With the decline in the number of transactions over the past 6 months, the size of the pie for Realtor commissions has become lots smaller. Some agents haven’t had *any* slices of the pie for months. I went to a Realtor conference in Southern California a few months ago and they showed a slide in one presentation of a decline in the number of Realtors. I haven’t heard any updated statistics on how many Realtors are leaving the industry. On the Central Coast, we saw a steep jump in the number of Realtors over the past few years to over 4200. This doesn’t count people with real estate licenses that aren’t Realtors.
I recently received my bill for 2007 membership for the Association of Realtors. To give you some inside info, it costs $484 to be a member of the Realtor Association. There is also an optional $197 for the Realtor Action Fund (a political contribution). On top of this annual charge, we pay quarterly fees to the MLS. This is for access to the MLS system plus use of the lockbox smart card. This works out to be about $400 annually.
My Association already sent out an email weeks ago asking who wasn’t going to renew their Realtor membership so they could see the impact on their budget. With dues payable by January 1st, I think that this will be the time when we’ll see many Central Coast Realtors leaving the association.
Make sure to ask a real estate agent if they are a Realtor and also a member of the local MLS. Their 2007 status may have changed.