You have been misled. Whether you have worked with a real estate agent to buy or sell a house before, or you have simply tuned into the mainstream messaging from local agents, the reality of those services has almost certainly been covered up. And while not being told the truth always hurts… being deliberately misled for the sake of your agent’s paycheck, that’s downright awful. And yet, throughout Indiana, the truth behind real estate agents is almost always covered by shiny marketing and high price tags.
As a homeowner, and potentially as a buyer or seller in the future, you have the right to know what you are really paying for, what you are really getting… and what you really need to successfully buy or sell a home. Don’t allow yourself to be misled any longer about the realities of the real estate industry. If you are ready to see through the facade to the truth behind real estate agents, get ready. Below are five shocking realities that Indiana real estate agents hope you never find out!
- A License Does Not Make An Expert. In the state of Indiana, the basic requirements to become a licensed real estate salesperson are shockingly minimal. What’s more, these requirements are significantly less rigorous than many other industries which will charge you a fraction of the price for their own “expertise.” To become an Indiana real estate agent, a person must simply:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Not have a conviction to any crime indicated the propensity to endanger the public
- Take the prescribed 54-hour prelicensure course
- Pass the real estate exam within a year of completing the above course
- Pay a fee and file the license application
That’s it! There is no on the job training, and almost all of that training can take place online. That real estate exam is a written course that takes about an hour and a half, so there is no real evaluation of an agents practical skills. In fact, most agents are not taught how to fill out purchase agreements, listing contracts, or even how to negotiate a deal.
And yet, after a short class and a written test, agents have a shiny new license to flaunt as a demonstration of their “expertise” and as a justification for sky-high prices.
- Even If You Find Your Own Buyer… Your Agent Still Gets The Credit (And the Paycheck.) Imagine the scenario: You’ve signed the listing contract with a local Indiana real estate agent. A week later, a friend of a friend finds out about your sale over coffee, and she comes by to take a look. She loves the house and offers to pay you what you’re asking for it. You’re completely thrilled… and so is your agent, because now he gets a full commission without having to invest any time or money into marketing your property.
Although sales don’t unfold like this all the time, when it does, it often leaves sellers feeling baffled. The agent didn’t do any of the work finding the buyer… so why is he getting paid as if he did? It may not seem fair, but it is legal. Your agent can, and will, make you pay that commission, a national average of 5.4%, no matter how little legwork has gone into the sale.
- Open Houses Don’t Help You (They Help Agents.) Open houses are the subject of perhaps the deepest, darkest secret of the real estate industry. Agents love to host them, especially newer agents still looking to make local connections. They are a great opportunity to market their brand, meet potential clients, and demonstrate what a dedicated and hard working agent they are…
… meanwhile, as of 2014, only 9% of buyers found the home they eventually purchased at an open house, according to the National Association of REALTORS. That represented a 7% drop from a decade before! The reality is that people are searching for their homes online, not while walking through neighborhoods. Yet, agents continue to push their clients to offer an open house, despite the steady decrease in the results they offer for the actual seller.
- Your Agent Will Steer You Toward The House That Benefits Them, Not You. 53% of buyers said that what they most wanted from their real estate agent was help in finding the right home. This fact alone makes it even more tragic to realize that agents are really looking for the house that is right for them, not you.
Your agent has their own bottom line in mind as they choose which houses to show you. Often, they may not even show you properties that only pay a small buyer’s agent commission. And if you find yourself wavering between two properties, one which pays 3% and one that pays 3.5% to the buyer’s agent, you can bet that they’re going to advocate the latter with unmatched enthusiasm. And the best part for agents is that you have no way of knowing what the listed buyer’s commission is unless you ask.
On that note, don’t forget that your agent gets paid extra if you buy one of their company’s listings. Your agent is on the look out for their highest paycheck, and that internal bonus might just make the difference in which house they choose to show you and which houses get bypassed.
- You Can Sell Your House On Your Own And Save Significant Money. How many horror stories have you heard about selling a house For Sale By Owner? Now, think closely, how many of those stories have come from real estate agents?
The reality is that you absolutely can sell your house on your own, and it isn’t rocket science to do it! In fact, once you find a buyer, some real estate companies (like Rocket Realty) will do the closing paperwork for a small flat fee (about $500). Selling your home this way could save you thousands of dollars, but most homeowners avoid it because they have been warned away from this method by, you guessed it… real estate agents.
An Agency You CAN Trust
At Rocket Realty, we are tired of the facade, and we are dedicated to taking a different approach. We believe that simple honesty and transparency in our business is going to carry us much farther than hiding the uncomfortable truths about the real estate industry.
In addition to our dedication to educating and empowering buyers and sellers like you to take charge of their own real estate experience, we are also committed to transforming the industry, beginning with our own practices. To do this, we are ditching the way it’s always been done and replacing those practices with ideas that really make sense to help you get the results you want and save money along the way.
Check out some of the great changes we’re making already:
- Reduced Commission If You Find The Buyer. If you find your buyer on your own, we don’t think it makes sense to pay your agent the full commission… so we offer this discount for such situations that you won’t find anywhere else.
- Flat Fee Services. We want to help empower FSBOs by offering flat rate services for closing paperwork, letting you take charge of your sale where you want to and offering the support you need for a fair, low price.
- Direct, Simple Service. At Rocket Realty, we have a lot of fun, but we don’t play mind games with our clients. Instead, we offer straightforward and simple service that helps you buy or sell your own your way, while trying to save you as much money as possible along the way.
Want To Know More About The Truth Behind Real Estate Agents?
What other things have you heard about the real estate industries? Are you wondering if other common sentiments are fact or fiction? Do you have questions about how to get the facts from an agent you are already working with? Leave your questions and concerns in the comments section below and we’ll respond with the truth you need to hear!