“Are you a full-time or a part-time real estate agent?”
This is a question that Ryan Haley, broker and owner of Atlantic Shores Sotheby’s, gets asked at times during listing interviews with potential sellers.
The truth is that this is a good question to ask a real estate agent if you are a consumer looking to sell or buy a property. Why is that? Is there really a difference?
There are other questions you should ask… Can you work with an agent who’s doing it as a part-time job? Can a part-time agent do a good-enough job to represent you in the process?
As a professional realtor who’s doing this job full-time, Ryan would argue that it will be very difficult for them to do it as well as someone who does it full time.
Part-Time Real Estate Issues
The biggest obstacle to hiring a part-time agent is that it means that they have another job which may be another full-time career or another part-time job. This means that if you need answers to your questions, you might not get answers instantly.
On the other hand, a full-time agent will be connected and will be there for you every step of the way. Every full-time agent can attest that it’s difficult to turn everything off as clients tend to have lots of questions to ask.
If you have a part-time agent representing you, you can expect that it will be difficult to get in touch with them. And if time is of the essence and you need answers and documents submitted, the part-time dedication will most likely be an obstacle.
The other crucial issue with a part-time agents is their understanding of the market. If somebody is doing it part-time and is merely dabbling, do they have enough time to research the market conditions and research the community? Do they have the time to find out about the market trends and negotiation strategies that are going to assist you as a consumer and push you in the best position to win in terms of getting the best deals?
The full-time agent takes real estate as a profession, so just like other professionals, they are at work at certain hours of the day. You can expect them to be at the office at the same time every day. As part of their work, they can serve as your eyes and ears on the ground, looking for properties for you even when you’re not available.
Full-timers also attend coaching calls to learn about the latest techniques when it comes to negotiations. They listen to economists predicting what is going to happen in the future. They also meet with you to help you find the right property or to discuss with you if you’re selling your property.
If we are to compare a full-time and a part-time real estate agent, you should know that a full-time agent will be looking out for your interest to the best of their ability. To add, they are also prepared to put you on a spot to win.
In contrast, a part-time agent is more likely not going to be available when you need them and if you frequently need them. They also cannot possibly have enough time to understand to put you in the best position to win.