I ran some reports for 2010 residential home sales on the Central Coast. The slowdown in the market continues to impact the majority of Realtors, as it has the last few years.
– 38% of agents that belong to the MLS didn’t have a SINGLE residential sale in 2010.
– 33% had between one and three sales.
Calculating what a Realtor would earn with 3 sales at the County median home price of $400,000 produces a total income around $18,000. It would be lower than this if the Realtor worked for a franchised Brokerage which takes 6-8% more and sends that money out of our area to some big corporation to pay for use of their Brand Name. This means that 71% of agents (that belong to the MLS) made below the U.S. poverty level of $18,310 for a family of 3. A lot of these Realtors are not full time and have other job(s) or their significant other also is contributing to the household income. Unfortunately, if an agent isn’t full time then they probably aren’t keeping up with the inventory, market trends, or contract and law changes.
What this does mean for Buyers and Sellers is that there are a lot of Realtors on the Central Coast that have had limited experience with selling in this market. Your chances of running into an inexperienced or part-time Realtor at an Open House on a weekend or on “floor duty” at a real estate office are pretty high as these are ways Realtors are hoping to find clients. If a Realtor has had their license more than a couple years and has not sold much recently, that would raise a red flag to me.
Before you trust one of your most important financial transactions to a Realtor, one of the questions you should ask is how many properties they sold the last few years. If you’re a Buyer, make sure to ask how many sales they made to Buyers last year as an agent that just had Listings probably doesn’t know the inventory as well as an agent that has assisted a lot of Buyers recently.