living, nothing over the top, but I work harder for my money more than anyone else I know that has a salary based 40 hour a work week. I work weekends, nights days and whenever I can in order to meet my clients needs while still trying to maintain some sort of life outside of work. .
So let's look at the average commission of 3% of a buyers side. I may work 6 months with someone trying to find a house that is 250k. I have spent countless hours with them, gas, buying them lunch while we are out, time on the phone with them, other agents, setting up appointments,maybe writing one or two offers before finally finding a house they love and then going through the home inspection, making sure the lender they have chosen is doing their job, following up with the title company to make sure they have their stuff together. Now the 3% would be 7500, which say on average your brokerage takes 20%. Now you are at 6k. You can subract another 20 % for taxes, $4800 and then divide that by the hours, time and not to metnion the other costs that go into being a real estate agent like dues, website fees, marketing expenses, etc. And this number dwindles quite quickly. AND that is saying the person ends up buying a house, not renting for another year, not moving away, not just changing their minds.
I would also like to see anyone that would like their clients calling them at 6am or 2am perhaps while watching fireworks with their families on the fourth of July, all because someone just saw a house come on the market and they area desperate to know when they can go see it. We work around your schedule as much as possible while trying to keep some sort of balance in our own lives. Don't get me wrong, I love what I do and am not complaining, but you tell me of another industry that is at the whims of their clients as much as real estate.
I would never ask my financial planner to credit me some money from his own pocket so I could buy more stocks from him. Financial advisers are extremely well paid and they do not credit their services. I provide my buyers exceptional services and feel that I am worth every penny that I get paid. I would be hesitant to seek representation from an agent who is so eager to discount their prices. Most of my business comes from referrals and repeat buyers and sellers and I have only been doing this for less than 3 years, so I think that says something when people are coming back and not requesting a discount.
Every market is different, but here in Baltimore, things are staying somewhat strong but sellers need to realize that if they want to sell their home, make it look good, price it right and trust your agent. Buyers, if you want to buy, there are great prices but yes, somethings are still high, but again, trust your agent to do an analysis of that particular area because especially here in the city, each neighborhood is different.