Everybody knows a Boston real estate agent, but how much do you really know about them? As a home buyer or seller in Beacon Hill, it’s useful to know what motivates Beacon Hill real estate agents, and get behind the scenes into how we do our work.
Real estate agents are self-employed
with very few exceptions. All real estate agents in Boston are also called (officially called) Brokers. Beacon Hill real estate agent is a commonly understood term, but Broker is the official licensing term in Boston. In Massachusetts there are Brokers and Principle Brokers. Principle Brokers can, but do not necessarily, supervise other Brokers. (Often if they supervise other Brokers they are called “Reviewing Principle Brokers”.) If Beacon Hill real estate agents are not Principle Brokers they work under the guidance of one. Reviewing Principle Brokers have legal responsibility for all transactions completed by their Brokers, and they also oversee their actions so that there is a double-check on everything. Most of the time Reviewing Principle Brokers do not also sell homes, their main job is supervision (occasionally they do both). Because they are self-employed, real estate agents are responsible for all of their own income taxes (high in Portland!) and expenses — everything from the vehicle they use all day long to the marketing they do on behalf of their clients.
Not all real estate agents are full time
According to the National Association of Realtors 2018 Member profile the median REALTOR sold 5 listings and helped a buyer purchase 5 homes, for a median of 10 transactions a year. What does this mean? Many real estate agents are getting by on a handful of transactions per year.
You can research real estate agents online
You can check how active a real estate agent in your area is by searching for them in Zillow’s agent finder. It will tell you how many transactions that agent completed in the last 12 months. It may also include their lifetime sales, the year they were licensed, and client reviews. Not all real estate agents are on Zillow, but many are.
Okay, maybe you knew this one already, but seriously — there are a lot of agents to pick from. Counting the total numbers of REALTORS®, agents and brokers working in the Boston Beacon Hill area is tricky, but we can get a rough estimate. Any real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors gets to advertise themselves as a REALTOR® and abides by a strict code of ethics.
Not all real estate agents provide the same services
This is especially true when it comes to Beacon Hill condo sellers’ agents. Before you commit, ask! We charge a reasonable commission rate and pay more to market our client’s homes so they sell faster and for more money.