i turn REALTY into REALiTY

Slate on Real Estate

A couple of days ago, Slate wrote a piece on a Century 21 real estate TV ad. The author’s take on the ad is not new. It reflects the growing dismay of the typical consumer about the Real Estate industry. High prices, low inventory, and the inability of the average Real Estate agent to educate the customer appear to be the cause of the uproar.

To be sure, selling a home is not an inexpensive proposition. The average cost to a seller in my area is about 9% of the sales price. But, only 6% of that cost is commission. The remaining 3% is for excise tax, title fees, escrow fees, etc. that a seller must pay regardless if an agent is involved or not.

So, it appears that the debate centers around the sales commission, since that is what the author of the Slate ad focused on. I agree with his initial assessment of the Century 21 ad and how it could be perceived as further reinforcement of the common negative attitude that consumers have. However, I lost respect for the author when he commented “of course your agent wants you to buy a house you can’t afford – she gets a bigger commission”. Not only would this be unethical, but the increase in income to the agent is miniscule compared to the long term trust that the agent is trying to create.

It is easy to jump on the commission bashing bandwagon, but consumers should instead be focused on the services that we provide. Bottom line: If an agent cannot justify his/her value in the transaction, the consumer should shop elsewhere.

What are your thoughts?


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