Why People Hate Real Estate Agents

The National Association of Realtors estimates there's 1.4 Million Real Estate Agents in the country - and most people will agree only 200-300K should really have a license. As I talk to clients who have had poor experiences with agents in the past here's what I hear most:

1. You think they make too much money. 

Believe it or not the average Real Estate agent earns about $40K a year Gross. That's because most agents struggle to sell even 4 homes a year. From those earnings their Broker and Uncle Sam take a cut as does the cost of doing business: paying photographers, transaction coordinators, office space, printing and more.

2. Lack of Professionalism and Communication. 

Real estate agents come from all walks of life. In Utah, the Division of Real Estate requires 120 hours of course requirements (most of which can be taken online.) The barrier of entry into the field isn't tremendously difficult, making your professional experience in working with the average agent rather frustrating.

3. You think you can do a better Job Yourself.

Not all agents study the market or respect the craft enough to invest in a solid understanding of absorption rates, neighborhood trends, sales, pipeline management, marketing, negotiations, legal verbiage, etc. Selling a home looks as simple as putting a sign in the yard. It’s not. There’s a reason you don’t self represent in court. A good agent will always help a home seller net the most money possible in the least amount of time possible.

4. You don’t take the time to Interview your Agent.

Most people prefer to work with their uncle’s second cousin because she or he is willing to discount their commission and “save them money.” As with all things, you get what you pay for. You can’t blame someone else if you choose the “cheap” experience over hiring a professional. When selling your largest financial asset - please do a little homework.


Ask Questions:

"How many homes have you sold in your career?" 
Make sure these are true numbers representative of the agent and not numbers of homes their brokerage has sold. This is important because real estate isn't cookie cutter. From every sale, agents make mistakes, hopefully, learn from those mistakes, and thus possess the ability to protect their clients from suffering through the same mistakes. There is value in experience. 

“How will you keep me updated on the sale of my home?”
Most agents don’t have much of a strategy for selling your home outside of posting a sign in the yard and listing it on the MLS. Get to know what marketing strategy your agent plans to use in order to sell your home for the most money possible in the least amount of time. Be sure you understand how your agent plans to communicate with you during the process. There’s nothing homeowners dislike more, than wondering what’s going on with the sale of their home. Setting expectations upfront helps resolve a lot of communication issues.

“What percentage of your clients are buyers? How many are sellers?
It’s important your agent have a solid understanding of what you’re hiring them to do. With the common practice of real estate teams and discount platform companies, many agents are specializing in one area of the business heavier than another. The language of sales and negotiations is different for a buyer or seller, so make sure your agent is well versed in the one you’re hiring them for.


When it comes to buying or selling a home, your agent will act as your primary negotiator and first line of defense in communicating with other agents, inspectors, title companies, lenders and more. Who you hire matters.

Ali Garbero