Realtors, Realtors Everywhere
The number of Realtors has increased in the last year by 4.8%. Realtor is not an occupation. It denotes people who belong to the National Association of
Realtors and right now there are 1.45 million of us, which is an all-time high. Not all members are real estate salespeople. Some are in real estate-related careers, some are retired, real estate agents.
Considering that about 4.8 million or maybe 5 million houses/condos will be sold in the US this year it seems possible that right now there are more Realtors than there are houses for sale. I can’t find a number for how many real estate licensees there are in the US.
In the local market, I am sure there are more Boston real estate brokers and agents than there are homes for sale. There are real estate offices that have 50 agents and 20 listings.
Getting a real estate license is fairly easy to do and inexpensive. It takes about six weeks. New agents start out charging the same rates that experienced agents charge.
Failure Rate for Boston Real Estate Agents
The failure rate among real estate agents is very high. Everyone knows someone who “tried it out” and then quit. If you plan on working with a real estate agent to sell your home you should be able to negotiate a lower commission. Being a buyer’s agent right now is extra tough because each buyer may need to make an offer on a few houses before one works out.
The current housing market is unique. I feel strongly that we will need to build more housing preferably affordable housing to end what I believe is a housing crisis.
Boston Real Estate and the Bottom Line
If you were planning on getting a real estate license this year and go into real estate sales expect a lot of competition from experienced and inexperienced agents. Real estate agents are self-employed and without benefits and have bills to pay even when there isn’t any money coming in.
We are approaching the final quarter of 2020 and speeding into the 2021 real estate market with 1.4 million Realtors in tow. Now Realtors are those state licensed real estate agents that are members of the National Association of Realtors, but I’ve never met one that isn’t a member. Realty companies typically make it a requirement for their agents to be Realtors and abide by NAR’s code of ethics.
Number of Real Estate Agents in the U.S.
- 2006 – 1.35 million
- 2007 – 1.33 million ↓
- 2008 – 1.19 million ↓
- 2009 – 1.11 million ↓
- 2010 – 1.06 million ↓
- 2011 – 1.00 million ↓
- 2012 – .99 million ↓
- 2013 – 1.04 million ↑
- 2014 – 1.09 million ↑
- 2015 – 1.16 million ↑
- 2016 – 1.23 million ↑
- 2017 – 1.30 million ↑
- 2018 – 1.35 million ↑
- 2019 – 1.39 million ↑
- 2020 – 1.4 million – record high!
I appreciate Tom’s concern, outlined below, but things aren’t quite so bleak. It’s true that if you do the math, and divide the 65,000 single family homes and condos sold so far this year by the 40,000 licensed real estate agents, you get at the 1.6 houses per agent number he quotes. However, of those 40,000 licensed real estate agents, probably a quarter or more work in real estate part-time, or less.
That shouldn’t detract from the main gist of the story, of course. I agree, there has been a huge number of new agents entering the business over the past year or two (or more). As Tom so eloquently puts it, many of these new agents will be faced with low pay and lots of work, over the first couple of years, and a high percentage will probably give up, if the market should cool.
This will mean less competition for those able to weather the storm.
By Tom Witkowski, Boston Business Journal
A 46.1 percent increase in the number of Realtors in Massachusetts since 2001 means there is now one Realtor for every 1.6 houses sold in the state so far this year. That number is on track to fall far short of the 2.9 houses sold for every one Realtor four years ago.
Many new agents have flocked to real estate sales, attracted by the flexible schedule and potential of financial success. The robust Massachusetts market has also brought soaring home prices, which have translated to skyrocketing commissions for some.
Complete article: Realtor surplus
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