You may have been hearing a lot about the hot real estate market and lack of houses available to buy, but what about the people in the real estate business, what are they doing?

The good ones are hustling. The Capital Region and the nation at large are in a seller’s market, which means sellers have the upper hand. It is the result of high demand and low inventory. While that’s good news for sellers, every market has its own challenges and there are steps along the way between creating a listing and closing on a deal: preparation (decluttering), marketing, showings, the offer, negotiations, inspection included. The real estate agent is at the center of it all.

Judi Gabler, an independent broker and owner of Gabler Realty in Delmar, oversees 20 agents. Her phone is in her hand from the moment she wakes up. Her calendar is loaded with tasks, each with alarms so she doesn’t forget anything. Buyers call because a new listing comes on the market overnight, and they’re in a rush because there’s no time to waste.

“It’s intense. The days are gone when we could wait before going to see a house, or show a client four or five houses in one day,” Gabler said.

Gabler tries to put in time at her office every day where she responds to email and meets with her agents to offer them guidance. Once a month they all meet for training. Real estate agents must log 22.5 hours of continuing education each year and renew their license every two years. 

Gabler takes calls at all hours, lining up inspections, helping sellers prepare to sell and talking to lawyers. Gabler and her agents create spreadsheets for each listing to track both progress and bids. It helps them see at a glance the status of each deal and find another buyer if a sale falls through. 

“It’s a highly organized system. I’m a control freak,” Gabler said. As of last week, the Gabler team had 26 active listings and 68 pending sales. So far in 2022, they’ve closed 100 sales and done $31.5 million in business. 

“Whenever an agent comes into the office and says things are slow, I tell them to catch up on their personal lives, because the slow period won’t last,” Gabler said.

In this market, seller’s agents are often seeing multiple bids and working to help their clients pick the best one. Sellers are not required to pick the highest bid, said Laura Burns, president of the Greater Capital Association of Realtors. Several factors influence which bid a seller chooses. Sellers who need to stay in the house a while after the sale might choose a flexible buyer willing to rent back the property to them – or a seller might choose a cash offer over someone who is financing the deal or has to sell another property before they have the money to buy again. 

Buyer’s agents are helping their clients deal with disappointment.

“I have buyers who’ve lost out on 10 to 15 offers,” said longtime broker Brian Brosen. “Sometimes the nature of the loan they’re working with makes them less attractive. I’ve got a buyer who started looking at lower priced houses so we would have room to go up with a bid. I’ve had buyers who expanded the area where they’re willing to look. Three weeks ago, my buyer went $41,000 over asking on a house and still lost.”

“I’m pretty direct with my clients and I make sure they’re educated going in about the status of the market,” Brosen said. “There are tips and tricks – waiving the dollar threshold on inspection for example (typically an inspector flags anything wrong in the house that will cost more than $1,500 to fix, but a buyer can offer to raise the limit) or volunteering to pay transfer fees for the seller. When it’s over I don’t want people to feel, if they got the house, they got jerked around and overpaid. If they lost, they know we did everything we could.”

There are real estate brokers and real estate salespeople. Both go through training – 77 hours for sales people and 152 hours for brokers and take tests before the state grants them a license. Brokers are the legal representative of a buyer or seller. While brokers work independently, a sales person (also called agent) represents the broker and must work under the supervision of a broker in order to have a license. Sales people are independent contractors and derive their income from the broker. They are not employees of the company name on their business card – Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices for example or Howard Hanna. It’s an affiliation instead and brokers pay a franchise fee for use of the brand names.

A Realtor is a real estate salesperson, but a real estate salesperson isn’t necessarily a Realtor. The uppercase “R” means the agent is a member of the National Association of Realtors, a trade organization. 

A seller’s agent (or listing agent) represents someone selling property. Typically, a portion of the seller’s agent’s commission goes to the buyer’s agent. Commission is a percentage of the sale price. If you’re looking to put property on the market, an agent will give you a listing presentation where they will lay out the reasons why you should hire them. Expect a description of their experience, expertise and marketing plan. The seller then signs a contract, which can be renewed in three, six or 12 months, however long it takes the agent to sell the property. Sellers may choose to extend the contract or hire someone else at the end of the contract.


https://www.timesunion.com/realestate/article/A-day-in-the-life-of-a-real-estate-agent-17179122.php