To follow my last blog where I highlighted 5 things your Agent wants you to know, it only seemed fair to touch on things your Agent doesn’t want you to know. Here goes…..

1. Anyone can get a real estate license.

There are only 3 pre-licensing courses required, which can be taken in a classroom setting or even online. The only other prerequisites for getting your real estate license are passing a 100 question exam and paying CAL BRE licensing fees.  

Joe Smith can go from being unemployed to licensed Real Estate Agent Extraordinaire in as little as 30 days.

Generally speaking, within the industry, full-time Professionals tend to frown upon part-time agents.  It’s important to ask your Agent detailed questions about their experience. 

How many transactions did you close last year? 2 years? 5 years?
Do you have another full-time job?

Length of years licensed, or “being in the business,” has less bearing when compared to recent experience, especially in this ever-changing real estate market. You want to work with an Agent who is up to date on local market conditions and disclosure requirements. 30 years of being licensed means nothing when s/he hasn’t closed a transaction in the last 5 years. 

2. They don’t have as much business as you think they do.

Most Agents have adopted a common boiler-plate response when asked, “How’s business?”

“Oh, business is great. I’m just so busy!”

The reality is about 5% of the Agents in your area handle 95% of the transactions. In Santa Cruz County, the vast majority of Agents do 6 or less transactions.  The gap is wide between the top-producing agents and the rest. 

Everyone starts their business somewhere. I’m not implying that a new Agent won’t do a phenomenal job. After all, I can distinctly remember my first sale. I’m proud to say those clients are life-long friends who have continued to refer us to many of their friends and family.  

What do I say when I’m asked, “How’s business?”

“Business is great! I’m always looking for more. Do you know anyone who would benefit from our services?”

3. We don’t know everything.

This may appear contradictory to my last blog where I named “We don’t know everything” in the 5 Things your Agent wants you to know. 

As much as we want you to know that we don’t know everything, we also equally want to be able to wow you with our expertise of all things Real Estate. 

One fellow agent summarized our job description quite accurately- “Experts of nothing, Knowledgeable of everything.”  In addition to knowing the inventory, we have to have a basic understanding of taxes, construction, lending, title, and legal matters. 

It takes experience and confidence to be able to tell a client, “I don’t know the answer to your question, but I’ll be sure to help direct you to the right expert.”

4. The Horror Stories… Oh the Horror Stories!

Not everyone can say they’ve stumbled upon people in the throes of passion, a pig hanging out in the living room, or what could be the set for the next episode of "Hoarders" all in a days work. Every time I open up a door, I briefly think to myself, “What new adventure might I discover today?”

I recently showed a property in Felton to a client who so aptly labeled the basement as “The Dexter Room.”  It was all taken in good humor, but it got me thinking about some of the other, less humorous, horror stories some of my fellow Realtors have shared.

5. Dual Agency is not always a good thing.

Dual Agency is when the same Brokerage represents both the buyer and seller. In an even more specific scenario, sometimes the same Agent represents both buyer and seller. It’s great to be able to manage a transaction working with oneself. There’s no miscommunication or waiting on response from the other Agent. There are fewer parties to manage and align schedules. Not to mention, the pay is better.

Often referred to as “The Holy Grail” among other Realtors, I find that dual agency doesn’t come without its downsides.  I personally think dual agency is not just double the work, it’s triple the work. In a typical transaction where each buyer and seller has their own representation, an Agent only has to keep in mind what is in the best interest of their client. Well, in dual agency, that Agent has to keep in mind 1) what is in the best interest of their seller; 2)what is in the best interest of their buyer; AND 3) where these interests overlap.  

Dual Agency is hard. It can be successful, but it requires transparency and fully informed clients.

Check back next week for my recap of my first Wharf to Wharf (2015).

Aimee Thayer-Garcia is a Real Estate Broker Associate at Bailey Properties. She is Top-Producing Agent and practices Real Estate full time with her husband, Angel Garcia. Mom of 3.  831-435-9146.