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golden

Shiny_Rock
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Jan 8, 2007
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390
Hi Dee*Jay, I am new to this site, but saw your post from a few months ago. I too am a real estate agent and I think the Tiffany "key and house" key chain is a great gift, but I also love the estate welcome mats from Frontgate with the buyer''s last name initial.
Where are you a realtor?
 

Dee*Jay

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
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13,367
Hello golden!


I like the Frontgate mats too! There is also a site that will do a nice mat with a last name on it for a pretty reasonable price (but you need about 4 weeks lead time to be safe). I used to get those for people too but someone told me they thought it was creepy that everyone going by would know their name so I stopped. Geez, you think people would be grateful for any gift that makes it easier for the pizza guy, wouldn''t you?!


My market is Chicago. Really only downtown although I have let myself get dragged into a few suburban transactions ("Oh please help my mother buy this Del Webb property! I think she''s being taken for a ride and you''re *the only one* we trust! Yadda yadda yadda!!!)

What is your market golden? And do you have any other great housewarming gift ideas? I''m always on the lookout for something new and clever!
 

gail013

Shiny_Rock
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Messages
335
Don''t mean to horn in but I am a realtor too in the Mpls area. I work for builder, and am comtemplating switching jobs here pretty quick-stressful......and tough decision. The market here has been brutal.

I used to order personalized stuff for people as closing gifts, but then I had a closing fall apart a few years ago, and I was left with a personalized doorknocker that i wanted to put you know where.....

Dee Jay I have a friend moving to the Chicago area who are you with?
 

Dee*Jay

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Hello golden and Gail! Sorry for being MIA today; the happy hubby''s work computer blew up and he''s been hogging up our home comptuer, so no PS for me!

Gail, I''m with @ Properties. (@ = At, just like the symbol; someone in our marketing department got a little cutsie tootsie!). I really love my company. It was featured as one of the fastest growing companies in Fortune a few months ago. Five years ago it didn''t exist, and today it''s amazing, when I tell people I"m with @ they always say, "Oh, I see you guys EVERYWHERE now!"
 

gail013

Shiny_Rock
Joined
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Messages
335
Is that located in Chicago only?

I too am always on the lookout for neat closing gifts. For the last few years I also gave a Christmas gift, and had a talented girlfriend do handpainted ornaments with people''s houses on it. People liked those alot.

I have also given those detectors that plug into outlets in case there is a gas leak, they aren''t cute but sure seem to be well received since most people don''t get around to buying those themselves.
 

gail013

Shiny_Rock
Joined
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Messages
335
By the way Golden and Dee Jay how much is the house and key from TIffany, I don''t see it on the site?
 

Dee*Jay

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Gail, @ is only in Chicago.

For Christmas I usually send a Waterford ornament every year. The crystal ones are pretty robust and the boxes are very sturdy, so I feel pretty safe putting the whole thing in a bubble wrap envelope and shipping it off. Never had one break yet (kock on wood!). I love the idea of the painted ornaments but most of my market is condos so it wouldn't translate as well.

I don't think Tiffany has all of their keyrings on their site, but if you live near one take a look at the selection. They also have some other great themes: golf, aviation, lots more. I don't recall off the top of my head what the exact price is one the ones I usually give -- about $100 I think?
 

diamondsRforever

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 2, 2006
Messages
144
Hi All,

I am thinking about taking real estate classes to become an agent. However, I am really curious about the life of an agent. Is it hard work? Is it all commission based? Are there times where you can''t sell a house and don''t get paid?
I really want to be sure of what I am getting myself into.

Any feedback would be appreciated...Thanks
 

monarch64

Super_Ideal_Rock
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17,757
Deeeeeeeeeeej. I was SO hoping you''d become our realtor after meeting you! LOL! We are in the west burbs (remember me, we met at the Chi. gem show? hee hee). Just teasing you...
 

Dee*Jay

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Date: 1/17/2007 1:03:39 AM
Author: diamondsRforever
Hi All,

I am thinking about taking real estate classes to become an agent. However, I am really curious about the life of an agent. Is it hard work? Is it all commission based? Are there times where you can't sell a house and don't get paid?
I really want to be sure of what I am getting myself into.

Any feedback would be appreciated...Thanks
dRf - I am going to answer your questions assuming you're in the US (I know we have a lot of non-US members on this board, so if you're not US based then my statements probably won't apply).

The life of an agent *can be* be hard work. You will almost certainly be an independent contractor (rather than an employee) of a real estate brokerage and the amount and type of assistance you get will vary from firm to firm. Some firms provide training from everything from how to write a contract to how do conduct an open house. Other firms are less training oriented and you have more of a "baptism by fire" learning experience. It's critical, in my opinion, or associate yourself with a firm that is going to provide training if you are new to the industry.

Also, keep in mind that as an indpendent contractor you are not entitled to things that EMPLOYEES have come to expect. No paid vacation. You have to pay for your own health insurance. You have to pay both the employEE and employER portion of Social Security, Medicare, and all the other payroll type "taxes." This is not an insignificant amount of $ -- I belive it's about 7.65% on both sides, so now over 15% of your gross commission is going toward taxes, not to mention federal and state (if applicable). Oh, and retirement--no 401(k) plan, you gotta be disciplined to plan and save yourself.

It is extremely helpful to have a mentor; someone that you can call with any question from "How do I handle objections from the potential seller when I'm making a listing presentation," to "OMG, my closing is about to blow up becuase no one go the certificate of insurance--who should I call?". Some firms will give a mentor to new agents, but it MUST be someone that you "connect" with and are comfortable asking ANYTHING of.

As far as getting paid: No ticky no laundy. If you don't walk away from the closing table with a successfully closed deal and a check in hand you get N.O.T.H.I.N.G. Some firms will put new agents on a "draw" so you get some $ each month until you start to close deals, but there is probably a provision that you have to pay the $ back if you leave and don't fulfill the obligation.

And yes, if you don't sell a property you don't get paid.

You need to know where your clients are going to come from. Friends and family are great sources but they alone won't make you a top producer. You need to work open houses and pick up new clients, and also find ways to market yourself in your community. Maybe you can hook up with a mortgage broker and participate in his or her first time home buyer seminars.

The hours are at the whim of your clients. Expect to give up your weekends and evenings at the drop of a hat to show people property. And you should become a resource on a lot of home related things; handymen, where to buy furniture, what stores carry the best paint selection, numbers for all the utility companies, things like that.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Go to your local bookstore and browse a few books on being a real estate agent. Better yet, do you know any? Get some info from them on what it's like and what work and doesn't work for them.

Sorry for the long post but I wanted to try to answer your questions.

MONARCH - As soon as you and the happy hubby are ready to move down here into the city you just give me a call!
 

gail013

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 21, 2006
Messages
335
Well, being a realtor can be hard work and you can pay to list a home that never sells, and not get paid a dime, but incur costs anyway that you pay from your own pocket. I work for a builder, so I do very little selling of existing homes, and for the most part I love what I do. I work in a model and help people design their homes. But in the existing market, you have to be willing to be show homes and write offers at the drop of a hat, and I think you need a bit of a thick skin. The market is competitive, and you want to decide how you will handle friends that do not want to use your services for various reasons.

On the flip side it can pay very well, and you can meet alot of people. I do think that eventually agents will work for a bit less commission than they do now, because of all the competition, and all the info on the intrenet. It may be helpful for you to work with a team of experienced people so you can learn the ropes.

You may want to consider what hours you want to work, and it can take a while to build up your business. Do you have the time and resources to do that? To be successful, you may want to commit some time and energy and be willing to not make money for a while, if that''s what it takes.

The market is alot of the country is very slow right now. I have been discourged this last year, with all the negative news, and that influences people''s buying decisions. But I have done this for ten years and am going to ride out the storm. There are alot of agents right now leaving the business because they need to make money, so in that aspect your timing could be good. I would talk to a few agents in your area, to really make a informed decision.
 

NYCsparkle

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 23, 2006
Messages
1,371
When we bought our house, our realtor got us a gift certificate to a fancy restaurant in our new neighborhood. It was very appreciated, because after buying a house we weren''t able to go out to a fancy dinner for awhile--house stuff...lol
 

butterfly 17

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 17, 2005
Messages
2,681
Hi guys,
Just curious, does the gift thing work the other way around as well? Should I get a gift for my RE agents and/or my lawyer for helping me with the sale and closing of my house? I was thinking about getting the office a case of wine.
 

diamondsRforever

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 2, 2006
Messages
144
DJ, Gail...thanks for the response!!!

I just wanted to add that I am indeed living in the US, fairfield county, CT to be exact
.

You guys brought up some excellent points. From what I''ve read, there are more downside in being a realtor especially now that the market is slow.

Besides being your own boss what are some other upsides to being a realtor.

THanks!!!
 

starryeyed

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
2,398
Date: 1/17/2007 6:25:42 PM
Author: butterfly 17
Just curious, does the gift thing work the other way around as well? Should I get a gift for my RE agents and/or my lawyer for helping me with the sale and closing of my house? I was thinking about getting the office a case of wine.
Butterfly, although that''s a nice idea, you have to remember that the RE agent/office just made 2.5-3% minimum on the sale if the transaction involved another broker/office, and 5-6% if it was a single broker deal! They can afford to give gifts - having just purchased a house, you can''t. Last deal I closed, the lawyer paid for lunch - should have been the agent, in my opinion. They are the ones making money - you''re giving it up. Send a holiday card....
 

Dee*Jay

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 26, 2006
Messages
13,367
Date: 1/17/2007 8:29:30 PM
Author: starryeyed
Date: 1/17/2007 6:25:42 PM

Author: butterfly 17

Just curious, does the gift thing work the other way around as well? Should I get a gift for my RE agents and/or my lawyer for helping me with the sale and closing of my house? I was thinking about getting the office a case of wine.
Butterfly, although that's a nice idea, you have to remember that the RE agent/office just made 2.5-3% minimum on the sale if the transaction involved another broker/office, and 5-6% if it was a single broker deal! They can afford to give gifts - having just purchased a house, you can't. Last deal I closed, the lawyer paid for lunch - should have been the agent, in my opinion. They are the ones making money - you're giving it up. Send a holiday card....

I have to say that a lot of my clients have given me gifts at the end of the transaction as well as sending me very nice notes and letters afterwards thanking me for guiding them through the process. Even though I *am* making money on the transaction it can become a very personal relationship along the way and a gift, even a token, is so much appreciated.

Butterfly, don't get the *office* a case of anything unless you've dealt with a lot of the personnel during the transaction. If you are feeling generous get your *agent* a nice bottle (or three!) but there is no need to go over the top.

Now, let's get to this whole "X just made 3% off of me" part. Here's an example of the real world:

Let's say the property is listed for $250K
The seller pays 5% (which is typical these days in my market) - $12,500
The 5% gets split between the listing agent and the buying agent's OFFICES, less the MLS fee (typically $150) - $6,100
Then the agents get their splits from their offices (mine is 65%) AFTER the administrative and errors & omissions insurance fee is taken out ($105) - $3,860
From that I pay for all of my own expenses during the transaction (mileage, Fed Ex'ing documents, drinks and snacks in the car for the clients as we look at property, the closing gift etc.); let's say $150 - $3,710
Then I pay the employEE and employER portion of Social Security, Medicare, etc. (roughly 15% total), which is $565.50
Then I pay the Federal Government (say a low 28%, which is actually lower than my own tax rate) - $1,038.80
Then I pay the State (3% in Illinois) - $111.30

And VOILA!!! I have made $2,003.40--less than 1% of the price--on the transaction (less of course what I have to pay for health insurance and save for retirement becuase I am an independent contractor therefore I have no 401(k)). And this amount is the same no matter whether I took you to see one house or one HUNDRED houses (although fortunately it seems to even out a bit in the end between the quick buyers and the "career" buyers.")
 

starryeyed

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
2,398
No offense intended Dee-Jay.

On the flip side, if a person is paying $250K for a place, $2K is actually a lot of money for that person! Are your average transactions in "dowtown Chicago" really only $250K though?

I can understand Butterfly''s impulse to give a little gift to show appreciation - I would feel that way too if someone went out of their way for me - but I don''t think it should be expected and it''s absolutely not necessary.
 

Dee*Jay

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Messages
13,367
Starreyed - I picked $250K because I thought it was a nice round number that people across the country could relate to with different property types, and also because that''s the price of an average 1 bedroom condo downtown. My market is mostly condo buyers and my average transaction over the past 24 months is $365K--with a range from $99,900 to $1.35 million (the big transaction was a single family home though). I do agree with you that $2K is a lot of $ for someone buying a $250K place, but it''s the *seller* that pays the commission.
 

starryeyed

Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
2,398
Yes DJ and that Seller just shelled out $12.5K. That's huge money. And it's $12.5K less to put to the new house! I guess an interesting exercise is the $1.35 mm sale:

Using your calc:
Let's say the property is listed for $1.35mm
The seller pays 5% (which is typical these days in my market) - 67,500
The 5% gets split between the listing agent and the buying agent's OFFICES, less the MLS fee (typically $150) - $33,600
Then the agents get their splits from their offices (mine is 65%) AFTER the administrative and errors & omissions insurance fee is taken out ($105) - $21,735
From that I pay for all of my own expenses during the transaction (mileage, Fed Ex'ing documents, drinks and snacks in the car for the clients as we look at property, the closing gift etc.); let's say $150 - $21,585
Then I pay the employEE and employER portion of Social Security, Medicare, etc. (roughly 15% total), which is ($3237.75)
Then I pay the Federal Government (say a low 28%, which is actually lower than my own tax rate) - ($6,043.80)
Then I pay the State (3% in Illinois) - ($647.55)

You make $11,655 roughly. If you're the listing agent and sell the property, you make double this. That's a pretty nice take. A few of these, even lesser sales, and think about all the bling you can buy!
 

Dee*Jay

Super_Ideal_Rock
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That IS a pretty nice take! Too bad I''ve only had one deal like that in two years (and I was only on one side of the transaction). Imagine the bling I would have if all my deals were like this instead of the $365K average that I am working with. Can you say "Hope Diamond," LOL! Hmmm... wonder how I would set that...
 

butterfly 17

Ideal_Rock
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Date: 1/18/2007 10:57:34 AM
Author: Dee*Jay
Can you say ''Hope Diamond,'' LOL! Hmmm... wonder how I would set that...
Hmmm, I am sure you could pick out a nice Jack Kelege setting for that!!! Perhaps a pendant?


I don''t know, I know I am paying my RE agent (who is actually the broker/owner) a commission, but I still feel that without them, this deal would not be going to through and I am very grateful for that!

So, perhaps send him a bottle of wine. Also, there is one person at the office who did not sell my house, but had open houses a few times at my house and I just feel I should get her something too. She is such a sweet person and as the saying goes--
What comes around goes around!
 

Dee*Jay

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Date: 1/18/2007 11:17:51 AM
Author: butterfly 17
Date: 1/18/2007 10:57:34 AM

Author: Dee*Jay

Can you say 'Hope Diamond,' LOL! Hmmm... wonder how I would set that...

Hmmm, I am sure you could pick out a nice Jack Kelege setting for that!!! Perhaps a pendant?



I don't know, I know I am paying my RE agent (who is actually the broker/owner) a commission, but I still feel that without them, this deal would not be going to through and I am very grateful for that!


So, perhaps send him a bottle of wine. Also, there is one person at the office who did not sell my house, but had open houses a few times at my house and I just feel I should get her something too. She is such a sweet person and as the saying goes--

What comes around goes around!

Oh I see now why you were going to get wine for more than just your agent. That is a very nice gesture and I think it would be very much appreciated!

And your statement about the deal not going through without the help of your agent is what makes this all worthwhile for me as a Realtor!

(BTW, don't you have to close by TOMORROW??? What's the status???)
 

butterfly 17

Ideal_Rock
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Date: 1/18/2007 11:27:18 AM
Author: Dee*Jay

Oh I see now why you were going to get wine for more than just your agent. That is a very nice gesture and I think it would be very much appreciated!

And your statement about the deal not going through without the help of your agent is what makes this all worthwhile for me as a Realtor!

(BTW, don''t you have to close by TOMORROW??? What''s the status???)
Yes, I am not sure what else to give that can be shared and not too expensive and my agent. who I am buying the other house from as well, kept making a joke, after this, we all need to go out for drinks, so I thought he would like that.

I don''t know what is going on, still no closing date, but I think it will be next week. Also, she gave her lawyer POA, according to my lawyer, so she doesn''t need to be there for the closing, but it would have been nice. Sorry, don''t want to hijack this thread!
 

gail013

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 21, 2006
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335
Diamondsrforever-

I think looking at houses is fun, and I also think in real estate you meet alot of people. The business is so much fun when you are actually selling stuff, and feel that you are helping people. You should definitely have good people skills and be a self motivator to be successful at it. I remember one agent telling me she could never sit in a model home like I do, because all she would do is eat candy all day!
 

rockzilla

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 19, 2006
Messages
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How variable are the commission percentages? I always thought it was 6% standard split between the buyer''s and seller''s agents. It seems to me that 6% is a huge chunk of change, especially in the area I live in (Los Angeles).

Basically, it doesn''t make sense to me intuatively that an agent selling a $1M house should make 4X someone selling a $250k house. They don''t do 4x the work or add 4x the value. (Especially when houses are doubling in value over 3 years or some such ridiculousness...) I guess you could argue that it is more expensive to live/do business in an area such as LA...but noone''s expenses are going up 30%+ a year!

Do sellers ever negotiate these rates down? Or is it a "colluded" market where all agents just agree on 5-6% and blackball any agents who go lower?

(Not that it matters a ton to me...not being in a position to either buy or sell)
 

Dee*Jay

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Rockzilla, 6% is pretty standard in most markets, but some of the mjajor metropolitan markets have actually been negotiated down to 5% as a standard rate. On the flip side, I have heard that New York is actually 7% (!!!).

As far as the percentage being set, no, everthing in life is negotiable. BUT, honestly, if a seller called up a real estate brokerage and said I want to sell my house and I''ll pay a total of, say, 4% it would be unlikely anyone would want to take on the listing. Also, the cooperating commission (i.e., the commission that the buying agent''s firm will be paid) is disclosed so if an agent in the listing is trying to decide what properties to show a client and there are several that are similar but they are all paying 2.5% co-op and one is paying 2% co-op, well, which one do you think is not going to get shown (even though no one will admit it). It''s simply a fact that I''ve seen properties with lower commission sitting on the market much longer than ones with average commission.

An interesting thing that I''m seeing right now though in the slower Chicago market is higher than average commission and even added incentives. For instance, I have come across a listing that is paying 3.5% co-op (so a full 1% higher than average) and an EXTRA $10K bonus to the buying agent''s side. It is a $1.6M house, so the agent who brings a buyer to the table on that one will gross over 60% more by selling that house over another house with simply the 2.5% commission. Which one do you think is gonna have a line out the door come Saturday morning?!
 

Dee*Jay

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Date: 1/15/2007 10:04:28 PM
Author: gail013
By the way Golden and Dee Jay how much is the house and key from TIffany, I don''t see it on the site?
Gail, I went to Tiffany''s to get a key ring for a closing this week and just wanted to let you know that the house ones are $100.
 

Skippy123

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Messages
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Dee Jay,
You are so cute with your calculations!!! You could come over to the dark side and become an accountant!!! LOL.
 

Dee*Jay

Super_Ideal_Rock
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13,367
Ha ha Skippy--I''ll have to keep that in mind if the market ever truly tanks!
 
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