November 16, 2023


Here’s to all the future Realtors and anyone curious about the world of real estate! 🏡✨ Let’s talk real talk about being a Realtor because it’s not all glitz and glamour, but boy, is it rewarding! 🌟

And let’s address the “inflated commission” rumors all over the media – after 26 years in the game, let me tell you, commissions have come down, not up!

First things first, the commission game has changed, folks. With over 95% of buyers scouting the internet FIRST, those big real estate internet companies (you know who they are) have swooped in and want a chunk of the commission pie. The typical fee these big internet companies want is a 40-50% referral fee from our gross commissions, and that’s before our own splits with our Brokers. It’s a hustle out here, and most Realtors take home about 20-30% of the total deal, leaving us Realtors with a slice that’s smaller than ever. Everyone wants a piece of the “commission pie”.🥧 🤑

But here’s the deal – I do it because I love it. Helping people navigate the biggest investment of their lives is no small feat. There’s a common misconception about what I do and how I get paid, so here’s the lowdown. 😊

The average full-time Realtor, and I mean 40+ hours a week full-time, earned around $31,900 last year. Yeah, you read that right. It’s not exactly rolling in the dough. I don’t get an hourly wage or salary; I only get paid when a home sells and closes. It’s a risky business, my friends. I could be working with clients for days, weeks, even months with no guarantee of a sale, which means no income. It’s a labor of love, but it’s also a grind. 💪

Imagine waking up every day unemployed, going on job interviews (with potential clients), and dealing with constant rejection. We sacrifice family time, work 24/7, and live in a world where weekends off are a rare luxury. But we keep going because we love what we do. ❤️

As a Listing Agent, my to-do list is longer than my arm. From preparing presentations and researching property tax info to coordinating showings and negotiating offers – it’s a juggling act, my friends. 🤹‍♂️

As your Listing Agent, here are just a few tasks that I do:

1. Prepare Listing Presentation for Sellers

2. Research Sellers Property Tax Info

3. Research Comparable Sold Properties for Sellers

4. Determine Average Days on Market

5. Gather Info From Sellers About Their Home

6. Meet With Sellers at Their Home

7. Get To Know Their Home

8. Present Listing Presentation

9. Advise on Repairs and/or Upgrades

10. Provide Home Seller To-Do Checklist

11. Explain Current Market Conditions

12. Discuss Seller’s Goals

13. Share Your Value Proposition

14. Explain Benefits of Your Brokerage

15. Present Your Marketing Options

16. Explain Video Marketing Strategies

17. Demonstrate 3D Tour Marketing

18. Explain Buyer & Seller Agency Relationships

19. Describe the Buyer Pre-Screening Process

20. Create Internal File for Transaction

21. Get Listing Agreement & Disclosures Signed

22. Provide Sellers Disclosure Form to Sellers

23. Verify Interior Room Sizes

24. Obtain Current Mortgage Loan Info

25. Confirm Lot Size from County Tax Records

26. Investigate Any Unrecorded Property Easements

27. Establish Showing Instructions for Buyers

28. Agree on Showing Times with Sellers

29. Discuss Different Types of Buyer Financing

30. Explain Appraisal Process and Pitfalls

31. Verify Home Owners Association Fees

32. Obtain a Copy of HOA Bylaws

33. Gather Transferable Warranties

34. Determine Need for Lead-Based Paint Disclosure

35. Verify Security System/Solar and other Ownership

36. Discuss Video Recording Devices & Showings

37. Determine Property Inclusions & Exclusions

38. Agree on Repairs to Made Before Listing

39. Schedule Staging Consultation

40. Schedule House Cleaners

41. Install Electronic Lockbox & Yard Sign

42. Set-Up Photo/Video Shoot

43. Meet Photographer at Property

44. Prepare Home For Photographer

45. Schedule Drone & 3D Tour Shoot

46. Get Seller’s Approval of All Marketing Materials

47. Input Property Listing Into The MLS

48. Create Virtual Tour Page

49. Verify Listing Data on 3rd Party Websites

50. Have Listing Proofread

51. Create Property Flyer

52. Have Extra Keys Made for Lockbox

53. Set-Up Showing Services

54. Help Owners Coordinate Showings

55. Gather Feedback After Each Showing

56. Keep track of Showing Activity

57. Update MLS Listing as Needed

58. Schedule Weekly Update Calls with Seller

59. Prepare “Net Sheet” For All Offers

60. Present All Offers to Seller

61. Obtain Pre-Approval Letter from Buyer’s Agent

62. Examine & Verify Buyer’s Qualifications

63. Examine & Verify Buyer’s Lender

64. Negotiate All Offers

65. Once Under Contract, Send to Title Company

66. Check Buyer’s Agent Has Received Copies

67. Change Property Status in MLS

68. Deliver Copies of Contact/Addendum to Seller

69. Keep Track of Copies for Office File

70. Coordinate Inspections with Sellers

71. Explain Buyer’s Inspection Objections to Sellers

72. Determine Seller’s Inspection Resolution

73. Get All Repair Agreements in Writing

74. Refer Trustworthy Contractors to Sellers

75. Meet Appraiser at the Property

76. Negotiate Any Unsatisfactory Appraisals

77. Confirm Clear-to-Close

78. Coordinate Closing Times & Location

79. Verify Title Company Has All Docs

80. Remind Sellers to Transfer Utilities

81. Make Sure All Parties Are Notified of Closing Time

82. Resolve Any Title Issues Before Closing

83. Receive and Carefully Review Closing Docs

84. Review Closing Figures With Seller

85. Confirm Repairs Have Been Made

86. Perform  and document an AVID, which is a visual inspection of home

87. Resolve Any Last Minute Issues

88. Attend Seller’s Closing

89. Pick Up Sign & Lock Box

90. Change Status in MLS to “Sold.”

91. Close Out Seller’s File With Brokerage

And for you lucky ones working with me as your Buyer’s Agent, finding the perfect home is just the tip of the iceberg. Scheduling meetings, explaining financing options, guiding you through neighborhoods, negotiating offers – it’s a whirlwind, but I’m here for it! 🏡

As your Buyer’s agent, here are just a few things I do for you:

1. Schedule Time To Meet Buyers

2. Prepare Buyers Guide & Presentation

3. Meet Buyers and Discuss Their Goals

4. Explain Buyer & Seller Agency Relationships

5. Discuss Different Types of Financing Options

6. Help Buyers Find a Mortgage Lender

7. Obtain Pre-Approval Letter from Their Lender

8. Explain What You Do For Buyers As A Realtor

9. Provide Overview of Current Market Conditions

10. Explain Your Company’s Value to Buyers

11. Discuss Earnest Money Deposits

12. Explain Home Inspection Process

13. Educate Buyers About Local Neighborhoods

14. Discuss Foreclosures & Short Sales

15. Gather Needs & Wants Of Their Next Home

16. Explain School Districts Effect on Home Values

17. Explain Recording Devices During Showings

18. Learn All Buyer Goals & Make A Plan

19. Create Internal File for Buyers Records

20. Send Buyers Homes Within Their Criteria

21. Start Showing Buyers Home That They Request

22. Schedule & Organize All Showings

23. Gather Showing Instructions for Each Listing

24. Send Showing Schedule to Buyers

25. Show Up Early and Prepare First Showing

26. Look For Possible Repair Issues While Showing

27. Gather Buyer Feedback After Each Showing

28. Update Buyers When New Homes Hit the Market

29. Share Knowledge & Insight About Homes

30. Guide Buyers Through Their Emotional Journey

31. Listen & Learn From Buyers At Each Showing

32. Keep Records of All Showings

33. Update Listing Agents with Buyer’s Feedback

34. Discuss Home Owner’s Associations

35. Estimate Expected Utility Usage Costs

36. Confirm Water Source and Status

37. Discuss Transferable Warranties

38. Explain Property Appraisal Process

39. Discuss Multiple Offer Situations

40. Create Practice Offer To Help Buyers Prepare

41. Provide Updated Housing Market Data to Buyers

42. Inform Buyers of Their Showing Activity Weekly

43. Update Buyers On Any Price Drops

44. Discuss MLS Data With Buyers At Showings

45. Find the Right Home for Buyers

46. Determine Property Inclusions & Exclusions

47. Prepare Sales Contract When Buyers are Ready

48. Educate Buyer’s On Sales Contract Options

49. Determine Need for Lead-Based Paint Disclosure

50. Explain Home Warranty Options

51. Update Buyer’s Pre-Approval Letter

52. Discuss Loan Objection Deadlines

53. Choose a Closing Date

54. Verify Listing Data Is Correct

55. Review Comps With Buyers To Determine Value

56. Prepare & Submit Buyer’s Offer to Listing Agent

57. Negotiate Buyers Offer With Listing Agent

58. Execute A Sales Contract & Disclosures

59. Once Under Contract, Send to Title Company

60. Coordinate Earnest Money Drop Off

61. Deliver Copies to Mortgage Lender

62. Obtain Copy of Sellers Disclosure for Buyers

63. Deliver Copies of Contract/Addendum to Buyers

64. Obtain A Copy of HOA Bylaws

65. Keep Track of Copies for Office File

66. Coordinate Inspections with Buyers

67. Meet Inspector At The Property

68. Review Home Inspection with Buyers

69. Negotiate Inspection Objections

70. Get All Agreed Upon Repair Items in Writing

71. Verify any Existing Lease Agreements

72. Check In With Lender To Verify Loan Status

73. Check on the Appraisal Date

74. Negotiate Any Unsatisfactory Appraisals

75. Coordinate Closing Times & Location

76. Make Sure All Documents Are Fully Signed

77. Verify Title Company Has Everything Needed

78. Remind Buyers to Schedule Utilities

79. Make Sure All Parties Are Notified of Closing Time

80. Solve Any Title Problems Before Closing

81. Receive and Review Closing Documents

82. Review Closing Figures With Buyers

83. Perform  and document an AVID, which is a visual inspection of home

84. Confirm Repairs Have Been Made By Sellers

85. Perform Final Walk-Through with Buyers

86. Resolve Any Last Minute Issues

87. Get CDA Signed By Brokerage

88. Attend Closing with Buyers

89. Provide Home Warranty Paperwork

90. Give Keys and Accessories to Buyers

91. Close Out Buyer’s File Brokerage

Whew…exhausting isn’t it!?! 🤯

And let’s not forget the financial side of things – we’ve got upfront expenses before we even see a paycheck. Broker splits, office rent, MLS fees, insurance, taxes, the list goes on. It’s not just about selling homes; it’s about managing a business with a lot of moving parts. 💼

Agents have lots of upfront expenses that must be paid out before they even get paid and here are just a few:

1. Broker Splits and Fees

2. Office rent and utilities

3. MLS Fees

4. NAR Fees

5. Local Association Fees

6. E&O (Errors & Omissions)Business Insurance

7. Extended Auto Insurance

8. Self-Employment Tax

9. State Licensing Fees

10. Advertising Fees

11. Showing Service Fees

12. Website Fees

13. Assistant’s Salaries

14. Showing partners

15. Transaction coordinator (TC fee)

16. Yard Signs

17. Photographers

18. Videographers

19. Office Supplies

20. Business Cards

21. Property Flyers

22. Electronic Lockboxes

23. Continued RE Education (Real estate agents must attend continuing education every 2 years.)

24. Legal Fees

25. Gas (and in CA, our gas is the highest nationwide)

Don’t forget taxes! Income taxes are not reduced from our commissions checks, so agents need to plan and put aside 25-30%, in order to pay their yearly taxes.

Don’t forget health insurance, if you don’t have a spouse who provides it. Self-employment health insurance can cost a whopping $400-1500 per month or more!(depending on where you live)Personally, my monthly health insurance in CA costs $600 per month! And this is for the cheapest PPO “bronze” base plan with a deductible that could cost me thousands of dollars, if I got sick (but at least I can choose my own doctor. 😂)

So, next time you think about asking your Realtor for a discount, or if  you’re a fellow Realtor thinking about devaluing your worth with discounts, remember this – YOU ARE WORTH EVERY PENNY! The time, effort, and expertise we put in are invaluable. 🌈

By sharing one of my listings, sending a friend or family member my way, letting me connect you with agents outside my area for a broker to broker referral, or leaving me a positive comment or review, this helps me feel seen and supported – (thanks to you)! ❤️✨Thank you for your continued support – you’re the real MVPs! 🙌

Let’s keep rocking the real estate world, one home at a time! I am honored to help people with the biggest investment of their lives. I am proud of my profession. And my value is definitely worth the commission I earn and more! 😌

Feel free to share this post! We Realtors® and everyone we work with need to understand our worth.❤️

Follow me and ❤️ today’s post.  I will inform and inspire you on all things real estate. 😌

Lisa Hinkson 🗝️

Agent•Broker Associate•BA•Realtor ®

💼 DRE CA.02055271

💼 DRE AZ.BR508368000

Licensed Realtor® since 1998. Your North County connection in San Diego. #ehomessandiego 😎

Looking to sell your home quickly? I can offer you a GUARANTEED CASH OFFER with no appraisals, no repairs, no contingencies, NO HASSLES and closing in as little as 10 days! Call Lisa today at 480.330.5224 to learn more!