editor September 27, 2018
Realtor's Dirty Little Secrets

6 Realtor’s Really, Really, Dirty Little Secrets


There are a ton of articles out there airing out Realtors dirty laundry. I’m going to assume you know commissions are negotiable and all the other cute things everyone already knows.


Here are 6 hardcore, unfiltered, Area 51, X Files caliber Realtor dirty secrets they DO NOT want the public to know.


First, in less than 30 minutes a Realtor can reach about 84% of all possible buyers. So let’s assume for a moment all listing paperwork is done, all the photos are ready, and all the information has been gathered all of which can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. A Realtor then puts the house on the MLS or multiple listing system.

This process takes an experienced Realtor about 30 minutes. But here’s what you might not have guessed, Zillow, Trulia, and all the other websites grab that information directly off the MLS through something called an IDX feed (more on that later) for the listing agent and sends it throughout the internet for them automatically. Your Realtor doesn’t list you on Zillow, Trulia, or any other online sites it is all done automatically for them.


But here’s the REAL interesting fact. The internet sites capture about 44% of all buyers and the MLS & Realtors capture about 33% of all sales (bonus points if you noticed more people find a house themselves as opposed to a Realtor finding it for them).

Doing the math, spending 30 minutes putting your property on the MLS captures 77% of all buyers. Let that sink in, 30 minutes to input it in the MLS, everything automatically sent to the online sites no Realtor work involved there, 77% of all possible avenues taken care of. Once you add in a sign in the yard and you have now covered 84% of the real estate market.


Second, a Realtor CANNOT influence that 84% number. It does not matter if you hire the best named Realtor in town or a complete freshly licensed newbie as long as they can input information properly which their offices oversee anyway. They make you think they can, but they can’t. Other agents don’t care who listed a house on the MLS as long as it pays them the going rate from a commission perspective.

The internet sites don’t care who listed your house they are simply going to sell the ad space to whatever Realtor wants to place their name on the listing. Also, no one REALLY cares who’s for sale sign is in your yard as long as it says FOR SALE on it you have that taken care of. In short, you can’t influence that 84% number it just is what it is and as soon as you have hired an agent with a pulse you’ve basically checked the box.


Third, having a big name agent or company’s sign in your yard DOES NOT make your home worth more money nor does it get it anymore exposure. Gone are the days of agents running around with books of listings that only they have access to.

Now all the information is everywhere which is a GOOD THING. So it doesn’t matter who you actually list with all the information goes on all their competitors websites too. List it with Brokerage X, it goes on Brokerage Y’s website as soon as it hits the MLS and vice versa. Hire the smallest company in town and all their listings are on the biggest brokerages website on display with every other listing.

Zillow and all the other big fish don’t know who the biggest brokerage is in your town nor do they care, all the listings are going up with the rest of the them.


Fourth, the one marketing area where Realtors can influence they almost all don’t even know about and the ones that do are using it for their benefit not yours. Social media, specifically Facebook, is truly the greatest marketing tool ever invented and it is selling a lot of everything lately including houses.

Most believe Facebook is the fastest growing segment for where homes are selling. The average Realtor is in their late 50’s, is not very tech savvy,  and has ABSOLUTELY ZERO clue how to effectively market things on Facebook. Most agent’s idea of Facebook marketing is putting a link to your listing next to a pic of their grandchildren.

The agent’s that actually have figured out a little bit of what they can do using targeted demographics ads and other high level marketing techniques are using that information to target more buyers and sellers to make more money and enhance their brand. Basically, once again they are using it to sell themselves NOT YOUR HOUSE.


Fifth, a lot of the “work” they do for “you” isn’t actually for you it is actually marketing for themselves. When a Realtor gives you a listing presentation and talks to you about all of the “marketing” they are going to do for your home ask yourself what is REALLY being marketed?


What are the odds of selling your house at an open house, if you guessed almost ZERO you would be correct. Realtors do open houses for two reasons and that’s sign-in sheets and nosey neighbors. The idea is to gather information from everyone who walks in and then meet your neighbors and list their houses when it’s time for them to move.


Furthermore, what is the possibility of selling your house through a magazine or newspaper? If you guessed less than ZERO you would be correct again. So why throw that money away? Well, pick up a magazine and notice the MASSIVE Realtor photos and cell phone numbers and tiny house pictures and ask yourself “am I being marketed a house or a Realtor?”


Sixth, Realtors automate everything. One of the first things Realtors do is learn how to automate almost every task they have so they can spend more time on client acquisition. Lockboxes hold the keys so Realtors get access without meeting other agents anywhere. Showing services confirm all appointments and gather all the feedback. Listings are automatically shared throughout the web. Remote signing software manages all a Realtor’s paperwork.


So right now you must be thinking Realtor work has gotten a lot more efficient and a lot of marketing can be done without much time invested. Real Estate fees must be coming down right? NOPE. The same old 6% standard from the 1800’s is still alive and well today.

Back in the day Realtors were getting robbed by horse riding rustlers or scaled by Indians for their 6% commission. Now Realtors are doing work from a beach somewhere from an Ipad or laptop for their 6% commission.


So is all this to say Realtors are horrible people? Absolutely not. Just understand what a Realtor can do and what they can’t. If you are buying a house you aren’t paying the cost so hire the best Realtor you can.

If you are selling a house look for an honest Realtor that is going to put it on the MLS, is a skilled negotiator, knows how to make social media work for you, and most importantly will save you some money without gouging buyers agents. More efficiently run discount real estate brokerages that focus on technology is a great place to start.  


If you hire a Realtor because of how “hard” they say they are going to work on your listing then maybe you should have your head examined, pun intended.

Value your Realtor for their brain, how well they negotiate, how well they leverage technology FOR YOUR BENEFIT not just theirs, their list of contacts that can make home selling or buying easier like their vendors or lenders. Hire a Realtor that intimately knows the LOCAL real estate market so they can make sure you get a good deal on a good house that will appreciate in value.


These things make up a Realtor’s real value not how hard they work because their hard work is spent landing future deals, not yours.

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