Are You Working with a Real Estate Agent?

“Why does every Realtor always ask me if I’m working with someone? It makes me feel like they don’t want to talk to me!”

Of course they want to talk to you!  There’s two great reasons agents ask this question.

One: Ethics!  An ethical Real Estate Agent doesn’t want to “steal” another agent’s client.  Realtors invest time and effort into their clients, and don’t want to interfere in another agent’s relationship with a client.  If you decide the Realtor with whom you’ve been working isn’t right for you, talk to them and make sure you’ve ended the relationship or contract between you before beginning to work with another agent.

Two: Money! The Realtor is asking you if you are working with someone to find out if you are, in essence, offering them a job, or if you’re asking for a free service. Many clients either don’t understand that the only way an agent makes any money is when a sale closes. Everything they do for a buyer or seller until that closing is at the Realtor’s cost. Essentially, agents work for free, hoping to close a sale so they can be rewarded for their hard work. 

Many of the questions people ask take time and work to answer.  If you ask to see a property, the agent has to schedule time that’s just for you.  If you want to know if they any listings that meet your needs, they have to take the time to understand your needs and create a selection of listings tailored to you. If you are asking for an estimate, the agent must tour the property, research similar listings in the area, and create a list of comparable listings and present the estimate to you.  No matter what the question, it takes time, expertise, and energy that cost real dollars and cents to answer. 

Would you work for free? Maybe for a good cause or once in awhile, but on a regular basis to satisfy a stranger’s curiosity? Probably not. Realtors feel the same.

Most real estate agents are either in business for themselves, or working entirely on commission.  They work as a listing agent to sell a property, or as a buyer’s agent to find you the right property. They do all that work in hope of closing a sale to get paid.  Any buyer or seller can do the work themselves, but it’s a complicated, difficult, and time-consuming process, so most of us choose to work with an agent to make it easy and pleasant. That hard work and dedication is why an agent asks if you’re working with someone.

A Realtor asks that question because s/he wants to work with you!



  1. Lori T. Williams says:

    Good point Pat!  The legal profession is similar.  People often want free advice too.  It’s a good policy to retain professionals, rather than expecting them to give something away for free.  Their intellectual capital is what is for sale many times, but with realtors a house comes with it!  

  2. Good point Lori!  You’re absolutely correct!