Robert Donica

You’re Going To Need To Sit Down.

No, really, find a seat. I don’t want you to get hurt when you fall down after reading the following disturbing material.

How much do you think a heart surgeon makes per hour? According to, heart surgeons make wages starting at $93 dollars an hour. With little overhead beyond the cost of education, that’s a pretty good rate. But I don’t begrudge surgeons for making so much money. After all, they had ZERO fun in college while I was out gallivanting with my sorority sisters. And while I was getting started out in the real world with my own little house and my first decent car, those folks were sleeping on hospital cots and using duct tape to repair their old, beat up ttjalopies.

I was having my second child and saving for college funds while they were graduating from med school and starting to pay off their student loans. Heart surgeons dedicated themselves to a rigorous education process and sacrificed tremendously along the way. I’m happy to fork over the $93+ an hour if my heart needs a little tinkering.

Now let’s chat about what you pay your real estate agent per hour. (If you’re not sitting down yet, NOW IS THE TIME.)

Here’s a list of the tasks and time your agent will engage in:

  • Pre-listing preparation: 1 hour (Completing a market analysis, preparing and printing off contracts, grabbing a lock box and sign, and taking a look at your listing history)
  • Listing appointment: 2-3 hours (Measuring rooms, identifying unique features/issues, taking pictures, gathering neighborhood and HOA info, determining a showing process, setting expectations, and signing contracts)
  • Inputting information into MLS: 1 hour (Transferring specs into MLS system, setting up showing information)
  • Marketing: 2-4 hours (Varies by agent. Most agents have a process for newspaper ads, open houses, flyers, etc. These activities are often passed off to a less experienced member of the team or an admin.)
  • Negotiating offers/closing the deal: 6 hours (Again, this can vary. It rarely takes more time than this if your agent is efficient and utilizes the online tools that are available to all agents.)

Now let’s chat about hourly rates. (I’m begging you to sit down).  If you have a 200K house and you’ve agreed to pay your agent 6%, your agent will likely make 3% at closing. For a 200K house, that’s $6,000. If you divide $6,000 by the highest number of hours your agent will spend on your property, that’s $400 per hour! Holy smokes! Most agents don’t even have a college degree, let alone an MD! Yet they make far more money per hour than a recently graduated heart surgeon. Perhaps there is a better way to sell your home….

And just wait until you find out a real estate agent’s level (or should I say lack) of training. But that’s for another blog.

Good luck out there!