Just how many agents are "really" working for you?

smoke and mirrors - truth in advertisingI was driving down Highway 95 in Coeur d’Alene the other day and came across another real estate office’s sign. It said “200+ agents working for you”.

Oh really.

I’ve been working in real estate a long time. Dad’s been doing it even longer. We’ve been with a couple of different companies over the years and frankly, I can’t remember a time that anyone else in our brokerage was ‘working for our sellers’ other than ourselves. So how is it that a local brokerage is trying to claim that when you list your home with one of their agents, all of the agents are working for you?

Honestly, it’s a game of semantics, which means nothing for the consumer. Semantics because technically, all listings are “owned” by the broker and typically, the broker is the owner of the brokerage. The agents are simply ‘sales agents’ of the broker. So, “technically” when you list your home with a sales agent of any brokerage, the broker can “claim” that “all” of his agents are working for you.

Smoke and mirrors really.

The truth and reality? When you list with a real estate sales agent, you get the agent you list with, period. Oh sure the agent can call on and utilize his broker, that’s a given. But, every other sales agent in the brokerage is competition. It’s a business, a cut throat one at that. It’s fiercely competitive and other agents are not out there advertising and promoting any of my listings, that’s for sure. They are too busy trying to sell “their own” listings.

One of the key elements brokers teach ‘newbie’ agents is to tout that they have <insert whatever number of agents work for that firm here> agents working for you, the seller. This is supposed to give the consumer confidence in your abilities. Well, I’m here to tell you that as a consumer, you get the person sitting in front of you that you are signing the papers with – you don’t get dozens or hundreds of other agents in the brokerage.

All this to say, choose your agent based upon your agent, not their company and not their testimony that all of the other agents in the office are working for you, etc. It’s about your agent. What they can do to get your home sold. How educated are they? How knowledgeable are they? What do they know about the market? How do they compare to everyone else in the market? Get to know your potential agent. They alone will determine your success or failure in selling your home.

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