Television and movies have a way of presenting certain jobs in an unfavorable light. If you are a real estate agent or are working to obtain your agent license, you may cringe when you see an inaccurate portrayal of a real estate agent on your favorite show. Often these characters come off as bumbling, dishonest or egotistical, more concerned about their own images than their clients’ needs.
Hopefully, not everyone believes these stereotypes despite the way Hollywood portrays real estate agents. Unfortunately, many potential clients still have some misperceptions of the real estate industry and what it is like working with a real estate agent. You may have some control over the perpetuation of these myths if you can understand how your clients might look at you.
Setting the record straight
Misunderstandings about working with a real estate agent can cause some buyers or sellers to try to handle a complex real estate transaction on their own. This could result in frustration and perhaps even legal complications when buyers and sellers do not understand the process or their responsibilities to each other. If you come across potential clients who are reluctant to work with a real estate agent, it might be because they believe any of the following myths:
- You are trying to get rich from the sale of their home.
- Once they sign a contract with you, they have no option but to work with you to the end of the transaction.
- They don’t need an agent to buy a home because they can just use the seller’s agent.
- A random choice of real estate agents will have the same results as shopping around for a good fit.
- A homeowner who is selling without an agent will not work with them if they have a real estate agent.
Of course, your education and experience tell you how you will likely split your commission several ways and that you are usually willing to release a dissatisfied client from an agent contract. You might have to explain to buyers that a seller’s agent has a legal duty to represent the seller’s interests and that it is a wise idea to speak with several agents before deciding which one is a good fit. Buyers may even be pleasantly surprised when you offer to show them an FSBO home.
Your positive attitude and focus on the needs of the client can expel some of the stereotypes the public has about real estate agents. Additionally, your skills as an agent can go a long way in putting to rest these and other myths about the real estate world.