It sounds great to hire a “team” to sell your home or represent you in a purchase. However, not all teams are created equal.
Real Estate Advice / Chris
We are a real estate team so this article may seem odd since it is coming from us. However, not all teams are created equally and we do our very best to avoid these pitfalls below. With that disclaimer out of the way, here are some tough facts about some real estate teams.
One of the main reasons agents join a team is for the training, leads and support that the experienced team leaders provide. When you’re selling your highest valued asset or buying a new property, do you want a brand new agent to represent you? Probably not, however that’s likely what you’re going to get when you call a team to buy or sell your property.
Team leaders are usually the big names in real estate in each town. They’re the face of the team and should be providing excellent service to customers through the members of their team. The team leader may be the reason why you chose to work with that agent or team however you may only see the leader once. Then, you will likely be working with the team members that do not have the same level of expertise. Is it a “bait and switch?” I personally think it is, especially if it is not disclosed to the customer that someone else will be doing the work for them. It’s important then when hiring a team that you ask who you will be working with from start to finish.
Our MLS system has limitations on reporting team sales so it will normally show all sales under the sole team leader’s name and the “co” listing/selling agent will be the actual agent that you’re working with. What that means then is that the team leader boasting an absolutely astonishing amount of real estate sold may not have sold anything! It’s the team members doing the work and producing those numbers. Want higher numbers? Just hire more and more agents!
You’ll be able to spot this unethical behavior by looking at printed material from the “team” and comparing it to what you hear when you speak to the “team leader.” They might:
* Say “we” on printed material or their website but “I” when you speak to him or her.
* They refer to themselves as a “team” with “associates” they are the only name on the website.
* They cannot name any agents that are on the “team.”
My personal opinion is that agents that mislead the public in this way should instantly lose their license. If they’re that deceitful, why would anybody want to work with them?
This is one of my major pet-peeves. Many teams leaders want their team to appear bigger than it really is so they list every person they know that is remotely connected to real estate as their team members. They will list lenders they work with, inspectors, appraisers, and even the office receptionist as “team members” just to inflate the number.